Greece continues to hold a strong position in the maritime industry, demonstrating resilience and remarkable expansion. As reported by the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) in its 2022-23 annual report, the total capacity of the Greek merchant fleet, currently consisting of 5,520 ships, has grown by 50% during the last ten years. This has cemented Greece’s position as the world’s largest ship-owning nation.
Captain George Tsourisis S5’sGlobal Sales Manager, based in Greece. Here, he offers an in-depth exploration of Greece’s current state of affairs, shifts in market dynamics, and the digital transformation making waves across ship agencies and ports.
At S5, we are firmly committed to expanding our market presence in Greece. With 26 years of experience in Piraeus, our team has built strong relationships with influential industry leaders, including CEOs, COOs, and Operations Managers. Many of these leaders are part of the respected Panhellenic Sea Masters and Mates Union (PEPEN).
RESILIENCE IN THE GREEK MARITIME MARKET
The Greek maritime industry’s dominance is undeniable. Holding the top spot globally in merchandise vessel ownership, Greece has witnessed a staggering 28% surge in capacity over the past five years. This growth aligns with a shift toward larger vessel sizes, indicative of Greek shipowners’ inclination toward high-volume markets.
The revival of loans from Greek banks to the shipping sector, which rebounded to a substantial €13.6 billion at the close of 2021, surging by 56% from €8.7 billion in 2016, further underscores the robust health of the Greek market.
Projections for the rest of 2023 remain promising as Greece secures enhanced financial footing, enabling its banks to allocate more resources to the maritime sector. This is set to further expand the Greek fleet, with a focus on eco-friendly vessels to maintain competitiveness.
GREEK MARKET’S OUTLOOK ON DIGITALISATION
In an era marked by rapid technological advancements, the maritime industry is facing a monumental shift towards digitalisation. This transformation holds profound implications for shipping companies both today and in the foreseeable future.
Despite its rich history as a leader, the Greek maritime sector is not immune to this wave of change. Embracing digital tools and solutions is no longer a choice but a necessity. As the sector anticipates a future woven with technology, the maritime landscape is evolving.
Although the adoption of digital tools varies among ship agencies and ports, there is enthusiasm for innovation. S5’s “Simply-5” system has particularly caught the attention of owners and charterers to its impressive functionality. Despite this interest, however, a significant portion of ship agencies and ports have yet to fully incorporate specific digital tools into their operations.
Traditional methods of approaching and appointing agents worldwide, relying on face-to-face meetings, long-standing relationships with industry agents, and word–of–mouth recommendations have been the norm in the majority of shipping companies. While these methods have historically proven effective, the tides are shifting. A growing number of enterprises are choosing to steer their ships toward the digital horizon. Port agencies have started using integrated tools, showcasing an industry-wide recognition of the benefits digital tools and technologies bring.
ANCHORING TRUST: S5’S VALUE PROPOSITION FOR CUSTOMERS
Amid the waves of opportunity, challenges persist for customers in the maritime industry. These challenges encompass everything from cost-effectiveness and agent reliability to security concerns and compliance with strict regulations. S5 steps can help with these challenges by offering solutions that safeguard vessels against risks, ensure efficient operations, and provide dedicated support throughout the journey.
Customers seek a trusted partner in their shipping agents, someone who can navigate complexities efficiently. For S5, this entails delivering cost-effective services without compromising on quality. Swift responsiveness, regular ship visits, and adept liaison with local authorities are just a few ways S5 upholds its commitment to excellence.
Drawing from its solid reputation and extensive network, S5 service is known for its reliability in the Greek shipping world. With a focus on immediate responses, quality services, and localised expertise, S5 provides customers with a solid foundation for successful voyages.
Amidst the monumental shifts that continue to shape the maritime landscape, S5 aims to help navigate the industry with expert advice and reliability to help steer the course of this transformative journey in the sector.