Numerous networking opportunities will be on offer to the breakbulk cargo community when the inaugural AntwerpXL opens its doors on 7-9 May 2019. Key figureheads within the breakbulk, RoRo and heavy lift industries will be amongst those keen to make new connections and learn from the brightest industry minds.

Hosted by the Port of Antwerp, AntwerpXL 2019 kicks off with a port tour starting at 1pm on Tuesday 7th May. Attendees of this free-to-join experience will meet at the Antwerp Expo, before departing by bus to the multipurpose terminals on the left bank in the Port of Antwerp. The port’s passionate breakbulk team will then lead guests to an impressive vantage point, with views of both Kieldrecht Lock, the largest lock in the world, and Deurganckdok, the largest container terminal in Europe. There will also be a chance for visitors to see and learn about Zuidnatie, the Antwerp Railhouse and Churchill Dock.

Welcome Reception at the Antwerp Expo, between 5pm and 8pm, marks the official launch of the show and gives guests the opportunity to meet the industry-leading organisations exhibiting their latest innovations and developments over the following two days. The calibre of exhibitors present, which include top industry names such as Boeckmans, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Fast Lines Belgium and MSC Belgium, is a major endorsement for the event. Visitors will have the chance to meet with industry experts and enjoy food, drink and entertainment during this informal networking party.

On Wednesday 8 May, Bart Timperman, the Chief Editor at Flows Magazine, will moderate a breakfast seminar in Dutch, where thought-leaders will discuss the question, ‘Breakbulk in Flanders: Crucial or Marginal?’. Invaluable industry insights from those who believe breakbulk remains an important engine of volumes and employment, and those who believe it is doomed to become a marginal activity on the fringes of the shipping landscape will be shared. Tickets for the breakfast seminar cost €50. This includes a €25 discount on tickets to the exhibition.

The NextGen roundtable and lunch taking place on the Main Deck Stage on Wednesday afternoon, between 12.45pm and 1.45pm, will be chaired by Sue Terpilowski OBE, Managing Director, Image Line Communications, President, WISTA UK and Chair, Maritime UK’s Women’s Taskforce. This session will explore ideas and opportunities around starting a career in breakbulk, career development and what makes a potential employee attractive. The findings will form the basis of a subsequent panel discussion, during which the audience can contribute its thoughts. Terpilowski comments: “These discussions will help the industry overcome its challenges and lead the sector into its next phase.”

As the sun goes down, guests can enjoy the official AntwerpXL Networking Party, hosted at the historic Felix Archive between 6pm and 8pm. The Felix Archive is the ‘memory’ of the Port of Antwerp, with more than 24km of storage shelves holding the records of the city and the port. Visitors will also have access to the St. Felix warehouse, one of the most architecturally impressive examples of a 19th-century warehouse, built in 1860 as a storage place for bulk goods. Visitors will raise a toast to AntwerpXL and enjoy an evening relaxing with colleagues before heading to Den Engels in the Square to continue the party.

AntwerpXL Connect is the official one-to-one networking platform for this year’s event. The online service provides users with the opportunity to set up meetings with suppliers and prospects and manage their schedule during the event. Meetings will take place onsite in the AntwerpXL Connect Lounge. In addition, various networking lounges, such as the Networking Lounge, VIP Lounge and Antwerp Business Point, will be present on the show floor where visitors can congregate and meet with industry peers.

The XLShippers Network, an elite and exclusive network of key industry figures, will offer its members an unrivalled opportunity to debate, share ideas and learn from one another. There will also be a number of exclusive invite only events taking place throughout the three days at AntwerpXL.

Mark Rimmer, StocExpo & Tank Storage Portfolio Divisional Director, is keen to stress the benefits of business networking:

“Exhibitors at AntwerpXL 2019 will have the opportunity to meet potential clients and generate referrals. The event will also help organisations identify opportunities for partnerships, joint ventures and new areas for expansion. Those who attend the show and conference are guaranteed to maximise their visibility within the industry.

“Furthermore, in the ever-changing business climate of breakbulk, the networking opportunities available will ensure those who attend are able to discuss the latest market conditions, as well as overall industry trends with like-minded individuals. Knowing the market is the key to developing a successful business plan.”

AntwerpXL 2019 takes place on 7-9 May at the Antwerp Expo in the Port of Antwerp in Belgium. For more information on the networking opportunities on offer, please visit: