On 7 December 2017, at the Bristol Hotel, the Goldenport Company held its second international conference for seafarers, experts in the field of shipping and representatives of partner companies. The conference was timed to coincide with the Company’s nineteenth anniversary. The scale of the event, at which Goldenport summarized the results of the past year, allows us to hope that such conferences will become a good tradition for Odessa and for the Ukrainian shipping industry.
The conference participants were: President and founder of the Group Cpt. Paris Dragnis, Cpt. Nikolaos Kotsiras (Manager of Goldenport & OceanGold Odessa), Cpt. Vassilios Leousis (Crew Manager of Oceangold tankers), Mr. Nikolaos Kokkinos (Crew manager of Goldenport Shipmanagement Ltd.), Cpt. Vladimir Kuznetsov (Crew manager of OceanGold Odessa), Cpt. Alexandros Papagiannopoulos (DPA manager of Goldenport Shipmanagement Ltd.), Mr. Yevgeniy Kuznetsov and Mr. Igor Radzevich (Marine managers of Bureau Veritas in Ukraine), Mr. Pavel Svertilov (C.I.S. PANDI Services Ltd.), Cpt. Yuriy Buchkovsky (Training director of AVANT training school), Mr. Alexander Pipchenko (Pastera training center), the partner companies representatives and the crew of Goldenport Odessa.
The management of Goldenport organized the conference in such a way that it was held with maximum return. From the point of view of the Company’s founder, Captain Paris Dragnis, this event was not only an opportunity to report on achievements and plans for the future but also an occasion to discuss the situation in the shipping industry, to determine priorities and to consider the vector of development. “I personally arrived in Odessa to see our employees who are engaged in the shipping industry and to communicate with them. The conference allows us to exchange our experience and knowledge. I have worked in the shipping industry for 35 years and I well understand the importance of such meetings”, said Captain Dragnis. “It is now a rather difficult time but the international shipping market is gradually recovering. Many shipping companies have suffered particular difficulties. Goldenport is working through this period and has confidence in the future. We are building new vessels and investing in new projects. The difficulties that we faced when the Company was founded allowed us to make the right choices. These difficulties make us stronger, this is the life lesson that I have learned and the knowledge that I have passed onto my children”.
The founder of Goldenport Holdings has entrusted his two sons with the key direction of work and, today, Goldenport Shipmanagement, Oceangold Tankers and Goldenport Yachts holding divisions are operating efficiently and harmoniously. The division of Goldenport Yachts holds a special pride of place for the management because the Company’s fleet includes ten mega-yachts, with two more in the process of construction. Goldenport Holdings is the owner of five container vessels, fifteen bulkers and twelve tankers. Nevertheless, the number of new ships will soon increase. Four tankers will be built in the shipyards of South Korea. All vessels are designed for Goldenport and take account of the latest environmental requirements (for example, the modern hydraulic cargo system, FRAMO, is installed on the tankers).
“We respect traditions, but we are open to innovation and are always ready to work with a new generation of specialists coming into the shipping industry”, says Captain Dragnis. Being a member of the Association of the Shipowners of Greece, he understands how important it is to attract prospective young seafarers to the shipping industry. It is no coincidence that the topic of a separate report at the press conference was the Company’s cooperation with the National University’s “Odessa Maritime Academy”. The Crew Manager, Mr Nicholas Kokkinos, described the terms and principles of the Cadet programme in detail.
The topic of training Ukrainian seafarers in fitness centres certified by Bureau Veritas was also discussed at the press conference. In particular, the representatives of Classifications registry’s in the Ukraine, Yevhenii Kuznetsov and Ihor Radzevych, reported on how the industry had changed as a result of the regulations that came into force with the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWMC), the requirements for equipping vessels according to the Ship Recycling Service and the implementation of EU Regulation 2015/757 for Marine Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV).
The Safety and Quality Manager (DPA), Captain Alexandros Papagiannopoulos, reported on compliance with the requirements of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78). The speaker paid special attention to the human factors and the necessityto strictly observe safety requirements on board.
The conference ended solemnly: the management and top managers of the Company presented honorary awards to the seafarers who had distinguished themselves in the professional field. The Goldenport Company began employing Ukrainian seafarers immediately after it was founded in 1998. In 2007, the Oceangold Tankers division was established and in December 2016, the office of the tanker division, Oceangold Odessa, was opened in Odessa. Thanks to the Odessa office, 160 Ukrainian seafarers have been employed on tankers during the year. Today, a total of around 1,500 Ukrainians work on Goldenport vessels. In the opinion of Paris Dragnis, Ukrainian seafarers are distinguished by high professionalism and strict discipline. In summing up the results of the meeting he said, “Today, the level of Ukrainian training and qualifications is impressive in the good sense of the word. The purposefulness of the young people moving along the career ladder amazes me. Your sailors have every chance of getting a decent, well-paid job on the ships of foreign shipowners”.