Around 50,000 industry visitors from more than 120 countries flocked to SMM maritime fair, which ended on Friday. This year’s fair focused on “Trends in SMMart Shipping” – digitalisation and environment-friendly shipping. A total of 2,289 exhibitors from 69 nations presented innovations from all over the world. Bernd Aufderheide, CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, remarked: “We again welcomed the Who’s Who of the maritime world to our exhibition halls this year, and we have seen again that there is nothing that can replace the person-to-person interaction between the key players of the sector. We successfully addressed the shipping community’s most pressing issues, delivering fresh impetus for the future.”
Trying out technology
The importance of digitalisation as a key driver of the industry was reflected at the many stands with touchscreens, simulators and virtual reality headsets and made innovative technology solutions tangible. The diversity of the exhibits ranged from lube oil filters by the specialist Bollfilter, a signal horn by Zöllner through to Furuno’s radar system and a ship engine manufactured by the global market leader, MAN Energy Solutions.
Environmental solutions and interior design
Visitors had a choice of themed routes guiding them to specific exhibitors, including the new Cruise & Ferry Route. Interior design for ships, and in particular, cruise ship cabin design, was especially popular this year. Thomas Töpfer, CEO of RReinhold & Mahla, noted: “Being here is extremely valuable for us. We had countless great conversations with partners from around the world.” The emphasis was also on products that tackle new environmental regulations.
The “Maritime 3D-Printing Show Area” garnered plenty of attention and was a novelty at a maritime trade fair. Lina Harms, a representative of the Maritime Cluster Norddeutschland, one of SMM’s, commented. “3D printing is a technology that really catches on, and our conversations have been going very well.” SMM was complemented by high-profile conferences covering topics such as digitalisation (Maritime Future Summit), environment protection (Global Marine Environmental Congress), ocean research (Offshore Dialogue) as well as security and defence (Maritime Security & Defence). The overall economic situation has clearly improved over recent years when the effects of the shipping crisis were still palpable. The next SMM takes place in Hamburg from September 8-11, 2020.
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