11th Maritime Conference “NAVIGATOR 2012”


Navigator Shipping Consultants LTD. organised with remarkable success the 11th Annual Maritime Conference “NAVIGATOR 2012” which was held on Wednesday, 7th November 2012 at the Athenaeum InterContinental Hotel, Athens. NAVIGATOR Maritime Conference is the first Conference under private initiative in Greece held with great success since 2001. The Conference attracts more than 500 prominent personalities and experts from the Greek and International Shipping Community who honor NAVIGATOR Ltd. with their trust and support for more than 20 years.

NAVIGATOR Conference always aims to review, examine and discuss critical issues faced by today’s maritime community, through the insight of experienced speakers, including successful Shipowners, Foreign Ambassadors, distinguished industry representatives and shipping specialists. It is widely covered by the Greek Shipping Press and generously sponsored by a number of prestigious maritime companies involved in various industry sectors, as well as by Members of NAVIGATOR ltd international umbrella.

The Minister of the Hellenic Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean, Mr. Kostis Mousouroulis, made the Opening Address of the Conference and mentioned the difficult circumstances the Shipping Industry continues to face, the need to efficiently act against Piracy, and the importance of the human factor as a crucial element for development.

Many recognized and important Shipowners honored the Conference with their presence, like Mr. Leonidas Polemis, Mr. Harry Vafias, Mrs. Marigo Lemou-Patitsa, Mr. George Gourdomichalis, Mr. Spyros Capralos, Mr. George Souravlas, Mr. Stefanos Angelakos, Mr. George and Dimitris Dalacouras, Mr. George Tsavliris and Mr. Christos Georgantzoglou to mention a few.

The first Panel Session of the Conference was dedicated to the threat of Piracy and the current market trends.

Mr. Pottengal Mukundan, Director International Maritime Bureau (IMB) / ICC – Commercial Crime Services, was visiting Athens for the first time, especially to attend NAVIGATOR Conference. His presence was welcome with great interest from the participants.An expert in the field of piracy, he described the significant increase in the number of pirate attacks during the last two years, as well as the expansion of piracy-areas in Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Somalia. Mr. Mukundan referred to the types of attacks, to each aspect of their cost, both on materials and human beings and he emphasised the need for more action to ensure crew are able to pursue their career at sea without fear of being taken hostage and kept under inhuman conditions, or even killed.

He then presented his thoughts on the current situation and measures taken against pirates, including recent action taken by the Indian Navy to assault pirate ‘mother ships’.

Piracy was also the subject of the presentation by Mr. Panos Moraitis, CEO of Aspida Maritime Security. He referred to the proper Vetting of PMSCs, and what do the Shipowners need to look out for in order to select the proper anti-piracy partner, especially within the over-supply of private anti-piracy services.

Mr. Nicholas Kosmatos, President of Sea Link Navigation Ltd, also focused on the Shipowner’s side in terms of facing the piracy threat, while Mr. George Tsavliris examined whether there is a “light at the end of piracy tunnel”. He voiced disappointment that more was not being done to protect seafarers, saying that there were political reasons for this.

According to the American Ambassador, Mrs. Irina Taka – Michaelides, General Counsel of Capital Maritime & Trading Corp. presented the most to-the-point summary of the Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code and its relevance to shipping. Mrs. Despina Panayiotou-Theodossiou, Chief Financial and Operating Officer of Tototheo Group, Mr. George Xiradakis, Managing Director of XRTC Ltd, together with Mr. Spyros Zolotas, Country Manager of RINA Hellas Ltd analysed some of the current market trends and future predictions.

His Excellencies the Ambassadors of the United States of America, Mr. Daniel B. Smith and of the United Kingdom Dr. David Landsman OBE, honoured the Ambassadors’ Session of NAVIGATOR Conference with their presence and remarks. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Emmanouel A.Vordonis, senior member of the Hellenic shipping community.

The value-driven speech of unity, delivered by President Obama, just a few hours after his re-election, became the centre of the discussion.

The importance of presence in person, of the senior state representatives of governments and peoples that are directly receiving the essential goods and commodities delivered by our shipping family, and their participation in a dialogue about issues of concern, was highlighted.
As he is nearing at the completion of his term in Greece, the British Ambassador was given the podium first to refer to the size and dynamism of the Greek shipping community in London. He briefly scanned through the broad range of institutions, technologies expert systems and individuals, capable and adequate to cope with the handling of the complex issues of the industry, equally in periods of prosperity or of austerity the same. He acknowledged the strong presence and ties of the London-based and cosmopolitan Greek shipping community, both as an active player but also as a major partner of the City of London (and wider British) maritime services infrastructure and expressed confidence that those bonds and cooperation would continue and grow in the future.

Thereafter, the American Ambassador highlighted the close and constructive cooperation that has existed for decades between the United States and Greece in addressing the most pressing issues in international shipping. He drew particular attention to U.S. cooperation with Greece in meeting current challenges, including maintaining uninterrupted global shipping and supply chains, ensuring international cooperation in the fights against piracy and proliferation of weapons, including nuclear weapons, and helping the shipping industry to become a partner in global environmental protection.

While market recoveries in all sectors still seem to be far away, to actively work towards growth of trade and transport demand, looks like the obvious necessity. As the situations are not threatening just the shipping community and private enterprises only, but are equally stretching publicly floated companies of our globalised world, the issue of holistically catering for industry and wealth sustainability is by itself raised to a higher level of public concern. The fact that not only the shipping industry, but also cargo producers, commodity buyers, states, banks, yards etc., are at similar impasses, is supporting the notion of urgency and importance for synergic action and unity.

Ilias Bissias, Director of NAFTIKA CHRONIKA Magazine and Member of the Research in Shipping and Ports Laboratory (RESHIP/ EDINALE) of the University of the Aegean, was the Moderator of the Maritime Labour Session, that addressed the challenges that lie ahead, with the input of John Couyou, Deputy CSOM – ISM / ISPS / MLC of Bureau Veritas, Natassa Pavlou, Partner Executive Search Services, Boston Hamilton Greece, Dr. Maria Progoulaki, Maritime HR Consultant / Research Associate, Shipping and Ports Laboratory (RE-SHIPS), University of the Aegean, Dept. of Shipping, Trade and Transport, Michalis Sigalas, Senior ILO Specialist / Marine auditor – Marine Management Systems Office South Europe, Middle East & Africa Area of Hellenic Lloyd’s S.A. and Capt. Georgios Tsouris, General Secretary of Masters and Mates’ Union of Greek Merchant Marine.

Dr. Maria Progoulaki referred to the four fundamental elements of the Maritime Policy and especially to Maritime Labour and the developments expected through the implementation of the new Maritime Labour Convention to the shipping world’s everyday life. According to Dr. Progoulaki, the new Maritime Labour Convention aims not only to achieve safe and modern work conditions for seafarers, but also to create fair competition among the ship-owners.
John Couyou and Michalis Sigalas, representing two of the biggest ship registries, referred to the changes expected to the Shipping Offices through MLC, and the possible need to adapt our traditional mentality and strategy to today’s environment and requirements.

Capt. Georgios Tsouris pointed out the difficulties of seafarers and that unfortunately the legislators seem to be unaware of the real working conditions prevailing onboard. The seafarer of today needs to have experience in the new technologies as well as managing capabilities in order to face all every-day challenges.

Natassa Pavlou referred to the new conditions that MLC will create on the vessel and in the office, that will reflect today’s high demanding profile of the Shipping Manager, his qualifications and skills.

Her Excellency the Ambassador of Australia, Jenny Bloomfield, addressed a to-the-point presentation on the Australian Shipping Industry, its potentials and emphasized on her Country’s willingness to cooperate closely with the Greek Shipping Community.
The Market Trends and Technical Issues Panel Session followed, moderated by Prof. John Tzoannos, who addressed questions on current challenges facing the shipping industry related to regulatory interventions for the protection of the environment, developments in navigation aids, transparency in operation costs, and the potential of the Athens Stock Exchange as a source of capital for Greek shipping to a significant speakers’ panel of the following :

• Helena Athoussaki, CEO of Carbon Positive

• Raghuvir C. Bhavnani, Vice President – Global Marketing of VISWA LAB

• Francesc Dianez, Manager of Next Maritime

• Capt. Spyros Dovelos, Business Development Manager of FURUNO HELLAS S.A.

• Stelios Drakakis, Marine Risk Coordinator, International Shipping Bureau (Hellas) Ltd.

• Jean-Paul Lebot, Navigation Solutions Sales Manager, TRANSAS Mediterranean SAS

• Dr. Nikos Porfiris, Deputy Chief Operating Officer of HELLENIC EXCHANGES S.A.

• Jason Scholey, Admiralty Product Manager, United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

• Magnus Sodersten, Manager Sales and Technical support MacGregor – Cranes

• Imran Vohra of Diabos Global Fze

The Conference was also honored by the presence of H.E the Ambassador of Italy, Mr. Claudio Glaentzer, H.E. the Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Mr. Sjur Larsen, the Ambassador Designate and General Counsul of Panama, Mr. Aymard Jimenez Granda, the Spanish Defence Attache, Capt. SN Javier Rodriguez, Mrs. Jaana Oikarinen – Vasilopoulos, Commercial and Media Officer of the Embassy of Finland and Representative of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Panagiotis Petropoulos.

During the Conference Mr. Dimitris Efraimoglou, Managing Director of the Foundation of the Hellenic World presented the Foundation activities, while Mr. Nikos Ververidis, Founder and Managing Director of the ελculture Cultural Organisation, presented two new projects related to the seaways and the Greek maritime transports, Aegenale and Sea Bonds.
“NAVIGATOR 2012” was followed by four Technical Forums hosted by ADMIRALTY, FURUNO Hellas S.A., MacGregor, and VISWA LAB.

The 11th Maritime Conference “NAVIGATOR 2012” was held Under the Auspices of:
• The Hellenic Ministry Of Shipping and The Aegean

• University Of Piraeus, Department Of Maritime Studies

• University Of The Aegean

• The International Propeller Club

• Piraeus Marine Club

• Masters’ And Mates’ Union Of Greek Merchant Marine

• The Hellenic Shipbrokers Association

• WISTA Hellas






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