the main deck agenda

discover global trends & opportunites from industry leaders

Below you can find the most up-to-date agenda for the Main Deck Conference. Make sure you check back regularly for new announcements on speakers and sessions.

22 April

Flows Breakfast


Global trends & economic impacts on breakbulk

10:30am - 11:15am

MODERATOR: Lena Göthberg, Shipping #thoughtleader, Consultant & Founder, Host & Producer of Shipping Podcast

A 360 degree review of trends, trade flows, opportunities & barriers to trade, and the overall economic outlook for breakbulk projects.

  • What does the international trade landscape look like now that we are experiencing less global, more regional trends?
  • What are the barriers to international trade?
  • How are trade flows impacted by global trends?
  • How is the decarbonisation agenda impacting trade flows?
  • Economic outlook for breakbulk projects

Matt Watkins, Principle Analyst, CRU Group (UK)

Igor Alves, South America Heavy Lift Transport Leader, Center of Expertise-Power Transformers, ABB (Brazil)

Wim Dillen, Regional Development Manager, Port of Antwer

Lena Göthberg

Shipping #thoughtleader, Consultant, and Founder, Host & Producer of the Shipping Podcast

Matt Watkins

Principal Analyst, CRU Group (UK)

Sustainability in the breakbulk logistics chain


MODERATOR: Katrien Van Itterbeck, Sustainable Trasition Expert (Shipping), Port of Antwerp

The breakbulk shipping ecosystem as a whole needs to work towards & support sustainability aims & initiatives.

From a range of perspectives, this session highlights the opportunities & challenges around decarbonising breakbulk shipping; debates how responsibilities and costs can impact the supply chain, and provides an overall outlook for developing a cost-effective & sustainable breakbulk logistics chain.

  • Implementation of the IMO 2020 fuel sulphur cap: review and update
  • What have been the early lessons from IMO 2020 from the first few months of implementation?
  • What about the sustainability agenda beyond IMO 2020? Getting to zero coalition, the Poseidon Principles and new fuels of the future.
  • We all want clean air, green ships, sustainable jobs but it comes at a cost!
  • Breakbulk ecosystems: Meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • What is the impact of the shipping industry on the SDGs?
  • What is the fuel (propulsion method) of the future in breakbulk-shipping

Dario Bocchetti, Global Energy Saving Manager, Grimaldi

Pablo Rodas-Martini, Climate Change/ Shipping Emissions/ Carbon Markets, International Trade (Poland)

Pablo Rodas-Martini

Climate Change/ Shipping Emissions / Carbon Markets, International Trade (Poland)

Shippers Lunch (by invite only)


Realities of digital in breakbulk


Why isn’t innovation happening in breakbulk? This session discusses the digital gap, and where are the opportunities for connectivity – across data, social & collaborative practices. How can collaboration on standards, processes and responsibilities help to bring about substantive change for the better?

  • Modern breakbulk: What are the future possibilities?
  • Paperless bill of lading: Are we ready for this?
  • How to handle companies that have no “real” connection to the ports such as banks that receive BL’s?
  • Containerization of breakbulk: How to keep breakbulk attractive by innovation; and how to make it transparent for “hybrid” shippers that are not really caring about whether it goes on a container vessel or a breakbulk vessel but are about costs & efficiency/ transparency?
  • AI & blockchain – use cases/ pilots

Ann Lee Carpenter, Co-founder, Braid Theory (USA)

Steven Schutter, Product Owner Breakbulk and Community Builder, NxtPort (Belgium)

Steven Schutter

Product Owner Breakbulk and Community Builder, NxtPort (Belgium)

Round table Discussions: Spotlights on growth areas - Where are the opportunities in breakbulk?


Spotlight on Africa:

Henrik M Christensen, Chariman,
Guinea Shipping Corp (Hong Kong)

Spotlight on South America:

Igor Alves, South America Heavy Lift Transport Leader, Center of Expertise-Power Transformers, ABB (Brazil)

Spotlight on North America:

Michael Richards,
Bulk and Breakbulk Business Development Manager,
Port of Portland (USA)

23 April

Incoterms 2020: contracts and customs


  • Incoterms 2020 update
  • Breakbulk shipping contracts: what to look out for?
  • Customs: best practice

Speaker TBC

Smart ports: Technology & Innovation for breakbulk projects


MODERATOR: Ann Lee Carpenter, co-Founder, Braid Theory (USA)

This session will cover how tech advances and innovation at the ports are improving collaborative practices and providing efficiencies in breakbulk cargo.

  • Collaboration & blockchain solutions
  • Improving fluidity & reliability in breakbulk cargoes
  • Meeting client requirements

Hans Henrik Grøn, Logistics Director, North Europe & Middle East Region, Siemens Gamesa (Denmark)

Hans Henrik Grøn

Logistics Director – North Europe & Middle East Region, Siemens Gamesa (Denmark)

NextGen Lunch


Future skills & agile thinking

  • Developing new skills & competencies for a robust future breakbulk labour market
  • Labour market: What are the new skills required by the growth in tech advances for breakbulk?
  • Where are the skills gaps?
  • Investing in training and education to achieve employee’s full potential and contribute to business growth
  • Developing an agile workforce which is abe fully to ‘think out of the box’

Christa Sys, Holder of the BNP Paribas Fortis Chair on Transport, Logistics and Ports, University of Antwerp

Philippe Fierens, Manging Director, ExSeCo Belgium

Christa Sys

Holder of the BNP Paribas Fortis Chair on Transport, Logistics & Ports, University of Antwerp (Belgium)

Philippe Fierens

Managing Director, ExSeCo Belgium

Round table discussions


Delivering client-focused logistics

  • What does the supply chain look like?
  • Vertical integration: how is the breakbulk industry changing?
  • Project logistics costs: what to expect?
  • What are the client requirements when selecting a global project forwarder?
  • Separating yourself from other forwarders

Catrien Scheers, CEO, Fast Lines (Belgium)

Nataliya Maiseyenka, Transport Manager Project Cargo, EAME and Eurasia Operations, Caterpillar (Belgium)

Catrien Scheers

CEO, Fast Lines (Belgium)

Nataliya Maiseyenka

Transportation Manager Project Cargo, EAME & Eurasia Operation, Caterpillar

On Renewables

In a growing sector, what are the challenges for breakbulk transport in renewables?
  • With blades for wind turbines getting ever bigger, what are the transport/ project handling solutions?
  • What are the benefits of modular components & batching?
  • How to develop projects in a cost-efficient way?
  • Attitude of the OEMs

Hans Henrik Grøn, Logistics Director, North Europe & Middle East Region, Siemens Gamesa (Denmark)

Hans Henrik Grøn

Logistics Director – North Europe & Middle East Region, Siemens Gamesa (Denmark)

Connectivity in breakbulk

Data connectivity and social connectivity; there needs to be a willingness to work together. Hear from the first movers.  

Speakers TBC

On mining & materials

Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Secretary General, Indian Steel Association (India)

Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee

Secretary General, Indian Steel Association (India)

Hinterland Connections

  • What do good hinterland connections look like for breakbulk cargo?
  • Concerns around traffic congestions
  • Accessing inland waterways
  • Intermodal: Rail connections
  • What is the role of the rail operators in promoting ports?
  • Role of dry ports & first mile transit

Peter Larose, Head of Projects, Conti7

Marcel Pater, Commercial Manager, North Sea Port (Belgium)

Katarina Stancova, Senior Adviser, Mobility Department, Antwerp Port Authority


To hear all these talks first-hand, and benefit from the invaluable insights they provide, as well as meet over 150+ leading breakbulk solutions provides and attend a range of networking events, get your ticket now.