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Posidonia: Records tumble as 50th anniversary approaches

The shipping markets are about to have their biennial summer breather as the world’s most famous shipping show comes into view.

As you read this more than 3,000 construction workers are assembling the stands for the record breaking exhibition near Athens airport, while caterers in the capital and Piraeus will be chilling ship-loads of champagne to hose down guests at the hundreds of parties and receptions that start this week.

When Maritime CEO comes calling, Theo Vokos, executive director of Posidonia Exhibitions, is characteristically calm amid the maelstrom of activity leading up to the big show. He’s managed to grow the exhibition by around 10% since the last event in 2016 to the point where there will be more than 1,900 exhibitors from 91 countries.

Just last week the Union of Greek Shipowners published statistics showing that one in five merchant ships around the world is Greek. The growth of the Greek fleet shows no sign of abating either, hence the string of records being broken this year as Posidonia gears up for its 50th anniversary.

“Posidonia exhibitors are positioned at the heart of this multi-billion market, face to face with buyers ready to do business,” Vokos said. It’s worth mentioning that one of the many commendable aspects of the show is how UGS members do actively walk around the exhibition.

The list of exhibitors becomes every year more diverse, with a wide range of companies ranging from Airbus Defence and Space Geo to MAN Trucks and from ERP heavyhitter SAP to Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company and the Greek ports of Thessaloniki and Volos, who booked their first independent Posidonia participation.

Indicative of the exhibition’s importance is also the fact that Saudi Arabia’s state oil company Saudi Aramco, and its partners Lamprell, the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) and Hyundai Heavy Industries, have chosen Posidonia 2018 for the global unveiling of its International Maritime Industries (IMI) joint venture, created to develop one of the world’s largest full-service maritime facilities.

“The global shipping industry is going through a transformational period, as a result of new environmental regulations and challenges and continuous technological breakthroughs, which lead the shipping industry to new investments and new ways of doing business. The industry is on track to be one of the most competitive, environmentally friendly and streamlined industries globally,” Vokos maintains in an exclusive interview with Maritime CEO.

Vokos however is realistic that Greek owners face specific hurdles going forward.

“I would say that the biggest challenge for the Greek shipping industry is to keep the same character and flexibility while adapting to a global business environment with new requirements,” he says.

Splash will be reporting live from Posidonia for the coming week, while sister title Maritime CEO magazine will be distributed at events across Athens and Piraeus. Splash readers can read the full just published Maritime CEO magazine for free online by clicking here.

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