The Shipping Conference Season Restarts

The Shipping Conference Season Restarts

This Friday (1 Sept 2017) sees the start of the shipping conference season with an intimate, invitation-only, event on the beautiful Greek island of Mykonos. You didn’t get an invitation? Nor did I, but don’t despair, there are over 50 other shipping-related conferences scheduled between 1 September and 31 December 2017 listed on the Shipping Research conference calendar (

The calendar includes exhibitions, shipping conferences, and that relatively new hybrid event, the shipping week. The calendar also includes conferences on commodities, which, as the cargo for ships, have a significant impact of the demand for shipping services.

The calendar is researched from the websites of event organisers, direct mail emails, and simple Google searches like “cement shipping conference”. This mimics the typical way anyone in the shipping industry would search for a conference. If your shipping conference is not listed below on the Shipping Research blog shipping events calendar (, send me a comment with a link to the website.


Figure 1 – Forthcoming Shipping Conferences

Figure 1 is a list of the conferences coming up between 1 September and the end of the year. But how do you decide which one to attend? The agenda, speakers, networking potential, and location are important, but almost certainly cost will be the main criteria employed by the person controlling the budget.  To help you decide, the conferences are ranked on a cost per day (USD) basis in Figure 2, below.


Delegate Cost per Day?

To simplify the calculation, only paid for conferences are included. The delegate fee used is that quoted on the event organiser’s website or their typical fee. Early-bird discounts are ignored. Where possible, the event discount rate for the host hotel is used or the rate on for the days of the conference.

The conference and hotel fees are converted into USD using the Google forex tool as at 8 August 2017. The resulting delegate fee and hotel cost are combined to calculate the USD per day cost. This cost per day analysis does not include flights, meals, drink, or entertainment.


Figure 2 – Conferences Ranked by Cost

Figure 2 ranks the shipping conferences from cheapest to most expensive USD per day for the combined conference fee and hotel room. The range is from USD 340 per day to attend the Argus Dry Bulk Transportation and Logistics 2017 Conference in Gelendzhik (Russia) to the USD 2,250 per day to attend the Informa Emissions Conference in Singapore.

Figure 3 – Is there a link between the subject matter and the cost per day to attend?

Figure 3 shows the conferences sorted by sector and average cost per day. That liner and dry bulk conference cost the least per day matches popular perception of the current state of those respective sectors! The tanker sector, on the other hand, is relatively benign, and there is still some activity in the market, and possibly deeper pockets.

Over the next four months, Singapore is the most popular location, followed by London, which reflects the shift in world shipping centres. Third most popular is Houston, the global centre for the offshore industry. The first shipping related conference is due to take place 11 September (Argus Methanol Conference). At this point in time, it is hard to assess the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey on the events due to take place in Houston. It may be that these events will be shifted to other locations. If so, the short URL on the calendar will take you to the new information.

One curiosity is the legacy of past shipping conferences. This has led to “date clumping”. Two dates that are outstanding. There are four conferences in Singapore (Crude Oil), London (Dry Bulk), Bahrain (Aluminium), and Algeciras (Reefers), that are due to start on 25 September. These are quite dissimilar conferences, so there is unlikely to be any delegate / speaker clashes. But 14 November has two conferences in London (Commodities, Tankers), Geneva (Major Dry Bulks), and a popular conference in New York (Ship Finance).


Ship Finance World Tour

There has been a steady growth in ship finance conferences. In the 1990s, there were only one or two ship finance events in the 1990s. Today, it is possible to attend eight ship finance events by the end of this year. If you have the budget (around USD 10,000 in fees and hotels, plus another USD 20,000 in flights) and the stamina (more than 30 hours in the air), it is now possible to fly around the world and hear the latest local ship finance opinions / options in what could be called the Ship Finance Conference World Tour. The Ship Finance Conference World Tour starts off in Singapore (19 September) before flying into Europe for the Mare Forum Rotterdam event (3 October), followed by Marine Money Athens (10 October). Then it’s off to Busan (1 November) and Jakarta (7 November) before flying into New York the following week (14 November). The next week sees the potential of some cheap Christmas shopping in Hong Kong (24 November) before a well-earned rest Curacao (1 December). See you on the beach!

Copyright – Craig Jallal


Shipping Calendar ( Update – May 2014

Shipping Calendar Update – May 2014


I have been updating the Shipping Calendar, and I have been trying to expand the coverage to include commodities events with a significant shipping element. Below is a summary of the forthcoming conferences, including the conferences I hope to attend.


May 2014

Recent additions to the Shipping Calendar include a rice conference in Africa rice-AFRICA conference on Rice for Food, Market and Development, and a wood and paper pulp conference in Brazil – Paper and Wood Pulp Conference. The later takes place in the middle of May, about a month before the FIFA World Cup starts. I have also included a sugar conference, Africa Sugar Outlook, but I am not sure if there is a significant shipping element. The trade in sugar has expanded enormously in the last few years, and requires specialist shipping knowledge. Bulk and bagged sugar shipping and handling might be an interesting one-day conference, and I can help with ideas and speakers if any of the specialist shipping conference organisers are interested.


June 2014

It’s an even year so June means Posidonia, which lasts from Monday 2 June to the Thursday afternoon. I personally am not so fond of the new location, and prefer the shabby but more convenient location of the customs shed of years gone by. If you haven’t been, you should go to at least one Posidonia and crash as many parties as possible. A tempting alternative would be the giant 2000+ delegates Coaltrans Asia event in Bali. Having been to the Coaltrans event in Goa, India, this year, I can say that Coaltrans’ organisation is first-class, with excellent networking opportunities. There was even a special purpose event app so you were always up to speed on when and where to go. After Posidonia, the shipping finance portion of the shipping party moves onto New York, and the Marine Money New York Week from Monday 16 June. Perhaps not as rock ‘n roll as New York but free to attend is Ro-Ro 2014  in the ExCel centre in the east end of London from 24 June.



Not much happening. If you have had your fill of shipping conferences, how about the European International Submarine Races !



The northern hemisphere will be on holiday, but Down Under there is Coaltrans Australia, taking place in Brisbane.



The Autumn conference season begins with SMM  the giant shipping exhibition in Hamburg, Germany. This has a German shipping finance conference on the first day. I have also included Metal Bulletin’s Steel Scrap Conference, which takes place in Rotterdam on the 22 September, but looking at the agenda is may be a bit light on the shipping of scrap – let’s wait and see. One event I may be attending is the The Red Sea and Gulf Bunkering Conference, but the link for the 2014 flutters in and out of view, so I am not sure if this event is on or not.



Following on from German shipping finance conference at SMM, there is a Greek shipping finance conference in Athens organised by Marine Money, plus one on the same day in Brazil. Maybe we can have a live Skype link up and debate? One event I have been to in the past is the Mare Forum event in Amsterdam, Mare Forum Shipowners vs. Capital Providers . I enjoy the format and the informality of the Dutch set-up, ad hope to be there again this year.



A new event to me is Global Shipping Trends & Trade Patterns. With a title like that I don’t know why I haven’t heard of it before, and I will be making an effort to attend this event on Wednesday 5 November in London. At the moment, there does not appear to be a clash between the Informa 27th International Ship Finance & Investment Conference in London on the Wednesday 12 November, and the equivalent Marine Money in New York, and / or the Hansa event in Germany, as was the case last year. However, these other two events has not yet been listed on the respective websites yet. They have already lost the Friday 14 November, as this is taken up with the Tradewinds Dry Cargo Charterers Forum in Geneva, which I did not attend but heard good things about last year.

The following week is a new wet conference, the Tanker Shipping & Trade Conference organised by Riviera, publishers of the magazine of the same title. This starts in London on Wednesday 19 November, and I hope to be there.



Into December, and the Middle East Iron & Steel conference in Dubai starting on the Monday 8 December. This is unlikely to be the last trade conference of the year, but that is as far as I have got at the moment.

If your event is not on the Shipping Calendar and you feel it should be, then send an email to with the details.


Clash of Finance – three shipping finance conferences on the same day.

Before the autumn season of shipping conference kicks off I have been updating the shipping calendar ( Another 40 events and their associated page links have been added, taking the calendar through to mid-2014. If your conference is not on the calendar, drop me an email on

 Autumn is the traditional start of the conference season. This season sees a date clash in the shipping finance league, with Informa, Marine Money, and Hansa Forum all choosing to host conferences on the same day. This is a bit like having the most entertaining teams in the Premier League, say, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur (sorry Arsenal fans – I did say entertaining) games kicking off at the same time. This conference season will see the 26th International Ship Finance Conference (aka LSE Ship Finance Conference) taking place in London on the 13th and 14th of November versus Marine Money Ship Finance in New York on the 14th, versus Hansa Forum Shipping Finance in Hamburg on the same day. The kick off times in the Premier League are carefully managed to maximise advertising potential and maintain punter interest. Maybe it’s time the conference organisers got together to do the same thing.

Wärtsilä Oil and Gas Calendar

Wärtsilä calendar of oil and gas exploration, drilling, and technology events for the next twelve months.

The shipping calendar is generating a lot of interest, and I am following it up with one for the oil and gas industry. The oil and gas industry is a much bigger industry than shipping, and there are far more conferences and events. While the shipping conference calendar is unique (I haven’t come across another on the Internet), there are some oil & gas-related conference calendars. I have used the US Society of Petroleum Engineers calendar and the Oil & Gas Journal listings as the main source of listings for collating my oil & gas calendar, plus the usual suspects like Informa and so on. Of course, if you are a conference organisor and I haven’t included your event, please send me a comment with the website location. I would also like to thank the nice people at Wärtsilä for sponsoring the oil & gas calendar.

 Best Golf Course at an Oil & Gas Conference?

As you might expect there are a lot of oil conferences in Houston, the Middle East and Brazil, but I wanted to share with you the annual conference for the American Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). This takes place in Coeur d’Alene, which I assumed was in France. In fact, Coeur d’Alene is in Idaho, USA. Coeur d’Alene is a purpose built resort, with the hotel being a modernist interpretation of a German Rhine Schloss. As well as the conference, there is a champagne cruise on the lake and a golf tournament. It is the golf course that caught my eye. The par three 14th green floats in the lake. In fact, the floating green is computer controlled and changes position everyday. The Coeur d’Alene has been voted America’s Most Beautiful Golf Course and if the American Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers need a speaker on the shipping at Coeur d’Alene, I’m your man (and I don’t even play golf)!

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