TOC Americas returned to the US in November for its ninth event, attracting leading figures within the industry including the major terminal operators, port authorities, shipping lines and shippers.
The popular conference and exhibition moved to the US West Coast for the first time this year, as the Long Beach Convention Centre in California hosted the annual event which was officially opened by the President of Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, James Hankla on November 18.
TOC Americas drew high-level delegates from across the globe to hear sessions on the latest developments in the industry from a host of key speakers. Focus areas included the environment, the interface between marine terminals, terminal productivity, regional port capacity, gateway diversification and trade lane strategies and financing of critical port and transport infrastructure.
This year’s conference, which involved 40 speakers, featured presentations from industry experts including Dave Sanborn, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Americas Region of DP World, Arun K. Bhimani, President of Liftech Consultants Inc., Peter Keller, President of NYK Line (North America) Inc. and Port & Maritime Specialist, Martin Sgut. The conference at TOC Americas 2008 had a strong focus on the current economic conditions affecting businesses in the region and the outlook for the future.
Paul Holloway, Event Director of TOC Events Worldwide, commented: “The conference program at this year’s TOC Americas was of exceptional quality. In the current economic climate it was important to discuss the implications the downturn has on the industry. The speakers gave delegates a valuable forecast of the economy over the next 18 months, enabling them to prepare for the uncertain future. We pride ourselves on producing the highest quality, editorially driven conference material, focusing on the critical issues that face today’s maritime and terminal industries. This year’s conference has been one of the most successful in that respect.”
TOC Americas was the platform for executives to hear from industry experts on how to survive the worldwide economic crisis. John Bowe, President Americas of APL, Dr. Walter Kemmsies of Moffatt & Nichol, Sean Strawbridge, Managing Director Corporate Development at Ports America and Robert West, Principal – Trade & Transportation of Halcrow, gave a high level overview of economic and business drivers in the sector. Delegates were given high-quality presentations on how the changing economic and environmental climate will impact the delivery of critical port and transport infrastructure across the Americas.
Following the recent agreement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) to negotiate a new six year contract covering more than 25,000 dockworkers at 29 US West Coast ports, TOC Americas showcased the new contract while Jim McKenna, President of PMA, explained the implications for West Coast container operations and discussed the challenges and opportunities going forward.
David Charlesworth of Drewry Supply Chain Advisors, commented: “The TOC event is an impressive place where some serious thought is given to the future of the ports and terminal industry.”
EXHIBITION A PERFECT MEETING GROUND
This year’s exhibition covered a space of 1000m2 with 65 exhibitors taking to the floor this year, executives from across the globe were quick to gather in California to browse a whole host of new products and services that were on show. With all the leading companies in the container industry present. Exhibitors this year included: APS Technology, Draka Cabelteq, ESL Power Systems, Gottwald Port Technology, Siemens and Vycon.
Maria Alm, Marketing Manager of TOC Events Worldwide, added: “We have already taken some significant re-bookings for next year’s TOC Americas which, in the current economic climate, is testament to the power of the event. Exhibitions are one of the most efficient and cost effective ways o