SMM 2014 Opening Press Conference: Top-Level Speakers Officially Open What Promises to be a Record-Breaking Trade Fair
“This is a very special SMM,” said Bernd Aufderheide, CEO and President, Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH. The enormous interest shown by exhibitors and visitors alike proves it. More than 2,100 exhibitors and over 50,000 visitors are expected, 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. What is especially exciting: This year more than 150 companies are presenting themselves at SMM for the first time. With its 26 national pavilions and exhibitors from 67 different countries, this year’s fair is more international than ever, he adds. For example, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry is a first-time participant. “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,” said Aufderheide, stressing the well-balanced subject matter concept of the fair. As an example he cited 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.
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. For example, a cruise ship with six engines runs up a fuel bill of roughly €30 million per year – by far the biggest cost item for the operator,“ said Stephan Timmermann, Executive Board Member responsible for Marine Systems and After Sales, MAN Diesel & Turbo SE, and Member of the SMM Advisory Board. Since ship fuel costs have long exceeded the remaining operating costs, current development efforts focus on fuel-saving measures. “The shipping industry, working closely together with shipbuilders and suppliers, continues to devote considerable resources and capital to the development and implementation of a wide range of new technologies that protect air and water quality and increase energy efficiency. The full breadth of technologies available today will be on display at the fair centre,” said Timmermann. Propulsion efficiency in particular is a field where much can still be achieved, he added. The practice of slow-steaming as well as ultra-long stroke engines offer significant potential in this context, said Timmermann. Ships could become more efficient but the costs of implementing such measures are high, he contended.
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, he said. Taking issue with the political environment, he 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 cooperative spirit so as to achieve the common objective soon, he said. 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. The sector can count on the support of politics in this respect, Beckmeyer assured, promising: “The innovation incentive programme for the shipbuilding industry will be continued. The German Federal Government has successfully intervened on behalf of this programme in Brussels. Called “Next-Generation Maritime Technologies”, the programme supports new, future-oriented maritime technologies. The Parliamentary Secretary also mentions the “National Master Plan for Maritime Technologies”, a platform joining politics, science, the industry and the German state governments to form a supportive network. Beckmeyer left no doubts regarding the objectives of this initiative: “We want to maximise the potential of maritime technologies to help German companies grow their market share.”
Competition among the shipbuilding countries remains fierce, confirmed Professor Martin Stopford, President of Clarkson Research: “Today’s shipowners face a tough market outlook and major cost pressures caused by high energy prices and a series of new environmental regulations governing emissions from ships. This is a massive challenge for the industry because there are so many possible solutions, some of which are better than others. To give an example, there are currently 23 to 45 different ballast water systems, according to various sources. Finding the right technology for improving the efficiency of newbuildings and retrofitting existing ships is vital,” he said. “SMM provides the ideal opportunity to review what’s on offer from the world’s shipyards and marine equipment suppliers and to discuss the practicalities with them.”
SMM will take place at the Hamburg fair site from 9 until 12 September 2014. For further information please visit: www.smm-hamburg.com.
To download photos from the press conference, please go to:
You can find the digital press folder online at:
Press contact: Esther Scholz, telephone: +49 (0)40 -3569-2453,