Melina Travlos became on Thursday the first female president of the powerful Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS) in its 106-year history.
Travlos, who runs vehicle carrier owner and operator Neptune Lines as well as a dry bulk outfit, Neptune Dry Management, will succeed outgoing president Theodore Veniamis, who has been at the helm for 13 years.
After her election, Travlos said: “We have many great challenges ahead of us. We need to move forward united and focused on our goal. A national goal, a global goal: to defend the achievements of Greek shipping.”
Travlos has been the union’s board member for 15 years and is currently one of the two secretaries. In total, 30 board members were elected from 42 candidates for a three-year term. Michael D. Chandris and Antonios Thomas Lemos were elected vice presidents.
Neptune Lines, which was founded by Travlos’ father, Nikos, in 1975, today operates a fleet of 18 pure car and truck carrier vessels. She also founded Neptune Dry five years ago, which has a fleet of five bulkers.
Greek shipowners control more than 20% of global fleet capacity
First established in 1916, the UGS represents Greek-owned vessels over 3,000 gross tons under Greek and other European and third-country flags.
With headquarters in Piraeus and permanent representatives in Brussels and Washington D.C., it has traditionally supported and fostered policies ensuring a truly competitive business environment, free trade, global rules and regulations and safety of life at sea and a sustainable environment.
Greek shipowners placed orders for 85 new vessels in 2021, according to an encouraging report released in January by the UGS.
These mavens of the shipping industry have invested more than $9 billion recently in both new and secondhand ships over the past year, in what is seen as part of a normal annual modernization of the merchant fleet in the country, which is the largest in the world.
As expected, Greece is still considered the preeminent shipping nation in the entire world in regard to the largest ownership of oceangoing merchant vessels per capita.
With a total population of 10,423,054 people, or just 0.16% of the global population, Greek shipowners control an estimated 20.67% of the global fleet capacity. Within the nations of the European Union, the numbers are even more impressive, representing 54.28% of capacity.