2020 Conference Objective

Through intensive programming and high-quality networking, the 2020 JOC Breakbulk & Project Cargo Conference will generate value for project and breakbulk cargo shippers and other members of the supply chain. The conference program, under the direction of the JOC’s expert editorial staff, will examine key market and industry pressures, opportunities, and strategic challenges facing the sector as its practitioners navigate the world’s most complex transportation supply chains.

Theme: Seeking Transparency
in a Volatile Project and Breakbulk World

2020 opened with supply chain shock, as efforts to contain coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) roiled global trade and threatened project schedules. A fragile recovery in the project and breakbulk logistics sector had begun to take hold in late 2019, despite the looming start date for IMO 2020. Project cargo shippers reported healthier project order books and backlogs, module and heavy-deck carriers sensed opportunity, and freight rates for the multipurpose/heavy-lift sector were holding steady, but all bets were off as the virus's effects on the global economy played out.  


In the long run, investments in power generation, particularly wind energy, will be influential global market drivers. In the short run, however, the project and breakbulk sector is holding its breath, riding out coronavirus containment, potential congestion and bottlenecks once virus-marooned cargo starts moving again, declining oil prices, and a slowing global economy. Will the flimsy recovery hold, finally moving the breakbulk needle from “hopeful pessimism” to “confident optimism,” or should we now be looking past 2020?


Meanwhile, the project and breakbulk sector is slowly accepting modern expectations for transparency, safety, integrity, and digitization — required by project owners, expected by a new generation of project talent, and necessary to stay competitive in an increasingly interconnected world. How will the industry address these challenges as 2020 unfolds?


The 2020 JOC Breakbulk & Project Cargo Conference will explore these questions in depth when we convene on April 27-29, 2020, in New Orleans.

Topics to be Explored:

  • Global and US economic outlook and forecast.

  • Expert market outlook: Oil and gas, and renewables.

  • The state of steel 2020.

  • Building a transparent safety culture in project logistics.

  • Transport assurance from the EPC perspective.

  • Approaches and methods for creating transparency in the project supply chain.

  • Offshore wind: Can and will the US supply chain fill the looming logistics gap?

  • Crossing the lines: Heavy-haul transport and permitting challenges in the US.

  • Navigating the import maze: Sanctions, tariffs, quotas, and sourcing.

  • IMO 2020: Where are we now?

  • Updates: Project logistics contracting, ISPM15, Ex-Im Bank Financing, Incoterms 2020.