Past Event


June 2-6, 2008
Piraeus, Greece


With the world’s biggest newbuilding orderbook, standing at the end of March 2008 at over 1050 vessels of some 75 million dwt, a USD 10 billion modernisation programme and a fleet of over 3500 vessels, Greek owners are the driving force of Posidonia which is renowned not only for the networking opportunities and contacts made on some of the busy stands, but more importantly for the number and value of deals concluded at more or less elegant offices in Piraeus, parties, conferences, and receptions in fancy on-shore locations or on board luxury yachts.

With all that power in the back, Greece is spearheading the attempts of the global shipping community to remind the European Commission to act rationally and responsibly when dealing with shipping issues. The Erika-III Package on maritime safety contains too much controversial dossiers, together with the stricter CO2 emission limits, it is of crucial importance that the European Council of Ministers resists the attempts of the European Commission to marginalise the member states in maritime matters, by seeking to obtain competence in most areas of maritime policy and, in particular, by seeking to join the IMO in its own right. Massive support to IMO’s president Efthimios Mitropolous is given not only by the Greek government but also by Epaminondas Embiricos, president of London based Greek-Shipping Co-operation Committee.

There are two distinct Posidonias which have little to do with one another – the Posidonia of the Greek ship owners and Asian shipbuilders and the Posidonia of the superintendents and spare parts dealers from Akti Miaouli and their equipment suppliers from Western Europe and Asia. Both Posidonias are about networking.
Greece is the world’s shipping powerhouse, which controls the biggest tanker fleet and almost a fifth of the overall industry’s dwt.

Although the Hellenikon Exhibition Center’s infrastructure in Glyfada has been improved slightly, and the aircondition worked fine this year, commuting from Athens or even Piraeus not to mention the new Eleftherios Venizelos airport to the exhibition grounds which are still in the middle of nowhere was a mess. Nevertheless Posidonia 2008 has been keeping the belief alive that shipping is in peak condition!

It is a mystery why Austrian companies are so hesitant to participate in Posidonia. Only five companies from Austria were there:


  • ExNC
  • KRAL
  • MIBA
  • Teufelberger
  • Yaretti

the majority of them hiding behind their Greek agents. However, AMEM’s chairman John Kuehmayer, on some kind of a fact finding mission, was attending the opening ceremony when the great and the good of the shipping community were watching the cutting of the ribbon by Costas Karamanlis, the Greek Prime Minister and Georgios Voulgarakis, the Minister of Mercantile Marine, The Aegean and Island Policy.

Austria for sure will have to have a national pavilion in 2010!

The most serious concerns expressed in conversations with individuals during the fair from the industry was the shortage of skilled sailors, the shortage of main engines (crankshafts), far too much regulation in general and the discussion on emissions in particular. Again the European Commission is putting IMO under pressure strongly supported by the media which are sensationally and falsely accusing the shipping industry of almost single-handedly creating the greenhouse phenomenon while in reality shipping – the backbone of globalisation – is the least expensive and most friendly tranporter of the world’s merchandise. Shipping is the solution to the transport related emissions of the world’s economy – not its problem! As Georgios Gratsos, President, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping has put it.

in the rear:
Themistocles Vokos, Chairman, Posidonia Exhibitions
Georgios Voulgarikis, Minister of Mercantile Marine, The Aegean and Island Policy
in the front:
NN, Admiral

Georgios A. Gratsos, President, Hellenic Chamber of Shipping
Nicos D. Efthymion, President, Union of Greek Shipowners
Themistocles Vokos, Chairman, Posidonia Exhibitions