OceanX, the innovation focused, seafreight specialist network, brought its members and some selected guests together on November 15-19th 2023 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for their 5th Annual General Meeting – and it was a blast!
Following several pre-events of smaller groups that arrived the country earlier, the conference officially kicked off on Wednesday November 15th, with delegates picking up their iconic OceanX bags, which featured a fresh yellow this year and when everyone came together for a pleasant cocktail reception in the Poolside Residence of the Grand Hyatt for the evening.
Whilst the network had also held live hybrid conferences during the pandemic, in Porto 2020, Tangiers 2021 and Basle 2022, this was certainly the first in Asia again, featuring many members that have not been able to join due to travel restrictions before. And it was the highlight of the year, following get-together events in São Paulo during Intermodal, Munich during Transport Logistics and Rotterdam during Breakbulk Europe.
On Thursday Morning November 16th, the official conference part was kicked off by the network’s founder and director Ruben Huber’s keynote. Updating the members on the latest from the network, reviewing the past year for our industry, looking forward into 2024 and diving deeper on some challenges and opportunities ahead, before running through the event calendar for 2024. He also reiterated the network’s dedication to supporting its members well beyond bilateral facilitation to tackle common challenges and how it intends to maintain its exclusivity by continuing with a cherry picking approach to new member admissions.
Vincent Chew of Drewry, provided a closer look at the container shipping market, sharing insights from Drewry’s latest Container forecaster and introduced the consultants forwarders benchmarking club. Thomas Nyffenegger of Cargoo introduced their platform and how it already helps leading retailers and BCOs within their supply chain execution. He was followed by Cécile Lammer from Ceicia taking a look at talent retention in challenging times and diving into harmony and wholesomeness as key success factors for companies today, leaving the audience with a lot of food for thought. Greg Amanditidis outlined the frontend solutions for digital customer engagement that Logixboard provides today and showcased how some of our members are already succeeding in the market with it today. The speaker lineup concluded with Ruben Bonito, taking a critical look at system development in our industry today and introducing low-code and no-code development as a potential alternative to take more control of digital solutions and nurture internal competence.
Several new members had an opportunity to introduce themselves during the conference days, including Agence Martime Mohab that is covering Tunisia and Senegal for the network, BVL Group that represents Peru, Chile and Taiwan, Hermes Cargo from India, Galata from Turkey and JJ Lawson from Australia.
Malaysia remains a culinary paradise with the different Asian cuisines providing a large variety of delicacies that were woven nicely into the conference and social activities. From the amazing buffet during the cocktail, to coffee and lunch breaks, the local experience dinner at a traditional Chinese street restaurant, to the Western Style Gala evening on November 17th.
After the conference part, the event provided many slots for individual meetings between delegates, discussion joint opportunities, existing and future cooperations, as well as interesting exchanges of ideas.
An impressive amount of power ladies from all parts of the world present, definitely changed the usual shape of this conference, that like much in our industry was usually rather male dominated. The different way of networking and interacting with a smile brought a special vibe over these days. And it felt like a great group of sisters formed, that did not only hijack the gala dinner and transformed it into a great dancing party, but will hopefully upgrade the experience at our events going forward.
Despite some adversities, like a breakdown of the hotels entire elevator system during the morning hours of November 16th, on both conference days, a record number of delegates was able to join the iconic 06.30 running challenge through the KLCC Park and all around the sightseeing spots of the city.
The event concluded on Saturday, with an exciting city tour and excursion to the Batu caves. Those departing late, went on to explore the local food market streets together, trying some specialties and having a lovely afterparty over Chinese HotPot.
Thank you for an amazing 2023 conference, we can’t wait to see you all again in Italy in November 2024. And please stay tuned on our social media channels, as we will be sharing some gems from the event over the coming weeks. Recordings of conference sessions and presentation materials, as well as the huge photo library will be made available to delegates and members shortly.
OceanX is a non – exclusive global network of leading ocean freight providers and NVOCCs dedicated to delivering bespoke innovative solutions, in particular on FCL services, LCL consolidation, dangerous goods and chemical logistics, temperature control, as well as project cargo handling.