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John Platsidakis: How shipping got it wrong with regulators, the environment

John Platsidakis: How shipping got it wrong with regulators, the environment

John Platsidakis has been a champion for the traditions and values of Greek shipping. He was a de facto conssigliere to many big names in the industry, including Angelicoussis (Costamare) and Angelicoussis (Angelic Chamber of Shipping). This was over a 40-year career in this business. The ex-banker is also honorary chairman of Intercargo, a board member of Union of Greek Shipowners, and on the executive committee of Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.

Platsidakis was interviewed at the Ship2Open Shipping Finance conference in Athens in march. He discussed sustainability, how shipping needs to defend its green corner and the importance of maintaining the management techniques of previous generations.

Platsidakis acknowledged that sustainability and protection of the environment will have a huge impact on shipping’s day-today operations and long-term planning.

Platsidakis explained that shipowners have been on defense and personally I believe it’s unfair treatment. He said that shipowners made a mistake when the International Maritime Organization (IMO), created its greenhouse gas strategy. They were too weak to say they would comply. He said that this sent a negative message to the public and to consumers.

22 people can be entrusted to a ship. Those people make a difference.

We ought to have said we would comply to the extent that we are responsible for but because we said we would comply, the public thought we were at fault, Platsidakis said, adding: Shipowners do not manufacture engines, they do not build ships, they dont produce bunkers themselves – simply they are consumers – they go out in the market and find among the producers what is best for their needs. The producer is responsible for the failure.

Platsidakis stated that the US and Europe have set standards for the automotive industry and told car manufacturers that they cannot sell cars that do not meet those standards.

What happened to shipping, Platsidakis told the conference, is that the regulators went to the consumers – to the ones who bought the car – so it is as if we bought a car today and they dont blame the manufacturer but they blame us, that we have to meet certain criteria.

Platsidakis also criticized shipping’s lack of influence when it comes to lobbying. Regrettably, countries like the US and France, Germany, France, and the UK don’t have significant shipping so they don’t have the weight or the desire to come up with the right framework.

Platskikardis answered the question about what elements the next generation of Greek shipowners should bring to their business for success. He stated that Greek shipping has proven to be adaptable over the years. He urged that the new generation of shipowners should be close enough to the ship because their grandfathers and fathers were very attached to the vessels and the crew.

See Also

In shipping, the crew is the key. This is because the ship’s viable asset is trading thousands miles away from its owner, the shipping company. Therefore, you must trust the crew to follow regulations.

Platskikardis concluded his conversation with event organizers by saying: You entrust a vessel to 22 people, and at the end the difference is those people.

ThiThis profile first appeared in Maritime CEO magazine’s most recent issue. Splash subscribers can access the full magazine free of charge.Click here.

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