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Breakbulk February 2020

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22 The Journal of Commerce | Februar y 2020 Commentary Breakbulk & Project Cargo Peter Tirschwell GENERAL CARGO BEGAN migrating from traditional ship- ping to containers beginning in the late 1950s. Since then, The Journal of Commerce has continued to cover that portion of general cargo, known as breakbulk, that is not containerized. It still does so today. Breakbulk is the method of shipping that, despite changes in propulsion technology, has continued more or less unchanged — i.e., being loaded intact in and out of ships' holds — since The Journal of Commerce's found- ing by Samuel F.B. Morse as a New York City newspaper in 1827. So consistently did the The Journal of Commerce maintain its focus on general cargo that when it began organizing conference programs built out of its daily coverage of shipping and trade, it was only natural to include a breakbulk conference, which was held begin- ning in the mid-1990s in New Orleans. Starting as a small, journalist-led conference in a French Quarter hotel, the event grew steadily over twenty years, eventually outgrowing hotels in New Orle- ans and shifting to the Ernest Morial Convention Center. Project cargo, typically tied to the oil and gas industry and, in the US, centered in Houston, came to dominate the non-containerized, non-bulk shipping sector. After alternating between New Orleans and Houston for a few years, the event then moved to Houston full-time. In 2015, the private equity fi rm that owned The Journal of Commerce at the time sold the breakbulk con- ference to event organizer ITE. But even as The Journal of Commerce increasingly focused on container shipping and building container-focused events like TPM, the editorial team, having originated the breakbulk event franchise, never lost its interest in covering breakbulk, heavy-lift, and project cargo. With a dedication to unbiased business journalism at the heart of its coverage, The Journal of Commerce, now part of IHS Markit, was able to attract Janet Nodar, the leading US journalist covering breakbulk and project shipping, back to its team in 2018. With Nodar as the chairperson, The Journal of Commerce revived the break- bulk event in 2019, bringing in more than 400 attendees. This year, The Journal of Commerce will host the 2020 Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference on April 27–29, continuing to build on the spirit of the original event as a content-led, high-level information sharing and network- ing gathering for the industry in the heart of New Orleans. The program, developed by Nodar and the editorial team, covers a range of key topics facing the breakbulk and project sectors. The shipper focus of the agenda is underscored by keynote speaker Stephen Spoljaric, the corporate manager for global logistics at Bechtel. Accord- ing to Nodar, previewing Spoljaric's presentation, "Cost and schedule no longer can be the only factors that drive decision-making. Project owners, EPCs, and logistics ser- vice providers must revisit, fully understand, and then re-evaluate their defi nitions of quality." Other topics will include IMO 2020 and the impact of the Jan. 1 implementation of the biggest environmental mandate ever to be imposed on the maritime industry, ongoing changes in the owner/operator makeup of the multipurpose and heavy-lift fl eet, the impact of tari s and sanctions on the project and breakbulk shipping sector, and many more. We look forward to seeing you at The Journal of Com- merce's 2020 Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference, April 27–29, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in New Orleans. email: For The Journal of Commerce, breakbulk is in our DNA The 2020 Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference will continue to build on the spirit of the original event as a content-led, high-level information sharing and networking gathering. 27 – 29 April 2020 | New Orleans, LA

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