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AntwerpXL 2022 – Breakbulk conference programme focusing on global trends announced

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The conference programme for AntwerpXL, the award-winning breakbulk, heavy-lift and project cargo event, has been unveiled. 

AntwerpXL returns in 2022 and will bring the breakbulk community together again to showcase innovative technology, overcome industry challenges, and make connections. One of the highlights of the exhibition will of course be the Main Deck Conference, which will take place on the last two days of the event (5 and 6 October).

Day one features five sessions, four of which include:

  • Forecasting – Managing the needs of breakbulk and project cargo shippers in the current multipurpose shipping market
  • Digitalisation – Breakbulk bottlenecks and digital vision
  • Nextgen – Breakbulk’s 40 under 40 – developing an agile workforce
  • Connections – Intermodal links, rail and barge

The first session on Forecasting will be moderated by Susan Oatway, Senior Analyst at Drewry and Immediate Past Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. The panel will include Justin Archard, Managing Partner, One World Shipbrokers, Marc-Oliver Brockmann, European Commercial Manager, AAL Shipping, Rachel Kellett, Managing Director, Conceptum Logistics Group Holding GmbH, and Joeri Tielemans, Commercial Director, Bolloré Logistics.

The Digitalisation panel includes Karel Van den Berghe, CEO of Globis Software, Kunal Singh, Sales Engineer at Navis, Valentin Carlan, Post-doc Researcher at the University of Antwerp, Stijn Olbrechts, Process & Digital Transformation Owner at Lineas. The session will be moderated by Peter Bouwhuis, President & CEO of XELLZ Group.

The lunchtime session Nextgen features speakers Christa Sys, Professor, University of Antwerp and Philippe Fierens, Managing Director of ExSeCo Belgium, talking on developing an agile workforce which is able to fully ‘think out of the box’, using new skills and competencies for a robust future breakbulk labour market.

After lunch there will be a talk on Managing Continuity in Project Cargo and Breakbulk, with speakers Axel Van Pul, Project & Breakbulk Manager at MSC Belgium NV, and Ben Collins, Global Project Cargo Manager at MSC Headquarters, Geneva. 

Closing the first day will be the Connections session led by Katarina Stancova, Senior Mobility Advisor at the Port of Antwerp and featuring experts including Peter Larose, Head of Projects at Conti7, Edwin Moehlig, Managing Director at Rail & Sea NV, Louis-Robert Cool, CEO, Seafar, and Henk Kroos, Commercial Development Manager, NRPC.

Day two features four sessions, three of which include:

  • Technology – Top applications, innovative technologies, and future-proof products
  • Sustainability – A fight against climate change and a look towards future fuels
  • Challenges and opportunities – The future of the breakbulk and project cargo sector

The opening session on Technology features Ben Swaelen, Sales Manager and Nicolas Van der Wee, Creative Strategist, both from icapps. They will discuss working towards a valuable digital solution; answering industry needs and desires to enrich the daily life experiences of end-users. The session will cover the problems that can arise within logistics, debunking the myths about digitalisation, looking after our people and the world around us and how to future-proof the industry.

The pre-lunch session on Sustainability will be led by Matthew Moss, Knowledge Transfer Manager for Maritime at Innovate UK KTN. He will discuss an outlook for developing a cost-effective and sustainable breakbulk logistics chain. The panel will include Bernard van Haeringen, Sales Manager at GoodFuels, Maja Felicia Bendtsen, Chief Business Officer Bulk at Port of Roenne, Wim Dillen, Int. Development Manager at Port of Antwerp and Pascal Lammerts van Bueren, Global Director of Lubbers Logistics.

In the early afternoon there will be a panel discussion on Automation, Digitalization, and Artificial Intelligence in shipping, moderated by Alexander Varvarenko, Founder and Owner, Shipnext and Varamar. Panel members Jurgen De Klerck, Business Development Manager 5G MPN, Proximus and Joe Caprara, VP of Intelligence and Automation, SEDNA will provide a look into digital sustainability, autonomous shipping, the challenges with brokers, and the future of container lines.

The conference will close with the forward-looking Challenges and opportunities session – a 360-degree review of trends, trade flows, opportunities and barriers to trade, and the overall economic outlook for breakbulk projects. The panel will be led by Catrien Scheers, Ambassador, Fast Lines and includes Albert-Jan Ars, Commercial Manager, Katoen Natie Port Operations, Yorck Niclas Prehm, Head of Research, Toepfer Transport, Marin Skufca, CEO, Liburnia Maritime, and Ann De Smet, Key Account Manager Maritime, Port of Antwerp-Bruges.

Rikki Bhachu, Head of Marketing at AntwerpXL, says, “The conference is an excellent opportunity to gain niche and focused insight from some of the brightest minds in the industry. Like many other sectors, breakbulk is in transition, and it’s events like AntwerpXL and its Main Deck Conference that will help businesses navigate the changing landscape.”

The full details of the conference programme can be found on the AntwerpXL website:

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