«The further development of shortsea shipping should be an important priority of the European Union policy for both developmental and environmental reasons,» said the president of the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association (HSSA), Charalampos Simantonis, during the annual Shortsea Shipping Days event, a European Shortsea Network (ESN) project, which highlighted the challenges and new opportunities shortsea shipping faces at the European level.
Held under the auspices of ESN and the HSSA, the “Shortsea: Challenges Ahead“ conference took place at the Yacht Club of Greece, in Piraeus, on June 13, to promote the cooperation of national Shortsea Promotion Centers (SPCs) and their networking with all supply chain providers, as well as underline the importance of shortsea ships both in combined transport as well as the European economy.
Conference participants emphasised the shortsea shipping industry is being left behind in the effort to adjust to new global environmental regulations despite it being the maritime domain that needs clean fuel the most.
John Xylas, representing the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS), said the UGS is trying for the fullest and most efficient representation of the sector in the international scene.
Participants included ESN president, Costel Stanca; policy officer of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, Antoine Kedzierski; speakers from European SPCs, executives from classification societies, academics and representatives of the Greek and European shipping industry.
The conference focused on the latest trends and developments in shortsea shipping, such as new environmental regulations, financial instruments, innovative technological advances, maritime education, multi-modal transportation, as well as new forms of energy, which the maritime community is called upon to incorporate.
One of its panels tackled the issue of the new International Maritime Organization rules, which include the imposition of a 0.5% sulfur cap on the fuel used as of January 2020, to which the shortsea shipping industry has been slow to adapt.
«Liquefied natural gas is the mother of all alternative fuels,» stressed Panos Zachariadis, technical director at Atlantic Bulk Carriers and a member of the Greek delegation to IMO.
Source: Newsfront Greek Shipping Shipping Intelligence newsletter (Issue 23 / 14 June 2019)