As part of the celebration of the 30th anniversary of NAVIGATOR SHIPPING CONSULTANTS (a strong network of towing companies and shipping agencies around the world), the 20th Navigator – The Shipping Decision Makers Forum was organized with great success.

From Monday April 12 to Friday April 16, 2021, five (5) “closed” discussions took place during the NAVIGATOR – THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS ONLINE WEEK, among 300 executives representing 200 Greek shipbuilding and ship management companies. and members of the NAVIGATOR FORUM ADVISORY BOARD. The results of NAVIGATOR ONLINE WEEK were presented to the International Shipping Community during the forum by the respective moderators on Monday, April 19, 2021.

NAVIGATOR President Captain Dimitris Bezantakos spoke of the journey of the Bezantakos family which has spanned almost half a century in the maritime industry and the creation and core values ​​of NAVIGATOR SHIPPING CONSULTANTS. He highlighted the human element as the basic pillar of the Greek sailing miracle, stressing that technology should be the tool of humans, not the other way around.
NAVIGATOR CEO Danae Bezantakou once again stressed the importance of synergies and dialogue which also values ​​the NAVIGATOR – THE SHIPPING DECISION MAKERS FORUM.
The Minister of Merchant Marine and Island Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis, stressed the need for a realistic approach to reducing emissions produced by the shipping industry, modernizing maritime education and also referred to the Department’s ongoing efforts regarding repatriation of crews of concern.

The result of the “closed” discussions during the week of April 12 to 16, 2021, between executives-representatives of shipowners and ship management companies, and members of the NAVIGATOR FORUM ADVISORY BOARD, was presented by:

Helena Athoussaki, Head of ESG, Sustainable Development & Climate Change – MOTOR OIL GROUP (#Decarbonisation) spoke of the concerns raised regarding the decisions that shipowners must take to comply with the regulations. She also spoke of the challenges facing the second – hand market and underlined the great need for strategy, transparency and dialogue between stakeholders and organizations responsible for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Seraphim Kapros, Director of the MBA in Expedition – Aegean University (#SupplyChain)
underlined the need for “smart” and alternative solutions for the uninterrupted functioning of the supply chain and underlined the increased specialization of shipping companies with regard to supply chain assessment and monitoring.

The term “smart shipping” does not only apply to ships but also to offices, reminds us Panos Theodossopoulos, Chief Digital Officer – OCEANKING (#smartshipping). COVID-19, new regulatory requirements and the growing number of vertical technology solutions have acted as catalysts to “drive” digitalization. On the other hand, the lack of qualified personnel on board and office staff on shore as well as cyber risk and lack of standardization are seen as obstacles.

Dorothea Ioannou, Deputy Managing Director of Operations – THE AMERICAN P&I CLUB (#Human Element) said most accidents and claims are due to human error. She also highlighted the importance of seafarers’ mental health, with the profession ranking second in the world for the number of suicides. The new generations will probably be the first to face increased levels of technology and autonomy on board. Therefore, interacting with complex and highly advanced systems, along with situational awareness, critical thinking and effective communication, will be among the skills that will be needed to survive the impending changes in the maritime industry, said Katerina Skourtanioti, Managing Director of VENLYS Maritime. Specialization Services (#Human Element).

Costas Constantinou, Managing Partner / Global Maritime Leader – MOORE GREECE (#Commercial & Finance) spoke about the uncertainties about the availability of capital and more specifically about the criteria to be used by lending banks and other donors to assess potential borrowers . He also raised concern about the strict lending rules that Europe will impose on its banks which will not be applicable to Asian banks and therefore the competition will not be fair. If the funding leaves Europe, that (along with the fact that the cargoes, shipbuilding, crew and management are already there) will speed up the process of moving the global shipping hub from the Atlantic to the Pacific. , which will put European maritime transport at risk.

Danae Bezantakou, CEO, Navigator Shipping Consultants and Gina Panayiotou, CVO, Oceans Arena and Concept Founder, It’s ALL about shipping, welcomed Guy Platten, Secretary General – International Chamber of Shipping, Margi Van Gogh, Head of Supply Chain & Transport – World Economic Forum and Elaine Smith Genser, Engaging and Building Partnerships – United Nations Common Fund for SDGs, in an interesting discussion of how international organizations are leading the way for positive change in the shipping industry.

According to Margi Van Gogh, the 3 key areas of the supply chain are: contribution to social development, environmental and economic impact and sustainability. She also discussed the role of LNG as a bridging fuel, creating hubs for crew changes and the crucial vaccination of seafarers.

Elaine Smith Genser, Head of Engagement and Partnership Development – United Nations Common Fund for SDGs, said decarbonization was not only a challenge but also an opportunity and referred to the focus that the new generation of investors put on environmental protection. Finally, she stressed that Asian countries are ahead of Europe in terms of decarbonization measures.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Shipping Chamber, focused on seafarer vaccinations affecting the supply chain, crew changes which were and are a big concern and highlighted non-compliance requirements by governments. He also called the decarbonization of navigation the “fourth revolution in propulsion,” after sails, steam and oil, and added that thanks to synergies and dialogue, many issues have been resolved during the pandemic.

FORUM ended with presentations from representatives of strategic ports of the NAVIGATOR network of companies and towing agencies around the world. Given the absence of physical meetings, they took the opportunity to inform the maritime community about the issues related to port developments, crew changes, renewal of the tug fleet around the world, and future strategies of their companies. , etc .:

Jeff Horst, Vice President of Sales & Marketing – FOSS MARITIME (Harbor Towing & Shipping Services) (US West Coast – Hawaii), Julian Oggel, General Manager – Novatug & Counsel – MULTRASHIP TOWAGE & SALVAGE ( Belgium and the Netherlands), Diana Villarreal, Commercial Director – COLTUGS TOWAGE & SALVAGE / ULTRATUG (Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia), Hugh Buchanan, Director of Operations – AGENCIA MARITIMA NABSA SA (Argentina)
Elisio Dourado, Commercial Director of Towage – WILSON SONS (Brazil), Sushil Mulchandani, General Manager – JM BAXI & CO. (India), Jose Echeverria Goldoni, Managing Director – ILG LOGISTICS (Panama), Meera Kumar, Head of DIABOS Business Unit (DA Processing System).

Speakers stressed that in order to avoid accidents like that of EVER GIVEN, it is very important to take the necessary measures, inspect all vessels before crossing the canal and escort tugs for larger vessels. Regarding crew changes, they also mentioned the fatigue of sailors, which is of great importance both for their mental health and for the safe and efficient operation of ships.

We especially thank the sponsors of NAVIGATOR FORUM:




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