NAVIGATOR S.A., one of the leading Representation Houses in Greece, organized the 10th Annual NAVIGATOR Maritime Conference in Athens Golf Club, on 9th November 2011 with remarkable success.
This widely recognized Shipping Event is being held annually since the year 2001 and was once again welcome by more that 400 significant personalities from the Greek and International Shipping Community.
The US Ambassador, as well as the Ambassadors of Spain, United Kingdom and India, together with the Consulate of Panama honored the Conference with their presence.
Mr. Nicky Pappadakis, President of INTERCARGO, was among the Conference’s distinguished guests.
With the valuable insight of experienced Speakers, including widely-known and successful Shipowners and Shipping Specialists, the coverage of the Greek Shipping Press, the support of important Shipping Organizations and the Sponsorship of significant Companies engaged in the World Shipping Industry, NAVIGATOR Conference aims in productive review, study and discussion of critical issues concerning the Maritime Community today.
Four (4) different Speech Sessions concentrated and highlighted the important developments on Piracy, Market Trends, Maritime Education and Technical Issues, and kept the audience’s interest until late in the afternoon.
The Conference’s Keynote Speaker, Emmanouel Vordonis, Executive Director and Chairman of THENAMARIS SHIPS MANAGEMENT INC opened the Piracy Session. He addressed an inspired speech. According to Mr. Vordonis, the state of the tanker market is such that «all parties involved should plan to get together» to discuss the best approach to meeting the challenges. He hinted that ships will be taken out of the market and «a great many jobs lost» and made his comments as Owners of Aframax tankers were preparing to withdraw tonnage from the key cross-Mediterranean trade.
US ambassador to Greece, Daniel B Smith, was a guest speaker and after addressing the issue of piracy, reminded the audience of the sanctions imposed on Iran saying it was the responsibility of the shipping industry to ensure they were kept.
Rear Admiral (Ret) H.N. Antonios Papaioannou spoke about the increase in piracy attacks, the methods pirates use, as well as the actions taken against piracy so far, such as national convoys, vessel’s hardening, un-armed or armed teams on board and provided interesting recommendations.
Theo Xenakoudis, Managing Director of International Registries, Marshall Islands Registry, outlined the flag state perspective and contribution to the efforts against piracy.
George A. Tsavliris, Principal of TSAVLIRIS SALVAGE GROUP, emphasized on the Convoy Escort Programs, underlining their preventive goal.
Present status in regards to piracy, statistics, and control options were presented by Dr. Konstantinos Rokkos, Managing Director of SICURO S.A. Dr. Rokkos stated the use of armed guards on board as the ultimate solution against piracy. He concluded that by using proper planning and resources, Owners could undertake the risk of passage in the high-risk areas within an acceptable level.
Dorothea Ioannou, General Manager of Shipowners Claims Bureau (Hellas) Inc.
(“The American P&I Club”), made a sharp presentation on what a Shipowner needs to know when considering the use of armed security guards. In particular, she presented the flag state, the port state control, SOLAS Convention, ISPS Code and BMP4 considerations on the use of armed guards. Interesting comments on insurance issues as well as the advantages and disadvantages of armed guards were presented.
Stylianos Drakakis, Marine Risks Coordinator of I.S.B. Hellas Ltd. focused on Claims and Policies’ Implications. He used 3 case scenarios to outline the issue of the cause of damage falling under different policy than the actual damage, the negative results created and the solutions to be followed.
The Market Trends Session included interesting remarks from George Gourdomichalis, President and Managing Director of GBROS S.A. concerning the importance of Greek Shipping in a global and local context, while Emmanuel Alexandrou, Operations Manager / Director of ALKON HOLDING INC. presented his considerations for the future of the shipping market.
A thorough presentation of I.S.B. (Hellas) Ltd. Classification Services was made by Aristofanes Chionis, Head of Registration Department, while Hugh Buchanan, Operations Director of AGENCIA MARITIMA NABSA S.A., presented Argentina production and export capabilities.
The Ship Agency at present days was outlined by Francesc Dianez, Managing Director of NEXT MARITIME, and by Roy Titchmarsh, COO of V.SHIPS AGENCY GROUP, who also presented the audience with a remake of a known children’s song, attributed to an anonymous Ship’s Master, which perfectly states the importance of the Agent’s role.
“Market Trends versus Port Agents activity” presentation was addressed by Catalin Grigorenco, Executive Manager of PHOENIX SHIPPING & TRADING.
Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst of BIMCO provided an overview of the current order book and supply situation, combined with the shipyards overcapacity. The key-message of his speech was that if one works a little harder every day and a little better and smarter today than yesterday, then they will stand a better chance of running a successful shipping business.
Konstantinos Kounadis, Deputy Director, Issuer Support Division of Athens Exchanges S.A. referred to the advantages of Shipping Companies’ listing on Athens Exchange, and Christina Anagnostara, Chief Financial Officer of SEANERGY MARITIME HOLDINGS CORP. presented a to-the-point analysis of the Risk Management for publicly listed Shipping Companies. According to Mrs. Anagnostara,it is important to identify risks, implement a good risk model and combine it with practical consideration and insight from experienced risk management teams.
Dave Hill, Vice President Pacific Division of FOSS MARITIME CO, analyzed a subject of high interest for the shipping companies; the US West Coast Bunker Fuel Market.
The Maritime Education Session consisted of Katerina Konsta, Course Director of Lloyd’s List Academy, remarks on the new Era for Maritime Education and Training through the current world crisis, an examination of the public relations in the Maritime Industry by Ilias Bissias, Attorney at Law, Director of Naftika Chronika Magazine, Researcher and Teaching Assistant at the University of the Aegean, a study on the implementation of the Safety Culture at Sea by Kalliope Lyrintzis, CEO of KCL GROUP and Dr. Ilias Visvikis, Associate Professor of Finance, Academic Director of the MBA in Shipping Program, ALBA Graduate Business School, review on the Career Development and Education in Shipping.
On the Technical Issues Session, Dr. R. Vis, CEO of VISWA LAB addressed crucial remarks and offered his valuable insight and know-how on identifying problem fuels before they cause damage. Vangeli Katsimantis, Commercial Director of CARBON POSITIVE, presented Carbon Emissions and the measures to be taken for their reduction.
Bengt Sjolin, Manager Technical Services, Competence Centre Cranes, Marine Services of CARGOTEC SWEDEN AB referred to the importance of maintenance and training on board.
An overview of the Indian Register of Shipping was addressed by R.K. Kalra, Vice President and Country Manager.
Spyridon Zolotas, RINA Country Manager, Greece, outlined the use of LNG as fuel for ship propulsion, in terms of energy saving and environmental awareness.
Capt. Apostolos Skempes, TRANSAS Training Consultant, presented the implementation of the Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems (ECDIS), the time-frame, the operational use, the system settings and the training requirements.
NAVIGATOR 2011 MARITIME CONFERENCE was followed by a Forum hosted by Admiralty, entitled “Are you ready for the new ECDIS regulations?” Captain Paul Hailwood, Master Mariner, explained and demonstrated the transition stages required by shipping companies to ensure that the safety and efficiency benefits are realized across the fleet and to meet IMO obligations.
Photo: Danae Bezantakou, US Ambassador & Capt. Dimitris Bezantakos, President of NAVIGATOR S.A.