GTP presents the challenges and opportunities ahead for Greek cabotage


The Greek coastal cabotage sector suffered a severe blow last year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with renewal of its fleet an urgent priority, according to the 2021 Greek Shipping Report released this week by XRTC Business Consultants.

According to the findings of the report, The renewal of the fleet will cost shipping companies nearly 3 billion euros in the next decade. A study by the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping (NEE) and the Association of Greek Shipowners for Passenger Ships (SEEN) found that by 2030, 32.7% of the country’s fleet will be over 40 years old, while 18 ships over 50 years old – meaning that over the next decade Greece will need to replace at least half of its passenger ferry fleet.

At the same time, borrowings amount to 683 million euros up 2% from 2019, according to the XRTC report. And all this while the crisis and health measures continue to weigh on cabotage services, which have increased by 60% compared to 2020 but still not close to pre-2019 pandemic levels and further impacted by a 50 percent increase in fuel prices.

The sector is now facing another difficult year due to the uncertainty surrounding the covid crisis and tourist traffic as well as domestic travel, which “feeds” and supplies the Greek island communities. Indicator of the decline in transport activity, according to the Hellenic Statistical Service (ELSTAT), passenger transport services fell by 53% in 2020 compared to 2019 and vehicles by 28%.

In June, Greek ferry operators called for immediate support measures and compensation to cover € 200m in losses suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, the report identifies growing momentum driven by established maritime investors. Analysts add that the period up to 2030 will provide opportunities for the sector to adapt to the new business environment and global conditions, in large part thanks to the EU’s recovery and resilience funding that needs to be channeled. towards sustainable growth.

Additionally, analysts in the report suggest the need for new builds made in Greece and maintained here, which will accelerate shipbuilding activity with new builds expected to start in three years.

“Greek shipping is facing a period of disruption,” said founder and owner of XRTC Business Consultants Georges xiradakis, adding that the state has an “obligation to support” a sector which has and continues to contribute significantly to the economy and society.

Earlier this year, a report by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) found that it is vital for the sector to improve port infrastructure, comply with international environmental standards and accelerate the renewal of the fleet.

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