'Investigating the Evolution of Ports as Trade Connectivity Enablers
Meeting the demand and need for marine, inland and logistics cooperation'


As global freight transport volumes have increased, the costs of traffic congestion have become more apparent. One of the major challenges facing the transport industry is the need to introduce a more efficient, modally integrated service, which utilizes spare capacity in other modes.

Ports have grown into traffic concentration points where the essential transfer of cargo from sea to land has brought with it an increasing number of value-added services and activities. Port authorities must now act as key players in the transport chain, guaranteeing a free flow of goods as quickly and efficiently as possible via the promotion of intermodal transport systems.

The competitiveness of a seaport depends on the extent the cargo handled in the port can reach its hinterland destination (e.g. Acciaro & McKinnon, 2013). The importance of hinterland connections has been recognised as one of the most critical issues in port competitiveness and development in most ports around the world.

Strategically positioned in the middle of the Hamburg-Le Havre expanse, the Port of Antwerp's deep inland location and unique combination of cargo handling, industry and logistics, make it Europe's leading integrated maritime and logistics platform. A vast network of highways, railroads, inland waterways and pipelines guarantee smooth transport to and from all major European markets. This makes Antwerp the ideal place for Port Finance International to launch its inaugural conference on Innovation in Hinterland Connectivity and the Evolution of Intermodal Transport Solutions.


Through plenary presentations, open panel sessions, case studies and essential networking opportunities, this conference will be a platform, to both look back at recent developments and discuss how these have changed the maritime transport landscape, as well as to provide a snapshot into how evolution is driving efficiency and to review the game changing impact of innovation on the transport and logistics sectors.

19 April 2016

19.30 Informal "Icebreaker" drinks at the Hilton Old Town.

Agenda Day 1
20 April 2016

08:30 Registration & Welcome Tea/Coffee

09:00 Welcome and Opening Notes from Conference Chair
Nico Berx, Director, Port of Antwerp International

09:10 Introduction of keynote speaker
Kristof Waterschoot, Managing Director, Port of Antwerp International

09:15 Keynote Address
Jan Blomme, Flemish Port Commissioner

Session 1: Identifying Priorities, Removing Bottlenecks and Harnessing Innovation

09:45Port Pricing in the Mega-Ship Era
Olaf Merk, International Transport Forum/OECD

10:10 How improved communication and governance can boost your organisation's bottom line
Oliver Helvin, Senior Associate, KWR

  • What are the factors affecting our industry today?
  • What can we control?
  • How improved communication and governance can make a difference?

10:35 Port Branding and Transformation
Dr. Tom Vermeiren, Senior Manager, PwC

How do you create a 'personality' or 'personal image' of your port? A brand is a powerful tool in a global market such as the case with transport & logistics. Think about global brands such Coca Cola, Apple, ... and what they do. A port perfectly fits for branding, although compared to consumer markets, a port operates in a much more complex environment with diverse markets and various public and private actors.

We therefore open the discussion to re-think the concept of port branding. Instead of just fitting your brand to your strategy, the question becomes about how to create a brand that can leverage your strategic objective?

For example, can branding support the inland development strategy? Ports heavily invest in hard infrastructure connecting the port with the hinterland as a way to attract throughput. What about soft investments in a brand that sustains the inland development strategy?

A port brand is not what you think what others say about you. Innovative branding goes beyond traditional promotion. It requires continuous interaction using modern ways. We like to open the debate about port branding as an untapped resource to craft port strategies such as strengthening the inland port regionalisation process.

11:00Tea/Coffee Break

11:20 Panel Session: Identifying Priorities, Removing Bottlenecks and Harnessing Talent
Moderated by: Oliver Helvin, Senior Associate, KWR
Panellists include:

  • Nicolette van der Jagt, Director General, CLECAT
  • Michael Callus, Senior Development Manager - SECH / TDT Terminals

Session 2: Financing Efficient and Sustainable Transport Networks

12:00 Current and Future Financing Market of Ports and Terminals
William Holme, Vice President, Shipping, Offshore and Logistics, DNB Bank ASA

12:25 Infrastructure Connectivity and Stakeholder Risks
Stephen Leeming, Partner, JLT Specialty Ltd

  • Risk transfer mechanisms
  • Contractual requirements
  • Adding value and de-risking

12:50 Case Study: Financing a Small Cap Terminal
Cyril Peri, Chief Financial Officer, SMPA

  • Case of Le Verdon sur Mer

13:15 Lunch

14:15 Financing Challenges in Ports to Bankable Port PPP Arrangements
Steven Bouckaert, Senior Manager, MTBS

14:40 Panel Session: Financing Efficient and Sustainable Transport Networks 
Moderated by: Michel Jenné, Independent Financial Consultant
Panellists include:

  • Jamie Simpson, Economist
  • Richard Szuflak, Chief Operating Officer, Blue Ocean Capital Ltd
  • Bram Debruyne, Head of Transport & Logistics Business Desk, ING
  • Geert Dom, Business Development Manager, Rent-a-Port

15:20Tea/Coffee Break

Session 3: Future Proofing Your Infrastructure

15:40 Cyber Risk and Liability in the Port and Terminal Context - Risk Transfer and Management
Andrew Webster, Partner - Marine Division, JLT Specialty Ltd

  • Examining the major issues around cyber risk and liability exposures in todays port and terminal Environment
  • Looking at risk mitigation strategies

16:05 The Role of Port Community Systems in Connecting and Integrating Intermodal Transportation
John Kerkhof, Director, Antwerp Port Community System

  • Increasing requirements to send information electronically
  • What are the drivers behind this at an International level
  • The role of the Port Community System within the complex logistics chains

16:30 Market Access and Trade Facilitation
Godfried Smit, Senior Projectmanager, EVO

16:55 Intermodal Solutions at the Port of Antwerp 
Jan van Dessel, Advisor Intermodality & Hinterland at Port of Antwerp

17:20 Question and Answers and Conclusions to Day One, Followed by

17:40 Walking Tour of Antwerp - Hosted by Port of Antwerp
Followed by Drinks Reception in Antwerp Town Hall 


Agenda Day 2
21 April 2016

08:30 Registration & Welcome Tea/Coffee

08:45 Welcome and Opening Notes from Conference Chair
Dr. Christa Sys, Chair, BNP Paribas Fortis Transport, Logistics and Ports, University of Antwerp

Session 4: Optimizing Operations and Integrating Logistics – Competition and Efficiency in the Supply Chain

08:50 Opening Address: Inland Ports Key to Multi-Modal Logistics
Alexander van den Bosch, Director, EFIP (European Federation of Inland Ports)

09:15 Container Barge Flows at the Port of Antwerp
Dominique Vercauteren, Advisor Intermodality & Hinterland, Antwerp Port Authority

09:40 Developing Market Share in the Hinterland using Intermodal Transport
Roy van den Berg, Intermodal transport expert

10:05 Case Study: Dry Port as a Solution to Reduce Dwelling Time and to Improve National Logistics Competitiveness
Benny Woenardi, Managing Director, Cikarang Dry Port

  • Cikarang Dry Port has developed its facilities and services to support smooth flow of goods and to improve national logistics competitiveness

10:30 Inland Logistics - Seeing Opportunities to Bring Terminals Closer to The End-Customers
Eleanor Hadland, Managing Consultant - Ports & Marine, AECOM

  • The advent of Ultra-Large Container Ships has seen global port operators become increasingly dominant in the European market, with M&A seeing further consolidation in ownership.  Mega-terminals are however developing networks of inland terminals to act as extended gates, and intra-regional trades are seeking flexible alternative options to avoid congestion at the larger terminals.  AECOM will, using case studies from recent transactions, explore how integrating inland logistics and port terminal operations can bring benefits for terminal operators, shipping lines, shippers and investors.

10:55Tea/Coffee Break

11:15 Optimising Operational Decision Making in Ports and Inland Terminals
Ingo Marko, Senior Consultant, Inform

11:40 Growth, Liner Consolidation and Impact on Ports and Inland Connectivity
Jolke A Helbing, Director, Royal HaskoningDHV

  • Liner shipping is experiencing a further drive in consolidation and global alliances that will monopolize the market and related volumes
  • Developments of large new port facilities will have to follow to enable efficient handling of the consortia
  • Fragmented inland connectivity in the ports and hinterland does not guarantee a seamless connection
  • Where do we see this discrepancy in the sea ports and what effect will it have on the inland connectivity, especially for rail and barge transportation

12:05 - 16:00 Conference Conclusions followed by Scenic Lunch and Boat Tour Hosted by the Port of Antwerp


*Certain speakers, topics, titles and content may be subject to alteration. The organiser reserves the right to make changes to the programme as necessary.


15% discount for 2 or more delegates booked from the same company. Must be booked at the same time.

Members of our Association partners are entitled to a special 30% discount on the delegate price. Please ensure you quote the Association partner when booking.

Your delegate place includes access to the conference, 3 high level networking functions (Opening Icebreaker Drinks, Gala Reception at Antwerp Town Hall, and closing Lunch & Boat Tour), and access to the conference materials post event.

If you would like more information, or to discuss group attendance, please contact joanne@portfinanceinternational.com

*Please note you may be asked for proof of company.


Antwerp Port House, Entrepotkaai 1, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium



1) Hilton Antwerp Old Town
Groenplaats 32, Antwerp B2000, Belgium

Port Finance International has secured preferential rates for the conference from 17–23 April.

  • Single room @ 191.00 EUR per room per night, including breakfast.

Please use the link to book your accommodation. 

Nonrefundable and pre-payment needed to secure special rate.

Please note: these rates are only available for a limited time until 20th March.

2) Radissonblu Astrid Hotel Antwerp
Koningin Astridplein 7, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium
Tel: +32 3 203 1381

Port Finance International room available from 18-22 April.

  • Single rooms are available @ 149.00 EUR per room per night, including breakfast.
  • Double rooms are available @ 159.00 EUR per room per night, including breakfast.

Rates are Bookable* for following night(s): April 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st

Please download the form and email back to the hotel (meetings.astrid.antwerp@radissonblu.com).

City tax is not included and will be charged at 2,39 EUR per person per night.


Badge & materials
Your conference badge and all other conference materials will be available for collection from the registration desk on the morning of the conference.


We are looking forward to welcoming you to PFI Antwerp. PFI will be able to help you with any requirements and questions you might have. Please note that delegates are responsible for their own visa, travel and accommodation requirements.


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