GL’s Hellas Committee Meeting in Athens

The annual Hellas Committee of Germanischer Lloyd SE (GL) held in Athens yesterday, focused on the recently announced DNV GL merger, challenges in the maritime industry and how costs in shipping can be controlled.

The Chairman of the Hellas Committee, Mr Panos Laskaridis, Managing Director of the Laskaridis Shipping Group, opened the meeting. He handed over to Erik van der Noordaa, DNV GL’s President of Business Area Maritime who gave an update on the merger and highlighted that from now on DNV GL will be able to an even broader range of services, a more effective network, more R&D activities and better set up to its maritime customers worldwide. DNV is strong in tankers, LNG/LPG, special purpose vessels, cruise ships and offshore vessels, while GL is a classification society recognised for its expertise in container ships and multi-purpose vessels. With its combined global presence, expert knowledge and extended network of offices, DNV GL will be even closer to its customers to meet the industry’s needs.

Mr Christian von Oldershausen, CCO at GL, stated that he sees considerable volatility in the market projections on global and regional trades. However, he said, overall the level of deliveries in 2012 was strong. According to market analysts, the industry will see a delivery dip in 2015-2016, followed by a recovery from 2017 onwards. Mr von Oldershausen also gave a forecast of dry-docking capacity and explained the results of GL and the Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services combined global study on best practices in ship management. In this study, 100 shipping companies were asked: What are the areas you are working on to improve your business? And what have you seen in other companies you consider as “best practice”?

“Enhancing performance. Control costs in Shipping” was the title of Mr Jan-Olaf Probst’s, Global Ship Type Director at GL, presentation. High bunker costs are requiring ship owners to take countermeasures to control and reduce costs, especially to improve the performance of existing vessels. However, what might be effective for a container ship may not be suitable for a tanker vessel and vice versa, said Mr Probst. In turn, some measures are quickly implemented while others required more time, expense and expertise to roll out. Some required dry docking and could be completed with class renewal, while others were solutions that could be implemented at any time, he said. Mr Probst also examined a variety of retrofit solutions and presenting an overview of the topic which could prove useful as a guide to point ship owners in the right direction and serve as the basis for the foundation of their internal discussions about the appropriate efficiency countermeasures for them.

Mr Athanasios Reisopoulos, Vice President, Area Manager for Southern Europe, gave a presentation on the topic: “Classification Societies: Present and Future”. From his perspective, class will retain its unique role in the industry, acting as a bridge between regulators and ship owners. However, the future of class societies will largely be dependent on maintaining a high level of quality and technical expertise in its services and investing in research and development. Class societies will be called upon to provide even more support to the IMO and policymakers during discussions and in the development of new regulations, he said, to ensure that technical measures are achievable, practical and sustainable in financial and operational terms.

GL, September 25, 2013

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