Breakbulk Europe poised for record-breaking success


Breakbulk Europe, the world's largest event for the project cargo and breakbulk industry, will be held 29-31 May in Bremen, Germany, for the first time in its 12-year history. All indications point to a record-breaking success for this year's event. Registration is on track to break 10,000 participants, representing 100+ countries.

"With over 50 additional exhibitors, we are utilizing every square meter at Messe Bremen. We are particularly glad to see the number of German exhibitors has increased by 44 percent," Nick Davison, Portfolio Director at ITE Group said.

Breakbulk Europe will showcase more than 500 exhibitors, including ports, terminals, ocean carriers, freight forwarders, heavy haulers, equipment providers, barge and inland waterways transporters, air transport firms, IT and technology providers, and other specialized services, all of which handle oversize and out-of-gauge cargoes.

Much of the activity at Breakbulk Europe revolves around establishing new business connections and strengthening current ones, starting with a reception on Tuesday afternoon, 29 May at Messe Bremen, followed by a party on the town square open to all Breakbulk attendees. But Breakbulk is more than a networking event—it also offers exclusive insight into the key topics that affect business decisions today and tomorrow.

In another first, Breakbulk Europe's two-day conference—open to all event participants—will be led by a professional moderator, internationally known Gabrielle Walker.

Conference Highlights

Gabrielle is the author of four books and has presented many TV and radio programs for the BBC. She has been Climate Change Editor at Nature and Features Editor at New Scientist and has written very extensively for many international newspapers and magazines, including The Economist, Prospect, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. With a broad view of energy and its impact on the world, and with considerable experience in providing strategic advice for companies across a wide range of sectors, Gabrielle will provoke thoughtful discussion around the issues facing the project cargo and breakbulk industry today. First up on the agenda will be Caterpillar's chief economist Nicolas Clerc who will share his insight on the global economy and its impact on project development.

Following the global keynote, this year's conference will cover topics of particular interest to the industry such as Brexit's possible effects on global trade, industry innovation across many sectors, the future of blockchain and consolidation in the engineering, procurement, and construction sector, as well as mergers across industrial manufacturers.

Focus on Sea Transport

With so much of the industry reliant on water-borne transport, Breakbulk Europe will offer several sessions around this topic. Zeaborn managing partners Ove Meyer and Jan Hendrik Többe will take the stage on Wednesday morning to offer an insider's perspective on the global multipurpose and heavy-lift fleet. A key player in this market, Bremen-based Zeaborn has acquired several important maritime carriers including Rickmers-Line.

"It's no big secret that 80-percent plus of worldwide available [multipurpose] tonnage is under distress or in financial troubled waters. There will be further acquisitions...there is a huge need for consolidation," Meyer said in an interview with Breakbulk Events & Media.

Immediately following the Zeaborn discussion, will be a wider panel on consolidation, looming impact of sulphur 2020 on carriers and all those involved in sea transport—including shippers, led by Roger Strevens, global head of sustainability for Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean. Joining Strevens and the Zeaborn partners, will be Höegh's head of organisational risk management Henrik Andersson, Kyriakos Panayides, managing director for AAL, and Peter Sandberg, managing director for SAL Heavy Lift Finland.

On Thursday, 31 May, the discussions turn to innovation, particularly around ports. Kai Stührenberg, who heads the unit for innovation, digitalization and new topics at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports of German Federal State of Bremen, and his colleague Dr. Iven Krämer, who leads port economy, infrastructure and shipping at the ministry, will be joined by Hamburg Port Authority's Nicole Langrock to talk about nurturing an innovation culture in a traditional industry. Stührenberg will also host a discussion about new tech on the high seas.

To showcase these marine-based companies, two display areas will greet visitors as they arrive at Messe Bremen. The Port Stars lounge will feature more than 130 exhibiting ports, while Breakbulk's WaterWorld photo and video entries will be on display, representing more than 100 transports that took place on or near the water around the world.

Professional Training

Attendees also have the opportunity to enroll in one of five workshops held alongside Breakbulk Europe.
Taught by industry professionals, the roster includes technical workshops for transporting heavy cargoes by sea, inland waterways and land, a project freight management course for shippers and service providers, project cargo forwarding, and a new compliance workshop taught by leading EPC Fluor's Kathy Canaan.

New this year to Breakbulk Europe is Education Day, a half-day introduction to the industry for university students, led by executives from ABB, Kuehne+Nagel, Caterpillar and Bertling. Breakbulk is committed to not only supporting the industry's current professionals, but encouraging a new generation of leaders. All of the workshops are endorsed by the Bremen Chamber of Commerce.

Plans for 2019 Underway

Breakbulk Europe will return to Bremen, Germany, for its 2019 edition, 21-23 May at Messe Bremen and will include additional exhibition space.

"We are delighted the organizers of Breakbulk Europe have decided to return to Bremen in 2019—well ahead of this year's event," Martin Günthner Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Ports of the Federal State of Bremen, Germany, said. "It is an endorsement of all that Bremen has to offer in support of this key industry gathering."

Host port bremenports—Bremen and Bremerhaven—will also return as the host port for Breakbulk Europe. The Port of Bremen and its twin Port of Bremerhaven are managed by bremenports and together are Germany's largest breakbulk port by volume.

"Hosting Breakbulk Europe is a key part of our strategy to share the benefits of choosing bremenports for a range of cargoes from traditional cargoes like steel to offshore wind components," Roger Howe, Managing Director, bremenports, said. "We are rolling out the red carpet for this year's attendees and are committed to continuing the success for all industry participants in 2019."

About Breakbulk Events & Media, a division of ITE Group plc

Breakbulk events are held in four locations around the world and are the leading industry-specific exhibition in each region. In addition to Breakbulk Europe, Breakbulk Americas, the original Breakbulk event, will be held in Houston, Texas, the hub for the oil and gas industry, from Oct. 2-4 2018; Breakbulk Middle East will be held in Dubai, UAE, from 11-12 Feb. 2019, and Breakbulk China in Shanghai from 20-21 March 2019. For more information about exhibiting, sponsoring and attending these events, visit

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Register for Breakbulk Europe 2018


Floor Plan

Breakbulk Europe 2018 Preview


Leslie Meredith

Marketing Director

Breakbulk Events & Media

+1 801 201 5971

Gabrielle Walker, renowned author and speaker, will be the master of ceremonies for the Breakbulk Europe 2018 conference.

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