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After 3 long years apart, TOC Europe – the Global AGM for Ports and Terminals, returned with a bang from 14-16th June 2022.
The event concluded with record attendance numbers, reflecting a pent-up desire from within the industry to return to real-world events following the pandemic. 3,500+ attendees descended on Rotterdam from over 80 nations across 3 days, to re-build those crucial relationships, share knowledge and be inspired by the innovation that the industry is embracing. Feedback gathered so far has indicated that TOC Europe 2022 was a huge success.
To those of you who couldn't make it, thank you as well for your interest and we hope to be able to welcome you to one of our upcoming TOC events very soon.
In the meantime, here are some of the key event highlights:
TOC Europe 2022 saw high levels of attendee engagement, led largely by knowledge-heavy conference sessions and a sold-out exhibition at Ahoy Rotterdam.
The event was opened by Event Director Paul Holloway of TOC Worldwide, who opened the first real-world staging of TOC Europe since 2019 by proclaiming: “It’s back to business!”
Delivering a keynote speech under the topic of “A Smart Port is a Connected Port”, Matthijs van Doorn, VP Commercial of Port of Rotterdam, the event’s host port, said: “Transparency is the basis that will push us forward – our opportunity is to see what we can do with this data to the benefit of our customers.” Alongside him, Alex Duca, Head of Automation Engineering at AP Moller Maersk, delivered a virtual keynote presentation where he highlighted the importance of synergies between physical and digital assets in global supply chains.
Speaking about “Market Intelligence and Volatility”, Indra Vonck, Leader, Deloitte Port Advisory, described the situation our industry is in today as “the worst times we’ve ever experienced in modern times in the shipping industry, as we face myriad uncertainties and risks”. He identified three tools that could help offset supply chain challenges, namely Diversification, Nearshoring and Smart Digitisation.
Expanding on that theme, Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, Secretary-General of FEPORT, said its member companies have shown extraordinary resilience by learning the lessons from different disruptions in recent years. “We will never be back to normal again,” she warned.
After stating “Not all ports are as integrated as they like to think they are,” Dennis Koegeboehn, Partner at Hamburg Port Consulting demonstrated how two ports - Port of Charleston and Lyttleton Port of Christchurch – can prosper over time by reducing uncertainty and increasing control.
Antonio Barbara, CEO of HHLA PTY, gave a compelling presentation about how Trieste is developing and growing to become one of the pre-eminent ports in the Adriatic and a viable, environmentally friendly alternative to the North Sea route for goods coming into central and Eastern Europe via the Suez Canal.
“Ports are increasingly becoming energy hubs, yet many lack somewhat in implementation expertise,” said Alex Picco, MD Circle Group and Technical Manager of the EALING Project, reporting on the headline findings of the recent Onshore Power Supply survey.
Speaking about capacity and competitiveness in port terminals, Ricardo Arten, CEO Brasil Terminal Portuario (BTP), answered the question ‘how can we increase capacity via
vertically integrated terminals?’, as well as offering an insightful overview of the Brazilian shipping climate. “Brazil is not the country of the future – we are here!” he exclaimed.
Following record attendance numbers for the first day of TOC Europe 2022 in Rotterdam, the doors opened for the second day where the focus was placed on sustainability. Aside from the business conversations taking place across the exhibition floor, the conference sessions again proved popular with attendees, featuring a plethora of leading experts addressing the challenges and opportunities in decarbonising maritime trade.
“Keynote speaker Annika Kroon, European Commission DG Mobility and Transport, started the ball rolling with a comprehensive overview of the “Fit for 55 Package” for maritime and logistics, and how this will ultimately lead to make shipping more sustainable.
IKEA’s Global Sustainability Manager Elizabeth Munck, provided the virtual element to the session by talking attendees remotely through IKEA’s plans to grow its business whilst aiming to achieve carbon positivity. “We want to demonstrate our confidence to achieve targets and assure our stakeholders that this is the way forward,” she said.
Speaking under the topic of Energy Transition, Ashley Woods, Head of Global Environmental Improvement at AP Moller Maersk showed examples and case studies of how urgent actions are being undertaken to decarbonise global shipping.
Douwe van der Stroom, a former environmental campaigner now steering Port of Rotterdam’s campaign to focus on efficiency and sustainability at the EU’s largest port, talked the attendees through its four pillars of energy transformation. Among them is the construction at Port of Rotterdam of a hydrogen production facility as well as a biomethanol production plant. “Our ambition is to become smarter and more sustainable,” he stated.
Electric? Hydrogen? Biofuel? Ammonia? The future beyond fossil fuels was at the heart of a round-table discussion between representatives from McKinsey & Co, AP Moller-Maersk, NOW GmbH, Port of Helsinki and TBA Group. Of course, the definitive answer is hard to predict, but the industry is urged to be ready to adapt and then adopt whichever alternative prevails.
Looking outside of Europe, TOC Europe also shone the spotlight on Morocco and Brazil.
Morocco’s Tanger Med Port Authority was of particular interest to the delegates.
Mr Hassan Abkari, Director General, explained how the strategic location of the port on the Strait of Gibraltar – that guarantees direct zero-deviation access to the major East/West and North/South shipping lines – has enabled a major expansion of recent years, which now brings a facility with a handling capacity of 9 million TEU and connectivity to 180 ports and 70 countries. Tanger Med Port Authority is now Africa’s leading gateway port and as such, will host to our exciting new event the inaugural TOC Africa in 2023.
The third day of TOC Europe placed the spotlight on digitalisation and automation.
Ammar Kanaan, CEO at TiL, delivered an insightful presentation on business considerations for automation at container terminals that included reskilling for the future and assessing the synergies between system providers and operators.
Meanwhile, Christian Blauert, Global Director Port and Terminal Development at Moffatt & Nichol, led the debate on how novel digital tools can optimize maritime trade. He was joined at this session by Martijn Thijsen, Ecosystem & Platform Play Lead, Digital of Strategy & Transformation, and Blockchain lead at the Port of Rotterdam, Bart Vermeer, Senior Manager for
Terminal Automation, Moffatt & Nichol, and Sven Daniels, Partner & Product Manager for Digitalisation at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting.
The discussions concluded with a debate on the harmonization of digital standards moderated by Pascal Ollivier, President of Maritime Street and Chairman at the IAPH Data Collaboration Committee, and with representatives from the International Taskforce Port Call Optimisation, the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), the International Port Community Systems Association (IPCSA), and the Terminal Industry Committee (TIC) 4.0.
The event saw its highest-ever number of visitors, translating into what has been described by exhibitors and visitors alike as the best-ever staging of TOC Europe in its 40-year history.
With a three-day content programme underpinned by almost 200 exhibitors in Rotterdam’s Ahoy venue. Paul Holloway, Event Director of TOC Worldwide thanked the event’s stakeholders – speakers, sponsors, exhibitors and visitors – for the success of TOC Europe 2022: “It’s been incredibly satisfying to see and hear so much business being done in-person in the halls across all three days, after the challenging times we all endured during the pandemic. The first TOC Europe since 2019 demonstrated how much we have missed human interaction, and how far the industry has moved forward in the past couple of years, particularly around the topics of digitisation and sustainability.”
The pandemic saw the maritime and shipping sector grow in size, complexity and sophistication, and TOC Europe 2022 has – once again – provided the platform for the industry to meet, share knowledge and experience, and discuss how supply chain challenges have been met and overcome. Considerable focus was placed on the quest to reach carbon-neutral operations, how autonomous solutions can help optimise container movements and increase safety, and how cybersecurity and standardisation are increasingly critical in an ever-digitalised industry.
Looking ahead, TOC Europe 2023 will be hosted in Rotterdam on 13th to 15th June 2023.
Before that, TOC Worldwide’s global portfolio is also back in business with TOC Americas taking place in Lima, Peru on 18th to 20th October 2022, followed by TOC Asia in Singapore on 29th & 30th November 2022, and the exciting new project, TOC Africa, in partnership Tanger Med Port Authority, in Tangier on 7th & 8th March 2023.
For more information and on exhibiting options and how to get involved please visit:
TOC Americas 2022 – click here
TOC Asia 2022 – click here
TOC Africa 2023 – click here
TOC Europe 2023 – click here
To view all sessions and interviews filmed at TOC Europe 2022, visit:
- Speaker and exhibitor interviews – click here