The world’s largest project cargo and breakbulk event

Project Logistics a ‘Most Exciting Space’

Executives in Rotterdam Offer Students Sound Advice at Education Day

By Carly Fields

Breakbulk Europe 2023: Do not enter the world of project logistics if you are looking for the humdrum of a regular 9-5 job, panellists at Breakbulk Europe’s Education Day told students.

“You might get a call at ten at night because something is delayed, a ship has to sail and there is a problem somewhere,” said Milind Balaji, director of global distribution and supply chain services at Georgia-Pacific LLC. “If you are excited by that, absolutely go for it.”

There are other parts of logistics that are more “steady,” but project logistics is the “most exciting space,” Balaji added. “I’ve done everything from trucking to rail, containers and now to project cargo and breakbulk. It’s very niche; the people are some of the most intelligent and passionate people that I’ve ever met.”

Moderating the panel, Susan Oatway, research analyst for breakbulk and project cargo at Journal of Commerce, S&P Global, advised those interested in a career in project logistics not to pigeonhole themselves too early. “Look at the whole picture and then focus in on an area. Have that broad sense before you narrow down.”

She added that while project logistics might not be as “sexy” as Google, it is still an industry of the future.

Eszter Ilyes, global tender manager at Kuehne+Nagel, highlighted the travel opportunities available: “This is a great opportunity especially when you are young as you can follow the cargo and travel a lot.”

Diana Kaufmann, president for Central Europe, global risk management and HR development at deugro, added that project forwarders are very keen to get young people on board and that they are “craving young talent.”

Representing carriers on the panel, John Pittalis, marketing and communications manager for AAL Shipping, stressed that students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences are being sought.

“Whatever your background, however diverse your education, there is a place here. There is an opportunity for everyone,” he said, adding that when employees join a shipping company in one position they do not necessarily stay in that position. “You move around and there are lots of opportunities.”

Check out a video of this year's Education Day: