Small shippers play a role

Besides the well-known passenger carriers that dominate the largest commercial routes, there are many smaller companies that make use of little-used connections between the islands, or between the islands and mainland Greece.

Twenty-five companies own 57 small ferries, much smaller than the larger ships on the main routes. It connects destinations such as the Lesser Cyclades and Crete to surrounding islands, or remote islands as well as remote mainland destinations.

Three of the 25 companies are considered midsize and have a total fleet of 20 ships. But the remaining 22 companies, with a total of 37 ships, are very small, even intimate businesses. The latter in particular serve the occasional adventurous tourist looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations while catering primarily to the needs of the local population, providing essential services.

Those small owners know the locals well. In fact, most of them are also locals, giving another meaning to the term “personal service.”

Add in 43 large liners such as Attica Enterprises, Minoan Lines and ANEK, and there are 100 ships serving 115 islands and connecting islands to the mainland on regular schedules this summer.

Despite being small businesses with one to three vessels, the 22 SMEs are not, for the most part, quaint family businesses.

A report from Piraeus-based XRTC Business Consultants said, “Despite being strictly local businesses, many of the smaller businesses are innovative operators.” “They have a card-based bonus program with online booking, web checks and e-tickets. [shipping] and evolve the product offering,” the report said.

XRTC also notes that most of these companies’ ships are built and repaired locally. “However [the firms] We also need to adopt corporate profiles to be able to draw capital from banks.”

Seajets, the largest of the mid-sized companies, operates only in peak season, serves 33 Cyclades islands and connects many airlines to four mainland destinations and the port of Crete. Small shippers play a role

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