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G.S.C.C. Annual Report 2021-2022

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This special report, a great work meticulously prepared by the Committee’s director Radm (HCG) Kostas Amarantidis, assisted by Maria Syllignaki, begins with the GSCC Chairman’s Haralambos J. Fafalios address to its members:

Haralambos J. Fafalios was re-elected as chairman of GSCC

Dear Colleagues,
It is with great pleasure that I present our 87th annual report.

Yet again, the last 12 months have not been without incident. On the one hand, COVID-19 was beginning to get under control but in its place a war in Ukraine involving Russia has created a global problem with many unexpected ramifications.

Primarily, the loss of lives in Ukraine has been tragic and the bravery of all its citizens against the mighty Russian army has been without equal.

One must not forget the fate of seafarers on board ships in Ukrainian or perhaps Russian ports. We implore Governments (especially Russia) to treat them well and hopefully to release all ships that are caught in the Black Sea. We also demand that safe sea lanes exist, if and when certain northern Black Sea ports reopen. Safe from sea mines is the most important goal.

The consequences of this war is that the supply of some of the world’s main seaborne commodities, i.e. grain. coal, iron ore, fertilizers and oil has been severely disrupted and as a result price fluctuations and inflation has been very significant.

The only plus point shipping wise is that as all Black Sea business was relatively short haul it has all been replaced by longer haul cargoes, thus increasing significantly the tonne miles covered.

This instability in commodity prices has brought back inflation as an unpleasant side effect and created great social unrest globally.

Where the world economy was just about recovering from a COVID-19 induced economic contraction, it is now facing a recession brought about by raging inflation and a very fragile economic recovery.

Whilst all this uncertainty exists globally it is sometimes difficult to see how all this affects the various shipping markets.

The container sector still remains very strong with a healthy demand structure resulting from a global restocking post pandemic. However, a huge orderbook could cause some problems in the future.

The dry bulk sector has improved over the last year but it suffers from too much FFA induced volatility and a large fleet that could easily become oversupplied if the orderbook gets any bigger.

The tanker sector, though assisted by extra tonne miles due to the war in Ukraine is still at a low level, especially for the VLCCS, due to fleet oversupply.

The gas carrier market, especially LNG carriers is in a very healthy state due to the desperate need to replace Russian supplies with gas sourced from other exporters. The car carrier and Ro-Ro sector is also in very positive territory.

Against this background, the Greek merchant fleet continues to grow with predominantly newbuildings, thus bringing down the fleet age and increasing its competitiveness and GHG efficiency.

The Greek shipping fleet is by far the worlds’ largest fleet (15-20%) and Europe’s dominant fleet (60%). Greek companies continue to invest in high-technology, energy efficient, low carbon newbuildings, and purchase high-quality modern second-hand vessels.

Posidonia 2022’s great popularity attests to the fact that more companies than ever want to exhibit their wares in the world’s premiere maritime marketplace.

Due to its technical excellence and the Greek companies tramp trading patterns, the Greek fleet is always looking for the most practical solutions so that its fleet can satisfy global maritime needs and not work just within very limited green corridors.

Over the last twelve months, the G.S.C.C. has followed all the latest developments in maritime legislation pertaining to all the major issues of the day and is lobbying at the highest levels.

Primarily to protect our seafarers and equally importantly to give the benefit of our experience and knowledge to all the relevant organizations and Governments to bring about workable maritime solutions to all the issues we face.

Below, we mention but a few of the most current issues.

Decarbonization

Decarbonization, or net zero CO2 is a paramount objective of the G.S.C.C. as we move towards 2030 and then 2050.

It is imperative that we engage the other important stakeholders in the marine transport venture or chain i.e. shipbuilders, engine manufacturers, fuel suppliers and charterers (end users) to try and come up with practical maritime solutions for both new technologies and sustainable, alternative fuels.

So far, none of the above have done more than sit silently on the sidelines hoping that someone else comes up with a solution.

None of the alternative fuels currently on offer, ammonia, methanol, LNG, biofuel, provide a safe and greener footprint than what already exists. None of them are sustainable at present.

Shipbuilders refuse to come up with vessels with better hull lines and greater hydrodynamic efficiency. The above could easily bring about savings of up to 20 per cent over existing hull designs.

Charterers cannot tout their green credentials when they regularly instruct ships to proceed at maximum speeds, only to arrive at a load or discharge port and wait for a prolonged period before berthing.

This week, the MEPC itself did not help the debate by refusing to set up a dedicated R&D fund, which could bring about a technical breakthrough. Instead, the consideration was the revenues to be collected by Governments rather than the protection of the environment.

The EU has that in mind as well. Regional solutions will not solve our problems and only a coordinated global effort will bring about the desired transition to a carbon free world. This should take place through the I.M.O. only as it alone possesses the required knowledge and experience.

Whether it is adopted or not, a fuel levy is the most equitable and logical way to achieve decarbonisation and not such measures as EEXI/CII/or ETS’S.

ESG

Another layer of bureaucracy and report writing will not compensate for second rate ship management and poorly constructed and maintained ships. Wellconstructed ships and crew, who adhere to existing maritime legislation, will meet all ESG requirements without another layer of top-heavy management.

Maritime Education in Greece

Without proper investment in public and privately funded maritime educational establishments in Greece, the future of Greek seafaring will be in doubt and ultimately the manning of Greek shipping offices in Greece.

Also, as the Greek fleet becomes ever more sophisticated in the type of vessels that are operated, it is vital to man them with high-quality Greek officers and crews. The Government must legislate for the creation of more places and to permit privately run schools to flourish.

One of the greatest strengths of the Greek shipping industry over the last half century has been the close relationship between the Greek shipping industry and the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, the Hellenic Coast Guard and of course the Government itself, irrespective of political leanings. Without the appreciation of how strong this link is, the Greek maritime cluster would not be as prominent as it is and the position of shipping as Greece’s second most important export industry. This link must be maintained going forward in order to guarantee a vibrant maritime sector.

Apart from its close and warm links with the Union of Greek Ship Owners in Greece, the G.S.C.C. prides itself on maintaining a close dialogue with all major international maritime organizations such as the I.M.O, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, RightShip, BIMCO, the EU, national Governments, MEPs, and the International Group of P&I Clubs, having Club Chairmen and Directors on our Council.

Our relationship with the senior IACS members is also very close, not least due to our presence as individual members on the boards of many National and International Committees of leading Classification Societies. We also work together with them in pressing for ever higher vessel standards in construction
and operation.

Being based in London, gives us the opportunity to keep in close contact with the Baltic Exchange (the world’s leading shipping indices provider), the UK Chamber of Shipping, Maritime London, and other London-based organizations.

We also support the aims of London International Shipping Week in reminding our global shipping community of the importance of the U.K. and London in particular.

Finally, I would like to thank our Member Offices for their support, the Council and the Secretariat for their hard work, which allows us to continue keeping our membership well-informed and lobby on a global basis in favour of positive practical legislation and where this is negative, to make our opinion very wellknown, backing it up with well-reasoned arguments.

I am particularly grateful to our Vice-Chairmen, Constantinos Caroussis, John M. Lyras and Spyros Polemis, our Honorary Chairman Epaminondas Embiricos, our Treasurer Diamantis Lemos and Deputy Treasurer Dimitri Frank Saracakis.

My special thanks go to Stathes Kulukundis and his team John Hadjipateras, George Embiricos, Filippos Lemos, Alex Hadjipateras and Basil Mavroleon, without whom our monthly reports and other documents would not be as professionally prepared as they are. My thanks also go to Thimios Mitropoulos for his invaluable knowledge on international legislation, and for keeping his eagle eye on our Council minutes.

This year, we are saying goodbye at the G.S.C.C. to Stathis Kulukundis, who has served our organization for about four decades. His dedication, hard work, attention to detail and overall knowledge of shipping matters is second to none.

We are also saying goodbye to Thimios Mitropoulos, former Secretary-General of the IMO and expert on all national and international legislative issues and a great contributor to our internal discussions. We shall miss them both.

Our Director Konstantinos Amarantidis, ably assisted by Maria Syllignaki, continue to run the Committee smoothly and very professionally, and I thank them for their sterling efforts.

But yet again this year I wish to thank all the seafarers in the world, whose perseverance during this difficult period has been legendary and without whom world seaborne trade would not be able to take place.

Find below the full Annual Report 2021-2022 of the G.S.C.C.:

G.S.C.C. Annual Report 2021-2022 by nikoulis on Scribd

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1 comment

Yannis Voudouris June 18, 2022 - 9:52 PM

Thank you Mr Faraclas for the excellent work.

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