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  June 17th, 2021 | Written by

Breakbulk Americas Returns Live and In-Person to Houston

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  • This September's event is all about getting together as an industry after a long and unwelcome break.

Breakbulk Americas, the region’s largest trade event for the project cargo and breakbulk industry, will return to the George R. Brown Center in Houston, Sept. 28-30 this fall. Since the first Breakbulk Americas held more than 30 years ago, nothing stopped the show—not Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Harvey—until the COVID-19 pandemic when most offices closed, employees worked from home and travel was nearly non-existent. No large events were held in 2020, but 2021 presents a vastly different scene in the United States. Breakbulk Americas will be the first Breakbulk event to be held since the shutdown of March 2020.

Enthusiasm and interest in the show are running high. Breakbulk Americas will welcome back global sector leaders including DHL Global Forwarding, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA CGM, Kuehne+Nagel, AAL Shipping, bremenports, Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft, Liebherr and Bahri. New and notable to the show floor this year are Volvo Penta and Airbus, household names in the industrial manufacturing sector.

This September’s event is all about getting together as an industry after a long and unwelcome break. Fortunately, the vaccine rollout has been very efficient, and Americans are able to move around with a great deal of freedom, which bodes well for the event this fall. However, international travel remains uncertain. Breakbulk organizers are monitoring the global situation and will add remote coverage of the event if necessary for those unable to travel. We are working very closely with the City of Houston and the George R. Brown Convention Center to make sure that this is a safe experience for all.

Safe and secure

In a personal email to Breakbulk Americas organizers, Visit Houston, the city’s entity that governs events and tourism, has outlined its exceptional safety measures that will be in place for the event along with other improvements to support the region’s top event for the project cargo and breakbulk industry.

“Our city and team are vested in your success and are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance your experience,” John Solis, Senior Vice President of Sales & Client Services at the GRB, said in a communiqué to Breakbulk. He said the convention center has made significant enhancements to its facility, including:

The George R. Brown Convention Center is the first facility in the world to deploy the Integrated Viral Protection (IVP) system. This is the world’s first biodefense filtration technology proven to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 (99.999%) and other airborne contaminants, and was recently awarded the 2020 Emerging Technology Award by The
American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Solis said.

In addition, a new virtual studio inside the convention center will provide flexibility to maximize opportunities for hybrid experiences. This feature will allow Breakbulk to host remote expert speakers should that be necessary due to travel or budgetary considerations, along with its in-person industry panelists.

The new features complement Hyve’s (the Breakbulk event series parent company) own Safe & Secure program that is being applied to all Hyve events around the world, including Breakbulk Americas, Breakbulk Europe and Breakbulk Middle East.

Networking first

The Breakbulk team has conducted extensive customer research around expectations for Breakbulk Americas, and the message has been both unanimous and clear: after the event hiatus, networking is the most important feature of the event. Participants want to meet in person, catch up and explore new business opportunities. And Breakbulk Americas has an enhanced plan for that.

The traditional welcome reception held Tuesday evening at the GRB will embrace the spirit of Texas as thousands gather for the Reunion at the Breakbulk Saloon. Indeed, the entire exhibition floor will be decked out Western-style with “watering holes” (themed bars) throughout the halls. A dedicated shippers lounge will be a hub for EPCs, manufacturers, energy companies and other cargo owners to meet with one another and schedule meetings with exhibiting service providers.

Leading up to the reunion will be an Executive Summit for C-level exhibitors and shippers to tackle post-COVID recovery together, and on a lighter note, all attendees are invited to participate in the 2021 Maritime Workers Emergency Medical Fund Golf Tournament at the Hermann Park Golf Course in Houston.

The first full day of the exhibition and conference begins Wednesday morning, continuing through Thursday afternoon. On the main stage, industry leaders will present a wide range of insights on the evolving impact of COVID on business and projects, Biden’s infrastructure plan, U.S. offshore wind project opportunities, the carrier sector, Women in Breakbulk will tackle how male co-workers can be better allies, and the effects—both long term and short term—of the greening of the oil and gas supply chain. There will also be a gathering for Breakbulk Veterans, industry leaders from all sectors with 20 or more years of experience. In the lead-up to the event, our
news team will continue to cover these topics both on the website and throughout the pages of Breakbulk magazine.

While serving current industry professionals is critical to our mission, Breakbulk is also committed to fueling the next generation of transport and logistics professionals, and 2021 presents an unprecedented need to attract young people to the industry. On Thursday, Jerry Nagel Education Day, a half-day program to introduce students to the industry followed by guided tours of the exhibition floor led by the Exporters Competitive Maritime Council, will be held. With strong ties to Texas universities and beyond, Breakbulk typically hosts around 200 students and their instructors at this introduction to the industry and to its leaders. This program is free to educators and students.

Registration is now open with early bird pricing through July 31, 2021.


Useful links

Hotel Accommodations:

Safe & Secure at Breakbulk Americas:

Program Agenda:

Floor Plan:

To inquire about exhibiting, visit

Press contact:
Leslie Meredith
Director Marketing & Media
Breakbulk Events & Media, Hyve plc
T: +1 801 201 5971