TPM Asia Addresses Asia Europe, Trans-Pacific and Intra-Asia Trade Issues With Record Attendance

NEWARK, N.J., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Well over 600 attendees flocked to the 5th Annual TPM Asia conference, held at the Intercontinental in Shenzhen, China on October 11-12. TPM Asia is now clearly established as the largest and most important annual container shipping conference in Asia. This year as in past years, leading figures in the industry took on the major issues and challenges, offering valuable insights, predictions, and guidance for the attendees.

The event featured a keynote address by Maersk Line North Asia CEO Tim Smith, who discussed at length the efforts by Maersk this year to change the dialogue of the industry toward reliability, stability, and ease of doing business. A series of announcements by Maersk this year, from its 18,000-TEU Triple-E ships, to guaranteed on-time deliver, to its Daily Maersk Asia-Europe service, has at the very least provoked debate and discussion throughout the industry, including at TPM Asia. "It is time to radically change the way we operate our business," Smith told the conference. "It's good that we can provoke a debate. We're interested to hear how our competitors reply."

About the conference, Tim Smith said: "TPM Asia is becoming a landmark annual event for the shipping and transportation industry in Asia. We value the opportunity it presents for dialogue on industry issues. And it is a great place for networking."

The event also included a rare keynote address from Walmart, the world's largest container shipper as well as the world's largest company in revenue terms. Rob Kusiciel, vice president for inbound transportation, told container lines that in an era of extreme volatility in freight rates and increasing commoditization in the industry, carriers need to think and act differently in order to effectively serve their customers. "We see this as a critical juncture in the industry. It's really a time when we all need to think differently and approach this business a little differently," Kusiciel told the TPM Asia audience.

The conference completes a 5-year agreement with the Shenzhen municipal government and the four Shenzhen marine terminals- YICT, SCT, CCT and Da Chan Bay-1. Due to the conference emerging as an institution in Asia container shipping logistics, the Shenzhen government and terminals together with The Journal of Commerce are actively discussing a new agreement that would begin with the 2012 event next fall, and details will be announced shortly.

Among other issues, speakers at the event wrestled with a perceived growing commoditization in container shipping due to volatile freight rates and the growth of spot rate indices—a situation which is at odds with the needs of many shippers for consistent, reliable service. Shippers speaking on the program complained of inadequate communication from carriers, but also in some cases noted that since early 2010 when many shipper-carrier relationships hit rock bottom, things have improved. "Good dialogue has taken place over the past 18 months," said Rick Smith, Vice President for Transportation at Sears Holdings, who is responsible for all domestic and international transportation for Sears, K-Mart and Lands End.

As part of Shenzhen maritime logistics week The Journal of Commerce was also pleased to see that Shenzhen sister ports and other European and global ports attended this year including Antwerp, Hamburg, Rotterdam, Nova Scotia, Charleston, Tampa, Mobile and Houston. 

The increased attendees and sponsors, as well as broader topics this year emphasize the evolution of TPM Asia being previously Trans Pacific in focus but now effectively covering Asia, Europe, intra-Asia and Trans Pacific in equal measures.

Another conference speaker, Christian Sur Vice President of the Key Account Team of Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd said: "A forum like TPM Asia, where you have all the industry representatives gathering in one place, allows for discussions and the opportunity to have a good prediction for the future. I don't see any other forum where all these parties gather together in this way."

The 6th Annual TPM Asia is scheduled for October 2012.  Its American counterpart, TPM, the world's largest container shipping conference, will be held on March 5-6, 2012 in Long Beach, California. For more information on TPM, please visit: http://www.joc.com/events/trans-pacific-maritime-conference-2012.  

To view daily news visit www.joc.com.  For all media enquires, including article reprints, please contact Editorial Director Paul Page.

About The Journal of Commerce: Since 1827, The Journal of Commerce has been the most trusted source of intelligence for international logistics executives to help them plan global supply chains and better manage day-to-day transportation of goods and commodities in the United States and internationally.

To become a member of The Journal of Commerce click here. JOC members have access to our weekly print and digital magazine and Web site, as well as a 10 percent discount on all JOC events and trade shows, UBM Global Trade Directories and select PIERS products. Authoritative editorial content in the form of daily news, weekly analysis and regular features ensure our members have the information and data necessary to understand the issues facing trucking, rail and maritime transportation. Members enjoy access to "By the Numbers," an exclusive weekly compilation of key industry statistics that provides detailed views of current market trends across all modes. Regular market intelligence reports -- utilizing PIERS trade data -- include Top 100 Imports and Exporters, quarterly Top 40 Container lines, Trans-Pacific and Trans-Atlantic Maritime Forecasts and Top Container Ports and Terminals. Market-sector supplements, including Breakbulk, Cool Cargoes, 3PL, JOC Guide to Trucking and others, ensure all modes are comprehensively covered. 

About UBM Global Trade -- UBM Global Trade is the leading provider of proprietary data, news, business intelligence and analytical content supporting commercial maritime, rail, trucking, warehousing and logistics industries worldwide. The company's portfolio of more than 100 online, print and interactive workflow business solutions includes The Journal of Commerce, Breakbulk, RailResource, PIERS and an array of international trade and transportation databases and directories. UBM Global Trade, a subsidiary of UBM LLC, is headquartered in Newark, NJ, with offices throughout the United States. For more information, explore www.ubmglobaltrade.com or call 800-223-0243 (+1-973-848-7250 outside the U.S. or Canada).  

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MEDIA CONTACT
Peter Tirschwell, Senior Vice President, Strategy
The Journal of Commerce
+1-973-776-7822
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SOURCE The Journal of Commerce



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