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Event Review: AntwerpXL 2023

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Picture of Anamika Talwaria

Anamika Talwaria

Editor & Head of Content for Tank Storage Magazine & StocExpo and Chair of Women in Tanks.

The team reports from AntwerpXL, connecting with the heart of the breakbulk community, tank storage and energy infrastructure


A packed-out conference stage at AntwerpXL

From November 28 -30, the Tank Storage Magazine team headed to Antwerp, Belgium, to attend the third edition of the industry-leading breakbulk and heavy lift event, AntwerpXL, along with host sponsor Port of Antwerp- Bruges. Recognised for its connectivity and efficiency, Port of Antwerp-Bruges works closely with AntwerpXL to attract stakeholders in the liquid bulk facility sector as well as breakbulk.

Annick Dekeyser from the Port of Antwerp- Bruges, says: ‘The delegates at AntwerpXL are really relevant for our business. To have them all concentrated in one place at the same time is incredibly valuable.’ This year’s edition featured exhibits from some of the biggest names in European breakbulk, including Steelduxx, BBC Chartering, MSC Belgium NV and more. The show hosted the forwarding and logistics industry’s VIPs, facilitated networking and new businesses while exchanging knowledge and skill-sharing.

But AntwerpXL is not just breakbulk and heavy lift; the conference covered key topics relevant to the tank storage industry too. The exhibitors are known for handling tank components and heavy cargoes, catering to the tank terminal industry’s diverse needs.


Hot Conference Topics

AntwerpXL’s Main Deck conference sessions ran over the final two days of the event and included insights from a host of experts. The conference was packed full of insightful and relevant content for the breakbulk industry and beyond. There was a strategic focus on challenges within shipping, the energy transition, geopolitics, sustainability and digitalisation, including AI.

Speaking on and chairing a session on the first day on ‘The energy transition in the Global South & project cargo demand’, Susan Oatway, Research Analyst at S&P Global, says: ‘It’s been great to catch up with old friends and meet new colleagues. I love Antwerp because it’s a great place to do business and have fun.’ As a key matter in the current climate, more sustainability sessions were explored on the second day with Vertis Environmental Finance, ETS for Shipping, Helexia BE and LA Marine. They discussed stakeholders’ responsibilities regarding supply chain sustainability
and the measures in place to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all relevant topics of the tank terminal sector.


Inviting the Next Generation

On the final day of the event, AntwerpXL opened its doors to students from local universities to take part in its ‘Recruitment Day’. There was great attendance at the show and conference from the students who gained valuable insights from a session on recruitment into the breakbulk industry from Euroports and a further panel on attracting new generations and diversity and inclusion, featuring some of AntwerpXL’s 40 under 40 winners, WISTA, Trans Coral Shipping and 4D Supply Chain Consulting.


Networking Opportunities at AntwerpXL

AntwerpXL prides itself on networking opportunities. The grand opening ceremony and welcome reception set the tone for the event, allowing visitors to mingle and preview upcoming activities. And after the show was over, late-night networking continued, with an afterparty hosted by Konecranes, at Café Den Bengel Bar in the historic city of Antwerp.

With bars, drinks and refreshments on every stand, the conversions taking place between exhibitors and visitors helped to create long-lasting relationships. Delegate Remy Aoveer, CEO of Nordway Trading, says: ‘I’m here to network, AntwerpXL is amazing, well- organised, and the right type of people are here. It’s really focused.’ AntwerpXL also had a lively networking lounge, a social hub where industry professionals relaxed, connected, and formed relationships. The Port of Antwerp Tour on day one, provided an immersive experience into breakbulk, project cargo, and heavy lift sectors.


Bigger & Better in 2023

This year’s event boasted a 12% increase in visitors and a 70% rebook on exhibitors, making it a not-to-be-missed event in 2024! After the show’s success, Margaret Dunn, portfolio director of AntwerpXL, says: ‘This has been the biggest and best AntwerpXL yet and the atmosphere is thick with positivity and excitement. The conference has been extremely insightful and well-received, our exhibitors have done lots of business, and everyone is in good spirits. We can’t wait for next year’s AntwerpXL!’


Join the breakbulk and heavy-lift industry at AntwerpXL 2024 on 8-10 October 2024

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