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The reasons, especially in 2021, are both strategic and tactical. Although oil demand is recovering from the pandemic-induced demand price crash of 2020, the global energy transition shows no sign of abating, fueled by a $2 trillion tsunami of stimulus money. Projects, and the related cargo and logistics needs, must evolve as renewables take a larger share of the global energy mix and oil demand gradually decelerates. That is why the theme for this year’s BBPC is “The Big Reset: breakbulk and the energy transition.” Over the course of two days, they will explore the outlook for breakbulk and project cargo, renew and reinvigorate business relationships, and get a handle on what to expect in this period of momentous change.
The Big Reset: Breakbulk, COVID, and the energy transition.
Seismic changes in the oil and gas market and the larger energy mix, project delays, and capex cuts continue to be forced to reckon with in the breakbulk and project logistics sector. We are on the threshold of a global energy transition that will take decades to unfold but has profound implications for the project cargo industry. We will delve into these topics and more during the virtual 2021 JOC Breakbulk and Project Cargo Conference on May 25-26 with the help of a battery of industry and topic experts. And we are already planning for our 2022 live event in New Orleans. Can’t wait to see everybody there!
Regulatory policies, financial requirements, consumer and shareholder activism, and increasingly competitive alternative energy sources are accelerating changes to the global energy mix – and making this concrete is and will continue to be the source of much of the world’s project cargo. While renewables will grow as a crucial cargo, it’s important to grasp overall scale: billions will continue to be spent on oil and gas. EPCs are in regeneration mode and moving away from self-performing project logistics. The immediate issues confounding the sector include a dwindling project pipeline, painful layoffs, and the long-term grounding of folks used to a hands-on, travel-intensive work style.
Post-pandemic, will we see more reliance on project forwarders and a permanent pivot toward remote work and digitization in the project logistics sector, a retrenchment to business as usual, or a hybrid? What will the energy transition mean for mining? For steel, forest products, and other breakbulk cargoes? And how will all of this create opportunities for the project and breakbulk cargo logistics sector? On the carrier side, a fast-moving recovery from the pandemic shutdown, ever-increasing wind cargo, and a wave of cargo spillover from the chaotic container market has lifted prospects for the sector.