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Bulk experts line up for TOC Europe 2019

At TOC Europe in Rotterdam in June, BIMCO and Drewry will assess the global outlook for dry bulk shipping while operators, technology experts and industry groups will explore how bulk, multipurpose ports and terminals can get smart, safe and clean.

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BIMCO's Peter Sand speaking at TOC Europe 2018
BIMCO's Peter Sand speaking at TOC Europe 2018

The event organisers have summarised the bulk seminars under the tag line: “TOC Europe 2019: driving bulk ports and terminals toward digitalisation, automation, operational resilience and safety”.


Setting the scene, Leticia Astudillo, technical lead at Drewry Maritime Consultants, and Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO, will discuss the outlook for the solid bulk sector in 2019 and beyond.


Dry bulk trades had a good 2018, at least compared with the previous three or four years. Coal shipping turned in a particularly strong performance. Yet considerable risks lie ahead over the short term, not least ongoing uncertainty over trade relations between the world’s major economies.


For example, expectations for steel production trends in the countries using imported raw materials, suggest that positive effects on iron ore import demand will probably be quite limited this year. Output of crude steel in China, Japan, South Korea and the European Union could be flat in 2019, compared with the previous 12 months.


In another key presentation, Oded Orr, senior project manager, Haifa Port, Israel, will present a case study on how to implement a new information system to run a general cargo terminal.


Orr will examine the required strategy mix necessary for the successful implementation of modern digital technology and how this can afford a genuine competitive advantage for ports and terminals.


Managing a next generation bulk port and terminal will be highlighted by Kris Kosmala, director, smart port operations digital solutions, Royal HaskoningDHV.


Kosmala will describe how smart ports should collect all the data from operations, machinery and people to determine the right execution with minimal human intervention in the decision-making process.


Migrating from predictive to prescriptive (condition-based) maintenance can prove a real money saver. Likewise, power consumption (electricity and equipment fuels) are further areas for spend optimisation. Advanced engine controls on moving equipment cut energy and/or fuel consumption, if supported by data analysis of the movements of the machines in relation to the tasks performed and, possibly, human operator behaviour.


Further seminars will address critically important issues facing bulk ports and terminals, including environmental pressures and potential processes to mitigate environmental impact, the future landscape for dry bulk facility investment, better asset management, and continuous handling of bulk materials on the open seas.


Also taking part is TOC association partner the International Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG), a not-for-profit, non-commercial membership association that represents owners and operators of dry bulk terminals across the world. Its primary function is to provide a forum and a voice for the still highly fragmented international dry bulk industry.


“The maritime industry is generally viewed as sectional. However, there is significant cross-over through all the sectors,” said Nic Ingle, executive director at DBTG. “The bulk sector seminars at TOC Europe are a great opportunity to put into practice what DBTG does best, share experiences and drive up standards, whilst learning from others.”


As an NGO at the IMO, DBTG has been involved with and brought to the table several significant issues including the Global Bauxite Working Group and the BLU Code. The most significant issue to date however is working in enclosed spaces on board ships.


“This has resulted in 140 deaths in the last 20 years, 40 of those in the last 12 months, affecting seafarers and port workers alike,” said Ingle. “The statistics speak for themselves and the issue will be addressed at the IMO in 2019. The DBTG presentation at TOC Europe will detail these unacceptable deaths and explore what can be done to prevent them re-occurring.”


Running alongside these free-to-attend seminars is the TOC Europe Exhibition. New to TOC Europe this year is a dedicated Dry Bulk Pavilion where the latest technologies and best practices designed to enhance efficiencies in dry bulk handling will be on display.


Numerous companies specialised in bulk handling equipment and technologies will exhibit their range of products and services and be on hand to discuss ‘getting smart’. Several exhibitors are scheduled to use this year’s event as a platform to launch new products, cementing TOC’s reputation as the world’s leading port technology event.


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