Breakbulk Middle East 2022 opens with massive industry participation
DUBAI, 1st February, 2022 – Breakbulk Middle East (BBME), the Gulf Cooperation’s Council’s leading breakbulk and project cargo event, opened with insightful sessions and participation from regional and global industry leaders, shedding light on themes that included recovery strategies to tackle current challenges and the market outlook of the sector.
Day One witnessed a 35 per cent increase in visitors.
The significant participation from the industry reflects its keenness to be part of a well-knit network that has fuelled the sector’s growth in recent years.
With the BBME returning as a physical event in 2022 after the digital special last year, it features a topical agenda to reinforce the event’s ability to foster consistent growth and unite critical players to bolster the economy.
Kicking off day one with his virtual opening remarks, Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE’s Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said, “The supply chain and maritime segment has been deeply impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the UAE we directed our efforts towards overcoming any challenges that came our way and catered to the market needs.
We had our ports open during the pandemic to ensure the seamless movement of essential items.
We were also one of the first IMO Member States to designate seafarers as key workers and supported them by facilitating crew change, administering vaccinations, and providing them access to medical care.
Al Mazrouei added, “Our commitment has been demonstrated through our global competitiveness ranking in several aspects.
The country was ranked third in transport services trade and Bunker Supply Index.
The country’s ports rank among the top ten internationally in container handling volume of.
Our association with the BBME is part of our vision to make the UAE a global hub for logistics and shipping.
The BBME will facilitate strategies that will help enhance the sector and take it to greater heights.
The opening session on “Managing Rates and Capacity: Outlook, Key Drivers and Remaining Competitive” brought some pressing concerns to light.
Top experts gathered to discuss the outlook and impact of the current freight rates on business and the supply chain.
Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and Managing Director, DP World UAE and Jafza, said, “The recent shortage of container capacity on international trade lanes and increase in freight rates have prompted cargo owners to transport goods as breakbulk, creating new opportunities for the sector.
The supply chain disruptions will stay for some time.
With that said, the industry is gradually bouncing back.
To tackle the roadblocks, we have increased the capacity and enhanced the capabilities at Jebel Ali Port to enable trade across all modes using our assets globally.
DP World has contributed greatly to the progress of the UAE’s and Middle East’s breakbulk sector and will continue to help the country maintain its status as a leader in trade and logistics.
With the rapidly changing industry landscape and the world moving to digital solutions in almost every business, the global logistics and the maritime segment is looking to enhance its digital portfolio to cater to the sector’s evolving needs.
Day One included a session on Digital Transformation with the participation of Khalid Al Shehhi, Marine Projects Manager, ADNOC Logistics and Services, and Marten Berg Thomsen, Head of Special Cargo Solutions, West and Central Asia, Maersk.
They highlighted how companies were digitally transforming business models, for example, the port community systems and freight platforms, and working towards increasing efficiency through technology.
Saif Al Mazrouei, Head of the Ports Cluster at AD Ports Group, said, “Despite the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent years, AD Ports Group and its partners in Abu Dhabi, have worked diligently to support efforts aimed at cultivating economic stability and recovery, while maintaining the steady flow of goods.
The past few years have seen the continued expansion of our port assets that include ongoing developments at our flagship, Khalifa Port and other notable expansions at our ports in Al Dhafra Region including Mugharraq Port that will serve as a vital link between the mainland and the offshore Oil and Gas sector.
During that time, we also forged numerous strategic partnerships that have boosted our ability to support the evolving needs of the region’s fast-developing breakbulk industry.
Ben Blamire, Event Director, Breakbulk Middle East, said, “Our event would not have been possible without the endless support from both government and private sector entities that believed in us and supported us in different ways.
We are now looking forward to day two that will tackle other crucial concerns such as women’s role and the next generation of the industry that are of crucial importance.