According to the XRTC report, the Hellenic Coastal Shipping requires responsibility, analysis and forecasting of the future conditions as well as decision making that will allow ferry companies to be viable.
Some of the reports’ main findings are the following:
- The pandemic allowed the ferry sector’s chronic economic problems to emerge, as they have been overshadowed by the steady increasing demand in the past four years 2016-2019.
- The Association of Hellenic Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN) estimated that passenger traffic in the first half of 2021 will be lower compared to 2020, both on the domestic and Greece-Italy lines.
- In 2021, fuel prices dramatically increased affecting negatively the ferry operators’ financial results. It is estimated that at the end of 2021, the average fuel price will have increased by 60% -70% compared to 2020.
- In 2030, 32.7% of the Hellenic ferry fleet will be older than 40 years, which means that in the next 10 years 50% of the existing ferry fleet will have to be replaced.
- The maintenance costs for ferries over 35 years old are prohibited, while smaller ferries suitable for the Hellenic Coastal Lines are not available for sale in the International Market.
- The cost of building new ships will be high, mainly due to the new EU environmental standards.
- The renewal and upgrade of the Greek Ferry Fleet requires 2.6 to 3 billion euros over the next decade. Also, the upgrade of the existing newer ferries needs an additional cost of 100 million euros.
- The current decade, until 2030, is a crucial period for the ferry companies in order to comply with the new business environment. New financial tools will be provided by the EU, in the context of its policy regarding the environment and sustainable development. Also, new ESG standards will impose in the near future a new management model for the ferry companies.
About the ferry operators the report underlines the following:
- is the largest Greek Ferry Operator, the third largest ferry brand in the Mediterranean and among the ten largest in Europe.
- It owns 30 ships (average age 20 years) -plus a chartered one (bare boat)- and operates in Greece (Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete, North-Eastern Aegean, Saronic and Sporades) as well as on the international Greece – Italy lines (Ancona-Bari).
- Piraeus Bank holds 11.8% of Attica Group shares and 31% of Marfin Investment Group (MIG) shares, which controls Attica.
- The Group’s traffic figures has been reduced in the last two years but is still resilient, investing its capitals for newbuildings.
- presents a negative net position
- the company will probably face a financial dead-end, or Piraeus Bank and its shareholders will be forced to sell ships in order to protect the company from the bank loans they have granted to the company in the past. The case of selling the company is also possible.
- It owns 7 ships plus 2 ships under long-term charter (average age 30 years). They operate mainly on the Adriatic Sea (Ancona, Venice), Crete (Chania, Heraklion), Dodecanese and Cyclades.
- Piraeus Bank holds 28.12% of Anek Line shares, while VARMIN SA (Amalia-Anastasia Vardinogianni) is its second largest shareholder.
- has zero bank lending and access to the Grimaldi group.
- is not unaffected by the pandemic, recording losses in 2020.
- it owns 4 ships (average age 18.3 years) and serves on the Piraeus-Crete lines (Heraklion and Chania) as well as on the seasonal Heraklion – Cyclades line.
Other Ferry Operators
- Seajets (Marios Iliopoulos Interests) evolved into the largest private Greek shipping company.
- It owns 17 ships (15 high-speed crafts plus 2 ferries), without counting its recent 2021 purchases.
- Its ships serve North Aegean, Kythira, Antikythira, Gythio, Kissamos, Thessaloniki – Sporades – Evia – Sitia (Crete)- Dodecanese and Rethymnon (Crete) – Santorini lines.
- Alpha Lines (Antonis and Vassilis Agapitos interests) founded in 2020 and serve on the Piraeus-Saronic Gulf Islands line (Poros, Hydra, Spetses) with Speed Cat I.