The 6th Maritime Trends Conference, which was held on May 5, 2018, at the Divani Caravel Hotel Athens, by the specialized Organization in Marine & Οffshore Travel Management, Marine Tours, was successfully completed and under the Academic Support of Deree & Alba – The American College of Greece.
The Conference, titled “Trends in Crew Management”, aimed at educating the Sector’s executives, in terms of the latest developments in human resources management.
This year’s event was the 6th in a row and surpassed every previous registration record, with more than 270 executives from 130 shipping companies attending, as well as distinguished representatives of the shipping community.
The conference started with the “Market Trends & Conditions” panel, which presented the Maritime Market projections for 2018, coordinated by Mr. George C. Xiradakis, Founder-Managing Director, XRTC Business Consultants.
In the first speech titled “Changing tides in the dry bulk and tanker markets”, Mr. George Lazaridis, Head of Market Research & Valuations, Allied Shipbroking Inc., presented the latest trends and developments in dry cargo and tankers, which are directly dependent on both the geopolitical instability and the friction between the world economy’s powerful “players”. Mr. Lazarids made particular reference to the stabilization of the sector, while stressing out that even though fleet demand is declining, interest is on the rise, which will also favor the prospects for funding in the modern shipping market.
Mr. Nikolaos Papanestis , First Vice President of the Oceans’ Industries Division of DNB BANK ASA, took the stand, with his speech “The role of financial institutions in a changing maritime environment”, elaborating on the “hot” issue of financing, in a constantly changing shipping environment. He focused on key indicators for accessing sources such as high levels of corporate transparency, company’s “healthy” financial results, full compliance with new regulations and KYC requirements, and retaining a new and technologically advanced fleet.
The first panel completed the speech by Dr. Vangelis Tsioumas, Full-time faculty, Deree – The American College of Greece, entitled “Human Capital as a Strategic Resource in Shipping”, which focused on the catalytic importance of the human factor for the well-being of a shipping company. The prominent professor pointed out that the crew remains a competitive necessity for any shipping company that wants to be at the top of the market, while emphasizing on the catalytic importance of cultivating a common corporate culture.
The second panel, coordinated by Mr. Konstantinos Oikonomou, CEO, Marine Tours and “Crew Management Issues”, focused on the crucial issue of crew management.
Mr. George Kouleris , Chief Operating Officer, PRIME, in his lecture titled “Crewing Challenges in the Present and Future”, presented not only the challenges that he is facing in the present, but also those who will be faced in the near future of Shipping, with regards to the sensitive issue of human resource management. Special emphasis was given by Mr. Kouleris on small and medium-sized shipping companies and the crucial role developing their human resources, plays, both at sea and on shore.
The panel then continued with Dr. Maria Progoulaki, Representative and Consultant, Green-Jakobsen A/ S – Lecturer, Deree – The American College of Greece and teaching fellow, Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, with her speech “Performance evaluation in shipping: more than just an appraisal form”. Dr. Progoulaki established the importance of properly assessing the performance of seafarers, stressing that such a process cannot be one-sided but necessarily multidimensional, while the role of the evaluator itself is of particular importance.
Another interesting conclusion that emerges from this speech is the fact that the feedback of seafarers with the appropriate data after the assessment is as important as the process itself, for the continuous improvement of crew performance.
The participants had also the opportunity to be informed by the internationally acclaimed speaker, Mr. Erik Green, Managing Director, Green-Jakobsen A/ S, and his speech entitled “Reflective learning in maritime education and training”, on the impact of so-called “experiential learning” in crew performance. Mr. Green shared with the delegates his long experience in experiential learning techniques, while pointing out that shipping companies should become more aware of its value and invest heavily on it.
The second round of lectures was completed with the lecture titled “The human element and management of risk in the shipping industry” Dr. Alexandros Glykas, Naval Architect & Marine Engineer Ph.D., DYNAMARINe. Dr. Glykas developed the issue of risk management and highlighted the importance of proper corporate structures to promote a safety culture. He also stressed that effective co-operation between crew and land-based personnel can foster such conditions.
The last panel of the conference elaborated on the particularly interesting issue of new technologies and the trends of Legal Science in Shipping, coordinated by Dr. Progoulaki.
In a speech by Mr. George M. Teriakidis, Regional Business Development Manager, DNV GL, entitled “Tanks unmanned ships (?)”, presented in detail the new phenomenon of unmanned ships and the revolution that this brings to the modern management of crews. According to Mr. Teriakidis, unmanned ships “have come to stay” and their penetration in the market is projected to be steadily scaling up. He even advised shipping managers to prepare for this new reality, which, apart from threats, provides new opportunities.
The speech by Mr. Panos G. Moraitis, CEO of Aspida, entitled “Managing cyber risk – a pragmatic approach”, followed the developments of the cyber-threats that threaten the shipping industry. He shared his experiences with delegates, pointing out that protection against such threats is more a matter of corporate culture than investment, since 90% of the issues arise from human negligence and only 10% from third-party threats.
The conference closed its proceedings with the speech “Managing efficiently crew claims” by Yiannis G. Timagenis, Partner at Timagenis Law Firm (Greece) – LL.B., LL.M, much. M.C.I.Arb. – Lecturer, Deree – The American College of Greece, which highlighted the typical legal issues relating to Crew Claims. He advised the responsible executives to deal with the demands of their seafarers not only as legal assumptions, but also as trade-related assumptions. Mr. Timagenis noted that the most controversial solution to a legal dispute is extrajudicial, while highlighting the importance of preventing crews’ legal claims, which should be taken seriously by each company before being driven on the often dead-end roads of judicial proceedings.
An important moment of the conference was the draw for the free participation in the SMM – Maritime Trade Fair, which will be held on 4 – 7 September 2018 in Hamburg. The lucky Winner was Costamare Shipping CO SA.
Mr. Alexopoulos has 25 years of experience in shipping, banking and maritime finance. He is a partner of Eurofin Group; a ship-financing boutique with offices in London, Athens, Singapore and Lausanne. He is the Managing Director of the Group’s Athens office and a key part of the Eurofin team, which acts as a Consultant to KfW IPEX-Bank for its Greek debt shipping portfolio. He is a teaching fellow at the ALBA Graduate Business School, specialising in Shipping Finance and Maritime Economics and acts as a Consultant on Shipping Finance to the World Maritime University, of the IMO, in Malmo, Sweden.
Dr. Christodoulou-Varotsi is a senior legal consultant (member of the Athens Bar Association) and industry trainer in private practice specialised in Maritime and EU law and policies. Visiting lecturer at ALBA Graduate Business School ACG. Highly experienced law drafter (Cypriot law). She provides specialized consulting services in the capacity of sub-contractor to the European Commission and EMSA. Projects with Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and DNV Maritime Academy Hellas (MLC 2006). Honorary Visiting Fellow, Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton. Author of five books with international publishers. Iliana holds all her degrees, including her PhD with the highest distinction, from the Faculty of Laws of Paris Sorbonne University. Additional exposure through post-doctoral research.
Mr. Teriakidis has completed studies of B.Eng. in Naval architecture at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne as well as of a M.Sc. at Strathclyde University of Glasgow. Upon completion of his studies, he joined DNV office of Dubai where we worked in various positions. In August 2008 he joined DNV Piraeus working in business development roles. Since June 2019, he is the Area Manager for Area East Med. And Black sea for DNV Maritime.
Mr. Tzevelekos is native Greek, born in Athens in 1969. He started his professional path with an apprenticeship at Lufthansa in Greece in 1992, in the faculty of Airline business administration. He has held various positions with the company ever since, including all management positions of the local sales organization. In 2017, he became the first non-expatriate General Manager of the company for Greece and Cyprus. In 2021, the responsibility of three additional markets in Balkan was also taken over.
Mr. Kartsimadakis, born in the renowned seafaring island of Chios, Greece, grew up in a seafaring family and graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy of Chios as an Engineer. He has served as Senior Engine Officer on oceangoing bulk carriers & diverse tanker vessels and was awarded an MSc with distinction in Maritime Management by the University of Aegean. He holds a Chief Engineer’s License following his service at sea. As of 2011, he has been serving in the Vetting Department of the Tsakos Group of Companies, being entrusted the senior role of Group’s Vetting & Inspections Manager as of 2016. In 2021 he joined INTERTANKO as Vetting Manager Secondee.
Mr. Jakobsen is one of the founders of Green-Jakobsen established in 2001. He is a facilitator/instructor, a trained mediator and a NLP Master Practitioner, authorized by the Danish Maritime Authority as Safety & Health Instructor and certified user of the Thomas PPA system. He is the Managing Director of Green-Jakobsen, Manila, Philippines. He is a certified Master Mariner and has working experience as a Crewing Manager and Nautical Superintendent. His core competencies cover Leadership learning and development, Marine HR and safety strategy development, Marine HR learning and development processes and competence management.
Mr. Jones spent a decade working as a navigation officer. He has a Chief Officer certificate and Masters degrees in Communications and International Relations. After working in a range of shore-based roles he founded the Seafarers Happiness Index to address the concerns of crew, ensuring the voice of those at sea is heard, and is proud to work with the MIssion to Seafarers in doing so. He is Past President of the Propeller Club Liverpool, an Associate Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Trustee of the Battle of the Atlantic Memorial.
Dr. Pyne is Principal Investigator for the EU Erasmus+ funded ‘SkillSea’ project; Future proof skills for the maritime transport sector. The SkillSea project aims to ensure that Europe’s maritime professionals possess key digital, green and soft management skills for the rapidly-changing maritime labour market. It seeks to not only produce a sustainable skills strategy, but also to increase the number of these professionals – enhancing the safety and efficiency of this vital sector. Liverpool John Moores University has been engaged in Maritime Education and Training since 1852. LOOM was established in 1998.
Mr. Oikonomou holds a long and holistic experience in the travel management industry from key positions as Budgeting, Supplier Negotiations, Sales and Marketing and since 2013 he is the CEO of the leading Travel Management Group in Greece, Marine Tours. His “can do” philosophy, crisis management skills, innovative thinking and clarity of vision have carried Marine Tours through extremely rapid and continuous growth. He is an expert in travel management strategy and cost optimization and a dynamic speaker at various conferences locally and internationally.
Dr. Progoulaki is an Adjunct Lecturer of Human Resources in Shipping in the MBA and MSc programmes at ALBA Graduate Business School. She is also Senior Consultant and the Regional Representative for Green-Jakobsen A/S in Greece and Cyprus. She has a long experience in consultancy, teaching and international research in Maritime Human Resources and Crew Management, Cross-Cultural Management in Shipping, interpersonal skills, and the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC2006). Dr. Progoulaki combines an academic background in shipping, international research and teaching practice with professional experience and working in the international maritime context.