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- Unveiling the Future of Shipping: Insights from Mr. John Xylas at the 8th Naftemporiki Shipping Conference

15/05/2024


The contribution of Greek shipping to the development of the country, the prospects and the challenges of the sector were highlighted by Mr John Xylas, representative of the Union of Greek Shipowners, during his speech at the 8th Maritime Conference of the Shipping Industry, which opened today at the Stone Warehouse of the PPA .


Mr. Xylas emphasized that amid a wave of developments, Greek-owned shipping remains a pioneer, with Greek shipowners investing in new, more energy-efficient and advanced ships. He described shipping as "national capital" for the country and underlined that the Greek shipping industry "has all the guarantees to continue and will continue to be a leader in global shipping".


Focusing on the complex environment the industry is experiencing, he observed that "we live in a period where one challenge follows another". "Shipping, this global industry that connects countries and economies is not unaffected. It is currently facing many geopolitical and economic challenges,"


Pointing out that shipping is vital to prosperity, he noted that the industry continues to reduce its environmental footprint every year. "Shipping will transport to every corner of the world the new alternative fuels, which are necessary to ensure the sustainability of the planet," he stressed. He also underlined that the sector plays an important role in dealing with climate change and is part of the solution.


Regarding alternative fuels, he noted that "research is needed in the right direction in order to highlight new marine fuels that will not undermine sustainability". "We need fuels that are safe for our sailors, for our ships for the environment, that will be economically competitive," he said. He also expressed the UN's firm support for the IMO's emissions reduction strategy.


He also described as a "myth" the notion that shipping can make the energy transition alone, stressing that the contribution of all parties is necessary. "Collaboration with all parties involved is the key so that the energy transition can be completed with feasible measures," he said characteristically.


However, he noted that environmental challenges are not the only ones facing the shipping industry. "Emergencies, crises, pandemics, geopolitical tensions and conflicts complicate our work. But the ships never stop offering their valuable services, even when the whole rest of the planet came to a standstill," said Mr. Xylas, emphasizing that all this highlights the important role of shipping.


Concluding his speech, Mr. Xylas remarked that "we are on the threshold of a new era". "Our path towards it should be guided by the tripartite: safety of life at sea, protection of the environment and, at the same time, economic viability".

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