BBME 2022 highlights women and youth participation in regional supply chain

The event saw the participation of several high-level officials, experts, aspiring professionals and women leaders from across the industry
The event saw the participation of several high-level officials, experts, aspiring professionals and women leaders from across the industry

The event highlighted the changes in the project landscape and its evolution in the coming years while also demonstrating the need for gender equity in the project cargo and breakbulk industry


A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 2 Feb 2022, 6:12 PM

Breakbulk Middle East (BBME), the GCC’s largest breakbulk and project cargo event, held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, concluded the 2022 edition with a record number of attendees.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure made an official visit to the event, and emphasised the opportunities that the mega event offers for the progress of the breakbulk and project cargo sectors. The event also saw the participation of high-level officials, experts, aspiring professionals and women leaders from the industry.

Day two of the event featured sessions including Women in Breakbulk, Middle East Project Review seafarer welfare, along with West Africa ports project update, as well as Education Day, an exclusive Breakbulk initiative to encourage young people to join this vibrant industry.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “To ensure that the industry reaches its potential, all stakeholders must address the challenges of today and be prepared for roadblocks in future. The most effective way to achieve this is by coming together and participating in dialogue and discourse. In the UAE, we have revolutionised the sector by prioritising innovation and growth in the sector. Our investments have further ensured seamless operations. Our re-election to the Council of the IMO under its Category B membership for the third consecutive time is testimony to this."

"We have the best ports that exceed international standards. Their capabilities empower them to handle 17 million containers annually, with more than 21,000 ships visiting annually. This demonstrates our commitment to the sector’s growth. As yet another successful edition of BBME comes to a close, it is encouraging to see the proactive participation from industry stakeholders. BBME has since inception supported our vision, hence such partnerships are integral to drive the progress of the sector,” he said.

Call for female representation

Every year, Breakbulk Middle East has laid special emphasis on achieving gender equity in the project cargo and breakbulk industry. This year’s Women in Breakbulk forum highlighted the need to bridge the gender gap by focusing on both hard and soft skills that are critical for women to climb the ladder in different work environments, and those needed to succeed in business ventures. Women leaders from government and private sector organisations led conversations that inspired aspiring professionals and encouraged them to reshape the future of the sector.

Leslie Meredith, marketing director, Breakbulk Events & Media, said: “The Women in Breakbulk Forum has always garnered high praise from participants. This year, we brought together successful female professionals who spoke about what it takes to reach a senior leadership role. Our experts also shared insights on establishing a fruitful and lasting career in the sector. The session gave attendees a chance to connect with their role models and learn from them through numerous networking opportunities.”

Empowering aspiring professionals

BBME’s Education Day initiative featured two sessions: Empowering the Next Generation of Breakbulk Professionals and Cadetship Opportunities. The former tackled government and private sectors’ initiatives to empower the upcoming generation of industry professionals. While the latter brought together key stakeholders to highlight the cadetship opportunities that are available to students.

Dr. Ismail Abdel Ghaffar Ismail Farag, president of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, said: “At AASTS, our mission is to enhance the Middle East’s logistics sector by focusing on education and training. Our association with BBME has aided our efforts in this regard. The Education Day initiative that supports and encourages young minds has been a boon to our students. Moreover, the event as a whole has given students a glimpse of operations in the project cargo and breakbulk sector.”

Ben Blamire, event director, Breakbulk Middle East said, “The response we received this year has been tremendous. We saw a drastic increase in the number of visitors. It was an honour to host prominent delegates representing companies from around the globe. Moreover, the discussions held over the last two days were enlightening. We are certain that the discussions will help the industry in devising strategic solutions that will fuel future growth.”

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