Global carriers to discuss impact of mega ships and alliances on US and Latin container trade at annual TOC Americas conference in Cartagena this October
London, 12.06.2014 – TOC Events has announced the participation of three senior liner shipping executives as key speakers at the upcoming 14th TOC Americas event this October 14-16.  Robbert van Trooijen, CEO, Latin America and Caribbean for Maersk Line, Poul Hestbaek, SVP Latin America West Coast & Caribbean at Hamburg Süd and Howard Finkel, Executive Vice President Trade Division for COSCO Container Lines Americas will all share views on the changing face of regional container trade and transport in light of mega vessels, alliances and other fundamental shifts in liner shipping.
The global trend towards massive economies of scale in shipping– also to be discussed in depth at TOC Europe in London, 24-26 June – is already having a major impact on east-west and north-south container trade across the Americas. The expansion of the Panama Canal, now due for completion in December 2015, will create further opportunities for carriers to ‘size up and team up’.
Speakers at TOC Americas 2014 will analyse what this means for the region’s shipping networks, including both international and Intra-Americas trade, which is currently outpacing mature markets with a projected growth rate of 3.4% for 2014. Among other topics, the conference will take a close look at future transhipment strategies across Latin America. How will the new generation of large vessels impact the balance of direct call versus hub-and-spoke operations?
Port capacity to handle larger vessels will of course be a key deciding factor. The new wave of ships is already putting heavy financial and operational pressures on North and Latin America port infrastructure and services, and on connecting landside transport. This will be a second major topic of discussion at the 2014 conference. The Port of Cartagena, hosting TOC Americas for the first time in Colombia, is among those having to commit significant new investment to accommodate ships up to 14,000TEU - a story being repeated across the region.
This year’s conference will include a dedicated focus on terminal investment, automation and productivity, with experts debating issues such as how container ports can stay competitive in the age of mega ships and options for upgrading existing terminals to handle future ship demands.
Speakers already confirmed from the port and terminal community include Giovanni Benedetti, Commercial Director at Port of Cartagena, John Bressi, Project Manager, Crane Automation, for SSA Marine International, Guillaume Lucci, VP & Global Infrastructure Director for ICTSI, and Patricia López Manieu, Head of Business Development at Ultramar.
“Port and terminal owners are balancing the demands of their customers with the financial investment required to update their terminals,” said Paul Holloway, Director TOC Events. “Terminals are facing a huge impact from larger vessels cascading onto secondary deep sea trades and terminal efficiency in some cases is compromised. Operators are looking at their KPIs and weighing up how they increase the performance of their terminals to keep up with the additional demands. Despite the staggering amount of new and surprisingly similar events emerging in this sector, TOC are as ever committed to delivering the highest quality content available to the market in Colombia this October."
TOC Container Supply Chain Americas runs from 14-16 October at the Cartagena de Indias Convention Center, Columbia. The event includes the TOC Container Supply Chain conference, Cold Chain conference track on perishable and refrigerated trade and TECH TOC container terminal operations forum. The TOC exhibition running alongside will showcase the latest in port services, equipment and technology solutions. Industry networking reception and a special tour to the Port of Cartagena – a regional leader in terminal productivity – complete the picture. The event attracts around 400 senior port, shipping and logistics delegates.

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