At full house at Lloyd’s Register HQ in the heart of the Square Mile, over 200 guests – the majority being members of London’s three-centuries-old strong Greek Shipping community listened to Thomas Thune Andersen’s speech, cheered the lucky winner of this year’s sovereign Alex Skopelitis, and exchanged good wishes, and views on the shipping markets!
This annual Vassilopita event – the cutting of the traditional Greek New Year’s cake, is now more than an established event in the City, paying respect to the Greeks, their tradition and maritime values. With an hour of intense networking until everybody invited arrived, the warm up for a great event began!
It was the fourth such event under the chairmanship of Thomas Andersen, who together with CEO Richard Sadler, Apo Poulovassilis Head of operations for Greece and EMEA, the head of marine Tom Boardley and their business development teams, presented once again an unforgettable event in one of the world’s most historic maritime buildings.
There was Julieta Demetriades, once again leading the children’s chorus from the Hellenic College who sang the traditional Greek and English carols and with excellent drinks and home-cooked Greek dishes the event went on until late.
Thune Andersen proved once again a great speaker and his speech this year was more than food for thought given the parameters existing these days in the maritime world.
Here follows his speech:
“A warm welcome to you all.
2013 has been a transformative year for the shipping industry, our Greek clients and Lloyd’s Register.
What started as a trickle of newbuilding orders last January turned into a mini boom by year end. Activity has spread to most vessel types, from bulk carriers and product tankers to large containerships and, most recently, to tankers.
The final results for shipbuilding activity in 2013 showed a 47% increase in ordering (by number of ships) over 2012. China enjoyed the largest share (826 ships: 45%) but in GT (tonnage) terms Korean and China were close. Prices for both newbuilding and for second hand ships have increased and the market, particularly for bulk carriers, remains active.
Within global new orders placed, Greek owners are top, both in GT and in vessels numbers, with 233 vessels, 12.97Mgt, representing 13.5% of the global orders in GT terms. LR has won orders for more than 70 vessels (around 3.5mGT) representing nearly 30% and 26.3% market share.
The implications for LR include a pressing requirement to increase our surveyor teams in the major shipbuilding nations, primarily in Asia but spreading to Europe and the Americas.
The focus on fuel efficiency, together with alternative fuels and associated technologies has kept our R&D staff busy, as we work on an increasing number of Joint Industry Projects.
There is no doubt that the Eco-ships debate is maturing, as is the development of LNG as fuel capability – both in terms of the numbers of vessels themselves, and bunkering infrastructure.
We also see new opportunities arising from a big increase in ship to shore communications potential, leading to remote monitoring of operations and increased data gathering.
In December, we unveiled a refreshed brand identity, introducing a bold new logo for the digital age, based on our strong heritage. The new LR logo was developed from the LR stamp that our surveyors have ‘branded’ steel with since 1886 – our true stamp of quality.
Our new slogan, ‘Working together for a safer world’, underlines our commitment to work with our clients to keep people safe – both our employees and our clients’ employees. We are very proud that, through the dedicated efforts of our safety team worldwide, our 12 month rolling average of LTI’s is reducing year on year, and we equally are striving to work with shipyards and client sites to make our workplaces safer.
So, looking to the future, we anticipate a steady increase in activity in shipyards during 2014, with levels peaking at much the same volume as during the boom of 2010-11.
Our marine division is well advanced in its plan to move to the new Global Technology Centre on the University of Southampton Boldrewood Campus in June and we are all extremely excited about the opportunities it will give us.
The Lloyd’s Register Group will, however, remain at 71 Fenchurch Street – the historical home of LR.
The Southampton and Singapore GTCs will serve as the cornerstones for our global research and development network, which currently includes over 50 academic and technical institutions sponsored by the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
As you know, the Foundation is a UK registered charity, helping to protect life and property by supporting engineering-related education, public engagement and the application of research. We are proud to have produced the first LRF Annual Review and it promises to be an exciting year ahead.
In September, Prof Richard Clegg was appointed to the role of MD of The Lloyd’s Register Foundation, and his strategy for the Foundation is focused on research excellence and impact, maximising the results from charitable giving that the LRF provides.
Looking further ahead, the future for shipping looks extremely positive. In April 2013, the Global Marine Trends 2013 report by Lloyd’s Register, Qinetiq and Strathclyde University, provided the industry with significant insight into the future for the maritime industries. Whilst China will see the largest growth in commercial fleet ownership above all regions, Greece is expected to continue its dominant position in Europe. If you have not yet read the report, please speak to a member of our marine team who will provide a copy.
Lloyd’s Register is good shape to support our valued clients through the challenges generated by an intensely competitive environment. We work tirelessly with regulators, flag states and other influencers to find ways to implement new conventions and regimes.
We continue to find ways of balancing compliance with regulation with the need to find practical solutions; we must play our part in enabling the world merchant fleet to continue to trade with the minimum of disruption and administrative burden.
I would like to thank all of you for your continued support for LR – without which we would not be able to grow and reinvest in making the world a safer place.”
Holding the knife, he made the traditional three crosses – then the first four slices: First for Jesus, Second for St Nicholas, Third for Greek shipping in general and the Fourth for Lloyd’s Register!
Amongst the guests we spotted the Emeritus Secretary General of the IMO Ret. Admiral Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, the Greek Consul and head of the Consular Section at the Greek Embassy Mrs. Despina Chasirtzoglou, the Shipping Attache Captain (HCG) Efstahios Kalyvas and his Assistant Commander (HCG) Antonis Doumanis, George J. Margaronis from Helikon Shipping, Dimitris Monioudis of R & K and president of HESGB, Takis Markatos from Lyras Maritime, Prof. Costas Th. Grammenos from Cass Business School, Captain Theodore Lembessis from Elka Shipping.
Dimitris Attalianes from the Cyprus Shipping Office and representative at the IMO, Spyros Polemis of Seacrest, George Foustanos from Andros Maritime and Deputy President of the HESGB, Struan Robertson and Chris Papathanassiou from Clarkson, Andreas A. Tsavliris and his son Alexander, Chandris’s Stefanis Georgandis and Alex Xenakis, Stavriana Asprogiannidou from Willis, Vassilis J. Laliotis from J.Laliotis Maritime Group, Antonis Stefanou, credit analyst from Peninsula Petroleum, John Frangoulis, Stathes Kulukundis from R & K, Harry J. Fafalios from Fafalios Shipbrokers and Chairman of the GSCC, Commodore (Rt. HCG) Costas Amarantides Director of the GSCC, Dino Symeonides, mechanical engineer Vassiliki Kalemi, Christina Ntaouti from Capital Link’s London office, Andreas Papadakis, his son George and Christos Karyofyllis from A.P&A Group of Companies in London, John M. Hadjipateras, Elias Anastassiades, Lambros Varnavides head of RBS’s Shipping Division, John Vanezos from IACS, Nicholas Skinitis of Hermes Shipbrokers, and many others including over 15 Lloyd’s Register Society members amongst them Joanna M. Townsend, Natali Doulgeraki, Greek(!) speaking David Barrow, Mark Stokes, Nicholas Brown, Dominic Miller and Costas Pappadakis.