The show featured over 100 exhibitors including major industry names such as Boeckmans, Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Conti7, NileDutch, Hartel and Grimaldi Group. They were joined by innovative newer players such as NxtPort, PortXL and Peripass, which were featured within the show’s special Innovation Start-Up Zone, where they showcased new technologies with live demonstrations.
“From the Tuesday evening onwards the visitor numbers were very good”, said Albert-Jan Ars, Commercial Manager, Katoen Natie. “But to be honest, it’s not the number of people which matters, it’s the quality of those people and the conversations you are able to have with them, and at this show both of these have been excellent. We’ve followed up with people and have already had 50% ask for a quotation, which is a great sign that the right people have been at the show, and that they’re in the market to buy.”
Beyond the show floor, the organisers provided additional opportunities for visitors and exhibitors to network. AntwerpXL 2019 kicked-off with a tour of the Port of Antwerp, which included views of both Kieldrecht Lock, the largest lock in the world, Deurganckdok, the largest container terminal in Europe, plus a chance to see and learn about Zuidnatie, the Antwerp Railhouse and Churchill Dock. There was a breakfast seminar organised by Flows, where thought-leaders discussed the question, ‘Breakbulk in Flanders: Crucial or Marginal?’. An official AntwerpXL Networking Party, hosted at the historic Felix Archive and later at Den Engel in the Square, provided further hospitality.
AntwerpXL’s conference programme featured two content streams focused on both futureproofing
and inspiring the future of the breakbulk, Ro-Ro and heavy lift industries. Over 40 experts covered topics such as adapting to The NextGen, blockchain for breakbulk, trade wars and Brexit.
Paul Birch, Visionjuice, summarised how revolutionary AntwerpXL was for shaping the future of breakbulk.: “It’s about creativity, it’s about changing minds and through changing minds, changing businesses.”
Easyfairs also offered visitors and exhibitors ‘AntwerpXL Connect’, an online one-to-one networking platform, through which they could set up meetings and manage their schedule during the event.
Mark Rimmer concluded: “While we wanted AntwerpXL to be the type of event the breakbulk industry has valued in the past, we were determined to go further than this and introduce some new addedvalue elements such as our meetings service; things which have made Easyfairs one of the most successful and fastest growing event organisers in the world. The feedback we’ve had from exhibitors and visitors alike suggests this mix of old and new has really worked. We’re thrilled with the way the show has gone. It’s been an amazing debut event and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back in 2020.”