Europort 2021 concludes after reuniting the shipping and offshore industries in Rotterdam last week, with participants offering a resounding endorsement for the return of in-person maritime events.
Overwhelmingly positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors at the conclusion of Europort 2021 demonstrated how keenly the maritime industries have been awaiting the resumption of in-person events. Hosted by Rotterdam Maritime Capital, some 800 maritime companies from 43 countries participated at Rotterdam Ahoy November 2-5 to welcome almost 20,000 high quality visitors from 79 countries worldwide.
“This is what our industry needs so much,” says Raymond Siliakus, Europort Director. “It has been a long wait and preparations have been intensive, but it was all worth it so that our maritime peers could meet in real life again. This was an amazing week, full of energy and joy. Huge thanks and compliments are due to the 800 exhibitors who kept believing, gave us their confidence, and showcased the best of the best.”
Connie Roozen, Chair, Rotterdam Maritime Services Community (RMSC), comments, “Europort is super important to us. All of our customers and our entire network are present, both nationally and internationally. In celebrating its 40th edition, Europort has been more than a success for us: it has once more proved itself as a fantastic promotion of the Netherlands and Rotterdam.”
“We are happy to be at the first major maritime event in 2 years and to meet up with customers face to face again,” says Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Chief Executive, Marine & Offshore (Netherlands), of global class society Bureau Veritas. “It has been excellent to walk the floor and get into some really good conversations. It’s also been an opportunity to give special attention to our Dutch clients.”
Christos Papakis, Head of the Greece Pavilion, says that the nine attending member companies of the Enterprise Greece-backed marine technology export association were very satisfied with this year’s Europort. “I think this year has been the best, with participation from more of our members than ever before,” he said. “Not seeing customers or colleagues face to face was really difficult and this was a nice opportunity to meet them again. All of the participants hope to return in 2023.”
Star attractions included the world premiere of a new “EVOLVE” range marine engines from Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC), developed to transition shipping towards ultra-low or zero emission operation. The first member of the range is a compact yet very powerful 4-cylinder medium speed engine: the 4EL23.
Four days of conference sessions, seminars and exhibition hall bustle concluded with a discussion on “Future-proof maritime education”, bringing together captains of industry with industry newcomers for lively exchange on Next Generation topics – one of four key Europort themes.
During the week, fresh views were also heard on Digitalisation, Ship Finance and Energy Transition, with the launch of the SMASH! initiative’s autonomous ship information service, new developments in alternative fuels and insights into sustainable ship financing proving especially eye-catching.
“I didn’t actually know what to expect from this week,” says Rob Remans, Sales Manager BeNeLux & Switzerland for international group Wilhelmsen Ship Services. “It’s been good to see each other in 3D and build relationships, and we got new leads. We met key people who we’ve been looking to connect with for the past year, which was very difficult with everybody working from home.”
Radio Holland Sales Manager Hans Beun adds, “This week has been better than expected, given the situation. We’ve even had people coming to the booth and signing a deal – that’s what I call an added value!”