Home » The BDI@830, geopolitics and climate change: …all your swans are geese

The BDI@830, geopolitics and climate change: …all your swans are geese

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John Faraclas

Now then, how does it feels financially for the investors as they see the BDI (Baltic Dry Index) standing at 830 points– minus 20 since yesterday and 62 since last Friday the 26th of May? John Faraclas’ daily and weekly recap:

The Capers lost 56 points and the BCI 2014 stands at 1,374 points; on a weekly basis the losses were too high: 213 down since last week’s closing at 1,591… CAUTION
The Panamaxes’ BPI was also down on a daily and weekly basis; the daily loss was 18 points and the weekly 53 (from 845)!
The Supras’ BSI lost 11 since yesterday standing now at 674 and 47 since last week when it stood at 721 points…
The Handies’ BHSI lost three points and at 446 makes the lot feel nervous; it lost 21 points since last week’s 467…

The Wets continued more or less the same downward trend, mainly the Dirties. The last published BDTI (Dirties) and BCTI (Cleans) stood at 756 – minus 12 and 559 respectively, just ONE up, hooray hooray. On a weekly  basis the Dirties lost 58 (from 814) and the Cleans gained 19 points respectively; “excellent”!

The Container trade has the media trying for its uplift, but despite the good projectivity of this mode of transport, the World’s recession and warring factors among the new alliances might floor down the boxes… Ignore he Stock Market figures; the situation among the public is what counts! Imagine if the small individuals strike a deal, what will happen to the big boys… Oxymoron issues can happen and the dilemma is risky… the effect: shattering!

The WTI as these lines are written stands at US$ 47.55 – a very “good” fall… Last Friday it stood at US$ 49.18! CAUTION now to make it stay close to these levels; good for the poor masses!

As the successful Nor-shipping 2017 comes to a close today (30/5-2/6), in our humble view, a great lesson has been learned: accept the new technologies all of which lead to newbuildings! Now try to interpret this in the market’s developments and projections and what will happen even to 5-7 year old ships of any type and size! I love it! Renewal right now!

On the geopolitical front, the issues remain the same:

On top still the MIGRANTS issue causing unnecessary friction among all: nations, individuals you name it. The Diplomats and Politicians they have created, on purpose, a very big mess; wonder when the shit hits the fan what’s gone to happen – and there wouldn’t be ANY excuse whatsoever!

The Wars in Syria and Iraq continue; indeed there are gains against ISIS who are being eliminated day by day, but no mentioning of who supplies them with armaments, money, logistics and other support. The Russians use of Cruz missiles makes waves…

Turkey continues to “dismantle” its public with continuous arrests and efforts to arrest all those citizens not loyal to president Erdogan all over Planet Ocean. In the meantime, Turkey continues both to blackmail the World and pesters ALL its neighbours, even NATO “allies” such as the Greeks… Caution for Turkey and its backers as things ONE day can turn sour… Aesops’ fable must thoroughly be appropriately studied, analysed and then interpreted!

Mr. Theodore E. Veniamis, president of the Union of Greek Shipowners

Next door, the Greek drama continues, both from within, as well as from the European lenders headed by the Germans and its notoriously aggressive against everything Greek, Herr Wolfgang Schäuble and the IMF.

Today, and following Herr Schäuble’s attack against Greece’s shipping community and its shipowners, the president of the Union of Greek Shipowners Theodore E. Veniamis gave him an appropriate reply. We too have done so on the 9th of July 2015 on a similar attack by another German, Professor Dr. Peter Bofinger… Enough Mrs. Merkel and it’s about time, as we have said numerous times and stressed in this medium, for your good-self, Herr Schäuble and others to check firstly the skeletons in your own cupboards!

BREXIT continues and Mrs. May said she’s going to “deliver on the will of the people” but also to “make sure we make a success” of Brexit. The forthcoming elections next Thursday might offer a surprise; hold your breath! Mrs. Merkel leads, but there is something strange for Labour gaining some ground… But can Labour deliver? The other parties are deep-down, very low…

At the other side of the Atlantic, president Trump isn’t willing to proceed with the Paris Climate accord and the World rallies around the Paris deal now; let’s see who the clear winner will be!

On other development in the South China Sea, the US Government urges China for restrain; General James Mattis, the US Defence Secretary said that the militarisation of these islands – mostly man-made, is unacceptable. Caution as too many states can get involved in a region/ sea-passage that billions of tons of cargo go through!

In South America now; Brazil comes first were police there seized 60 assault rifles that had been smuggled from Miami (USA)  in a shipment of swimming pool heaters… Next door in Chile seems that the Pinochet legacy “survives…”  given the sentencing of 106 agents who torture 16 leftist activists  following their kidnapping and torture; the judge spelled it out!

In South Africa things are getting strange yet again; caution!!!

The North Korean issue might get off hand soon, if the missile tests continue and the “zeal” of the north to acquire nukes proceeds further. Japan and the US were conducting naval exercises in the Sea of Japan. CAUTION. Beijing must contribute to peace there; it is in its interests too.

In Afghanistan the situation day by day goes worse; any mediators? Any Peacemakers? Kabul at its worse. Shame!


On another tone now, we continue the coverage from Madrid with the WISTAs there on day two. The official opening of the WISTA-Spain AGM and WISTA MED Conference by Rafael Rodriguez Valero, the general director of the Merchant Marine and the welcome by Alejandro Alonso, deputy of the Madrid Bar Association. Interesting subjects and presentations on “Pilotage as Service of General Interest”,  “Maritime Administration: Harbour Master”, “What’s behind the tuna tin?” and “Terminals and Port Authorities: Allies or Enemies?” were aired.

Captain Antonio M. Padron y Santiago

Afterwards and following a networking lunch, our friend  and contributor in ALLABOUTSHIPPING.co.uk, Captain Antonio M. Padron y Santiago, in his usual role and environment, talked on “The role of the IMO Ambassadors: Educating the next Generation”.-

One of the most interesting sessions was the one under the very unique title “WITHIN WISTA” and we were fortunate enough, following her participation in the panel, to have an interview so to speak by WISTA-Hellas Maria Mavroudi extending her views – it following herein; the moderator was Yashmin Shaqadan of Next Maritime ship agents,  who asked each one of  the WISTAs participating the nine questions highlighted. Other panellists included Sara Parmo of Martankers and Ansam Okban. Lucky too to have Dorothe Ioannou’s brief but very interesting comments – see further down in this reporting.

All  panellists were presented by WISTA-Spain president Ms. Rosana Velasco, with just a very short introduction.

Maria Mavroudi’s interview, beginning with a short CV*, so viewers can follow up with the content of her replies. 
*Maria Mavroudi is the Marine Manager of Marsh LLC Insurance Brokers in Greece. Her responsibilities include broking and risk advisory services to shipowners and ship operators, dealing with H&M, P&I and any ancillary marine insurance cover as well as with the handling of claims and the overview of the daily operations of the marine team.

The panel at WITHIN WISTA with Maria Mavroudi and Despina Panagiotou Theodossiou to her right

Prior to this role, Maria was the Business Development Manager (EMEA) at the American P&I Club in Greece with a focus on facilitating and creating opportunity for growth for all product lines and increasing the Club’s profile within the EMEA region.
Maria started her career in Marine Insurance in 2008 as an average adjuster at C C and qualified as Associate member of the Associate of the Association of Average Adjusters, advancing from a joint role as an adjuster and claims executive at the Standard P&I Club in Greece for 3 years until 2015.
Maria holds an MSc in Shipping, Trade and Finance from Cass Business School and an LLM in Maritime Law from City University, London and is a graduate of the University of Piraeus, obtaining a BSc in Maritime Studies in 2006. She is also a certified Insurance Broker by the Hellenic Ministry of Development. Maria has been a member of WISTA Hellas since 2008 and currently serves as Secretary General and member of the WISTA Communications Committee.-

Maria Mavroudi and Marsh

We asked her to talk a little bit about herself, what she  does, and how is her day-to-day; she said:

“I am the Marine Manager of the Greek office of Marsh Insurance Brokers, one of the leading advisers to the maritime industry on risk and insurance issues.

My day-to-day includes competitive brokerage, meaning creating renewal strategy and conducting negotiations for the placement of the risk in the global insurance markets, claims advocacy, but also the management of a very dynamic team of insurance professionals. It is our absolute priority to serve clients efficiently and effectively, delivering tailored solutions based on complexity of the risk and global footprint of our clients.

What I love about my job is the negotiation element and seeing opportunity where others see risk. That alone to me is greatly appealing.

I am also involved with WISTA Hellas and the Communications Committee of WISTA International, so I have to work on various projects for the Association.”

Dorothea Ioannou of the American Club

Why did you decide to join this industry?
“There is a “turning point” in your life where you decide which career to pursue. They say that if you’re from an island then the sea is in your blood. My family comes from Astypalea, a small island in the Aegean Archipelago, where I spent much of my childhood. I grew up in a hardworking family, where I learnt to approach challenges as opportunities to excel myself. My father worked as a Chief Engineer on merchant ships and, at some point in my adolescence, I discovered the poetry of Nikos Kavadias whose iconic representation of the sea deeply moved me emotionally. I was quick to realize that Shipping is a very interesting and dynamic field that goes through constant change, and, as such, matches both my personality and character. This realization led me to pursue a career in Shipping.”

GAC’s Maria Angelidou

Maria, aside your career in Shipping, you are also active in Tourism. Tell us more about your experience in that field which last year we witnessed your uniqueness in this field.
“My decision to venture in hospitality is of equal significance to my shipping career. My family has been in the hotel business for years, which helped when I set up my own business in 2014 despite the onerous economic standing of the time. You will find the brochure of Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel in your conference bag and I am very proud for being sponsors of the WISTA Med Conference. Running my own business has been a constant source of learning and discipline for me. It has certainly given me a more mature perspective on things.”

What was the situation of women in your jurisdiction and in this industry at the time you joined, and what is now?
“I know that Shipping is typically viewed as a male-dominated profession. Without doubt, Shipping is of one of the world’s most diverse workforces, with multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual professional operating across the globe. Despite how diverse and globalized this industry has become, it may come as a surprise how few women make up today’s shipping workforce.
I would say though that in Greece, women excel in key management positions, thus making WISTA Hellas the second biggest NWA in the WISTA family. Especially in the marine insurance sector, women hold key management positions as I&C managers, in-house lawyers, risk advisors and P&I insurers.”

Members of the lively and powerful WISTA Hellas

Did you find difficulties for being a woman? Which ones? Do you feel the situation has improved? Did you receive the expected supports? Which barriers do you feel  as a women, are still facing and what could be done about it?

“It’s definitely not easy to pursue a career in a male dominated industry. However, I think it has more to do with one’s character rather than their gender. In my experience, women work just as hard and are just as effective –if not more –as their male colleagues. It is more often than not, that we witness examples of female leaders in Shipping.
You might have seen an article on last week’s Tradewinds touching upon gender diversity in Shipping. A TradeWinds analysis of corporate boards across the shipping industry h found that slightly more than 12% of director positions across the global spectrum of owners and operators are held by women.

Mercedes Duch with Maria Mavroudi

Also, a recent report from Mercer outlined that women have the potential to play a large role in the maritime industry in the future, particularly as it faces the need for greater diversity and shortages in the number of new recruits.
Being a woman pursuing a career in Shipping, I feel that our feminine traits have a positive impact on our business role. The female perspective, sensitivity, versatility and diplomacy has helped overcome difficulties and manage various situations, just as easily as men do –if not easier still. Therefore, the maritime employers and industry leaders should consider ways to think and act differently in order to minimize the risk of insufficiently diverse organizations that fail to advance employees and compete successfully and sustainably in a global business environment.
I am of the view that the industry needs to recognize the role women can play in addressing the current and future labor and skill gaps by creating a larger, more diverse talent pool. Of course, WISTA is leading those efforts and supports the role of women in Shipping globally and I feel this support from the first moment I joined the Association.”

Maria Mavroudi with Dorothea Ioannou

Why did you decide to join WISTA?
“I have been an active member of WISTA Hellas since 2008 and since 2014 a member of its Board of Directors and webmaster. I am truly grateful an organization as such exists, which encourages and supports women’s active participation in Shipping, all over the world –and especially in view of what women have achieved through WISTA.”

Do you feel WISTA has helped or has been of use to you?
“Greatly! I feel very fortunate to be a part of the WISTA family, as it is within this institution, which promotes a sense of fair play, that I became familiarized with a number of values I now hold in high esteem. Values such as mutually advantageous cooperation, team work, mutual encouragement, and sharing of knowledge. Also, from a business perspective, I find it really helpful to have access to such a wide, global maritime network of senior business executives. You can always contact a WISTA sister in another country and obtain business intelligence that can prove very helpful.”

WISTAs from Greece and Cyprus: Maria Christina Ktistakis – a former president of WISTA Hellas, Maria Mavroudi, Angie Hartmann the current president of WISTA-Hellas , Dorothea Ioannou, Elpi J. Petrakis and at the back standing Maria Angelidou, Martina Meinders-Michael, Anna Vourgos and Katerina Konsta

What advise could you give to a woman just starting in this industry?
“Having a vision and being passionate about what one is doing is essential. If you love and you are passionate about your work, you will put in effort and this will reflect in the quality of your work.”

Thank you Maria; we wish you all the very best and  will continue to follow you around in the future.

The very eloqunet Dorothean Ioannou from the American Club responded by making the following statement:

“One of the greatest practical obstacles for women is the balance between family and career. The truth is that no matter how far we go we always remain the primary caregivers and there is a a burden of guilt we always carry and have to reconcile. In the past there has been much social pressure on women in terms of what is expected of them and what’s acceptable. We’ve come a long way though in fighting these pressures. Ten years ago there were no women in the most highest ranking positions in P&I. Today there are four and I’m proud to be one of them although it came with much sacrifice. For those of us who have managed to break through barriers we have a responsibility to help the next generation understand that there are no predetermined models of what’s expected of them, success is relative regardless of their choices, that not everyone has to be a CEO, that every role is important and that whatever level of career makes them happy then that is success. The most important obligation we have though is to make sure we take every possible step to ensure the next generation has full opportunity and that means paving the way to level the playing field.

A view from the conference auditorium; a full house

How do we get through obstacles? Through mechanisms like WISTA we create opportunity for advancement and connection in business. The fact is that there are still many men in the maritime field that simply prefer to do business with men. We will never be able to control that and we shouldn’t have to. WISTA though assists women to find opportunity to do business with other women‎ and there is nothing wrong with that.”

Maria Angelidou was there too, very active as always, as did the ever present in such events, Despina Panagiotou-Theodossiou, president for many years of  WISTA-Cyprus.

For the …record, the WISTA-Hellas delegation, quite a strong presence, included – from the Board:
Angie Hartmann, President, Starbulk SA., Elpi Petraki, Vice President, ENEA Shipmanagement, Maria Mavroudi, General Secretary, Marsh LLC., Maria Angelidou, Board member, GAC. Members included:
Maria Christina Ktistakis, past President of WISTA Hellas, Genimar Shipping and Trading., Dorothea G. Ioannou, SCB Hellas/ The American Club., Elina Kassotaki, Holland Hellenic Agency., and  Katerina Konsta, SeaWorks.

The next WISTA MED will be organised by WISTA Hellas in Greece in 2019! Ink your diaries accordingly

That’s all for tonight, there will be an update from the WISTA dinner – hopefully)  and we hope to bring you more, but for sure tomorrow in a special additional coverage/reporting. We also look forward for WISTA-Spain’s news.

Many Congratulations to WISTA Spain for putting together this excellent programme of events and leisure! Well done! Everybody seems and look happy and content from this event! The Mediterranean is the lively-hood of Europe and for sure all WISTA Med nations will contribute further in enhancing shipping business and advancement of women too. A region that shipping through women/WISTAs can greatly contribute given the upheaval in North Africa, the Middle East and Black Sea.

Women’s dominance…. an encircled Captain Antonio Padron by members of the Spanish WISTA with Maria Mavroudi coming to his rescue…

In the meantime we urge you to be on guard for any eventuality by Pirates and Terrorists all over Planet Ocean. Have a nice and long weekend – for the Greeks… mainly given the Pentecost and the Holy Spirit anniversary on Monday!

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