With just over two months to go before the start of Breakbulk Americas 2018, Ian Matheson previews parts of the conference programme and provides some information on other aspects of the region’s largest event for the project logistics sector. 

Breakbulk Americas brings together shippers and suppliers in Houston, USA, one of the world’s leading oil and gas centres. This year’s event, which takes place from October 2-4, is expecting over 5,000 attendees and 350 exhibitors, as well as 750 shippers. 

The theme for Breakbulk Americas is the new project opportunities that are available from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, down to the tip of Argentina and throughout the Caribbean.

Breakbulk Americas is a good place to connect with executives from leading EPCs, oil and gas and petrochemicals project owners, top industrial manufacturers, mining companies and metals producers who are moving cargoes throughout the Americas and around the world. 

Exhibitors and sponsors include specialised ocean carriers; freight forwarders; ports/terminals; logistics providers; road, rail, barge and air transportation companies; export packers; equipment companies and many more.

Business intelligence 

Leslie Meredith, marketing director, Breakbulk Events & Media, said: “With volatile trade markets and resurging projects, now is a good time to get the business intelligence you need to be successful.

“Participants will hear from industry experts during the conference sessions held throughout the two-day exhibition, and will also be able to take advantage of a range of workshops designed to boost skills in project freight management, compliance and heavy lifts of all kinds.”


Conference highlights 

Once again, Breakbulk Americas 2018 will include a packed programme with perspectives and analysis from key industry leaders. 

Keynote and discussion: Navigating the trade crisis 

Many elements are complicating trade, sourcing and investment decisions in the USA and globally. Compliance is trickier than ever. The EXIM Bank’s path forward remains unclear. Industry experts will explain just what these complex issues mean for the project industry and share their take on how to continue doing business in this challenging reality. 

Discussion Panel

Moderator: Kathy Canaan, global compliance director, Fluor

  • John Foster, chairman, AIIS - American Institute for International Steel
  • Mario Mancuso, partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
  • Hon Captain William Schubert, president, International Trade and Transport

The project sector: Is the tide turning?

Some industry experts see a tightening supply of heavy lift and multipurpose vessels ahead, thanks to looming sulphur regulations and the costs of compliance, as well as neglected maintenance, scrapping, fleet consolidation and a gradually improving project market. What will this mean for the project sector? Is the tide turning and the long buyers’ market ending, or will trade tiffs, political turmoil or some other source of uncertainty slow this nascent upswing?

Discussion panel

Moderator: Dominik Stehle, executive vice president, deugro Group 

  • Brent Berg, vice president of business development, Thorco Projects
  • Kasper Bihlet, vice president chartering, Spliethoff-BigLift Americas
  • Phillip Brown, global chartering manager, Fluor
  • Andrew Young, functional logistics manager, CET-SME, Bechtel Oil Gas & Chemicals

Project forwarders: Stuck in the middle with risk 

Financing and managing project transport risk: who bears the burden? Who should? Owner, project forwarder, vendor or some combination of the above? Many project forwarders feel stuck in the middle as owners require longer terms and project finance requirements escalate. On the other side, vendors keep forwarders on a short leash. Is this issue exaggerated, or are we seeing a trend that is squeezing smaller players out of the market? Should regulators step in, and if so, what form should that take? The panel of experts will delve into this topic. 

Discussion panel

Moderator: Jake Swanson, global sector head, EPC Projects, DHL Global Forwarding – Industrial Projects 

  • Dennis Devlin, director– business development, capital projects, Geodis 
  • Corey Henry, regional senior logistics manager Americas (NCSA), McDermott
  • Pat Roche, vice president, project and energy services, Expeditors


This article is taken from HLPFI's July/August 2018 edition. To receive your copy, click hereFor more comprehensive information on the event, including full details on the registration process, the complete conference agenda, the list of exhibitors, along with a floor plan, please visit: www.breakbulk.com/events/break bulk-americas-2018