In a time where the maritime market struggles with the effects of the economic recession, the need for a maritime meeting place seems larger than ever. The exhibition Europort, that was held in Rotterdam from 3 until 6 November in Ahoy Rotterdam, saw a record number of 900 exhibitors from 35 countries this year. This was the first time the exhibition was completely sold out. The central exhibition theme this year was Advanced Technology, imagination becoming reality. Over 31.000 maritime professionals visited Europort.
Pete Hogett, Sales manager for Lincoln Diesels Spares Ltd said: “After what has been a difficult and uncertain year for most companies, Lincoln Diesels Spares Ltd. found it absolutely essential to attend Europort 2009.”
Henri van Boxtel, general manager Services Sales Wärtsila said: “The current market situation is challenging for the whole industry but that does not mean the sector has stopped developing. Energy efficiency and environmental issues are setting the agenda for all of us. We at Wärtsila take the Europort exhibition as an opportunity to talk to our clients about these issues and listen to their needs to find the most optimal solutions. ”
Luuk Vroombout, owner of Alphatron said: “Even in this more difficult period companies have to be innovative and invest in novelties and these need to be presented to the market. Europort is a unique showcase. It is the only show in the world where there is such a large variety of products and sectors represented including inland shipping, dredging, deep-sea, offshore, workboats and mega-yachts. No exhibition is putting attention to all these segments. We are in a versatile market and have to be at Europort.”
From the exhibition statistics it shows the number of visitors stayed the same as during the previous edition but also that the quality has grown remarkably. 74% of all visitors are involved in decisions on investments. 24% of visitors are even final decision maker.
Chris Wilson, Sales manager at VersaDock International said: “Europort is a good show, if not the best, to take our product to the next level It seems to be so well supported.”
Europort enjoyed large international attention. Visitors from 86 countries found their way to Ahoy Rotterdam. Among the visitors were specific trade missions from among others Panama, China, Saudi-Arabia and Brazil. Exhibitor Ned-Deck Marine had already received 4 large orders from Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain on the first exhibition day. ABC has signed contracts for the sales of seven engines, four of which for Algeria, with a total value of at least $4.5m, during the exhibition.
Martin Bloem, managing director of HME pointed out: “The growing importance of Europort is a direct consequence of the growing impact of Holland in the international maritime arena. The maritime industries in Holland are specialised, innovative and focused on the needs of the end user.” Also Prime Minister Balkenende referred in his opening speech to the Netherlands as an innovative shipbuilding country. During the opening ambassadors from China, Poland, Romania, Korea, Brazil, UK and Belgium were present.
The next edition of Europort takes place from 8 until 11 November 2011 in Ahoy Rotterdam. From 20 until 22 April 2010 Europort Rumania will take place. A month later, from 24 unto 26 May 2010, Ahoy in cooperation with her local partner Al Fajer, will organize the exhibition Ship & Port Dubai, powered by Europort. The Istanbul Expo Centre is, from 23 until 26 March 2011 the platform for Europort Istanbul, the leading maritime exhibition in Turkey.