“This is a very special SMM,” said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH, and he is proven right by the enormous interest shown by exhibitors and visitors alike. More than 2,100 exhibitors and over 50,000 visitors are expected, and thus more than ever in the history of this fair. “We are fully booked, and this fair welcomes every type and size of company, from market leaders and global players to medium-sized companies and innovation-focused start-ups. Their products cover a wide spectrum from large-scale ship engineering and shipbuilding products to ship outfitting and equipment supplies, and from cargo handling systems and maritime technologies to specialised services,” said Aufderheide.
150 first-time exhibitors
This year, more than 150 companies are at present at SMM for the first time, including, for instance, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry . With 26 national pavilions and exhibitors from 67 countries, this year’s fair is more international than ever, he adds. “But it is not only in the exhibition halls that this event impresses. Our special-events programme sets new standards, as well, underscoring the role of SMM as the leading international maritime trade fair. Take, for example, the integration of the gmec and MS&D conferences, the SMM Offshore Dialogue, the SMM Ship Finance Forum and Recruiting Day into the SMM programme”, Aufderheide concluded.
Focus on marine protection
The protection of the marine environment is one of the top items on the SMM agenda. Exhibitors will give some fascinating insights into the latest industry trends. Take, for example, a cruise ship with six engines that runs up a fuel bill of roughly 30 million euro per year. Improved propulsion efficiency, slow-steaming as well as ultra-long stroke engines offer significant potential for reducing the bill.
Stronghold of high technology
Uwe Beckmeyer, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Federal Government Coordinator for the Maritime Industry, commented on the importance of the maritime sector as an innovation driver, praising its willingness to embrace high technology. As an export-oriented country Germany is especially dependent on ships as a means of transport. Beckmeyer emphasised: “We need a clear, internationally harmonised regulatory framework to support government backing for ship financing.” All stakeholders, including China, should make an effort to pursue the international negotiations in a co-operative spirit to achieve the common objective. He also encouraged the shipbuilding and offshore supply industries to make every effort to boost their competitiveness and reinforce their strong position in the global marketplace by maintaining their technology leadership.