The 2nd Maritime Trends Conference, organised by the travel agency Marine Tours concluded its proceedings with great success.

The 2nd Maritime Trends Conference, organized on the 10th of May 2014 by the leading travel agency Marine Tours concluded its proceedings with great success.

The conference titled “Trends in Crew Management” and its purpose to inform the Shipping Industry professionals on the modern standards of Crew HR management and the latest trends in the Shipping Industry.

More than 200 delegates from 80 shipping companies, as well as many distinguished representatives of the broader Maritime Community, honored the established event with their presence.

The multi-disciplinary profile of the conference and the very interesting presentations by the invited speakers paved the way for extremely interesting debates and to fruitful conclusions on the present and the future of the shipping industry.

In the context of the first conference panel, featuring as speakers John Pahoulis, CEO at MEGACHART INC and Marios Koskinas, Director of Doric Seaside Tankers, various current trends in the sector of Commercial and Dry weight transportation were examined, along with the developments in the wet charter market. The core of all debates was centered round the observation on the imbalance between the demand in freight transportation needs and the increasing supply in terms of vessel capacity, which lead to the phenomenon of excessive supply, with adverse consequences for the Shipping Freight Markets.

Furthermore, another interesting subject in the conference agenda was Piracy phenomenon, presented byAntonios Papaioannou, Rear Admiral H.N (Ret) and Georgios Kiourktsoglou, Part Time Lecturer & Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Greenwich. According to the speakers, this is a multifaceted issue, with both political and social dimensions, which has become a plague to modern shipping, by imposing increased expenditure for personnel and ship security services as well increased costs for crew training on piracy prevention, management and response methods.

In the context of the last panel, the participants had the opportunity to be informed by Theodore Chouliaras, President of the Shipping Finance Consultants UPMARITIME LONDON Ltd, on the current influential alternative financial instruments that help tackling salary costs in the field of crew management. Among other things, the speaker emphasized on the argument that in the medium to long run the crew costs shall steadily continue to increase, irrespectively of the increase or decrease in vessel supply.

In the same panel the distinguished professional Dr. Kevin McSweeney, Manager of the Safety & Human Factors Group at American Bureau of Shipping gave a presentation regarding crew accommodation and living arrangements on board at sea stressing the new regulations that are implemented in the framework of MLC, with the purpose to upgrade the living conditions of seafarers. He characteristically emphasized the fact that the said regulations may influence the excessive supply in new vessels since they will affect the operational status of older vessels hence forcing them to leave the market.

The conference concluded its proceedings with an interesting presentation by Dr. M. Papaioannou, DNV GL’s Maritime Academy Hellas, focusing on Crew Diversity; the speaker elaborated on the significance of human resources as a safety factor and a criterion for the ship’s balanced operation and analyzed the critical role of the crew’s excellent training and education.

A key moment in the conference proceedings was the Prize Winning lottery which offering as its highest valued prize a scholarship to the “MA in Shipping” Post Graduate Program of the BCA Economic College of Athens. The lucky winner was an executive from “Eurotank Maritime Management”.

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