The event, held in the heart of Africa, gave Members the opportunity to understand, explore and secure business in the expanding marketplace. Representation from the region included Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.
This year, we introduced several new features including saying goodbye to environmentally unfriendly, printed schedules by developing our own Event Web App, where delegates schedules were readily available on their mobile devices.
A key feature was one-to-one messaging so that they could engage with each other before, during and after the gathering. They were also able to make notes against each 1-2-1 meeting that only they could see.
Time in the meeting room was predominantly 1-2-1 meetings, where delegates from over 55 countries exchanged information, reviewed current and upcoming government and private projects in the manufacturing, oil and gas, infrastructure, construction, power and energy sectors.
Another exciting addition to the event was 4 exclusive Infovideos, recorded especially for PCN by industry expert Marco van Daal. The first video was a thought-provoking case study of the installation of a huge floating granite sphere. The challenge was finding the best solution to lift a 15 ton round ball without touching the bottom. The second video revealed the most common mistake when executing a project, so obvious yet so underestimated that even NASA made the mistake resulting in a 5-year investigation. The third video was an exciting case study where tandem lift operators could not see each other and at a certain point, could not see the 30-ton silo cargo either – operating blind solely on the instructions given by radio. The fourth video covered the important topic of skidding and addressed the various systems, what they consist of, what to look out for and what the latest trends are.
Logistics Director at OMA Group, Mr Ian Treder gave an informative presentation regarding the challenges and benefits of working in Africa. Ian has over 30 years’ experience in the shipping and logistics industry and is currently involved in business development, port activities and inland transportation in Africa for the OMA Group, predominately focused on West Africa.
We also welcomed Special Guests, Este De La Hunt and Sharon Cilliers of CargoWise One, with whom we recently formed an exclusive partnership which opens a range of benefits and discounts for PCN Members.
“Project Freight Forwarding is all about building relationships with partners. PCN recognizes the importance of meeting face to face and organizes the venues to allow for owners, executives and the new generation to meet in person, discuss business and build long lasting relationships, trust and friendships. Our recent meeting in Botswana definitely accomplished this. A mixture of meetings, activities and learning opportunities such as the infovideos differentiate PCN from other networks. It offers a lot of learning opportunities and tools such as the new “Event Web App”, allowing members to view their meetings, communicate with each other and keep notes on the app. PCN offers the venue and the rest is on US to attend. SCACLI use this occasion to introduce our company to new members and build the existing relationships to grow our business.” Maria Misurka, VP & Managing Partner, SCACLI (Canada)
Other highlights included a trip to Mokolodi Nature Reserve where we were treated to an exciting game drive in safari vehicles, where we saw rhinos, hyenas, giraffes, amongst other animals. Then we enjoyed a delicious Bush Braai of steak, chicken and boerewors. An extra special treat was when Mafitlhakgosi Traditional Dancers arrived and gave a spectacular show that had us all up on our feet by the end of their performance.
For 2019, we created a new framework of awards to better represent and support the achievements of our membership. The two-stage judging process consisted of a shortlisting followed by a final judging panel which included award winning maritime journalist Felicity Landon, author of The Art of Heavy Transport, Marco van Daal and the highly experienced industry consultant, Susan Oatway.
PCN continued to contribute to the global fight to battle plastic pollution. Most similar events use 100s of single-use plastic water bottles over their duration, which can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. For the second year running, delegates were provided with BPA free reusable PCN bottles and the hotel supplied pitchers of filtered water. The gathering also raised US $1500 for Sentebale, a charity founded in 2006 by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso, to support children and young people affected by HIV in southern Africa.
PCN President/CEO, Rachel Humphrey said “We are delighted with the feedback from our delegates that they had a fantastic stay in Botswana. We strive to provide a ‘best possible’ event each year and always consider new ideas and improvements that we can make. We appreciate our Members precious time and the cost involved in attending and want them to gain as much value from our gatherings as possible.”
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