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Hotel Le Meridien, Vienna, Austria
May 10-14, 2022
After two years of communicating with each other without physical contact it was finally time for our 20th Anniversary Membership Conference in the hotel Le Meridien in beautiful city of Vienna in Austria.
Close to 60 attendees from the membership, invited sponsors and trade media enjoyed the warm and charming atmosphere spread by the local Austrian member and host Bolk Transport.
A WWPC welcome reception in the Hotel Le Meridien on the first evening set the mood for happy and relaxed communication face-to-face and it was clear that everyone felt this to be a special opportunity to meet friends and new members alike.
The conference started with a typical cultural note and being in Vienna this meant four pairs from a famous dancing school performing a waltz in ballroom style attire.
Mr. Gerhard Wagner, Managing Director of Bolk Transport, opened the conference with a welcome key note and presentation video to showcase Austria. The WWPC Director, Mr. Wolfgang Karau, followed by welcoming all attendees and thanked the sponsors Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Bolk Transport and The Port of Koper for their support.
In a special ceremony the attending five founding members of the network, being present at the 1st WWPC conference in Brussels in 2001 received a certification and presents. Out of this group Mr. Wolfgang Karau, Procargo – Professional Cargo Care, Finland and Mr. Rob de Korte of Steder Group (former Husson Huijsman), the Netherlands where the only ones present in Brussels and Vienna. In addition, Ms. Fernanda Mattas, Kaleido Logistics, Spain (former Vasco Gallega de Cosignaciones), Melwyn D´Silva, Gulf Maritime General Trading & Contracting (former United Shipping Trading & Contracting Srvices), Kuwait and Mr. Dirk Roethig, LS Cargo Logistics (former LS International Cargo), Germany, received the certificate for founding member.
Prior to the following coffee Bolk Transport had arranged a delicious surprise, bringing in a large Sacher cake, decorated to congratulate the WWPC for the 20th anniversary.
Mr. Carsten Wendt, Senior Manager, High & Heavy and Breakbulk Sales, Germany and Mr. Magnus Ödling, VP Global Industrial Account Development for Wallenius Wilhelmsen gave a good insight on the global shipping activities during the past two years to present date and projection of times ahead.
Invited media representatives, Ms. Sophie Barnes from Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International and Mr. Joachim Horvath, Österreichische Verkehrs Zeitung (Austrian Transport News) presented their activities for the global and local breakbulk and project transport industry.
Guest speaker, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Kummer, Head of the Institute of Transport and Logistics at the University of Trade in Vienna, explained in detail the cause and outlook of the present crisis in global shipping and logistics, effected by Covid, shortage of tonnage and labour.
The conference day closed with the presentation of Bolk Transport Austria and Romania, by Mr. Gerhard Wagner and Mr. Erik Maassen van den Brink.
A splendid dinner in a typical Heurigen restaurant, sponsored by Bolk Transport, was a great ending to the first day of the group in Vienna.
The second day a presentation by Mr. Gordan Ban, Market Manager Austria for The Port of Koper gave interesting information about the present and future capabilities and services of that strategical import port.
Mr. Wolfgang Karau, Director of the WWPC, showed a presentation from the Ukrainian Antonov Airlines, which informed about the present status of the airline, staff and available cargo aircraft AN-124 to the heavy and outsized cargo market.
Members had time to present changes in their companies and new members their companies. Intensive member-to-member meetings were held throughout the four days’ event which gave amble opportunities for strong cooperation.
The local charity, the CliniClown Association, Austria, was selected for a traditional WWPC auction in support of disadvantaged children. CliniClown Association engages in visiting hospitals where they bring smiles onto the faces of young patients. The items on sale included for example ship and heavy duty lorry models, art, wine and gift vouchers, donated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Bolk Transport, Port of Koper, BBC-Chatering, Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International and Hotel Le Meridien. Money donations rounded up the total figure achieved to Euro 20.000,- for this years WWPC auction.
The WWPC 20th anniversary dinner at the famous Restaurant Gerstner in truly Vienna baroque architecture environment was enjoyed by all participants.
On the third and final conference day the Members Only session saw voting by the members for the next conference location and date to be Toronto, Canada in September 2023 and Ambercor Shipping, Canada, appointed local host, welcomed all members to that event.
A new Board of Advisors for the WWPC until Toronto was elected:
In the afternoon a guided Vienna City Tour showed us around the historical sites of Vienna and was appreciated by those attending. Next morning an extra social event offered to those interested covered a bus ride to Krems, a Dunabe river cruise to Spitz and bus transport to Durnstein, where a lunch in the garden of a historical restaurant, overlooking the Dunabe river concluded the impressive experience we had in and around the charming city of Vienna.
Mr. Wolfgang Karau, Director of the WWPC: “ We like to thank very much Mr. Gerhard Wagner and Ms. Barbara Wagner of Bolk Transport, Austria for guiding and assisting us greatly to arrange for this 2022 conference. ”
Thank you to our sponsors:
Please click through some images of the conference: