Posidonia returns in June 2024

An image showing the Greek coastline
The Accelleron team in Greece eagerly awaits the opportunity to meet with customers face-to-face, as the shipping exhibition opens its doors to visitors from across the globe

On the 3rd to the 7th of June, the shipping industry will be focused on Athens, as the biennial Posidonia exhibition takes place. Attracting nearly 30,000 visitors from over a hundred countries, the show features around 2000 exhibitors eager to show their newest innovations.

We asked Accelleron’s managing director for Greece, John Smyrneos, to tell us about Greek shipping and Posidonia. He says: “Posidonia is a very significant maritime event, bringing together the whole international shipping industry. It’s an opportunity to see new products and new technologies first hand. Because Greek shipowners are the largest customers for these products and technologies, it’s important for international suppliers to get in front of their customers and explain the benefits, but then also to directly hear about shipowners’ pain points and requirements.”

The hot topics for discussion at the event are certain to focus on decarbonization. “We have targets to meet and these need to be put into action, first by 2030 and then finally by 2050,” says John, “Whenever we talk about shipping today, decarbonization is part of the discussion. Future fuels will be important. When shipowners order a new vessel, that means a multi-million investment. They need to be sure that the vessel will not be outdated as soon as it is built. Safety at sea is also a really important topic and will also be a key part of the agenda.”

An image showing the venue for Posidonia 2024 Exhibition venue, Metropolitan Expo, in Athens

The personal touch

The ability to meet face-to-face with a host of contacts, old and new, across three days holds continued value, even in a world where Zoom calls are commonplace. 

“While there are many ways of communicating, if you meet someone in person and have a discussion, it builds trust. It makes the communication a lot clearer when you can feel their emotions and see their body language. Posidonia is where shipbuilders, engine builders and shipowners can get together for genuine conversations, so gain a full understanding of each other’s needs. I come from a sales background so I really do like being in contact with people, but I believe it adds value to our relationships when we can meet face-to-face.” 

John adds, “Shipping is a global activity. We have dealing with people all over the world, without being able to sit down or shake hands, so these rare opportunities to meet in person are very valuable.” 

The exhibition is nearly as much about community as commerce, with the Posidonia Games a popular and well-established part of the proceedings. The Accelleron team is planning to participate in the Posidonia Cup sailing race, which takes place on the Friday before the exhibition opens. “We take part every time,” says John, “It really brings people together. You meet up with people and so it mixes business and fun.”

A marine powerhouse

While not a particularly large country, Greece has the largest merchant fleet in the world, in excess of 4600 vessels or 364 million tonnes of capacity: that’s 59% of all of Europe’s shipping capacity. John says: “Greece’s maritime tradition dates back to ancient times. Shipping is very much our way of life.”

John believes that Greece’s leadership is about agility as much as tradition, though: “Our country has a talent for understanding what will change and adapting very quickly to new circumstances. That talent allowed us to attain leadership and to maintain it.”

“We’re also quick to take decisions. Greek shipowners are heavily involved in organisations like the IMO and get involved in conversations across the industry. Maintaining leadership in these conversations is another key to our continuing leadership as a maritime force.”

Unsurprisingly, shipping is key to the Greek economy, in many ways, says John, “Shipping contributes very significantly to the national economy. It creates jobs at sea, of course, but also all the other businesses that help to service the sector, like shipbuilding, ports, logistics, and all the secondary industries supported by its capital.”

John and his team will be delighted to meet visitors and show them Accelleron’s newest turbocharging and digital products at Hall 2 / Booth Number: 2.303.