Protagonists of 2021

Capital Group sails to a more sustainable future
While decarbonization has emerged as one of the most complex challenges in shipping, a number of shipowners perceive the energy transition as an opportunity to develop and expand. Evangelos Marinakis, President of Capital
Maritime & Trading, is one of those shipowners having the ambition and the passion required to be at the forefront of exploring green technologies. Evangelos Marinakis was featured in Lloyd’s List 2021 edition of the 100 most influential
personalities in global shipping at the 47th position, climbing 12 positions and marking the 12th consecutive year that he’s been listed. Apart from a substantial fleet of tankers and containerships, the Shipping Group controlled by Mr. Marinakis made a dynamic entry to liquefied natural gas shipping through Capital Gas who recently secured three more shipbuilding orders with delivery in 2024 increasing its LNG carrier newbuilding programme to 12 vessels, all
built from Hyundai in South Korea.
The first six were delivered between November 2020 and September 2021 and are backed with long-term charters to energy and gas majors BP, Cheniere and Engie. With a cargo capacity of 174,000 m3, the aforementioned LNG carriers are highly efficient, propelled with XDF engines and equipped with the latest available technologies, including an air lubrication system and increased filling limits (excess 99%). It is should be noted that the first six LNG carriers delivered by the yard are currently owned by the Nasdaq-listed company Capital Product Partners L.P. (“CPLP”). CPLP is a master limited partnership which currently owns 22 vessels, including 12 Neo-Panamax container vessels, three
Panamax container vessels, one Capesize bulk carrier and six LNG carriers. CPLP is listed on Nasdaq since 2007 and has paid more than $800m in dividends to its investors. In 2021 a wholly owned subsidiary of CPLP, CPLP Shipping
Holdings PLC, offered in Greece €150m of unsecured bonds which were admitted for trading in the category of fixed income securities of the Regulated Market of the Athens Exchange. The total demand expressed by the investors, who participated in the Public Offering, amounted to €801.37 million marking an oversubscription of the Issue by 5.3 times attracting significant interest from both private and institutional investors. CPLP used the €150 million raised to partly finance a “green” strategic business plan totaling $1.2 billion, with the purpose to boost its fleet with state-of-the-art, environmental-friendly LNG carriers which use LNG as propulsion fuel. The record-setting success of the issue is due, in large part, to the significant commercial size of the broader Marinakis shipping group. Latest developments are a series of six 1,800 teu feeder vessels contracted within 2021 with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard and are set to be among the very few Tier III-compliant feederships in the market upon delivery. On the tanker side, the group has inked two novation contracts with Hyundai Samho for two LNG- and ammonia-ready very large crude carriers. It has also ordered six ‘future-proof’ medium range tankers that are ready for AMP, rotor sails, methanol, LNG and ammonia. They are the first vessels that have been awarded new ABS notations, recognizing investments in decarbonisation technologies. Furthermore, CPLP participates in a wide range of projects and research programmes in which the wider group is also participating. These include various projects focusing on ammonia, fuel cells powered by green ammonia and green methanol, smart bearings, biofuels, full fleet digitalisation, and electric power.
Panos Laskaridis: 2030 targets of GHG air emissions will be achieved mainly through the speed reduction of ships until non-carbon fuels are available
Shipping is the most greenhouse gas efficient mode of transportation,  however has received an unjustified pressure to intensify its efforts to cut GHG emissions. The technology and the regulations provide considerable solutions to
accelerate the decarbonization strategies but are not sufficient to meet the objectives set by the IMO and especially the EU Committee. Looking at the latest economic developments in shipping and the future environmental challenges we have asked for the views and perspectives of an experienced and well established personality, Mr. Panos Laskaridis, Managing Director of Laskaridis Shipping and former President of ECSA (European Community Shipowners Association).
Mr. Laskaridis believes that the regulations and the current technology are not sufficient to meet IMO’s and EU’s targets until 2030 if the vessel’s speed reduction does not get into the equation while at the same time he anticipates the Greek shipping industry that has the most sophisticated fleet worldwide will exit more enhanced from the changes which take place in the environmental legislation and global finance. In the interview that follows Mr. Laskaridis comments the developments in the freight market of all shipping sectors and reveals the future plans of his company. Panos Laskaridis established Laskaridis Shipping Co. Ltd. in 1977 and Lavinia Corporation in 1978 controlling a large Reefer,
Bulker and Tanker Fleet. At the same time the group controls two shipyards in Spain and is involved in fishing and trading activities, various agencies, shipbroking and shipoperating companies in Europe, the Far East, South America and
USA. Apart from his experience in shipping Panos Laskaridis has been involved variously in other Group related business in Leisure, Gaming and Real Estate. He holds a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Braunschweig University in Germany, a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kings College and a Master’s Degree in Naval Architecture from University College in London. He was a member of the Board of the Union of Greek Shipowners, for 20 years Vice President and President elect of ECSA (European Community Shipowners Association) and he is also involved in various shipping organisations. He is the holder of 2 honour Doctorate Degrees and has been awarded several decorations by the Hellenic Republic.

Navios Partners grew into a 142 ship giant
In 2021, Navios Maritime Partners L.P. positively surprised the global maritime community by creating one of the largest US-listed shipping companies measured by number of vessels. Navios Partners which owned dry cargo carriers
successfully delivered two deals expanding the fleet value to $4.6bn. The first deal was the acquisition of Navios Maritime Containers L.P. in March and the second was the takeover of Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation with its 45 tankers in October 2021.
Mrs. Angeliki Frangou, Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of Navios Partners, commented on the company’s latest initiatives to create a more resilient and strong investment vehicle in the NY Stock Exchange: “With this transaction, Navios Partners has about one-third of its fleet in each of dry, containers, and tankers. This merger creates scale and unique diversification, while giving management more flexibility in chartering and acquisitions. The endgame is the creation of a diversified platform attractive to a broader set of investors seeking exposure to the global economy”. Mrs. Frangou added: “I will not call it a conglomerate, I’ll call it a blue-water maritime transportation company with the advantage
of getting even returns while you have uneven performance in the different segments focusing on earnings optimization. Earnings from booming bulkers and containerships represented a “strong currency” to buy up the Navios Acquisition
tanker fleet, which is currently at the low part of the cycle”. The “new” Navios Maritime Partners is a 142-ship goliath worth an estimated $4.6bn and has a combined market capitalization of some $800m based on November 26th unit price.

Costamare Inc diversified its fleet in the bulk carriers sector
Since the beginning of the year Costamare has made tremendous efforts in order to diversify in the dry cargo shipping sector. Taking advantage of the improvement of the freight rates in the dry cargo market, Costamare acquired in total 44 vessels within a few months period. The NYSE listed company of the Konstantakopoulos family, is one of the biggest independent Greek shipping companies, traditionally managing containerships and this year has made an impressive opening in the bulk carriers market.
Since July, the company has entered loan agreements of more than $500 million in the aggregate in order to finance the acquisition of bulk carrier. Costamare has expanded its purchasing capability due to the increased liquidity that has been derived from the strong containerships market which for almost a year and a half is steadily in historic high levels. The modern bulk carrier fleet of Costamare consists of 7 kamsarmax, 1 panamax, 5 ultramax, 15 supramax, 16
handysize vessels, total carrying capacity 2.379.000 dwt mainly built after 2010. The containerships fleet of Costamare consists of 78 vessels ranging from 1.100 – 14.500 teus mainly built between 2000-2021 and has under construction in an Asian shipyard 4 x 13.000 teu and another 4 x 15.000 teu container vessels with deliveries between Q3 2023 and Q1 2024.
Very recently the company has shown its trust in the Greek capital market by issuing bonds, € 100m, which were oversubscribed 6,7 a fact proving the strong investment interest for this sector. It must be noted that Costamare’s
chairman and chief executive Konstantinos V. Constantakopoulos was named Greek Shipping Personality of the Year for 2021 at the Lloyd’s List Greek Shipping Awards.
Global Ship Lease grows to become a top 10 global containership owner
Led by well-known shipping entrepreneur George Youroukos, Global Ship Lease (GSL), a leading containership owner listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has invested around $500 million in 2021 – acquiring 23 vessels and growing its
fleet by over 50% in the process. The company’s remarkable expansion has been fuelled by compelling investment opportunities, carefully selected against a backdrop of strong market fundamentals: growth in underlying containerized freight volumes, heightened competition between the liner companies to secure containership capacity, and sustained demand for high-quality mid-sized and smaller containerships like those in the GSL fleet. All amplified, of  course, by ongoing congestion in the global supply chain. The first step in the journey to transform GSL was taken in late 2018, when GSL completed a $760 million merger with Poseidon Containers: a transaction that doubled the size of the GSL fleet to 38 ships, materially improved the company’s access to capital and deal flow, and resulted in a robust platform for growth. This robust platform allowed GSL to make selective acquisitions in 2019, weather the challenges of COVID, and then capitalize on the exceptional opportunities that have arisen as global economies have reopened.   The 23 mid-size containerships acquired by GSL in 2021 were by way of three major S&P transactions, summarized below.
In February GSL acquired seven secondhand post-panamax ships in a $116 million sale-and-andleaseback deal with AP Moller Maersk. In June, GSL agreed to buy a fleet of 12 containerships (with an average size of around 3,000 TEU each) from Borealis Finance, in a $234 million deal that Mr. Youroukos described as a win-win for both parties. In its most recent deal, the company paid $148 million to acquire four ultra-high reefer containerships from a German shipowner, with charters to AP Moller-Maersk. According to Mr. Youroukos, discipline is key to the company’s success: GSL will only buy when it sees deals that meet strict risk and return criteria. He argues that it is still possible to make good investments, despite the steep rise in asset prices, as long as there are lucrative charter contracts to strong counterparties attached. For the time being, the company is not interested in contracting newbuildings, and even five year old vessels may be too young. Mr. Youroukos explains that the reasoning here is three-fold: firstly, the strong and immediate cash returns available from ships already on the water; secondly, the limited residual value risk on older ships; and thirdly –  but by no means least – the imperative for shipping to decarbonize. On the latter, Mr. Youroukos adds that Global Ship Lease takes a full life-cycle approach to the carbon footprint of ships – considering the carbon footprint of building and
recycling ships, as well as operating them. On this basis he is of the view that expanding the economic life and optimizing the operation of existing ships – until next-generation sustainable fuels and propulsion technologies become well established, commercially available, and economically viable – is both environmentally sensible and financially prudent. Mr. Youroukos is hopeful that today’s great markets will last for at least another 12 months. Commenting on GSL’s  nine month financial results he remarked: “liners have been eager to secure that capacity for extended durations spanning multiple years, significantly longer than has been the case historically and well-aligned with GSL’s strategic  preference to lock in value over time and provide forward visibility on cash flows while reinforcing our long-term relationships with our customers. As the factors driving both the demand for containerships and the limitations to supply  growth appear to be increasingly durable, particularly as forthcoming environmental regulations in 2023 are expected to reduce  the operating speed and thus the effective capacity of the global fleet, we are confident that the conditions are in place to sustain this tight containership market for some time to come. Moving forward, our long-term contracted cashflows from a diversified group of strong liner counterparties put us in an excellent position to maintain strategic discipline and selectivity in regards to additional growth opportunities, all the while providing an attractive and well-supported dividend for our shareholders”.
The company now controls a high-reefer fleet of 65 vessels, ranging in size from 1,118 TEU to 11,040 TEU, with an aggregate capacity of over 340,000 TEU – making Global Ship Lease one of the ten largest  containership tonnage providers in the world.
Danaos moves a step forward to enhance its technology and digitalization infrastructure
Shipping faces a new technological challenge that is both promising and risky however the role of human element will remain significant. In this continuously changing shipping environment Danaos Shipping, a pure play containership  owner has a distinct  advanced technology and a long track record of safety and efficiency which has helped to establish long standing relationships with the world’s largest liner operators. In the interview that follows Dimitrios  Vastarouchas DCOO & Technical Director of Danaos Shipping, refers to the initiatives of Danaos to face the difficulties that arised by Covid-19 pandemic and describes the applied innovative solutions of the company to move a step forward enhancing technology and digitalization.
Phoenix Shipping & Trading S.A. evolves into a modern “open” management platform offering freight cover and fleet operating
Anticipating a strong shipping market in 2022 for the three main commodity shipping segments, Phoenix Shipping & Trading S.A., a well established Piraeus ship management firm controlled by father and son team George and Drake
Gourdomichalis, has evolved into a service provider able to simultaneously run different management and operating platforms. The company has set up an agile and transparent “open” management platform for cargo booking and  commercial operation developing a multitude of platforms including cargo and vessels as well as derivative tools. In the interview that follows George D. Gourdomichalis, President & Managing Director of Phoenix Shipping & Trading
explains the company’s new approach to provide tailor made specific shipmanagement services in an agile and transparent manner and comments on the shipping market fundamentals and prospects.
Alassia NewShips Management is pledged to carry on the traditional model of hand-on shipmanagement
In a fragmented business as shipping, the specialization in one segment can bring significant competitive advantages to a shipowner who focuses on high quality services and transparent shipmanagement. Based on the basic principle of building long-term relationships with reputable partners, Alassia NewShips Management, a credible and respected bulk carrier operator of Greek-Cypriot shipping has focused on the traditional family owned shipping model investing on the quality of crew welfare o nboard and embracing technology. In the interview that follows, Basil Sakellis, Managing Director Alassia NewShips Management Inc., describes the transparent and collaborative business approach of the company and explains the Greenhouse strategy of Alassia  towards 2030 and onwards.
DryLog on steady course to reduce its carbon footprint and gain competitiveness
Viewing efficiency and environment friendly ship operations as an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage DryLog, the bulk carrier arm of Ceres Shipping, one of the greatest shipping groups in Greece, is compliant with new
regulations and is adopting new technologies in order to contribute to the goal of decarbonizing the shipping industry.  In the interview that follows Athanasios Thanopoulos CEO Drylog describes the company’s strategy to reduce its
carbon footprint and become more competitive and explains the company’s foundation and basic principles.
Aims Shipping diversifies its fleet to product tanker sector
Anticipating a strong freight rate market from 2022, Aims Shipping, a company that for almost one decade was focusing on bulkers and boxships, has turned to tankers. In this context the company acquired the 48.000dwt “FS Sincerity” built 2009, an MR tanker sold by Japan’s Nisshin for about $14m. The ship was built in Iwagi Zosen and renamed t o “Janine K”. This move was the first tanker that Aims involved with the tanker market, which is believed to be a countercyclical investment and therefore seems like an opportune timing. This is a new sector for the company, admits Mr. Stefanos Pesmazoglou and Mr. Michael Stassinopoulos, Directors of Aims who have proved very capable in the secondhand S&P market. Aims Shipping was set up in 2011 by business partners Stefanos Pesmazoglou and Michael Stassinopoulos, who have obtained their working experience alongside the company Eastern Mediterranean.
Aims has followed an expansion policy at the right timing of the freight market and has grown slowly and steadily through secondhand acquisitions that brought the size of its fleet to eight midsize bulkers and one handy containership.
Its latest such acquisition took place in September 2020 when i t bought the 51.200dwt “Stellar Lady” (ex Triton Seahawk, built 2011) for about $9m. Following a cautious growth strategy Aims will possibly proceed to further tanker acquisitions in the future if any other opportunities arise. In the interview that follows Mr. Stefanos Pesmazoglou, Managing Director of Aims Shipping, comments on the shipping market fundamentals and perspectives and describes the company’s initiatives to meet Greenhouse Gas Emissions and energy efficiency standards.
Meadway Bulkers marks a remarkable fleet growth honouring its long term shipping tradition
Exploiting the potential of the bulk carrier market, Meadway Bulkers has marked a considerable expansion of the size of its initial six vessel fleet. The company was set up after splitting the assets of traditional family company Meadway Shipping & Trading. The company’s director George Delaportas announced that it has bought seven ships since its launch, bringing the total fleet to 13 vessels. It made its first purchase with a deal for 78.100dwt “Nord Sirius” (built 2012)
for about $19.5m. In memory of Dennis Delaportas, Meadway Bulkers renamed the “Nord Sirius” as “Dennisan”. The 83.400dwt “Glorious Wind” (built 2010) sold by Japan’s Marubeni Corp for about $20m. The company also acquired the  78.200dwt panamax “Orient Genesis” (built 2014) sold by Meiji Shipping for $23m. It has been renamed “Integrale”.  In deals with Greek peer Alassia NewShips Management, Meadway bought the 28.200dwt “Star Life” (built 2011), which is now the “Della”, the 37.300dt “Lucky Life” (built 2013) and the 28.200dwt “New Life” (built 2013). However, finding the right ship to purchase is becoming increasingly difficult amid rising competition – especially US listed
Costamare.
However, Meadway eagerly continued its acquisitions showing confidence in the fundamentals of the market and added to its fleet the 31.900dwt “Cactus K” (built 2011), previously owned by Japan’s Yamamoto Kisen.
Meadway Bulkers has bought seven ships on the secondhand market since launching in April. It has acquired four handysizes, two panamaxes andone kamsarmax since and is well positioned for further growth.
The expansion is estimated at about $120m in total.
Stamatis Tsantanis: “Seanergy has navigated remarkably the adverse market conditions of the last 10 years”
Building long-term relationships with its shareholders, financiers and charterers the Nasdaq Listed company Seanergy Maritime has managed to navigate the adverse market conditions and grew up its fleet of capesize vessels by 70% during 2021. In the interview that follows, Stamatis Tsantanis, Chairman & CEO of Seanergy Maritime, describes the achievements of the company in transforming its financial position and explains the decarbonization strategy of Seanergy and its
initiatives for a more sustainable future.

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