The Greek Shipowners Union Report 2012-2013 notes that shipowners faced a double-whammy as Greece faced the most severe crisis in its national economy, which coincided with one of the deepest crises in the endemic cyclical nature of international shipping.
"The international shipping downturn has not only been deep but also long in its duration due to three major factors: the reduction of cargo volumes transported, the overcapacity of tonnage, and theinability of the credit system internationally to provide sustainable finance.
It is much too early to evaluate with any certainty the direction for the immediate future. Our main interest remains focused on the developing countries especially China and India, with the hope of a speedy recovery of international trade. In the face of these objective difficulties we have been called upon as entrepreneurs of the sea but also as Greek citizens to face these challenges with courage and faith in our abilities.
Greek shipping is satisfied so far with the dynamic role that it continues to play in the international arena. In June 2012 and for a whole week, the heart of the international shipping industry was beating in the Greek shipping capital due to the Posidonia International Exhibition, bringing once more to the fore the primacy of Greek shipping in global shipping developments as well as its strategic importance since it has the highest percentage of transportation capacity in the world.
Lastly, due to the dire economic situation of Greece, the Union of Greek Shipowners considered necessary to set up, with the financial support of the Greek shipping community, a programme of social welfare and solidarity in order to support a significant part of the population most affected by the crisis. The Greek shipping community has hastened once again as it has done historically on numerous occasions to the assistance of the home country and its citizens, in periods of crisis.
In any case, the adverse economic circumstances existing at national and European level,coupled with the deep recession in international shipping, render imperative the co-operation between the shipping industry and the State, in order to maintain the competitiveness and, hence, the sustainability of Greek-owned shipping."
The full report may be downloaded at: