Updated: Feb 8, 2020
Please join us for an agenda-setting , high-powered conference on shipping finance and shipping technologies on January 24th, 2019
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
A decade after a calamitous financial crisis, one would have thought that world affairs by now would be back to normal with solid financial markets, booming world trade, and an ever-interconnected world, where goods, services and people have been ever freer to float around the globe.
Lo and behold, a decade after this catastrophic crisis, we get to face some of the fruits of the seeds that were plowed then: an anti-globalization sentiment around the world attributed to trade imbalances and loss of jobs, renewed nationalistic ambitions under the claim of saving jobs, collapse of the several trade agreements and preclusion of several more trade agreements from coming to fruition, and, most threatening of them all, an increasing momentum toward implementing import taxes, tariffs and higher burdens to trade. Talk of tariffs, among other factors, has kept a lid on the shipping freight markets that has made it imperative for shipowners to focus on operational expenses and the bottom line. And, in a parallel universe, regulations that reflexively were triggered partially because of the crisis of the last decade have curtailed banking activity and opened the doors to lesser regulated financial vehicles worldwide, with “shadow banking” the most prominent among them. And, at this time of lack of political leadership, regulators and some international bodies have given up on innovated solutions and instead have limited themselves to “checking boxes” of political correctness, such as approvals of open-loop scrubbers that seem to have gone out of fashion as fast as they were sold initially for panacea to the environmental needs of shipping. And, as technologies evolve and the cost of existing technologies become more cost-competitive, the opportunities for innovation increase – along with the risk for technological obsolesce for those already owning assets.
Admittedly, it’s not easy being a shipping executive these days.
But again, from the days of the clipper ships and the square-riggers, shipping has never been an industry for the complacent and the weak of heart. Shipping has always been at the forefront of trade and culture, crossing over country sea borders and across ocean horizons as a routine course of existence.
Shipping conferences these days have, on occasion, to fill the role of a mind reader and a riddle solver given the uncertainties of the time; all too often, shipping conferences limit themselves to chasing topical market fads, the news makers of the day and quarterly events and. It’s the easier and the safer bet…
On January 24th, 2019, we, Karatzas Marine Advisors & Co., hold our second shipping conference, Karatzas Slide2Open Shipping Conference, at the Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens, after our highly successful inaugural effort in last year and the highly regarding feedback we received. Covering topics of shipping finance to shipping technologies, blockchain and payment systems for seafarers, and even solar energy for ship propulsion, we have assembled a list of world known speakers and innovators of the highest caliber to share their knowledge and insights on the shipping industry. We have assembled speakers and sponsors from as far away as Fukuoka, Japan, and Mexico City, and as close to home as in Piraeus where the heads of international shipping organizations can be found holding court, with decades of enviable experience and institutional knowledge of the shipping market. And, major international media will be present and participate at the conference to put on record the proceedings!
We are tremendously excited putting together this agenda-setting forward-looking shipping conference on shipping finance and shipping technologies. We believe that it’s a privilege to be active in the shipping industry and we consider ourselves the luckiest of people, like modern Ulysseses, in Greece and in the world, to attempt to charter the new direction of the shipping industry.
Please join us in Athens on January 24th, 2019! We promise you an unforgettable, high quality conference, and a couple of surprise appearances from world renown Greek shipowners!