Posidonia 2016 is on course to be the biggest ever despite unfavourable market conditions such as plummeting oil prices and slowing economic growth in key economies and especially China.
With floor space demand at unprecedented levels, the organisers of the world’s most prestigious shipping trade event expect to break the previous records set during Posidonia 2014 which was attended by more than 1.840 exhibitors and 19.000 visitors.
“Despite a negative global shipping sector outlook for 2016, Posidonia constantly enhances its appeal as the must-attend international shipping event due to its unique legacy and long heritage as the event which creates new business opportunities in tough markets. ” said Theodore Vokos, Executive Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A. the event’s organisers. “The Greek Shipping community is famous for its business acumen and excellent sense of timing when it comes to investing in difficult times, and we are currently seeing many shipowners investing in both newbuildings and the S&P market.”
Increased demand is driven by the major shipbuilding nations and other traditional Posidonia participants from all over the world who have already confirmed their presence at this June’s event in addition to many first-time exhibitors representing some new-to-Posidonia sectors.
Leading the way in terms of floor space demand is China which will once again feature the strongest participation at the maritime industry’s trademark biennial event with its shipyards, equipment manufacturers, shipping services and financial centre providers. The strong Chinese participation at Posidonia together with the recently announced acquisition of the Piraeus Port by COSCO underline the strong friendship and maritime business relation between the two nations.
Far Eastern presence is traditionally a major highlight at Posidonia and this year could be no different with South Korea and Japan again fielding impressive national stands featuring their powerful shipbuilding and equipment manufacturing industries as competition with China intensifies against a backdrop of sinking demand for new orders.
An important new feature of this year’s Posidonia will be the strong participation of old and new maritime centers, as global competition in this sector has also intensified. Traditional maritime centers Singapore, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Malta will again participate with national pavilions with a highly diverse display of shipping products and services. But Posidonia will also welcome niche newcomer Luxembourg who is making its Posidonia debut with a national pavilion featuring Cluster Maritime Luxembourgeois. Other maritime services centers at this year’s event include Dubai Maritime City from the UAE, Canada’s Vancouver International Maritime Centre and Shanghai Maritime and Finance Excellence Centre.
Banking is back with a big bang this year with the National Bank of Greece, Saxo Bank and Deltec Bank amongst the financial institutions returning to Posidonia following the sector’s lengthy absence.
The travel industry is also very well represented with more than 12 travel agents and Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, China Southern Airways, Aegean Airlines together with a strong contingent of Gulf carriers all presenting their services at the show in their effort to capture a bigger slice of the industry’s growing travel budgets. The growing importance of seamen’s tickets revenues for airlines is also reflected in Lufthansa’s decision to become the Official Airline for Posidonia 2016.
And while the floor plan of the Athens Metropolitan Expo is filling up with exhibitors, Posidonia organisers are also finalizing the most comprehensive conference and seminar programme in the exhibition’s history with over 30 confirmed presentations covering most aspects of the industry’s diverse spectrum. To meet demand for seminar rooms, the organisers had to set-up an additional seminar room, with the sponsorship of UKHO.
The conference programme is spearheaded by the pivotal Tradewinds Shipowners Forum which will tackle a wide range of topics including the major issues of oil prices and the Middle East, the ‘China effect’ and ship supply.
The Japanese Ship Exporters Association will again present cutting edge technological solutions, in a seminar where all major Japanese shipyards will try to woo Greek shipping companies for new orders, as they benefit from the currently weak YEN which makes Japanese shipyards affordable.
The hottest issue in the maritime industry is currently Ballast Water Treatment. With the Ballast Water Management Convention expected to come into force in 2016 and system manufacturers applying for US Coast Guard type approval, more than 15 BWTS manufacturers have already confirmed their participation at the exhibition. Posidonia will also host the Ballast Water Management Summit, organised by Newsfront/Naftiliaki under the auspices of Greece’s Marine Technical Managers Association (MARTECMA), followed by an Argo Navis workshop on the retrofit engineering studies and installation planning of BWTS.
Doing business and keeping up with the industry’s trends are two of the reasons Posidonia is engraved in the diary of thousands of exhibitors and visitors from almost 100 countries who visit Posidonia every two years. Networking is the third component of Posidonia, as a busy calendar of sporting events known as the Posidonia Games, provides many networking opportunities. The Posidonia Games start in the first week of June featuring sailing, football, golf and running, which is making its debut for the first time this year expecting to bring together on the streets of Piraeus some 1, 000 runners from all over the world.
In total, over 2, 500 shipping professionals are expected to participate in the Posidonia Games, a concept which has helped prolong hotel night stays for many Posidonia exhibitors and visitors boosting revenues for Athens’ hospitality sector and further fueling overall spending across the city’s transportation, catering and entertainment sectors.
Posidonia 2016 will be held from June 6 – 10 at the Athens Metropolitan Expo. The event is organised under the auspices of the Greek shipping community and the five major associations representing Greek shipping interests: Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, Municipality of Piraeus, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping, Union of Greek Shipowners, Greek Shipping Cooperation Committee, Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association and Association of Passenger Shipping Companies.