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Do You Take Your Trade Association for Granted?

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I am proud to have worked within the shipping and logistics industry since leaving college education too many years ago. Throughout this time, I have always worked with or been a member of a professional body or trade association.

I received some sad news this week that brought to the fore the importance of trade associations in our professional lives and in the success and legacy we will have for our chosen professions.

Whilst we have all been unable to meet up at a live physical conference or exhibition for too long now, here at TOC Events we have always endeavoured to be the premier event platform for our sector and now, more than ever, as we embark upon our ‘Road to Rotterdam’ ahead of the return to TOC Europe in September.

Pivotal to this goal has been our relationship with our trade association colleagues and the insight they give us to enhance our content and editorial. From personal experience, trade associations play a hugely collaborative role in our sector, not only by working with us to provide a forum for their members but more importantly to improve the industry for all stakeholders in the maritime supply chain.

Modern trade associations have a colossal role to play in improving standards, raising safety, providing training, encouraging research as well as acting as a counterpoint to evolving policies at the government level.

At TOC we’re embracing the valuable contribution of our industry’s associations

Here at TOC Events, it has always been at the forefront of our development strategy to actively work with the associations that are active dynamos in our sector. We see it as an important part of our role to work with trade bodies to be the commercial outlet for all the work undertaken within the associations.

I mention PEMA, FEPORT, ICHCA, TIC 4.0 and DCSA but they are among many in the wider community of regional associations keeping our sector collaborating and working together.

As a result, I was proud that on the 24th February 2021 TOC hosted the first in a series of webinars led by our association colleagues, which focused on the critical need to collaborate to develop accepted standards to deal with the rapidly developing technologies revolutionising ports and terminals.

You can listen to the on-demand recording here.

And finally…

I mentioned some sad news earlier and I was shocked to hear of the sudden passing of Mr Ottonel Popescu, President of the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) just this week (If you’d like to read his obituary visit

It reaffirmed to me that it is only the dedication of the people that drive the associations and those that interact and take time to be involved that make a difference.

I have personally had the pleasure of working actively with Ottonel for many years, both in his role as President of PEMA and member of the Executive Council of Terminal Industry Committee (TIC 4.0) – both organisations with close links to TOC Events and I truly believe that his dedicated, positive and collaborative approach in these roles has grown the sphere of influence that we all have today.

From myself, and all of us here at TOC Events, we pass our sincerest condolences to Ottonel’s family and colleagues.

I truly believe that as we move forward from here, the best memorial will be to continue the work we have undertaken for so many years and to carry on working together with PEMA, and all our industry association partners to inform, educate and promote best practice, whilst providing the premier event platform to learn, debate and network for our industry.

For more information of our work with trade associations please contact me at:



Sean Deane
Business Development Manager
[email protected]

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