Cyprus pushes e-Navigation forward
Cyprus, a major shipping nation, has pulled together and is pushing e-Navigation forward in many respects. To tell us about this, STM managed to get an interview with Socrates Theodossiou, Chairman of the e-Navigation Working Group of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber(CSC). Socrates is the Joint Managing Director and owner of Tototheo Group with HQ in Limassol, Cyprus. He is highly active in the international shipping community together with his wife and Joint Managing Director, Despina Panayiotou-Theodossiou.
Hello Socrates, can you give a short background of the Cypriot shipping community and the Cyprus Shipping Chamber?
CSC is the trade association of the Shipping Industry and comprises 180 major ship-owning, ship-managing, chartering and other shipping-related companies.
The shipping sector in Cyprus employ around 4,500 persons ashore and more than 55,000 seafarers of various nationalities onboard. The number of vessels owned, managed or operated by Chamber Members in 2015, amounted to 2,200 ocean-going ships, with a total tonnage of over 54 million gross tons.
CSC is working for the interests of its members and is highly involved in working groups in international bodies. Since the shipping sector is crucial for the country, we maintain favourable cooperation with the government both nationally and internationally.
Cyprus is putting a lot of effort into e-navigation. As the e-navigation lead at Cyprus Shipping Camber, can you explain the underlying reasons?
E-Navigation has a very important role for the way ships will be navigating in the future. Important factors are also the environment, safety and efficiency/optimization of our shipping industry as a whole (all stakeholders involved at a berth to berth voyage). Our members are very keen to see more solutions and real concepts being implemented so the real value of e-navigation starts to unfold and the industry evolves accordingly.
CSC formed an e-Navigation Working Group in 2013. It comprises professionals from ship-owning companies, marine electronics manufacturers, classification societies as well as marine communication and navigation supplier companies. We meet regularly to analyse e-navigation developments globally and to create relations with all relevant bodies locally and internationally. We keep our members informed and contribute to the international development and the Strategic Implementation Plan.
What are the main e-navigation initiatives in Cyprus and how are you moving forward?
The Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) is participating in the STM validation project. The Limassol port is becoming PortCDM-compliant, thus exploring the benefits and the new infrastructure of the associated ship and port. The e-Navigation working group is assisting and consulting in all technical and shipping-related matters.
Another step forward is for Cyprus to build one of the shore centres in the STM Validation project. It would assist all countries in the Mediterranean and Middle East, and encourage more regional actors to participate. With the ‘connected port’ concept a port network can be established, providing even more value to all international and local shipping stakeholders.
Thank you for coming up with new e-navigation and STM ideas that can help the industry move forward!