Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum: Opportunities and Challenges

Capital Link Greek Shipping Forum

By The Maritime Executive 02-22-2018 04:36:41

Capital Link hosted its 9th Annual Greek Shipping Forum “Opportunities & Challenges”, on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens, Greece, in cooperation with NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. The event was a huge success, attracting over 1,200 participants.

Greek shipping is the global leader with more than 20 percent of the global fleet. Greek shipowners have established a reputation for being astute and highly efficient operators, always adapting to the ever changing conditions of the shipping trade and making the best out of volatile markets. Shipping is the artery of global trade carrying over 90 percent of the world's trade and Greek shipping plays a pivotal role in the global economy.

The event provided a comprehensive review of current trends and outlook of the global economy and the main commodity, energy and shipping markets. It also discussed critical issues and challenges the industry faces, including geopolitical and regulatory developments, technical and commercial fleet management and access to capital. It examined bank financing, capital markets and alternative funding mechanisms and strategies.

Capital Link’s Forum target shipowners, ship managers and all shipping industry participants, as well as institutional investors, analysts, bankers, financial advisers, financial media and other qualified investors who seek up-to-date information on recent trends, developments and outlook of the shipping, financial and capital markets. With an average of roughly 1200+ participants each year, attendees can expect an informative networking forum connecting them to the shipping industry’s key players, including influential members in the shipping, financial and investment communities.

Highlights from Topics and Presentations

Gautam Khurana, CFA, Director, Drewry Maritime Financial Research mentioned: “Major economies are in a goldilocks period of moderate growth and low inflation. This coupled with a declining US Dollar is beneficial for the value of commodities and ships.  The container sector is expected to continue its gradual recovery in 2018 despite a large number of scheduled deliveries, as global demand growth is expected to sustain. Reduced supply-side pressures in the dry-bulk sector should help keep the market in balance and support freight rates.  The Crude Tanker sector, on the other hand, is expected to continue its difficult period as vessel oversupply and OPECs production cuts take a toll on freight rates.”

Kostas Polydakis, Managing Director, Shipping, Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc., stated that "The post-2020 ecosystem will place enormous emphasis on having good control over the entire bunker supply chain, from sourcing to blending to storage to barging. Shipowners and Charterers should be extremely cautious in selecting their bunker supply partners after the end of 2019, to ensure that their suppliers have assets and expertise to control all of those elements. This a monumental change and ship operators should be well prepared, whether they are opting to continue operation on distillate blends or to install scrubbers, having thus to ensure availability of high-sulfur fuels."

Dionysios Antonopoulos General Manager, Marine Solutions, Wartsila, stated: “There are many options to consider regarding Tier III compliance. Having a catalyst is a proven solution, one that we have more than ten years of experience with, as is having a dual fuel engine, which also reduces greenhouse emissions. Adopting LNG is one of the best available solutions. It may require additional skills for the crew, but of course with proper training everything can be achieved.”

Alexander Panagopulos, CEO of Arista Shipping S.A., addressed his confidence on LNG as fuel for ships as it is financially viable and justifies the investments needed. LNG not only minimizes emissions, but through the reduced transportation cost that it offers, strongly contributes towards more sustainable shipping; this despite the relatively higher initial newbuilding capex as compared to conventional ship designs. Meeting the requirements of environmental regulations will unavoidably increase the cost of all newbuildings but depending on the solution adopted there is a significant potential for payback for this extra cost not only for the shipowner but for our society as well. As we have witnessed with the evolution from coal to oil to power ships, the transition to gas powered systems is the next frontier. This is profoundly a game changer with an enormous environmental benefit for our earth and its oceans.

Sunil Kopoor, Director, FML Ship Management Limited stated: “This is an interesting time with many changes, many operational, environmental and political challenges, and everyone thinking that digitalization will solve all our problems. As a ship manager, there are even more things to consider, such as the applicability of the equipment. We act as advisers to the owners; we have invested in crew training and have a team of engineers on board at all times.”

Christopher M. Payne, Partner, EY Head of Insurance Technology and Alliances for EMEIA – EY, stated: “We live in an age where much of what was unknown or unknowable can now be known - This changes the fundamentals of commercial marine insurance. Intense competition in a saturated market means Underwriters are making lower returns against the risks they are underwriting. Every aspect of the marine risks being insured, are now being monitored in real-time by IoT sensors – from hull, machinery, cargo, contents and more….

“Doing nothing in marine insurance/industry is now not an option - Commercial marine insurance is undergoing a seismic change. From risk assessed and priced on historic declared, articulated demographics - to risk assessed, priced and managed based on live observed, even anticipated behavior. EY is helping organizations harness the innovation that technology and analytics from cutting edge emerging Fintech’s are driving into the Marine market, and we will share with you how this will shape and revolutionize the market and create, this brave new world.”

Dr. Michalis Pantazopoulos, Managing Director, Liberian Registry – LISCR (Hellas) Ltd. stated: “As digitalization has been in a continuous and fast growing stage by all stakeholders of the shipping industry, so is the potential increase and exposure in cybersecurity threats.  The issue has been identified by the international shipping organizations of IMO, USCG, BIMCO, Flag State, Class organizations and other shipping industry service providers and service receivers.   Today’s status and efforts by the shipping industry on cybersecurity were briefly presented as well as the threats, the vulnerabilities, the risks, the development of protection & detection measures, contingency plans, and recovery after cyber security incidents.  The role and the effect of human factors as part of the protection measures ashore & onboard as well as the potential threats that may imposed was also examined. Cyber security in shipping based on the principles of a risk management has further ground to cover as part of the daily routine operations ashore & onboard for an improved safety & cybersecurity culture for the benefit of the shipping industry at large.”

Mark O’Neil, President & CEO, Columbia Marlow stated: “Digitalization was the buzzword of 2017. Digitalise to survive and thrive, do not digitalize and fail. Digitalization became the ultimate goal, not only the means to an end, but the end itself. Very few of those who appreciated the importance of digitalization really understood that the concept embraced far more that the latest software: it represented the interaction between process excellence, technology and innovation. Fewer still appreciated that it is only one of several means to the end, and that the end is Optimization of Service. By using digitalization (including, innovation, process excellence and technology) we are able to optimize the service we provide, save hugely on time and costs, and remain relevant and compelling to our customers. If digitalization is the means, optimization is the end.”

Johan Backas, Managing Director, Eniram, stated: “Eniram launched Eniram SkyLight 3.0, a significant update to the subscription-based fleet performance monitoring service. The service now includes mobile notifications and virtual RPM sensing. Eniram Skylight 3.0 is designed to enable new data-driven business development opportunities across the marine sector, including intelligent insurance, maintenance monitoring, and hull maintenance optimization services. Eniram also announced a strategic partnership with Concirrus delivering the world’s first connected marine insurance proposition, lowering operating costs by actively monitoring vessel performance, allowing insurers to reduce premiums and providing visibility of insurance policy conditions as well as compliance to shore and ship.”

Markus Wenker, Head of Ship Finance, Hellenic Bank, stated: “After billions of losses some banks incurred in shipping, ship finance has certainly not been the flavor of the decade for the European banking regulators. As a result, we have seen three trends: 1) the few traditional banks that remained have refined their strategies, focusing on larger, corporate-style owners with balance sheets behind, 2) a gradual move of ship finance towards the East with Chinese banks and leasing companies getting increasingly active, also for non-Chinese built tonnage, and 3) the lending market for small- to mid-sized owners who fall below the thresholds of most banks has massively contracted. Whilst ship-owning is fragmented and the vast majority of owners is to find in the mid-market, the natural response to these trends is the emergence of new banks which are free of legacy issues and acquired the specialized expertise like Hellenic Bank and alternative capital providers to focus on ship finance.”

Participating Companies and Organizations
ABN AMRO Global Transportation & Logistics • Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc •  Amsterdam Trade Bank • Anangel Maritime Services Inc • Apollo Management • Arista Shipping • Bermuda Shipping & Maritime Authority (BSMA) • BIMCO • Borealis Maritime • BRAEMAR NAVES Corporate Finance •  Citi • Clarksons Platou Securities AS • Clyde & Co. • Columbia Marlow • Common Progress Company • Deloitte • DNB • DNV GL • Drewry Maritime Financial Research • DVB Bank • Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow • Eniram • EnTrustPermal • ERMA FIRST ESK Engineering Solutions S.A. • European Community Shipowners Associations • EY • Fearnley Securities • FML Ship Management Limited • Fourth Insurance Office, Inc. • Gauci-Maistre Xynou • Hellenic Bank• HFW • HSH Nordbank • INTERCARGO • INTERTANKO • International Registries • Jefferies LLC • Laskaridis Shipping Company Ltd. • Lavinia Enterprises Limited • Lavinia Corporation • Liberian Registry LISCR (Hellas) Ltd. • Maritime Asset Partners • New York Maritime (NYMAR) • Oak Hill Advisors• Reed Smith • RMK Maritime • Seward & Kissel • Shinghai Marine Services • Tennenbaum Capital Partners • Tototheo Maritime RIC • Tsakos Energy Navigation • Varde Partners • Wartsila • Watson Farley Williams • Wells Fargo

GLOBAL LEAD SPONSOR: Tsakos Energy Navigation Ltd
GLOBAL GOLD SPONSORS: Clay Maitland • Columbia Shipmanagement • DNV GL • EY • Tototheo Maritime RIC
GLOBAL SPONSORS: ABN AMRO • Citi • Clarksons Platou Securities AS • Clyde & CO • DNB Bank • DVB Bank • Fearnley Securities • Fourth Insurance Office, Inc. • Reed Smith • Seward & Kissel LLP • Watson Farley & Williams
EVENT SPONSORS: Amsterdam Trade Bank • Bermuda Business Development Agency • Braemar Naves Corporate Finance • Deloitte • Ehlermann Rindfleisch Gadow • Eniram • FML Ship Management Limited • Erma First ESK Engineering Solutions S.A • Gauci-Maistre Xynou • Hellenic Bank • HFW • Liberian Registry-LISCR (Hellas) Ltd. • Maritime Asset Partners (MAP) • RMK Maritime • Singhai Marine Services • Watrsila • Wells Fargo
LUNCHEON SPONSOR: Bermuda Business Development Agency
SPEAKER’s DINNER SPONSOR: Capital Product Partners
COFFEE SPONSOR: Illy Iperespresso – Machine & Capsule • Papadopoulos
SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS: Association of Banking and Financial Executives of Hellenic Shipping • CASS Business School • EENMA (Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association) • Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee • Hellenic Chamber of Shipping • Hellenic Committee of Lloyd’s Brokers’ Associates • Hellenic Maritime Law Association (HMLA) • Hellenic Ship Suppliers & Exporters Association • Hellenic Shipbrokers Association • Hellenic Society of Maritime Lawyers • HELMEPA • INTERMEPA • Piraeus Association For Maritime Arbitration • Piraeus Marine Club • Port Captains Club • The International Propeller Club • Wista Hellas
INTENATIONAL MEDIA PARTNERS : All About Shipping • Lloyd’s List • The Maritime Executive •  Ship2shore • TradeWinds • WorldOils 
GREEK MEDIA PARTNERS: Economia • www.efoplistesnews.gr • Elnavi • Kathimerini • www.maritimes.gr • Naftika Chronika • NafsGreen.gr • ReadPoint.gr • Shipping & Finance • Shipping International Monthly Review 

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