Breakbulk Middle East 2023 highlights importance of sustainability in the industry

Published: Wednesday, March 22, 2023

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES—The international shipping industry is an integral part of facilitating global trade and its importance will likely get stronger as demand for cheaper transportation in shipping goods worldwide increase amid economic recovery efforts following the pandemic.

Experts put the market value of the global shipping industry at USD 165.12 billion in 2021 but is expected to reach USD 191.25 billion by 2028, at a CAGR of 1.61% over the forecast period (2022–2028). This despite issues with overcapacity, sluggish demand and rising costs due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, unprecedented global inflation, among other things.

Along with these challenges also comes the issue of sustainability. According to World Bank, the shipping industry is also a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), accounting for about 3 percent of global GHG emissions annually and “these emissions continue to grow and are far from being aligned with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

At the recently concluded Breakbulk Middle East 2023 held 13-14 February at the Dubai World Trade Center, strategies in tackling sustainability in the industry was discussed.

“It is vital that we promote discussions about sustainability in the MENA region and the world as a whole, and Breakbulk Middle East 2023 successfully provided the perfect platform to have that conversation. The UAE has always been at the forefront of achieving net-zero emissions, and has proven it through several initiatives and decarbonization strategies,” said Eng. Hessa Al Malek, Advisor to the Minister for Maritime Transport Affairs, UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure,during the event.

“The nation is committed to spreading awareness about the most pressing global concern of our time, climate change, when it hosts COP28 this year. In this regard, we welcome and support Breakbulk Middle East 2023’s eagerness to promote sustainable practices in the maritime industry through valuable discussions, and exhibitorsspecializing in this field,” he added.

Well-attended gathering

The 2023 edition of the region’s leadingbreakbulk and project cargo event witnessed a 94 percent increase in attendeescompared to last year. The 6,496 visitors included project owners and industry professionalsfrom across the MENA region dealing with freight forwarding, logistics solutions, EPCs, ports,terminals, and heavy-lift carriers.

Breakbulk Middle East 2023 provided a perfect platform to the project cargo and breakbulksector in the region to network, learn, and explore new business opportunities. It alsoprovided industry players access to the latest solutions, technologies, and services in thesector, as well as insights into market trends, and best practices. The event featured anextensive conference program, with experts, industry leaders, and stakeholders talkingabout the promising future of the sector in the region, and opportunities to expand into newmarkets.

One of the highlights of day two was the Women in Breakbulk Networking Breakfastsponsored by Bureau Veritas. This session provided a unique opportunity for females in theindustry to meet face to face, discuss the opportunities they could capitalize on, and theirrole in driving the sector’s progress.

Sharing her thoughts on the success of the session, Leslie Meredith, Marketing Directorof Breakbulk Events & Media said: “Despite the significant contributions women havemade to the progress of the sector, they represent only 2 percent of its workforce. Thishas been a major concern for all of us, and we have tried to address it with the help of ourWomen in Breakbulk Networking Breakfast. It was great to see so many female industryprofessionals come together during the session to support each other and discuss thechallenges and opportunities in the industry. We believe that segments such as these arecrucial to driving gender equality in the industry, and we will continue to play our part in ensuring its success.”

The Education Day at Breakbulk Middle East 2023 was a grand success, as industry expertsand thought leaders gathered to inspire the next generation of professionals to buildsuccessful careers in the sector and drive its progress.

The day began with opening remarksfrom Captain Mohamed Al Ali, Senior Vice President, Offshore Logistics, ADNOC Logisticsand Services, who highlighted the importance of educating young minds about the lucrativecareer opportunities that lie in the industry.

Several industry leaders present at the event shared their insights andexperiences with attendees, helping them understand the challenges and rewards ofworking in the maritime sector. Additionally, the Education Day also incorporated the“Student Success Stories” session, which provided young working professionals a platform tospeak regarding their experiences in order to inform students about the opportunities thatawait them, and the success they could achieve.

Stressing on the event’s success and its record-breaking attendance, Ben Blamire, EventDirector, Breakbulk Middle East, said, “We are thrilled with the turnout and theengagement we saw from attendees this year. The fact that we exceeded our ownexpectations in terms of footfall validates that there is a real appetite for knowledge-sharingand networking in the region’s breakbulk and project cargo sector, and BBME is playing amassive role in catering to it. The event once again brought the industry together under oneroof to discuss future possibilities, strike valuable deals, and take the sector to greaterheights. With a 94 percent rebook of exhibition space, we will add a third hall for 2024 to accommodate current exhibitors who have requested a larger stand, as well as making room for new companies looking to leverage the Breakbulk Middle East platform for new business opportunities.”

The conference and exhibition announced its return in2024, promising to bring with it another year of valuable discussions, networking, andcollaboration.