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Posidonia 2024: Navigating Uncharted Waters in the Face of Global Challenges

Greek Shipping Takes Centre Stage at Posidonia 2024 Amidst Industry Transformation

Posidonia 2024 is already on track to be the biggest ever in the long history of the world’s most prestigious shipping exhibition, as the safety and resilience of the international maritime community take centre stage during a crucial year underpinned by a complex volatile backdrop of widespread ongoing geopolitical conflicts and the enforcement of environmental regulations.

For an industry that is responsible for over 80% of the volume of global trade, the issues are hot, the stakes are high, but the mood is optimistic, as decision-makers ponder about the impact of prolonged international conflicts on the freedom of navigation, and their companies race to comply with sustainability directives that are causing concerns amongst stakeholders within the shipping community.

Over 2,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors are expected to converge in Athens’ Metropolitan Expo Centre from 3 to 7 June for Posidonia 2024 which is set to emerge as the epicenter of global shipping for navigating these challenges and fostering crucial dialogue to shape the future of maritime trade. And the industry’s constant diversification is reflected by some 45 newcomers to Posidonia, who represent both software and hardware products as well as government agencies from around the globe.

Theodore Vokos, Managing Director, Posidonia Exhibitions S.A. said: “This year’s Posidonia timing is perfect, as it will be held at a time when many parameters affecting shipping will have to be discussed and new initiatives will be launched. The last couple of years have been geopolitically challenging, with new crises erupting around the globe and shipping having to adapt to new challenges every six months. The wars in the Ukraine and Gaza, the temporary closure of the Red Sea passage, limitations to the Panama Canal, and other challenges have affected planning and operations of the entire shipping industry.

“In addition to the above, new regulations and the industry’s drive to meet sustainability demands have been the catalyst for the latest industry developments. New technologies will be showcased and fuel options will be once again discussed at Posidonia 2024, as the industry rushes to meet the 2030 and 2050 environmental goals. This interaction between policy makers and industry on the exhibition floor and the conference halls creates fruitful dialogue and creates the conditions which will allow shipping to become a sustainable industry.”

Decarbonisation of shipping will be on the radar more intensely than ever before, as the industry will debate ways of achieving sustainability targets set by new environmental regulations. Route optimisation and weather prediction software services, sail rotors harnessing the power of wind, advanced hull coating systems and air lubrication reducing resistance and therefore fuel consumption, solar panels on ships, engines running on alternative fuels or optimised to slow steam, and many more developments will all gain in prominence in 2024 at the Posidonia exhibition floor.

As the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) took a leading role in the “Shaping the Future of Shipping: Delivering a Net Zero World” Summit, organised in the sidelines of COP 28 by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), it becomes evident that this summer Greek shipping will lead the way in tackling the issues and challenges global shipping and the global economy face towards a net zero world.

UGS President Melina Travlos stressed shipping’s core message about the sector’s decarbonisation: the imperative need for cooperation and coordination of all parties involved in the transport chain, for the achievement of the goals of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

She underlined the importance of a unified approach among governments, regulators, and stakeholders, inviting all states to support the IMO in its ambitious work.

“Time flies and yet large challenges remain, and new ones are emerging. However, if we can work together to achieve our shared goals, the prize will be greater than the greening of our industry, it will be the greening of all industries. We cannot even discuss, let alone succeed, with a global energy transition without shipping and its role as a catalyst in every aspect of socioeconomic change and progress. Shipping has always guided global change through motivation, determination, and vision, and now it has to inspire and lead, once more. Shipping has always built bridges for growth and prosperity. This is our purpose, our duty, and our commitment to the world.”

As technology becomes mission critical, shipping companies are becoming early adopters and direct investors in new technologies. In the recent years the shipping industry has taken huge steps towards the digitalisation of its operations and adoption of new technologies in all segments of the business. At Posidonia all new technologies will be presented, enabling the shipping industry to familiarise itself with products and services that will revolutionise its modus operandi in the years to come.

The extended Posidonia Conference and Seminars programme, including forums like the Tradewinds Shipowners Forum and the HELMEPA Conference, which attract the most senior shipowners from around the globe, will address the most critical issues in the industry.

The addition of the Greener Shipping Summit, organised by Naftiliaki/Newsfront under the auspices of MARTECMA, the Marine Technical Managers Association, which comprises the technical directors of the biggest shipping companies of Greece, brings a focus on evaluating new technologies and their potential use by shipping companies. But as Posidonia grows, one week to debate all issues is not enough. For this reason, the conference programme starts the week before, with the Marine Insurance Greece Conference. This one-day event will be focused on bringing brokers, insurers and third parties together with the Greek shipowner community to discuss all aspects of marine insurance, which has to adapt to a constantly changing geopolitical environment.

Posidonia remains steadily committed to attracting the younger generation to the shipping industry, evident in the launch of the Posidonia Masterclass in Shipping online course. Collaboration with the YES Forum (Young Executives in Shipping) platform and aims to introduce the next generation to the industry, showcase career opportunities, and nurture their interest in this dynamic sector.

Posidonia’s growth in scope and duration is further propelled by the Posidonia Games, featuring events like the Posidonia Cup Sailing Race, Posidonia Running Event, Posidonia Shipsoccer Tournament, Posidonia Golf Tournament, and Posidonia 3×3 Basketball Tournament. With over 4,000 shipping professionals expected to participate, the games contribute to the unique Posidonia atmosphere, providing abundant networking opportunities.

Posidonia 2024 is organised under the auspices of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs & Insular Policy, the Hellenic Chamber of Shipping and the Union of Greek Shipowners and with the support of the Municipality of Piraeus and the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee.

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