Panos Zachariadis

“When BIMCO speaks, the other guys listen”

Published: 13 March 2024

So says Panos Zachariadis of Atlantic Bulk Carriers Management Ltd, the acting chairperson of BIMCO’s Marine Environment Committee.

He has dedicated over four decades of his career to the industry, joining in 1983 after completing his Master’s in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the University of Michigan. Since then, he’s worked both at sea and onshore, focusing on the technical aspects of shipping. 

It was in 2003 that he first got involved with BIMCO and what is now the Marine Environment Committee.  

Over the years, Panos has seen the committee grow in influence – something he says is due to its wide membership and the collective expertise of the people involved. The committee has been effective in shaping the shipping industry's environmental policies and has been recognised for its well-thought-out and science-based positions on a multitude of issues. 

One of the significant projects that Panos highlights is the fight against the introduction of speed limits for ships. The committee argued that speed limits would not improve efficiency and instead proposed a power limit. Ultimately, it was power limits that were adopted by the IMO. 

Looking ahead, he has no hesitation in pointing to decarbonisation as the biggest challenge. “We need to make sure that regulations make it easy for shipowners to make the right investments”, he argues, pointing out that as the industry is grappling with the question of which green fuels to adopt, it is difficult to have confidence about which fuels to retrofit for.  

Just in time arrival is another aspect he wants to highlight. “Normally, ships are run at full speed to get into the queue for a berth. The concept of Just-In-Time allows ships to optimise their speed during the voyage in order to arrive when the berth is certain to be ready, rather than wait at anchor. Ports would put you in the queue based on when you would arrive if you sailed at full speed. Being able to slow down like this will give a huge reduction in emissions.” 

Overall, he’s optimistic though. “When the regulators disagree with BIMCO, then sooner or later they realise that BIMCO was right”, he concludes with a broad smile. 


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BIMCO House front door


Communications Team

Copenhagen, Denmark