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Tank Storage Magazine speaks with icapps and Fast Lines about AntwerpXL

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

Hosted in the heart of the European breakbulk market, AntwerpXL (4-6 October 2022), the award-winning breakbulk, project cargo and heavy-lift event, provides a platform for the industry that delivers valuable connections and unforgettable experiences for visitors and exhibitors alike.

AntwerpXL provides all-year-round knowledge and resources, feeding into a platform for the industry to come together, networking with people from across the industry and finding the products and solutions needed for their businesses.

In the lead-up to the AntwerpXL conference, Tank Storage Magazine journalist, Cyann Fielding, spoke with Ben Swaelen, account manager at icapps and Catrien Scheers ambassador at Fast Lines Belgium about what they are looking forward to at the event.

icapps will be presenting a talk on ‘Digitalisation: snake oil or cure?’, where they give ‘insights into the challenges, myths, and endless possibilities digitalisation have to offer. By sharing our experiences in the field and linking those up with our profound strategic insights, and by discussing opportunities, we want to prepare everyone in attendance for the digital area,’ says Swaelen.

Swaelen has worked in shipping and logistics for over 10 years and has experienced first-hand the costs of inefficiency. Swaelen says: ‘For a lot of companies, working with spreadsheets, tally sheets and manual transport planning tools is the norm. Improving efficiency not only means a direct boost in productivity, but it also frees up time that can be invested in taking care of your customer and optimising your service.’

One of the myths icapps aims to tackle is the idea that digitalisation costs a lot of money. ‘When factoring in labour costs, it’s easy to see digitalisation is well worth the investment,’ says Swaelen.

Fast Lines Belgium will be joining Port of Antwerp to present their ‘Bel Eire’ liner service from Port of Antwerp to Port of Drogheda and their breakbulk liner service from Port of Szczecin to Port of Goole. Fast Lines’ team of transport architects will help customers through the breakbulk wilderness, which they call ‘Sofa Service’ – the client decides what needs to be transported, they are contacted quickly and can then relax as Fast Lines does the rest.

Antwerp XL is a great way for companies to get quality face-time with potential clients. Swaelen from icapps comments that: ‘The great thing about AntwerpXL is that it brings together two industries I’m very passionate about. Most importantly, we hope that we’ll be able to trigger people to push forward on their digital projects.’

icapps is especially curious about what the general impression of digitalisation is within the logistics industry; the event is a good opportunity for attendees to share their thoughts and experiences.

Scheers from Fast Lines is excited about discussing all things breakbulk with the community and moderating the panel on the Challenges and Opportunities – the future of the breakbulk and project cargo sector.

Scheers and Swaelen also discussed the main challenges impacting the sector. Scheers at Fast Lines considers this to be ‘the shortage of skilled people.’ On the other hand, Swaelen comments on several challenges in the sector: ‘We look at these challenges through digitalisation-coloured glasses, and what we see are the following opportunities, challenges, and trends:

Data management and sharing: The logistics industry sits on a lot of data that is not being fully utilised. How can this be changed? How can we use this data to become more efficient? And how can we share data among other suppliers to improve collaboration throughout the entire supply chain?

Communication and transparency: We would all benefit from an atmosphere of open communication and transparency. Both are key to guaranteeing efficiency and keeping the supplier’s promises. But how to create this? We are convinced the answer is digitalisation.

Sustainability: A challenge you can’t escape these days; the urge to become more sustainable. Optimising your operations and using data to reduce your carbon footprint will only gain more traction in the next few years.

Human error vs digitalisation: The idea that technology will replace people is a common misconception. Digital solutions should support employees in their daily work, reduce the number of mistakes and enhance day-to-day operations.

During our talk, we’ll zoom in on the challenge of human error vs digitalisation and how digital tools can enhance productivity.’

Join both icapps and Fast Lines, along with other businesses across the industry, at this year’s AntwerpXL conference on 4-6 October. Click here to register.

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