Emanuele Grimaldi: Short sea shipping needs restructuring and mergers

Emanouele Grimaldi, Managing Director of Grimaldi Group SpA, on Thursday underlined the need for restructuring and mergers in the short sea shipping sector, particularly the ferry business, because of intense competition from low-cost airlines.

Addressing a 3rd “Naftemporiki” shipping conference in Athens, Grimaldi added that the Italian group has set 17 strategic acquisition targets in the sea transport sector and stressed that short sea shipping was significant for Europe and the social cohesion of member-states. He said that the volume of transport grew 15 pct, while sulphur and CO2 emissions from ships have fallen.

Grimaldi said European shipping sector’s competitiveness was at risk as growth was mostly made in Asia and noted that there was a misconception over the shipping sector as everyone referred to cruise ships and container ships, while there were only 400 sea cruise ships, 5,000 container ships and 90,000 ro/ro ships worldwide.

Emanouele Grimaldi is chairman of Grimaldi Euromed SpA, managing director of Grimaldi Group SpA and of Grimaldi Deepsea SpA, chairman and CEO of Finnlines Plc, chairman of Minoan Lines and of Malta Motorways of the Sea and member of ACL’s board. He is also president of Confitarma (Italian Shipowners’ Association).