19 state-of-the-art vessels in construction for the transport of rolling freight, 6 vessels for the mixed transport of freight and passengers brought into service in 2018, 1 million more passengers carried in 2018, 15,000Grimaldi Group employees, 12,000 of which are European citizens. The numbers of the growth officially opened the XXII Euromed Convention From Land to Sea, the international summit organized yearly by the Grimaldi Group.
Its XXII edition, held from 5 until 7 October in Lagonissi, in close proximity to Athens, has gathered more than 650 top players in logistics, ports, transport and finance, in order to discuss the development opportunities linked to the Motorways of the Sea. The choice of Greece as the setting for the 2018 meeting sprang from its central role as a market in the Motorways of the Sea network, its outstanding performance in the sea transport of freight and passengers, and the significant growth of the subsidiary Minoan Lines in the domestic market.
In his speech, CEO Emanuele Grimaldi, provided a wide overview of the results, the projects and the international development of the first Italian shipping group and first European player in the Motorways of the Sea.
12 state-of-the-art green ships will join the fleet in the next years. They will reduce to zero polluting emissions in ports thanks to innovative lithium batteries, and will be the new flagships of the world fleet for freight transport, both for their size and for their technological equipment. In addition to these new constructions, 7 Pure Car & Truck Carrier vessels will be delivered by 2020 for the transoceanic services of the Group.
This new ship investment plan will be accompanied by an important green retrofit intervention which will be carried out on the whole Grimaldi fleet, with the application of coats of eco-compatible silicon paints, the review of propulsion systems and the installation of scrubber systems. The Group’s firm commitment in the shipping decarbonisation is thus renewed.
Besides the investment in tonnage, the Grimaldi Group continues to pursue its strategy of enhancement of the logistic services offered to the major car manufacturers with the construction of new port terminals and new parking areas for vehicles, the installation of solar panels and wind turbines in several terminals of the Group, the purchase of machinery for the handling freight.
2 million more people carried is the growth for 2019 - as compared to 2017 - planned by the Group’s passenger sector, served by vessels under the Grimaldi Lines, Minoan Lines and Finnlines brands, operating regular routes in the Mediterranean, the Aegean and Baltic Seas respectively. According to forecasts, the number of passengers transported will shift from 3 million in 2017 to5million in 2019, thanks to the enlargement of the Ro-Pax fleet with 6 already operating new vessels: the Cruise Ausonia and Cruise Bonaria, deployed on Sardinia routes, the Corfù and Florencia, deployed on Italy-Greek routes, the Mykonos Palace, deployed between Piraeus and Chania, and the high speed ferry Santorini Palace, which operates the Crete-Cyclades service. Moreover, the Group has confirmed the lengthening program of the cruise ferries Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona, which will be completed by the first semester of2019, while the order of new ferries belonging to the Superstar class for Finnlines is under consideration.
It’s the year of Minoan Lines.2018 witnesses the complete write-off of the Company’s debt, that amounted to 500 million euros ten years ago, when the Grimaldi Group acquired a majority stake. Today Minoan Lines, which has launched new lines between Piraeus and Chania (Crete) and between Heraklion (Crete) and the Cyclades Islands, employing Greek-flagged units with Hellenic personnel, generates profits and jobs.
“Our growth is based on the hard work of our employees all over the world, both ashore and onboard–Emanuele Grimaldi stated. We have chosen to be deeply rooted in all the European countries where we operate. Therefore, out of a total of 15,000 employees all over the world, as much as 12,000 are European citizens, while the remaining 3,000 come from countries such as the USA, the Philippines, India, or from South America and Africa, confirming an international and multicultural vocation. The majority of the supplying companies we work with are mostly European too, 39% of them being Italian, 22% Finnish and 30% being based in other European countries”.
The work of the XXII Euromed Convention continued with the first panel “The new international environmental regulations as an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of European Short Sea Shipping”. Ennio Cascetta (CEO of RAM –Logistica, Infrastrutture e Trasporti), Ugo Salerno (CEO of RINA), Mikael Makinen (President of Rolls Royce Marine), Andrea Annunziata (President of the Eastern Sicily Port System Authority) and Emanuele Grimaldi (CEO of the Grimaldi Group) participated in the debate, which was moderated by Alfons Guinier, former Secretary-General of ECSA.
The second round table, named “The Greek Coastal Shipping Sector: remedies for a viable recovery”, moderated by Nigel Lowry – Lloyd’s List news correspondent in Greece – involved Dionysios Temponeras (Secretary-General of the Ministry of Shipping and Sea Trade), Antonis Maniadakis (CEO of Minoan Lines), Andreas Ntais (President of the Port Authority of Igoumenitsa), Manolis Tsagarakis (Unit Leader of the Shipping Division at the National Bank of Greece), Leonidas Demetriades Eugenides (President of the Eugenides Group), George Xiradakis (CEO of XRTC Business Consultants),Guido Grimaldi (Corporate Short Sea Commercial Director of the Grimaldi Group).