© Khunaspix Dreamstime.

Greek importers have struggled to pay their bills in recent weeks as transport options have narrowed, a local forwarder told The Loadstar.

And with banks closed, those in the Greek supply chain have demanded to be paid in cash, said Pavlos Poutos, managing director of Marinair Cargo Services in Piraeus.

“The bank closures created problems in paying overseas partners and vendors, while at the same time vendors and partners started to ask for faster payments,” he explained.

Marinair Cargo Services managing director Pavlos Poutous

Marinair Cargo Services managing director Pavlos Poutos


As a result, imports have fallen as Greek buyers have been unable to pay overseas suppliers.

“It’s been very difficult for importers, although a bit easier for exporters,” he added.

Marinair is a member of the WCA network, which Mr Poutos said had been key to the forwarder managing to continue to do business.

“It has helped very much. The WCA management was an umbrella for the Greek members and our Greek offices.”

As the situation deteriorated, and bank restrictions were imposed, WCA contacted its Greek members to see how it could support them. Some forwarders diverted funds into the network’s Partner Pay system to protect their capital and to enable them to continue trading.

With some overseas members asking for immediate payment from Greek forwarders, the WCA had to reassure them that they were protected and request they not impose special terms on Greek operators.

Mr Poutos said: “With the Partner Pay system, members felt safe that Greek offices could still make payments and transfer funds worldwide. And we realised how important it is to be covered. Our Hong Kong office and India office are now joining the WCA too, so we can pay via them as well.”

WCA spokesman Dan March said: “It just shows that, working under the protection of a network, these companies can continue to trade and survive, when without this protection life would have been very hard.”

Following yesterday’s news that the Greek parliament has passed the bailout deal negotiated at the weekend, Mr Poutos expected the situation to improve.

“The new agreement with the Eurozone could give us more opportunities. It will also remind people and Greek industry that the economy has to change, and people need to change the way they think.”

He added that a ‘Grexit’ – a Greek exit from the Eurozone – would not have been good for trade.

“Starting from zero would not have been good for the Greek economy, especially in specific European or global economic environments.”

Tomorrow: Supply chain platform GT Nexus explains how “fusing” financial and physical supply chains can mitigate the risk of a Grexit

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.