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Full AntwerpXL 2023 conference programme revealed

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The award-winning conference for breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo, has revealed this year’s programme 

AntwerpXL’s Main Deck Conference will take place this November and will include insight on the project cargo & breakbulk market from a host of experts.

Day one features ten sessions, covering:

  • The Market – Adapting to key challenges in the present and analysing future trends
  • Sustainability – The impact of offshore renewables on global project cargo
  • Ports – The benefits of being a one-stop shop for breakbulk
  • Digitalisation – Energy savings through digital port call planning

The first session of the conference, Global Breakbulk & Project Cargo Outlook will explore challenges within the industry as well as global trends. Leading the conversation will be Jost Bergmann, Business Director at DNV, alongside Marc Oliver Brockmann, Commercial Manager for Europe at AAL Shipping, and Susan Oatway, Research Analyst at S&P. Neil Golding, Head of Market Intelligence at Energy Industries Council, will be leading the second session of the day on Sustainability, which will explore the offshore renewable boom and how it is impacting the industry.

After a break for coffee, Peter Molloy, Senior Analyst at Drewry Maritime Research, will take the floor to examine the Current Market, specifically how the industry will cope with the shrinking supply of MPV vessels. The final morning session is focused on how the market-leading Port of Antwerp-Bruges stands out as a breakbulk hub. 

To kick off the afternoon, Darron Wadey of Dynamar will be lending his insight on Emerging Markets and Trade Routes. Next in the lineup is a panel session on the impact of Geopolitics on the supply chain with contributions from Julian Verden, Managing Director Europe at Stemcor, Linda Jacques, Partner at LA Marine and Matthew Watkins, Principal Analyst, at CRU Group.

Jan Cantow from Heyport, will open the discussion on Digitalisation, focusing on energy and GHG emission savings and just-in-time arrivals. The session on Decarbonising Heavy Lift, led by Marcus Lomax, Technical Manager at Smart Freight Centre, will be a deep dive into how the industry can reach net zero. 

As day one draws to a close, Managing Director at ASA France, Blanca Claeyssens, will share a Case Study on how the safety regulations from aviation can be utilised in heavy lift. Before the 40 Under 40 celebrations begin, a panel of experts will explore the topics of Project Cargo Demand and the energy transition in the Global South. Speaking on the panel are Johan-Paul Verschuure, Project Director and Rebel, next to Leif Arne Strommen, CEO at K2 Project Forwarding and Paul Jacob Bins, Founder of Vessel Performance Centre.

Day two features six sessions, focusing on:

  • Digitalisation – AI’s impact on the supply chain
  • Recruitment – Attracting new generations to Breakbulk
  • Sustainability – Project cargo owners and their responsibility for vessel sustainability

Day two of the conference begins with a focus on Digitalisation. The morning session on digitalising elements of project cargo will be run by Bret Smart, Co-founder and COO at Voyager Portal and Inge Taillieu, Business Development Manager at DP World. Following this Alexander Varvarenko from ShipNext, will share insight on how AI will impact the supply chain.

Recruitment is next on the agenda, starting with a session on overcoming recruitment challenges. Christel Pullens of WISTA, Mahesh Singh, Managing Director at Trans Coral Shipping and Vilasini Krishnan from 4D SCC, will then lead a panel session on reaching younger generations through diversity and inclusion. 

Following a break for lunch, Sustainability will take centre stage. ETS Specialist and Business Development in Shipping at Vertis Environmental Finance, Youenn Guillerm, will guide the audience through EU ETS for Shipping before being joined by Jan Viroux, Co-founder and COO of Helexia BE, and Jessica Slater, Solicitor at LA Marine for the final session of the conference. They will discuss stakeholders’ responsibilities regarding supply chain sustainability and the measures in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Margaret Dunn, Portfolio Director at AntwerpXL, says, “The lineup at this year’s conference is unmatched, with the most knowledgeable experts on hand, sharing their insight and ideas to help the entire project cargo & breakbulk community adapt to the challenges we are currently facing. The information shared is going to be invaluable.”

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

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