The entity’s Annual General Meeting, bringing together Europe’s principal towing companies, took place in Antwerp, Belgium over three days in May

Attending were Fletamentos, Offshore y Salvamento Marítimo manager Charo Coll, and Denis Monserand, general director of Boluda Francia, both members of the association’s executive committee

The 55th European Towing Association (ETA) Annual Meeting, which took place in Antwerp (Belgium) in May, confirmed that Boluda Corporación Marítima is on the right track. In fact, the meeting was followed by a conference on “Towage and digitalization”, which presented the different ways in which digital technologies could benefit the towage sector, an area which Boluda Towage and Salvage has been prioritizing since 2016 by gradually increasing their fleet of next-generation smart ships.

Charo Coll, manager of Fletamentos, Offshore y Salvamento Marítimo, and general manager of Boluda Francia Denis Monserand represent Boluda Corporación Marítima Spain and France in the executive committee of the European Tugowners Association. During the three-day conference more than 150 delegates and guests analyzed the current situation of the European towing sector and elaborated on future actions.

This association brings together Europe’s main towage companies and is made up of 86 members and 40 partners from 25 countries, with a fleet of more than 800 tugs operating European ports and employing more than 8,000 people.

Charo Coll, who chaired this association between 2007 and 2009, reported that the Meeting attendees welcomed new full members representing Targe Towing, Kotug Smit UK, Rebonave and Ocean Montenegro, increasing membership this year to the record number of 86 full members in 25 countries. In addition, six new associate members have joined the association in the last year, widening the organization’s reach to different maritime sectors, from shipyards and maritime supplies to law firms.

The Conference interventions commenced with Wolfgang Lehmacher, Head of Supply Chain and Transport Industries at the World Economic Forum, who described the challenges that the fourth industrial revolution poses to the shipping industry.

CEO of Rombit Jorik Rombouts gave practical examples of interoperability between port services and also referred to specific projects to showcase the different new possibilities big data can create for maritime companies.

Innovation, Infrastructure and Environment Consultant at Port of Antwerp Piet Opsaele focused on cybersecurity challenges and helped the members of this association visualize the need for company strategies to address this type of threat.

Senior Partner at MTI Network Cor Radings highlighted the importance of a corporate social media strategy, especially for a sector in the public eye like maritime salvage. The annual Assembly ended with a gala dinner and a visit to Brasschaat Castle.

Members of the European Tugowners Association in Antwerp, Belgium, host city of the 55th AGM.