BUSINESS

Restructuring ahoy for coastal shipping firms

By Ilias Bellos

The marked increase in passenger traffic in coastal shipping this year is creating the necessary conditions for the restructuring of the sector, which is essential for its survival.

Data show that passenger traffic in July from Piraeus to the islands on the Argosaronic line (Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetses) posted an 11.69 percent increase year-on-year to reach 276,000, while traffic to the Aegean islands and Crete climbed 6.22 percent to 838,000 passengers. This comes after the 3.84 percent and 1.51 percent respective rise seen in June.

The growth anticipated in August and September, thanks to the soaring of tourism, can vindicate the forecast by the McKinsey consultants for Piraeus Bank, which suggested that the coastal shipping sector can return to profits and to sustainable groups.

For the potential of total profits of 170-180 million euros per year to be realized, companies must proceed to the best possible synergies and rationalize their operation, the study found.

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