Organisers of AntwerpXL, the highly-anticipated exhibition being held at the Port of Antwerp on 7-9 May 2019, have announced the big name speakers that will deliver a cutting edge educational programme that forms part of the two-day event.

Over 40 major names will deliver in-depth presentations, Q&A sessions and debates on the Main Deck Stage, covering innovation, digitisation and lessons from disruptors in the breakbulk, maritime and project cargo industry.

Bob Delbecque, an internationally-renowned company energiser and business coach, will open the conference with his keynote, ‘A vision of the future’. He will be joined on stage by thought-leaders in the industry, including Nataliya Maiseyenka, Transportation Manager Project Cargo, EAME and Eurasia Operations at Caterpillar. The presentation will investigate the main drivers of the breakbulk industry, their likely impacts, and what changes the sector could be looking at across international markets.

The ‘hub of the future’ will continue to be discussed on day one during the second session. Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President Innovation at G2 Ocean, Erwin Hoefkens, Chief Commercial Officer at NxtPort and Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General at CLECAT, will join a discussion chaired by Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, Secretary General at Feport, on how smart technologies and new ways of collaborating will shape the ports of tomorrow.

In the afternoon, a presentation and Q&A session led by Roy van Eijsden, Service Line Director Advisory at WSP, will look at whether blockchain for breakbulk is a buzzword or an industry innovation. Roy will be joined by Tom van Dijk, Business Consultant at CGI, Nico Wauters, Co-Founder and CEO at T-Mining, and Jeroen De Ryck, Business Unit Director Projects & Machinery at Ahlers for the session.

Day one of the conference will conclude with a presentation on breakbulk via rivers and hinterland connections. Marissa Coupé, Owner at MC Barging and Edwin Moehlig, Managing Director at Rail & Sea NV, will be the panellists discussing the development of cargo opportunities on the waterway, the services required by shippers, and how to manage irregularities for project cargo on barges.

Day two begins with a keynote session from Paul Birch, Owner of Visionjuice and former Head of Business Planning at British Airways, on developing an adaptable business which thrives on innovation.

The global economy is then the topic for discussion as a panel, including Dirk Visser, Senior Shipping Consultant at Dynamar B.V. and Dr Miquel Roca, Managing Partner at LMA Legal, join together for a discussion on Brexit and the impact of trade wars on the different parts of the supply chain.

After lunch, Dr Roca will return to speak on ‘How will the industry adapt to a changing business landscape?’. The presentation will reveal how consolidation in the oil and gas, and now the offshore and renewables sectors, will affect the industry.

Katharina Renken, Senior Researcher at Kühne Logistics University for Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL), will then host a presentation on ‘Thinking green – opportunities and challenges in sustainable shipping’.  How new environment-driven regulations, such as ballast water management and greenhouse emissions, are forcing change will be the focus for the penultimate seminar on day two.

AntwerpXL will also focus on NextGen with a discussion on how the industry will adapt to new market conditions, new technologies and NextGen influences. Chaired by Sue Terpilowski OBE, Managing Director at Image Line Communications and President of WISTA, the working lunch session will explore new ways of thinking, working and collaborating for those starting a career in the industry, the conclusions of which will be presented in a session afterwards.

Visitors can also get a glimpse into the future of breakbulk at the Innovation Start-Up Zone. Hosted on the show floor, this will enable new and exciting companies to showcase the ground-breaking services and products that will shape the future of the industry.

The area will host a panel discussion on each day, with a different set of leading experts delivering their thoughts and insights on where the industry is going next.

As part of the programme, AntwerpXL will offer training courses for Project Forwarding Managers. Taught by industry veterans, the ISO accredited Master Classes will inform, energise and help rising stars to move forward in their careers.

Project Professionals Group (PPG) will host a certified course in project cargo management that will allow visitors to build on and refresh key skills and knowledge in Project Cargo Forwarding. The hands-on workshop covers the transportation management of high-value project cargos and focuses on practical outcomes, rather than technical calculations.

AntwerpXL will also host a one-day intermediate to advanced level Master Class for EPCs, cargo owners, carriers and project forwarders who strive to better understand the requirements in Project Freight Management. The course, titled ‘Project Freight Management – The Shippers Perspective’, will give practical hands-on tools that will impact the process of managing projects logistics.

AnterpXL visitors will also have access to the exhibition where leading industry players, companies and breakbulk professionals will showcase innovative new products and services.

Mark Rimmer, Portfolio Divisional Director at event organiser Easyfairs, commented: “The conference programme will be a gathering of the most innovative and forward thinking minds in the breakbulk industry and an opportunity for them, and professionals up and down the heavy lift, RoRo and project cargo chain, to share knowledge, best practice and ideas. Speakers from outside our line of business will also present examples of successful initiatives and concepts used in other industries that can be adopted – making the conference a revolutionary event for the future of breakbulk.”

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