AntwerpXL 2021 conference programme unveiled!

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

The conference, which will take place on the last two days of the show (8 and 9 December), will give delegates a unique depth of insight from the industry’s best and brightest exploring the global trends, challenges and opportunities that will shape the industry’s future.

Day one will open with a networking breakfast hosted by Flows, offering delegates an opportunity to connect and chat with some of the biggest names in the industry.

Following that, a session on digitalisation will cover the digital platforms of the present and near-future, acquiring and integrating new digital tech, and the impact of digital on the industry. This will feature Karel Van den Berghe, CEO of GLOBIS Software, Steven Schutter, Marketing Manager of NxtPort and Valentin Carlan of the University of Antwerp, and will be moderated by Peter Bouwhuis, President and CEO of XELLZ Group.

The afternoon sessions will kick off with a talk from David Kershaw, Editor of Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International, on recruitment and developing a recruiter brand in a time when the battle for talent is very real. Following this will be an in-depth innovation exploration from Arjun Haring, Researcher at the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science, and a talk from Robin van Emden, AI Researcher at SPEED, on AI and its applications in the breakbulk industry.

Closing day one will be a session on connections, rail and barge, led by Katarina Stancova, Senior Mobility Advisor at the Port of Antwerp and featuring experts including Peter Larose, Head of Projects at Conti7.

Day two will begin with a forecasting session on managing the needs of breakbulk and project cargo shippers in a multipurpose shipping market, delivered by Kyriacos Panayides, Managing Director of AAL Shipping, and featuring experts including Dominik Stehle, COO of United Heavy Lift.

Next up is a session on sustainability and future fuels moderated by Matthew Moss, Head of Maritime at KTN, with Wim Dillen, International Development Manager at Port of Antwerp, Maja Felicia Bendtsen, Chief Business Officer Bulk at Port of Roenne, and Margaret Dunn, Editor of Tank Storage Magazine.

Lunch will be hosted by Christa Sys from the University of Antwerp and Philippe Fierens, Managing Director of ExSeCo Belgium who will be joined by the AntwerpXL 40 Under 40 – the breakbulk industry’s most promising professionals under the age of 40 – to discuss how we can attract the next generation of breakbulk professionals to the industry.

The conference will close with a forward-looking panel on challenges and opportunities moderated by Andrew Dawes, CEO of Arise Ports and Logistics. This will include Bert Biermans, Manager Projects at Sotramar & De Keyser, Albert-Jan Ars, Commercial Manager of Katoen Natie Port Operations, and Catrien Scheers, Ambassador of Fast Lines.

Rikki Bhachu, Head of Marketing at AntwerpXL, says “This conference programme brings together all of the best minds within the breakbulk industry for two days of in-depth discussions about its future. This is an opportunity for delegates and exhibitors to gain some insight, and share their thoughts, knowledge and ideas with the best in the business. You really don’t want to miss this!”

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