The Main Deck conference programme


Hear from leading experts and renowned speakers as they tackle the biggest issues facing the industry. Taking place right on the show floor at The Main Deck conference theatre, this free-to-attend conference programme will feature two days jam packed with debate, conversations and case studies focusing on trade wars, disruptors, innovation, digitisation and more.

Wednesday 8th May 2019

10:30 - 11:30


Opening headliner:

A vision of the future

Bob Delbecque, Challenger, Energizer

Roy van Eijsden, Service Line Director Advisory, WSP
Nataliya Maiseyenka, Transportation Manager Project Cargo, EAME and Eurasia operations, Caterpillar
Erwin Hoefkens, Chief Commercial Officer, NxtPort

Industry experts will explore what are the main drivers of the break bulk industry, their likely impacts and what changes the sector could be looking at.

  • What is the impact of data & AI on an erstwhile largely conservative industry?
  • What will the supply chain of the future look?
  • When will the breakbulk logistics industry build visibility into its operations?
  • How much intelligence can providers of project cargo transportation services currently offer their clients?
  • What will your competitors be doing to keep ahead of the curve, e.g. steps towards major supply chain efficiencies?
  • What are the new trends around future developments & investments – what does the money flow look like? And how are responsibilities divided?
  • Covering regional, European & global markets

11:45 - 12:45

G!2 ocean

Hub of the future:

How will smart technologies and new ways of collaborating shape tomorrow’s ports?

Chair: Lamia Kerdjoudj Belkaid, Secretary General, Feport

Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President Innovation, G2 Ocean
Erwin Hoefkens, Chief Commercial Officer, NxtPort
Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General, CLECAT
Arne Vanes, Project Lead, Digital Transformation, ArcelorMittal Logistics Belgium
Paul Stone, Solution Architect, Flowforma

Port communities are driving change in the breakbulk sector, embracing new technologies, data transparency and new ways of working. What will the future look like?

  • How can technology help to improve the cargo flow through project partners (shipper,  consignee, broker, freight forwarder, first & last mile providers & customs authorities)?
  • Agile development of business processes by integrating data
  • Developing an industry approach to integrating data: how will the industry approach data transparency and new ways of working?
  • How can technology help all stakeholders work more collaboratively to improve ships call (port authorities, stevedoring company, ships agent, & pilot)?
  • Improving export flows
  • Understanding the shippers’ forwarders’ & breakbulk owners’ perspectives

12:45 - 13:45 | Exhibition Visit

13:45 - 14:15



How will the industry adapt to new market conditions, new technologies & NextGen influences?

Chair: Sue Terpiloski, Managing Director, Image Line Communications, and President, WISTA UK and Chair, Maritime UK’s Women’s Taskforce

Hadassah Vorm, Owner, ORA
Sven Goyvaerts, Program Manager, Port XL Antwerp
Morgane Hanssens, Key Account Manager, Shippers & Forwarders, Port of Antwerp

Following a working lunch in which an invited group of NextGen participants will explore ideas around new ways of thinking/working/collaborating & developing careers, our wider conference delegates are invited to this feedback session to learn what have been the key conclusions/ideas/outcomes.

  • How to make the breakbulk & logistics industry attractive to new starters?
  • What are the hurdles for newcomers?
  • What are the hurdles for recruiters?
  • What might the breakbulk/logistics industry look like in the near future?
  • And what kinds of jobs and therefore skills will be required to help to steer breakbulk logistics through some potentially major changes?

14:15 - 15:15



Blockchain for breakbulk – buzzword or industry innovation?

Chair: Roy van Eijsden, Service Line Director Advisory, WSP

Tom van Dijk, Business Consultant, CGI
Nico Wauters, Co-Founder/CEO, T-Mining
Jeroen De Ryck, Business Unit Director Projects & Machinery, Ahlers

Is blockchain just a buzzword or can it enable more efficient, cost saving and secure operations for our breakbulk industry? What does it actually mean for our industry? Our panel will look at how much tech is already in place and how much work there is to create a common understanding of its application, as well as meaningful standards.

  • What are the challenges of integrating blockchain?
  • Related community & consortium building and governance
  • Blockchain as a tool for secure, confidential collaboration
  • Blockchain use cases – what are the use- cases in breakbulk

15:30 - 16:30

Mc Barging

River networks:

Breakbulk via rivers & hinterland connections

Chair: Eloi Flipo, Head of Transport Division, VNF

Marissa Coupé, Owner, MC Barging
Edwin Moehlig, Managing Director, Rail & Sea NV
Tom van Herzele, Senior Manager - Performance Improvement, EY

  • Developing cargo activities on the waterway
  • Two project cargo development projects: one for shipowners, the other for shippers or freight forwarders
  • What services do shippers require?
  • Managing irregularities for project cargo on barges – how do operators comply?
  • New technologies that can drive inland navigation (smart vessels, autonomous vessels, blockchain for inland navigation…) but also RIS evolutions, VisuRis,..
  • Intermodal hinterland connections
  • Benefits of traffic flow over congested road transport networks
  • Barge congestion in Port of Antwerp and how we can tackle it

End of Wednesday programme

Day 2 - Thursday 9th May 2019

10:30 - 11:10

Opening headliner:

Adaptation and innovation within a global business

Paul Birch, Owner, VisionJuice and former Head of Business Planning, British Airways

Disruption or degeneration? Paul Birch, former Corporate Jester in a multi-billion, multi-national corporation, will share insights into positive change through radical innovation.

  • How to successfully challenge the status quo within a traditional corporation?
  • How to enable staff to think differently?
  • What kind of insights can be gleaned by walking in the shoes of your customer?
  • How to ask difficult questions?
  • How to implement the opportunities provided by asking tricky questions?
  • How to turn disruption in breakbulk logistics to your advantage?
  • How to become the new business of choice for your customers?

11:30 - 12:30

LMA Legal

Global economy:

Trade wars & Brexit

Chair: Stephanie Hare, Analyst, strategist and broadcaster focusing on technology, politics, world business and future

Roy van Eijsden, Service Line Director Advisory, WSP
Dirk Visser, Senior Shipping Consultant, Dynamar B. V
Dr Miquel Roca, Managing Partner, LMA Legal
Bert Smet, Key Account Manager, Euroports

What is the impact of the trade wars on the different parts of the supply chain, a look at the challenges and opportunities for the industry.

  • Scenarios for Europe
  • Spotlight on aluminium & steel transportation between Europe/USA
  • Forecasting models – where are the exposures for break bulk? And how do these differ by region?
  • What are the wider global trends?
  • Are we witnessing reverse globalization?
  • How will any wider global trends impact break bulk projects & logistics specifically?
  • Brexit and London arbitration: most if not all breakbulk contracts are subject to English law and refer to London arbirtration. How will Brexit affect this if at all?
  • Which protection measures can we take as carrier, forwarders and cargo owners to protect from the risks associated with Brexit?

12:30 - 13:30 | Exhibition Visit

13:30 - 14:30

LMA Legal

Market trends & horizons:

How will the industry adapt to a changing business landscape?

Chair: Stephanie Hare, Analyst, strategist and broadcaster focusing on technology, politics, world business and future

Dr Miquel Roca, Managing Partner, LMA Legal
Catrien Scheers, CEO, Fast Lines

Robert Vermetten, Managing Director, Transport & Project Logistics

How will consolidation in the oil and gas, and now off shore and renewables sectors affect our industry? With EPCs keen to deal directly with asset owners, how does the forwarder fit in? An open discussion on challenges and opportunities for the next twelve months and beyond.

  • Where are we seeing the investments in projects requiring breakbulk services?
  • What are the project owners and EPCs looking for from their logistics providers?
  • The freight forwarder’s niche - freight forwards find their market space by increasing their contractual risk in their contracts with cargo owners, something carriers are not ready to do. But, is it not too much of a risk?
  • How have recent breakbulk charterparty disputes affected the rights and duties of carriers and cargo owners: limitation of responsibility, liability for damages, for late delivery, etc;

14:40 - 15:40

Shipping Strategy

Sustainable shipping:

Thinking green – opportunities and challenges in sustainable shipping

Chair: Chris Wouters, Director Business Development, EY

Katharina Renken, Senior Researcher, Kuehne Logistics University for Hapag-Lloyd Center for Shipping and Global Logistics (CSGL)
Mark Williams, Managing Director, Shipping Strategy Ltd
Dr Lucy Gilliam, Shipping & Aviation Policy, T&E

New environment-driven regulations, from ballast water management, to greenhouse emissions including the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap are forcing change.

  • How to comply
  • What are the alternative solutions, what are the best solutions?
  • How will these regulations eventually affect the future outlook for shipping?
  • New convention: what is the impact on decommissioning ships which are not energy efficient enough?
  • Green cargo: renewables

End of Day 2 programme