This year, compared to last year, the passenger ferry traffic from the three major ports of Attica (Piraeus, Rafina, Lavrio) is increased for the period from the beginning of July until the 14th of August, however the coastal shipping cannot “repair” the damages. of the previous year. On the contrary, it is estimated that the losses will again reach 100 million euros for the entire sector, in which, according to the annual study of XRTC, 12 shipping companies have a special role.
In particular, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Merchant Marine, available to “ot.gr”, passenger traffic (departures) from July 1 to August 14 this year from the three ports reached 1,422. 361 passengers compared to 1,109,992 passengers in 2020 the same period and 1,761,469 the same period in 2019. Thus passenger traffic increased by 28.1% compared to last year but decreased by 28.5% compared to 2019 .
More specifically, during the period 1-14 August, the passenger traffic from the port of Piraeus amounted to 319,761 passengers for all ferry lines, except the Saronic Gulf where the traffic reached 77,232 passengers. In the same period of 2020, 264,700 passengers departed from Piraeus for the Aegean and 69,760 passengers for the islands of the Saronic Gulf, while in 2019 the respective numbers were 411,680 and 120,883. Overall, passenger traffic from Piraeus was increased in 2021 compared to 2020 by 18.7% while it is reduced by 25.5% compared to 2019.
The picture from the other two ports is similar. More specifically, in the first 14 days of August, 85,388 passengers departed from the port of Rafina compared to 69,225 in the same period of 2020 (23.3% increase) and 112,873 passengers in 2019, which means a decrease of 24.3% in 2021 compared to the period 1 / 7-14 / 8 of 2019.
29,686 passengers departed from the port of Lavrio in the same period compared to 34,181 passengers in 2020 (-13.15%) and 30,854 in 2019 (-3.78%).
Also in July 2021 a total of 910,294 passengers departed from the three ports compared to 672,126 passengers in July 2020 and 1,085,179 passengers in July 2019. Thus the passenger ferry traffic in July 2021 was increased by 35.43% compared to same month of 2020 and reduced by 16.11% compared to July 2019.
These two months seem to reduce the “gap” of the industry with the high levels of passenger traffic in 2019, however, it must be taken into account what the Association of Passenger Shipping Companies (SEEN) has repeatedly pointed out that in the first half of 2021 passenger traffic was kess than the corresponding period of 2020. Therefore coastal shipping does not seem to have an easy “fix” to the problems of 2020 in 2021 as the increase in traffic is not enough but there is one more reason. Fuel prices are higher compared to 2020 and therefore operating costs remain high, with the result that industry losses will remain at 2020 levels at the end of the year, ie over 100 million euros, as estimated by shipping companies.
The recent annual XRTC study on Greek coastal shipping refers to the effects on the results of companies from the increases in fuel prices, noting that “in 2021 the increase in fuel prices will negatively affect the results of 2021. Indicatively it is stated that the average 380cst / Rotterdam price for the first half of 2021 has increased by 64% compared to the corresponding half of 2020. In fact, it is estimated that at the end of the year, the average price will be increased by 60% -70% compared to by 2020, significantly burdening companies already affected by the pandemic. The temporary pleasant climate of increased summer traffic may not be enough to cover the combined rising costs of the year we are going through “.
More generally, the study points out that “the shipping industry is at a particularly critical juncture which requires from all stakeholders responsibility, understanding of the situation in which it finds itself, analysis and forecasting of future conditions that will prevail and finally, decision making. which will determine the viability conditions of the shipping companies directly.
The shipping companies
Today, a number of shipping companies are active in Greek shipping, twelve of which are presented in the annual study of XRTC and are the following:
ANEK: The fleet of ANEK includes 7 provately owned ships and 2 ships under long-term charter with the right of redemption, which operate mainly on lines of the Adriatic (Ancona, Venice), Crete (Chania, Heraklion), the Dodecanese and the Cyclades. On the lines of Crete and the Adriatic, the Group’s ships continued to operate combined routes jointly with ATTICA SA ships. HOLDINGS “, while the chartering of a ship abroad continued. Performing 2% fewer routes compared to the previous year, the group of ANEK LINES in 2020 on all lines that it operated, handled a total of 497 thousand passengers compared to 1,044 thousand in 2019 (reduction by 52%), 115 thousand cars against 202 thousand (decrease by 43%) and 121 thousand trucks against 129 thousand (decrease by 7%).
ATTICA GROUP: ATTICA GROUP is the largest Greek group of passenger shipping. Also, based on the available data, it is the third largest group in the Mediterranean and among the ten largest in Europe in its industry. It is one of the pioneers in the construction of RO / PAX type ships, with total investments in this type of ships, amounting to over € 1.8 billion. After the acquisition of Hellenic Seaways (HSW) it operates a fleet of 30 ships in Greece ( Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete, NE Aegean, Saronic and Sporades) and on the connecting lines Greece – Italy (International voyages). All the ships of the group are privately owned except for one (1) passenger – vehicle ferry that is on long-term bare charter. The transport project of the group decreased, in the year 2020 in relation to the year 2019, in the Greek coastal shipping by 52% as concerns passengers, by 36% in private cars. vehicles and by 15% in lorries. Ship itineraries decreased by 28% compared to fiscal year 2019.
MINOAN LINES: The company for the whole year was active in the ferry line “Piraeus-Heraklion” and “Piraeus-Souda Chania”, while it continued its seasonal activity in the line “Heraklion-Cyclades”. Finally, in the context of the best service of the passenger public, from July until the end of the high tourist season (September), the route of the ferries “Piraeus-Heraklion” was extended, including Milos as an intermediate destination, performing for a certain number of routes the line “Piraeus-Milos-Heraklion”. From the activity on the above lines in 2020, 541 thousand passengers, 107 thousand cars were transported with the company’s ships, as well as 69 thousand trucks and commercial vehicles (1,077 thousand, 152 thousand and 74 thousand respectively in 2019).
SEAJETS: The company Seajets of the interests of Marios Iliopoulos has a fleet of 17 ships (15 speedboats and 2 conventional). It has the largest fleet of speedboats in the Aegean and serves 33 islands in the Cyclades with connections from Piraeus, Lavrio, Crete, Thessaloniki with a total capacity of 20,000 passengers and 3,500 cars. In April 2021 Seajets bought four ships from Golden Star Ferries of the Stefanos brothers, the three speedboats Superrunner, Super Speed & Super Cat as well as the conventional SuperFerry II that will be delivered in autumn 2021 while it also bought the ALSALMY 4 (formerly EXPRESS AS ) which returns to Greece from the United Arab Emirates and will be called Aqua Myth. Another ship for the company’s fleet is the “Azores Express” which was renamed Aqua Star.
GOLDEN STAR FERRIES: The company Golden Star Ferries, started dealing with coastal shipping in 2011. The company is in the interests of George and Dimitris Stefanou who for the last 10 years are active in seafaring. Today, after the purchase of its 4 four ships by Seajet, it operates 3 ships, the conventional SuperFerry, Superferry II and the speedboat Superexpress. The SuperFerry II will be delivered to Seajets in the fall. The ships currently operate routes from Rafina to Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros Naxos, Ios and Thira.
FAST FERRIES: Fast Ferries was founded by Panagiotis and Giannis Panagiotakis and is currently active with 3 conventional ships and a speedboat (Fast Ferries Andros, Theologos P, Aikaterini P and Thunder). The company has provided ferry services since 1989, initially on the lines Igoumenitsa-Corfu and Igoumenitsa-Paxoi-Corfu, while since 2007 it turned to the line Rafina – Andros – Tinos – Mykonos. From 2018, Naxos has been added to the line. In 2021, while remaining on the Rafina line for Andros-Tinos – Mykonos-Naxos, Koufonissia were added, and for the first time “Thunder” began the line from Piraeus to Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Naxos daily.
ZANTE FERRIES (ANMEZ SA): The shipping company Zante Ferries was founded in 1991 in Zakynthos. In 1991 it bought its first ship “Agios Dionysios” which carried only trucks and entered the Killini-Zakynthos ferry line. The company in 2002 proceeded to the purchase of E / G-O / G “Andreas Kalvos” and in 2007 to the market of E / G-O / G “Adamantios Korais “, which was launched in 2008 in the Western Cyclades to Santorini. In 2018 the company sold “Andreas Kalvos” to Kefalonia Lines leaving the line Kyllini – Zakynthos and remaining only on the line Piraeus – Cyclades route. Its fleet consists of two conventional ships, the “Dionysios Solomos” and the “Adamantios Korais”. From 2020 it also serves the line Alexandroupoli-Samothrace-Lemnos.
DODEKANISOS SEAWAYS: Dodekanisos Seaways was founded in 1999. Its fleet consists of 3 ships. Every day, 12 months a year it serves 17 destinations of the Dodecanese and the NE Aegean.
LEVANTE FERRIES: Levante Ferries founded by Georgios Theodosis currently has 4 ships in its fleet (Di Levante, Mare Di Levante, Andreas Kalvos and Kefalonia) in the fleet and is the only company operating on the Patras / Kyllini – Zakynthos-Ithaca-Ke route . In 2018, the ship “Fior di Levante”, was the first ship to use the system for electrification of ships in ports, known as “cold-ironing” in the port of Kyllini, under the European Program ELEMED (Electrification in the Eastern Mediterranean).
AEGEAN SPEED LINES: AEGEAN SPEED LINES, operates a ship on the line Serifos, Sifnos, Milos and on the line Piraeus – Paros.
SEA SPEED LINES: The company Sea Speed Lines for 2021 launched its ship on the line Piraeus, Sifnos, Milos, Santorini and Thirasia and this is the first time that Thirasia has a direct connection with Piraeus.
ALPHA LINES: A new company that appeared in 2021, Alpha Lines of interests Antonis Agapitos which launched the Speed Cat I ship on the line Piraeus, Poros, Hydra, Spetses. The ship is 43 meters and carries 300 passengers.