Interview with AntwerpXL 40 Under 40 winner – Laura De Wel
- How long have you been in the Breakbulk industry?
I’ve been in the breakbulk industry since 2013 when I started out as a marine surveyor. Previously I had worked in the liquid bulk industry on chemical tankers.
- Biggest change you have seen in the Breakbulk market in this time?
It has become more competitive with smaller financial margins for loss prevention initiatives. From a practical side, we see much more breakbulk being shipped on cellular container vessels which creates a new range of possibilities as well as challenges.
- The best part of your role?
The best part of my job is that every day is different. As a surveyor, one day I’ll supervise the lashing and securing of breakbulk, the next will bring a pre-shipment of steel cargo, and other days are filled with vetting inspections of general cargo vessels or giving trainings to professionals in the industry. Every day is a new challenge and work never grows boring.
- The most challenging part of your role?
To ensure high quality surveys and reports whilst keeping the costs down for our principals.
- Favourite country to travel with for work?
Southern European ports. Surveying business is always more enjoyable when the sun is shining.
- Best tip for coping with this lockdown?
As a mother of two small boys, lockdown has enabled me to spend more time with my own bubble without social obligations or extensive travels for work. In a way, this has been liberating. I highly encourage video calls with (grand)parents, family, friends and even colleagues as it allows for much better communication when you can see the other person.
- When all reopens which Bar/Restaurant are you most looking forward to visiting after lockdown?
You’ll quickly find me at “De Broertjes” in Kapellen. Delicious all-you-can-eat tapas in a family friendly setting.
- What are you most looking forward to at AntwerpXL 2021?
I’m looking forward to finally be able to meet again in person with (potential) clients, to socialise and make or grow connections with other professionals in our industry.