In conversation with Marinair’s Pavlos Poutos Between extremes

Snow in February, forest fires in August – it’s been a challenging year for Greek forwarders. In this interview one of them reports why they’re nevertheless looking to the future optimistically.

Mr Poutos, how has Marinair – founded and managed by you – evolved over the past few months?

The outbreak of Covid-19 presented all of our offices in Greece, the Netherlands, India and China with great challenges. Today we can happily say that we mastered them – and can add that we managed it in the safest way possible and with the least risk for all parties involved.

We obviously took the right business decisions at the right time. We also took the next digitalisation steps, as we started using a new ‘Logitude’ cloud software system.

Marinair’s headquarters have been an Iata agent since May (see page 10 of the Aviation Special in ITJ 19-20 / 2021). What impact has this status had on business?

The move provided our organisation with an even higher profile in the airfreight industry. It simultaneously represents an opportunity to continue to build business relations with global markets, and it also helps us to open doors to important new partnerships. This helps us to avoid bottlenecks, such as when an important Chinese export gateway was closed recently.

Forest fires also made every-day operations and life difficult in Greece this year. How did you react?

Summer was a very difficult time. Marinair donated clothes, food as well as medicines to the victims of the fires – whilst simultaneously taking the every-day restrictions concerning the Covid-19 pandemic into account.

How’s the general feeling in the industry in Greece?

The transport industry in Greece in general needs to move ahead more determinedly. Some important steps have indeed been taken, but many more need to follow. The country’s airports and maritime gateways need more investment. The country’s in an advantageous geographic position, but that’s not enough if it isn’t backed up by long-term plans for the economy, education, knowledge, specific trade processes and the digitalisation of services. If I dare to look to the future in these times of uncertainty, then I don’t see any noticeable stabilisation of the market before the third quarter of 2022.

That’ll be one of the matters addressed at the ‘Supply Chain & Logistics’ trade fair in Athens (2 – 4 October).

Quite. This is the first international event that Marinair is set to participate in with our own booth – with more to follow. We’re really looking forward to personal meetings with visitors from the various links in the supply chain. At the same time it’ll be a good opportunity to evaluate and improve our share of the Greek market.

Original article Published on ITJ Magazine 2021

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