Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 30 - 2008

 

Eight dead in "perama" tragedy

---Eight people dead and 4 injured is the toll of the explosion during repair works of "Friendship Gas", at the Perama Shipyard. Two of the dead have been identified,one of them is the second captain while the other four workers have not been identified yet. The four people injured, who managed to survive the explosion, have been transferred to Thriasio Hospital and are out of danger. They suffered burns to their face and have respiratory problems. Three fire engines, one fireboat and three tugboats joined efforts to put out the fire fueled by the explosion. In the meantime, the safety engineer and work supervisor were arrested last night on charges of not meeting safety standards. SYRIZA spoke of unacceptable work and safety conditions in Perama Shipyard and attributed responsibilities to all government policies till present.
Source: Express.gr 25/07/08-11:46


Anger as Greek LPG carrier blast kills eight
---Nigel Lowry, Athens - Friday 25 July 2008
A blast ripped through the 1981 built FriendshipGas at about 4 pm local time, but the resulting blaze prevented rescuers boarding the ship for another five hours.
The accident, which is the latest in a rash of fatal mishaps at shipyards internationally this year, is
In September 1988, an explosion almost cut in two the tanker Anangel Greatness, costing 16 lives, while one year ago two workers died in virtually the same spot in Perama when a fire broke out aboard the tanker Ailsa Craig, an incident which sparked similar protests.
Altogether, about 800 accidents in the region have been reported since 2000, although by no means all of these led to loss of life.
The 4,965 dwt Friendshipgas is one of seven LPG vessels in the fleet of Athens based Magnus Carriers, which also manages several container vessels and product tankers for Nasdaq listed Aries Maritime Transport.
Company executives could not be reached for additional information today.
According to the Equasis database, the ship is classed by Bureau Veritas and covered by the North of England P&I Club.
Source: http://www.lloydslist.com/ll/news/anger-as-greek-lpg-carrier-blast-kills-eight/20017555737.htm


ITF: Coral Sea verdict was fatally flawed
---
25 July 2008
Speaking from Piraeus, where he has applied for access to Captain Laptalo, master of the Coral Sea, ITF Maritime Coordinator Steve Cotton today confirmed that an appeal against the verdict that imprisoned him has already been lodged, that this is likely to take several months, and that the manner of the trial has caused real concern among Greek legal observers.
ENDS
For more information contact ITF press officer, Sam Dawson.
Direct line: + 44 (0)20 7940 9260.
Email: dawson_sam@itf.org.uk
International Transport Workers' Federation - ITF:
HEAD OFFICE
ITF House, 49 - 60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DS
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7403 2733
Fax: + 44 (0) 20 7375 7871
Email: mail@itf.org.uk
Web: www.itfglobal.org
Source: http://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/2381


Greece: 3 hurt in ferry collision
---ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Two ferryboats carrying more than 1,500 passengers collided at a Greek island port Wednesday, injuring three people, authorities said.
The Super Ferry II was about to dock in Andros, an Aegean Sea island, when it bumped into the docked ferry Theologos, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. All passengers on both vessels safely disembarked.
"Three people were injured, two men and a women. They are receiving medical treatment, but they are not in any danger," ministry spokesman Andreas Theofilou said. "There is no danger of either vessel sinking or of sea pollution."
The Super Ferry II, however, had "significant damage," he said. The cause of the collision was under investigation.
The Super Ferry II, was traveling from the port of Rafina, near Athens, to the islands of Andros, Tinos and Mykonos, and was carrying 1,000 passengers, ministry officials said. The Theologos, which was preparing to sail to Rafina, was carrying 566 passengers.
The nationality of the injured passengers were not immediately known. State-run NET television said one of the passengers were injured by glass broken in the collision.
Source: July 23, 2008 - 6:38am, http://www.wtop.com/?nid=383&sid=1445281


HPH makes highest bid for Greek port rights
---
Benjamin Scent
Thursday, July 24, 2008
A consortium led by Hutchison Port Holdings, a unit of Hutchison Whampoa (0013), offered the highest of three bidders in the tender for 30-year rights to the Greek port of Thessaloniki, the port authority announced.
The Hutchison consortium offered to pay 3.51 billion euros (HK$43.13 billion) over 30 years for the right to operate Pier 6 of the container terminal at the Thessaloniki port, the Thessaloniki port authority said. The Hutchison group also offered to invest 489 million euros in upgrading the container terminal facilities.
Hutchison teamed up with Greek pharmaceutical company Alapis for the bid. A spokesman for Hutchison Port Holdings declined to comment.
"Within the next few days, we will start the procedure to appoint the preferred bidder, within the time frame we have already set," said Merchant Marine Minister George Voulgarakis.
COSCO Pacific (1199) was the second-highest bidder, offering 1.22 billion euros for the rights, according to the Thessaloniki port authority. COSCO's bid said it planned to invest 332 million euros in the terminal.
The third bidder was a consortium led by Dubai Ports World unit P&O that also includes Greek construction company Aktor and Piraeus Bank. The Dubai Ports consortium offered 819.1 million euros for the rights and said it would invest 468 million euros in the port facilities.
The bidding follows a recent tender for Piraeus port, where COSCO Pacific is believed to be frontrunner.
Source: http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=1&art_id=69064&sid=19880964&con_type=1


Shipping companies eye Libyan market
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_economy_2_23/07/2008_98826


Livanos in capes deal with Mittal
---A Greek owner has agreed another bulker tie-up with a giant steel maker.
The world's biggest steel maker, Arcelor Mittal, and Greek shipowner Livanos are again teaming up in the capesize sector.
They have bought two capesizes under construction at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding (SWS) in China that will be chartered to the steel maker for 15 years.
Viral Vora, the boss of London-based Arcelor Mittal Shipping, describes the deal as a "hedge" by one of the world's biggest bulk charterers.
He adds that the steel maker controlled by magnate Lakshmi Mittal, one of the world's richest men will not be looking for more long-term fixtures amid expectations of a falling market.
The joint venture involves two 180,000-dwt capesizes, the Ocean Pride and Ocean Prosperity , slated for delivery in 2011.
The deal follows the success of a long-standing joint venture between Livanos and Arcelor Mittal on the 149,000-dwt capesize Bulk Leher (built 1992), which is on time charter to Livanos-controlled CTM in Monte Carlo.
Arcelor Mittal has now committed to take delivery of six capesizes with one due in 2009, two in 2010 and three in 2011.
In recent weeks, the steel maker was rumoured to be looking for vessels for up to 10 years at $45,000 per day. Vora confirms two have been taken for the period but says the rates agreed were 10% to 15% lower than the headline figure.
He says the capesize fixtures have been done with owners including Livanos and Hanjin Shipping.
They may be the last for a while and Vora says he has "categorically told people we are not in the market to take more".
"We have fairly good cover and we believe there will be opportunities [when the market falls]," he added.
Vora is convinced that the bulker market will start to fall from 2009 onward due to overtonnaging.
Around 180 million tonnes of extra cargo are needed in the capesize sector to mop up the additional ships and "we don't see this happening", he says.
The company expects "a good correction" from 2009 and 2010 and will be "very careful in taking ships long term at today's high rate", adds Vora.
"If we have to do a forward position for steel for 2010 and 2011, why would we do it now?" he asked.
Arcelor Mittal's total requirement in the capesize sector is around 40 million tonnes per year.
The shipping desk has grown in importance since the merger with Arcelor in 2006, which led to big savings. It has doubled in size to 29 people and handles around 85 million tonnes of raw materials annually.
The desk also charters around 60% to 70% of the steel maker's panamax needs.
It meets its capesize requirements mostly through contracts of affreightment (COAs) and hedging in the forward-freight-agreement (FFA) market.
The steel maker has completely covered its capesize needs for the remainder of the year and is 95% covered in 2009.
Vora, who has been with the company's shipping operation for 19 years, is responsible for overseeing around 50 vessels. These include a couple of owned handymaxes and two very large ore carriers (VLOCs) on charter from Neu Seeschiffahrt and Bergesen DY.
By Ian Lewis, London, published: 25 July 2008
Source: www.tradewinds.no


zacks.com/commentary: Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc.
---
By Michael Vodicka
Jul 23, 2008
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (ANW) has been on a buying spree over the last 12 months, snapping up smaller tanker filling operations that have been struggling to grow profits. Because of the scale of Aegean, it is able to purchase its fueling supplies on a wholesale level and then pass along the costs to its customers.
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network, Inc operates as a marine fuel logistics company that provides ships at port and sea with refilling services. The company was founded in 1995, carries a market cap. of $1.59 billion and is headquartered in Athens, Greece.
An Impressive Quarter
With global energy trade booming, service providers to this industry have seen a big up tick in their sales numbers, which was the case when Aegean reported its second-quarter results on May 14.
Revenue was up big, increasing 149% from the same period last year to $532 million. Net income came in at $7.5 million, up from $6.6 million last year. This produced earnings of 18 cents per share, one penny short of analyst expectations.
Factors Driving Growth
Aegean noted that a couple of its key projects had come online during the quarter and began producing revenue. The projects include Aegean's new service center in Northern Europe, a product of its acquisition of Bunkers at Sea in October of 2007, and a newly established service center in West Africa.
This brings the total number of ports that Aegean is operating to 8, with an eye to adding two more by the end of the year to bring the total to 10.
The company said it experienced a big increase in demand, having sold 47.6% more marine fuel than it did in the same quarter last year.
Bullish Estimates
Analysts are bullish on the longer term prospects of AEG as it continues to snap up smaller companies and grow its capacities. The current-year estimate is $1.23, but the next-year estimate currently stands at $2.63, a very big one-year jump. Based upon this earnings projection, this stock looks very reasonably priced, carrying a forward P/E multiple of 14X.
The Chart
Aegean's share price has rebounded admirably from its January low below $16 to its current price of $38. The next target appears to be the short-term resistance level just above $43. If this stock can advance past this level, its 52-week and all-time high are close at hand, just above $48. Take a look at the chart.> http://www.zacks.com/commentary/8136/Aegean+Marine+Petroleum+Network+Inc.+813600
Source: http://www.zacks.com/commentary/8136/Aegean+Marine+Petroleum+Network+Inc.+813600


Disillusioned GO Carriers ready to quit London's AIM
---Global Oceanic Carriers (GO Carriers) is on course to be de-listed from London's AIM market on July 28 as controlling investors hold at least 98.9% of the company's shares. They hope to acquire the remaining stock by July 25, but irrespective of this will take the bulk carrier operation private.
The move to go private comes after company president Michael Tartsinis and executive director Antonios Nikolaou and Greek investor Kriton Lentoudis, became disillusioned by GO Carriers' lagging share price. The three investors formed Newport Holdings for the buy-out and have received pledges to sell shares from shareholders owning 18.8% in the company, most of the stake not already owned by their company, Kaylee Maritime which has 79.3% of GO Carriers. Nikolaou has 0.3% privately. July 23, GO Carriers announced Kaylee had sold its entire 31,758,292 ordinary shares in CO Carriers to Newport Holdings.
Italian tanker owner Navigazione Montanari is another operator which has grown dissatisfied with its share price and is bidding to de-list from the Italian stock exchange. The company joins a number of smaller Italian companies that believes the stock market share price undervalues the company.
Controlling shareholders of Navigazione Montanari, which runs crude and products tankers from handysizes up to aframaxes, have announced a public offer for the shares of Euro 3.1 ($4.92) for every share, 13% more than the price at the time of the announcement.
G&A Montanari controls 66.46% of the company, which is run by chairman Corrado Montanari and md Fabio Montanari.
-- Filed: 2008-07-22
Source: www.newsfront.gr


Aries Maritime Transport Limited Announces First Quarter 2008 Financial Results and Initiates Fixed Quarterly Dividend of $0.10 per Share
---ATHENS, Greece, July 24, 2008 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (RAMS:) today reported financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2008.
First Quarter Results
Total revenues for the three month period ended March 31, 2008 were $24.9 million compared to $25.6 million in the prior year period. Excluding deferred revenue due to the assumption of charters associated with certain vessel acquisitions, total revenues were $23.7 million and $23.4 million for the three month periods ended March 31, 2008 and 2007, respectively.
During the three month period ended March 31, 2008, vessel operating days totaled 1,365, compared to total vessel operating days of 1,350 for the three month period ended March 31, 2007. The Company defines operating days as the total days the vessels were in the Company's possession for the relevant period. Actual revenue days during the three month period ended March 31, 2008 totaled 1,292, compared to 1,234 days for the three month period ended March 31, 2007.The Company defines revenue days as the total days the vessels were not out of service.
Aries reported a net loss of $6.9 million, or $0.24 per basic and diluted common share, for the three month period ended March 31, 2008, compared to net income of $0.5 million, or $0.02 per basic and diluted common share, for the three month period ended March 31, 2007. Results for the three month period ended March 31, 2008 included an unrealized loss of $3.6 million from the change in the fair value of derivatives, which are interest rate swaps entered into to hedge the Company's exposure to U.S. interest rates on its debt. Results for the three month period ended March 31, 2007 included an unrealized loss of $0.4 million from the change in the fair value of derivatives.
Adjusted EBITDA for the three month period ended March 31, 2008 was $8.7 million compared to $13.1 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2007. (Please refer to the Summary of Selected Data table later in this document for a reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to net income.)
Jeff Parry, Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Since joining Aries Maritime as the new CEO earlier this month, we have initiated a complete review of the Company's business with the aim of improving future results. While this review is ongoing, our new management team remains committed to preserving the financial flexibility of the Company, improving the operating performance of our vessels, maintaining our period charter approach, and executing a disciplined strategy to reconfigure our fleet profile. By implementing a comprehensive turnaround plan to achieve these objectives, we expect to drive long-term value for our shareholders."
Fleet Report
Aries currently operates a fleet of nine double-hull products tankers and three container ships. In June 2008, the Company completed the sale of the Arius, a 1986-built double-hull products tanker, as well as the Energy 1, a 1989-built container vessel, and its sister ship, the MSC Oslo, for a total net price of approximately $60.8 million. These transactions are expected to contribute a book profit totaling approximately $16 million to earnings during the second quarter of 2008. The Company used the proceeds to reduce outstanding borrowings under its fully revolving credit facility.
Fleet Deployment
Currently, eight of Aries' 12 vessels are deployed on period charters with established international charterers and state-owned entities. The charters have remaining periods ranging from approximately 0.1 to 2.4 years. Our vessels Ostria, High Land and High Rider are currently operating in the spot market while we seek period employment. On or about August and November of 2008, the Chinook and Nordanvind will complete their current charters to Stena Group and PDVSA, respectively.
On July 18, 2008, Aries announced it renewed the bareboat charters for the Stena Compass, a 2006-built double-hull products tanker, and its sister ship, the Stena Compassion, with Stena Group. The charters will be for 23 to 25 months at a gross rate of $18,700 per day per vessel, less 2.5% in brokerage commissions. The charters also include a profit-sharing component for Aries equal to 30% of the actual time charter equivalent (TCE) rate achieved above $26,000 per day per vessel. The charters are scheduled to commence upon expiration of the vessels' current charters.
The CMA CGM Seine, a 1990-built container vessel, was redelivered to the Company on July 20, 2008, following completion of its scheduled voyage and cargo operations. Aries and the charterer mutually agreed to the redelivery following damage to the main engine of the vessel, which will undergo repairs that are expected to be completed by the end of August 2008. Aries is evaluating options including new period charter opportunities as well as a possible sale of the vessel.
Source: http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=109&STORY=/www/story/07-24-2008/0004854907&EDATE=


Paragon Shipping Inc. Appoints New Non-Executive Director
---Jul 25, 2008 (Hugin via COMTEX) ----ATHENS, Greece, July 25, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Paragon Shipping Inc. (Nasdaq:PRGN), a global shipping transportation company specializing in dry bulk cargoes, announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Mr. George Xiradakis to the Board as an independent, non-executive director, effective today. Mr. Xiradakis replaces Mr. George Skrimizeas who resigned from the Company's Board of Directors but will continue in his current position as the Company's Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Xiradakis has also been appointed to the Company's Audit and Nominating Committees. As a result of this appointment, there continue to be five members on the Company's Board of Directors, of which four are now independent directors. Also effective today, Mr. Dimitrios Sigalas has resigned from the Audit Committee and Mr. Bruce Ogilvy has resigned from the Nominating Committee.
Michael Bodouroglou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Paragon, commented, "We are pleased to welcome Mr. Xiradakis to our Board of Directors. He brings to Paragon a wealth of experience in the marine finance and banking industries. His years of experience will further enhance our Board's diverse and in-depth skills in the many disciplines required to operate a successful shipping company. Although Mr. Skrimizeas is no longer on the Board, he remains a valuable member of our team, and we look forward to his continued contributions to the business in his role as Chief Operating Officer."
Since 1999, Mr. Xiradakis has been the Managing Director of XRTC Business Consultants Ltd., a consulting firm providing financial advice to the maritime industry. Mr. Xiradakis also provides financial advice to various shipping companies, as well as international and state organizations. Since March 2007, he has served as the President of the National Centre of Port Development in Greece. He also serves as the General Secretary of the Association of Banking and Shipping Executives of Hellenic Shipping. Mr. Xiradakis has a certificate as a Deck Officer from the Hellenic Merchant Marine and he is a graduate of the Nautical Marine Academy of Aspropyrgos, Greece. He also holds a postgraduate Diploma in Commercial Operation of Shipping from London Guildhall University, formerly known as City of London Polytechnic, and a Master of Science in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales. Mr. Xiradakis is also a member of the Board of Directors of DryShips Inc. and Aries Maritime Transport Limited.
About Paragon Shipping Inc.
Paragon Shipping Inc. is an Athens, Greece-based international shipping company specializing in the transportation of drybulk cargoes. The Company's current fleet consists of eleven vessels with a total carrying capacity of 706,358 dwt. For further information, please visit the Company's website at www.paragonship.com.
CONTACT: Paragon Shipping Inc. Christopher Thomas, Chief Financial Officer +30 (210) 8914 600 15 Karamanli Ave. GR 166 73 Voula, Greece
FD Eric Boyriven +1(212) 850-5600
SOURCE: Paragon Shipping Inc.
Source: http://www.foxbusiness.com/story/markets/industries/industrials/paragon-shipping-appoints-new-non-executive-director/-1341078872


TOP Ships (TOPS) 2Q & First Half '08 CC Invitation
Conference Call Invitation
Second Quarter & First Half 2008 Results
Thursday, July 31, 2008
10:00 AM Eastern\
TOP Ships Inc., formerly known as TOP Tankers Inc., is an international provider of worldwide seaborne crude oil and petroleum products and of drybulk transportation services. Upon delivery of the five suezmaxes to their new owners the Company will operate a combined tanker and drybulk fleet as follows:
-- a fleet of 12 tankers, consisting of 4 double-hull Suezmax tankers and 8 double-hull Handymax tankers, with a total carrying capacity of approximately 1.0 million dwt, of which 86% are sister ships. Eight of the Company's 12 tankers will be on time charter contracts with an average term of two years with all of the time charters including profit sharing agreements above their base rates. In addition, the Company has ordered six newbuilding product tankers, which are expected to be delivered in the first half of 2009. All the expected newbuildings have bareboat employment agreements for periods between seven and ten years.
-- a fleet of five drybulk vessels with a total carrying capacity of approximately 0.3 million dwt, of which 70% are sister ships. All of the Company's drybulk vessels have employment contracts for an average period of 30 months.
To participate in the call, you must RSVP with Mark Reilly of Allen & Caron at 212 691 8087 or e-mail m.reilly@allencaron.com.
To join the call from the US, dial 877 407 8035 ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time and reference the TOP Ships conference call. International calls may be placed by dialing +1 201 689 8035.
To listen to the audio replay that will be available through August 7, 2008, dial
877 660 6853 using account # 286 along with conference ID # 292357.
International callers should dial 201 612 7415.
Source: email announcement


Hellenic Shipping News interviews Mr. Antonis Venieris, CEO of Veniers Group
---
Monday, 21 July 2008
First of all, could you give us a profile of Venieris Group and its main activities?
The Venieris Group was founded by Dimitrios Venieris in 1983 at Thessaloniki. The founder had been into shipping since late 60's serving in different managerial position in Hellenic Lines of Kallimanopoulos family, both domestic and abroad.
Currently the group is comprised of Venieris Maritime S.A., which is the agent of Senator Lines in Hellas, VenMar Shipping Agencies S.A. which is the agent of Hanjin Shipping, Venus Mare d.o.o. which is based in Koper, Slovenia and Cosmos Ocean Shipping and Forwarding Ltd, a freight forwarding company in Thessaloniki.
Venieris Maritime S.A. is agent of MCL Lines & Feeders and United Feeder Services (UFS) in Thessaloniki as well as representative of Norfolkline in Hellas for Dunkerque to Dover ferry crossings.
Besides the liner agency operations of our group, we handle significant volumes of bulk cargoes at Thessaloniki port; we provide inland transportation, domestic and international, air transportation, customs clearance, logistics and warehousing.
We have offices in Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Koper and a network of trustworthy partners in Hellas and abroad.
Given that a big shipping conglomerate like Hanjin has chosen your group, as their representative in the Greek market, could you point out some of the strategic advantages that your company provides?
The main points that big shipping conglomerates as Hanjin seek to their partners is trust and local market experience. Surely, Venieris Group has both, since we are representing lines such as Senator Lines for 25 consecutive years and feeder lines such as MCL Feeders for 20 consecutive years without complaints. Our office has established through the years excellent liaison with the major exporting and importing companies in our local market and this fact is well appreciated by the liner companies we represent. Moving further from these two points, the well trained personnel and cutting edge technology computer systems is a prerequisite in the modern style of a shipping agency. We have invested a lot in high end computer systems and hardware as well as in training of our personnel.
Unfortunately, from the 5th of January 2008, we are all witnessing the surreal situation of the strikes in the Hellenic major ports. The whole shipping and business world of Hellas are kept hostages, for more than 190 days, of the actions of the Hellenic government, the port authorities and the dock workers unions. During the seven months of actions, the productivity of Piraeus container terminal has fallen up to 80 per cent, the waiting times of vessels have escalated to unprecedented heights and the transit times of cargoes have returned to the standards of the clipper ship era in the 1800s. Both Thessaloniki and Piraeus port authorities financial data have dipped into the red figures, the lines that still serve Hellas have applied various port congestion surcharges that local receivers and shippers have to bear, costs which eventually are passed to the end user, the customer.
Our company cannot be an exemption and we have felt the consequences of the strike actions as every other shipping agency in our country. The havoc created by the long duration of the actions, have established tremendous operational problems which are impossible to circumnavigate without tolls in time or money for customers and shipping lines. Hanjin Shipping had for a couple of months lifted a general booking stop to imports in Hellas which was eventually abolished 10 days ago after extensive negotiations between our principals and our company. It is extremely difficult to try to explain the unthinkable situation which we are living through, to management of Hanjin in Seoul and Hamburg when the world ''strike'' to their ears means a 24 or a 48 hour action and not a seven month saga.
The shipping agencies have been seriously affected and the time that the management of the agencies will be forced to reduce their personnel as an action of survival is not far away.
What will be the consequences should the strikes and mobilizations continue?
Even with the current actions we have witnessed the black listing of Piraeus and Thessaloniki ports by major container operators. It is more than obvious that should the mobilizations continue, the status of the ports will be seriously downgraded to feeder service only status. Further to that, the exporting and importing activity of Hellas will suffer the final and lethal hit. According to Piraeus Traders Association, should the mobilizations continue up to end of the year, the financial losses would accumulate to the staggering figure of 4 billion Euros. At the time the Hellenic exporters struggle to promote their products to the international markets, battling against the euro - dollar parity, such mobilizations seriously threaten the viability of Hellenic exports.
Is the port of Astakos in the west part of Hellas able to compensate the losses from the other two major ports of Piraeus and Thessalonica?
The port of Astakos has surely been benefited from the strikes at the two major ports. The productivity of the port has risen to 140,000 containers handled so far compared to zero last year. But this alternative does not come cheap. The exporters and importers have to bear an escalated transport cost from and to the port of Astakos which makes the whole situation even worse. Bearing in mind that this port was designed to attract transshipment cargo mainly, the answer comes easily. This port currently works because of the desperation of Hellenic exporters and importers. With no other connection to mainland but road, it can not be a long term alternative to Piraeus or Thessaloniki.
Is it too late for Hellas, given that competition from neighbouring countries is already pretty high?
It is a fact that Hellas has been left behind on this issue. If we look around on the map, most of the East Med ports have joined forces with various port operators for development purposes. My personal feeling is that, excluding Port Said, all other East Med ports are lacking of competitive advantages compared to Piraeus and Thessaloniki. If it was too late, there would be no interest in the international tenders. Better late than never.
Shipping and container shipping in specific is very prone to the changes of the world economy. The big boom of China which has created the need for larger capacities in vessels, together with the unbalanced flow of equipment in the leg China-Europe-China has greatly affected the nature of containerized shipping. In the order book, a great number of Leviathan-sized vessels of capacity 13,000 + TEUS exists and plans for mega ships of 20,000 TEUS have been presented. But the two main obstacles of shipping are the rising fuel costs and the difficulty of port operators to adjust the operational capabilities of the ports, depths and cranes installations, to keep up with the escalating vessel sizes. The fuel cost which is the largest fixed cost in a vessel's voyage has forced vessel managers to lower speed performance in an attempt to save fuel. This practice on the other hand generates the need for more vessels in a trade lane in order to keep the desired frequency.
Despite these, container shipping is on the high side of the market and it will remain there for at least the next decade as the China effect will be followed by the India effect very soon.
Nikos Roussanoglou, Hellenic Shipping News
Source: http://www.hellenicshippingnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=13254&Itemid=31


Greek Property To Benefit From New Ferry Service
---The Greek Island of Samos is benefitting from new ferry service and increased government investment designed to increase tourism. While much of the coastline of this eastern Aegean island is dotted with popular resorts, many outside of Greece and Turkey have not heard of the splendors of Samos.
In addition to the new Samos- Bodrum ferry service, there is also regular ferry service to Kusadesi in Turkey and other Greek islands, including Patmos, Lipsi, Leros, Kalymnos. Kos, Rhodes and several other islands, as well as the Greek mainland. There is an international airport on the island with service to the UK during the summer holiday months.
The island of Samos is one of the easternmost of the Greek Islands along the coast of Turkey, just 1.5 kilometers from the Turkish mainland. It has a wonderful combination of long, sandy beaches, rugged mountains and fertile ground with lush forest and many crops. The 478 square kilometers have a number of modern resorts as well as many historic sites and archeological ruins to explore. The capital, Samos, is built like an amphitheater at the end of a deep bay, next to the harbor of Vathi. Pythagorio is another major town on the southeastern coast of the island that is popular with visitors.
Samos Airport (SMI) is located 14 kilometers southwest of Samos Town and 3 kilometers west of Pythagorio. The major ferry routes come to the island at Pythagoria and Karlovassi in addition to Samos Town.
Source: Homesgofast.com, UK - Jul 23, 2008 http://www.homesgofast.com/view_news/795/


Kuehne + Nagel A.E. in Greece
---
July 22, 2008
At the annual general meeting of the Kuehne + Nagel group of companies in Greece on July 21, 2008, the decision was taken to establish Kuehne + Nagel A.E. to provide the full range of logistics services under one brand. The new company will be headquartered in Athens and operate branches in Thessaloniki and the Attica region.
Management Change
New Managing Director of Kuehne + Nagel A.E. is Frank Lehner. Herms wished him all the best in his new function. According to Herms, the objective is to continue the good performance of Proodos in Greece under the Kuehne + Nagel brand.
Source: www.kuehne-nagel.com


Foster Wheeler Awarded Refinery Upgrading Contracts in Greece
The refinery upgrading project, which will increase gasoline and diesel oil production, is expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
Foster Wheeler Ltd. is a global company offering, through its subsidiaries, a broad range of engineering, procurement, construction, manufacturing, project development and management, research and plant operation services. Foster Wheeler serves the upstream oil and gas, LNG and gas-to-liquids, refining, petrochemicals, chemicals, power, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and healthcare industries. The company is based in Hamilton, Bermuda, and its operational headquarters are in Clinton, New Jersey, USA. For more information about Foster Wheeler, please visit our Web site at www.fwc.com.
Source: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080722005155&newsLang=en