Michalis Sakellis: The shipping companies paid more than EUR 130 million in additional fuel in 2021

By | 2022 Newsletter week 8 | No Comments

During the Annual General Assembly of the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN), for the report of 2021, the Chairman Mr. Michalis Sakellis pointed out the following:

  • The year 2021 was particularly difficult period with two serious problems that concern SEEN and have to be addressed, the pandemic and the fuel.
  • The passenger traffic in 2021 was increased compared to 2020 but decreased by 40% compared to 2019.
  • In terms of vehicles, the reduction ranged from 15% to -20%, while the truck traffic appeared a relative stability and is reduced by 5% -10%, compared to 2019.
  • On the Adriatic service there was also a significant improvement compared to 2020. However, the traffic remained low compared to 2019, appearing a reduction of 35% in passengers and 28% in cars, while there is an increase in the truck traffic by 10%.
  • In 2021, it is estimated that the ferry companies (members of the SEEN), were burdened with EUR 130 million due to the increase in fuel costs by 45%.
  • The lines that SEEN ships serve must be serviced all around the year, while even when they are out of service the costs remain high at 40-45% of the total operational costs.
  • The prospects for 2022 are positive and the bookings, including hotels, appear significantly increased. That is a positive development for tourism in 2022, while it is certain that there will affect positively the annual traffic.
  • SEEN’s goal remains to reach the traffic figures of 2019, on an annual basis, something that will not probably happen in 2022.
  • Another serious issue that is of particular concern to SEEN for the coming years is the environment and the measures that have already been decided for the reduction of the pollutants and energy footprint which will be implemented gradually from 2023, with peak in 2030 when CO2 emissions must be reduced by 55% compared to 1990 or 2050 with zero emissions.
  • An additional serious issue is the renewal of the Greek Ferry Fleet, which is being discussed from 2018 but without final solutions. In 2035, out of the 107 ferries that are currently serve on the Hellenic Coastal Lines, 52 will be older than 40 years, while 20 of them will be older than 50 years.
  • In the international market, the availability of ferries suitable for the Greek Ferry Scene Shipping is limited, while there are no ships available that meet the environmental requirements. Furthermore, the construction of newbuilding ferries is time consuming and the cost extremely high in relation to the expected overall traffic which is characterized by high seasonality.

“In 2035, out of the 107 ferries that are currently serve on the Hellenic Coastal Lines, 52 will be older than 40 years, while 20 of them will be older than 50 years.

Michalis Sakellis

Michalis Sakellis: “Ferry Companies May Be Forced To Divest Their Assets In Order To Survive”

By | 2021 Newsletter week 8 | No Comments

In a recent interview published in the Reporter.gr, the Chairman of the Hellenic Passenger Shipping Business Association, Mr. Michalis Sakellis, pointed out the following:

  • The year 2021 is expected to be worse than 2020 for the Hellenic Coastal Shipping, threatening the liquidity of the ferry companies as well as ferry services in Greece.
  • According to the Ferry Operator’s estimates, the first semester of 2021 was lost. They hope that the summer will be saved (July – August), but this will depend on the course of the pandemic.
  • The financial support provided by the state is not enough to cover the additional cost of fuel (65%-70% increase) and the near future is uncertain.
  • The renewal of the Greek Coastal fleet is also a major issue. Currently, the average age of the coastal fleet is 28,1 years and the fleet renewal project is estimated at EUR 4 billion for the next 15 years.
  • The current situation threatens the sector financially. The year 2020 ended with losses of EUR 130 million, while in 2021 losses are expected to be even greater.
  • It is possible that Ferry companies may be forced to sell their best ferries in order to survive. Development, with adverse effects on coastal shipping services.