The world´s biggest fair for project cargo and breakbulk

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Breakbulk Europe, the world’s largest trade fair for project cargo and breakbulk, attracted 9,600 visitors. “While this was a rewarding trade fair, there were many signals that the coming year will be tough for many stakeholders,” says Sourcing Manager Mikael Toft of SCA Sourcing and Logistics.

Breakbulk Europe was held in Rotterdam in early June, with over 600 exhibitors taking part. The event attracted visitors from 120 countries.
“Virtually all companies working in logistics with large and heavy cargoes were represented, either as exhibitors or visitors. It’s an important forum and a chance for shipping companies, freight forwarders, cargo owners and ports to meet customers, suppliers and partners,” explains Mikael. “Our days were packed with meetings with existing customers and opportunities to make exciting new acquaintances.”

Reduced freight from China

Many of those participating this year indicated that the immediate future looks like being a tough period, both for shipping companies and other stakeholders in the freight market.
“It was evident both in the lectures given at the trade fair and in the conversations I had with representatives of various companies that we can expect hard times. Among other things, this is due to declining freight from China combined with rising interest rates and fuel costs,” says Mikael.

New vessels on the horizon

That said, there was also some good news. Several shipping companies announced plans to build new breakbulk vessels.
“This was pleasing and welcome news. However, uncertainty remains about which fuels to invest in, so people are hedging their bets. Many shipping companies have therefore chosen vessels with engines designed to run on several different types of fuel, such as LNG, methanol and ammonia. Maritime shipping is already one of the most sustainable means of transporting goods but it will become even more sustainable in future,” notes Mikael.

Text: Kerstin Olofsson