The “4th Maritime Trends Conference” concluded its proceedings with great success

The 4th Maritime Trends Conference, which was organized on 14 May 2016 by the leading travel management company Marine Tours with the cooperation of the University of Piraeus, concluded its proceedings with great success.

The conference was titled “Trends in Crew Management” and its purpose was to inform the Shipping Industry professionals regarding the modern standards in human resources management and the latest trends in the constantly changing Shipping industry.

More than 245 members from 110 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, Mr. George Xiradakis, Founder-Managing Director, XRTC Business Consultants, underlined the importance of crew management in the sustainability, not only of the shipping company, but also of the maritime industry. In his presentation, he referred to the capital position of Greece on the world map of Shipping, where it holds the 29% of the relevant market, while at the same time he focused on the major issue of bank funding which consists the 92% of the total investments.

At the core of his speech, Mr. Theodore Chouliaras, President of the Shipping Finance Consultants UPMARITIME LONDON Ltd., emphasized the influence of geopolitical development in the shipping industry and especially in the oil sector, highlighting the benefits that derive from the latest fall of oil prices.

During the final speech of the first panel, Mr. Jakub Walenkiewicz, Principal Market Analyst, DNV GL, presented the issue of modern shipping cycles and analyzed the various ways of their development in comparison to the past. As part of his speech, Mr. Walenkiewicz referred to the dry cargo market, highlighting the excessive orders made by the ship-owners, which had extremely negative consequences for their sector.

Matters of the outmost importance such as the psychology management of the crews staying for a long time on board was analyzed by Mr. Bengt Schager, HMON- Maritime Psychologist and part owner, Marine Profile AB, who noted that crew negative psychology can lead to crucial human errors, with a negative impact in the company and its people.

Another very interesting subject in the conference agenda, was analyzed by Mr. Michael Spanos, Managing Director, Global Sustain, with regards to the Sustainability of the Shipping Industry and the crucial pillars of Experience, Skills and Competitiveness. At the end of the second panel, Mrs. Joanna Koukouli, Claims Manager, The American Club, presented an interesting review of the Club’s Pre-Employment Medical Examination Programme and its extremely positive influence in shipping.

The representative of Etihad Airways, Mr. David Granville, Sales Opportunities Manager, presented his valuable experience regarding the attainment of excellent global customer service. The airline is specialized in corporate travelling with focus on comfort, luxury and most of all the safety of its clients, while taking into account the budget of the company as well as the principal of environmental protection.

In the context of the last panel, delegates were briefed by Mr. Konstantinos Poulis, PhD-General Manager Epsilon, regarding both the positive and the negative effects of the investment in crew welfare during the economic crisis. The positive effects include a better reputation, productivity growth plus financial performance improvement, while the negative effects include the crew’s continually increasing requirements, a system complexity and higher costs for the shipping company.

The conference concluded its proceedings with the speech of Mr. Michalis Pantazopoulos, Senior Vice President, LISCR (Hellas) S.A., who developed the impact of the flag regulations on the crew requirement standards. The speaker referred to the “Manilla 2010 STCW Convention”, which brought various revisions regarding the training and accreditation of seamen, with significant benefits for the Shipping Industry.

A key moment in the conference was the lottery which offered as a prize a scholarship to the“MSc in Shipping” Post Graduate Program of the University of Piraeus. The winner of the prize was the company  Polembros Shipping Limited”.