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Think green, act green

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Date(s) - 03/09/2024 - 06/09/2024
All Day



For further information, please contact:
Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH
Tel: +49 40 3569-0
Email: [email protected]
Details & Registration
The 30th SMM – an anniversary …
With its successful balance sheet, the 30th SMM fully met the expectations placed in it. 2,000 exhibitors from all technological areas of the maritime industry and more than 30,000 visitors from over 100 nations were finally able to meet again in person in Hamburg after a long period of pandemic restrictions. To discuss the complex challenges of the industry. To introduce breakthrough innovations. And last but not least, to network with each other, to seek cooperation and forge alliances.

Around 80 speakers at the conferences, more than 160 speakers on the transition stages and 16 start-ups competing for the new SMM Maritime Start-up Award made the supporting program more attractive than ever. All areas showed that it takes a concerted effort to drive maritime change – as organizers we are deeply grateful that the SMM continues to be your platform of choice to engage with the game changers in the industry.

With a view to your company’s success, please allow us to point out that the next SMM will take place from September 3rd to 6th, 2024. We look forward to seeing you in Hamburg.

The enthusiasm was palpable: After four years of waiting, the international maritime community finally met again at the SMM in Hamburg: 2,000 exhibiting companies and more than 30,000 trade visitors from over 100 countries formed the “United Nations of Shipbuilding” for four days “. “The anticipation and expectations in the industry were enormous. I am all the more thrilled that we were once again able to prove our position as the world’s leading trade fair,” says Bernd Aufderheide , CEO of Hamburg Messe und Congress. The maritime energy transition and the necessary technology and expertise as well as the clear will to change formed the common thread on the fully occupied exhibition center and in the accompanying conference program of the SMM. 

The special importance of the shipping industry for achieving the climate goals was also evident from the presence of prominent politicians. Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the World Maritime Organization IMO, was visibly impressed by the wide range of innovative technologies during his tour of the fair. Chancellor Olaf Scholz , patron of the SMM, said in a video message that it was more than welcome that the SMM had focused on climate-friendly technologies, because “every innovation in the maritime sector benefits the global economy as a whole”. The Federal Government’s Maritime Coordinator, Claudia Müller,praised the 30th SMM’s motto “Driving the maritime transition”: “It perfectly describes the challenges facing the maritime industry today, while making it clear that we are driving these changes.”

Targeting climate neutrality

The SMM provides important impetus for this, says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen , CEO of DNV Maritime, the main sponsor of the world’s leading trade fair: “The SMM is one of the best events on the maritime calendar, it is truly global and with its focus on innovation you get an insight into the future of shipping.”

The goal set by the industry itself is clear: climate-neutral shipping by 2050. This requires practicable solutions from engineering service providers, shipyards and suppliers, but also from fuel producers. “As a marketplace for innovations, the SMM is an important basis for investment decisions by German shipping companies. The focus is on the climate-friendly transformation of the maritime economy,” says Dr. Martin Kröger , General Manager of the Association of German Shipowners. “We are in talks with shipbuilding and supplier companies all over the world and with experts. You can meet many of them at the SMM in Hamburg.”

Technologies for the energy transition

It is not for nothing that the SMM is the international platform for the maritime industry, from small start-ups to global market leaders. The drive specialist Wärtsilä Voyage presented its new Fleet Optimization System (FOS). “The holistic data analytics, voyage planning and fleet performance platform can help maritime stakeholders operate ships and fleets with optimal safety, efficiency and sustainability,” said Sean Fernback , President of Wärtsilä Voyage.

The engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce presented fuel cell concepts, hybrid systems and engines that are supposed to run on e-methanol. “We are clearly backing this marine fuel for the future and want to be a pioneer here,” says Denise Kurtulus , Vice President Global Marine at Rolls-Royce.

Mecklenburgische Metallguss (MMG) has flow-optimized ship propellers in its portfolio, with which Hapag-Lloyd, for example, retrofits numerous of its existing ships. Fuel and CO 2 savings: more than ten percent. As an example, an efficient MMG propeller welcomed the trade visitors at the entrance to the SMM.

The technology group ABB presented a new semiconductor circuit breaker for the next generation of safe and energy-efficient DC systems. Thorsten Strassel , Global Product Manager at ABB: “The SMM is an ideal platform to present this innovative technology that will support the energy transition in the shipping sector.” Renewable energies, battery storage and smart grids are a key factor in making the shipping industry more sustainable .

RWO, a leading provider of smart water management solutions, presented its latest oil separator (OWS) at the world’s leading trade fair. “We are pleased to be able to offer owners of larger ships an efficient, flexible and cost-effective OWS solution that is suitable for both new construction and retrofit projects,” says RWO Managing Director Stratos Papamichalis .

Retrofitting – in other words, retrofitting – was one of the major topics at SMM anyway. Because one of the challenges is to gradually make the current 60,000 merchant ships more environmentally and climate-friendly. This is also a huge market for Europe’s supply industry, as Stephen Gordon , Managing Director of Clarksons Research, predicted.

Inventions such as the Mewis duct, for which the two shipbuilding engineers Friedrich Mewis and Dirk Lehmann received the German Environmental Prize during the SMM week, make an important contribution to climate protection. Thanks to the flow optimizer offered by Becker Marine Systems, more than twelve million tons of CO 2 have already been saved worldwide. Managing Director Henning Kuhlmannwas pleased that the SMM was able to take place again in the usual setting: “Nowhere else do customers, suppliers and market competitors come together as concentrated as at this important trade fair. We not only met old acquaintances, but also saw many new faces, existing projects were linked, but we also signed important new orders,” he said. Kuhlmann’s conclusion: “For Becker, the SMM is and will remain the most important shipbuilding trade fair in the world.”

The VDMA also sees it this way, which has made the potential of e-fuels for defossilization of shipping the focus of its trade fair presence – among other things with a Power-to-X roadmap. “For us as an industry association, the SMM, as the world’s leading trade fair for the maritime industry, is the focus of our activities. We are proud to contribute to the SMM achieving the quality and internationality that we all appreciate so much,” said Hauke ​​Schlegel , Managing Director of VDMA – Marine Equipment and Systems.

Networking and know-how transfer in the supporting program

The Expo was again flanked by top-class conferences that addressed topics such as digitization (Maritime Future Summit), marine research (Offshore Dialogue) and security and defense (International Conference on Maritime Security & Defense). The environmental congress gmec (the global maritime environmental congress) attracted particular attention this year: one of the panels was open to a broader public for the first time. Environmentalists and those responsible from industry discussed the responsibility of shipping for climate protection.

In addition to deepening specialist knowledge, the SMM organizers consistently focused on networking formats and created a special stage for exhibitors with the new “Transition Stages'”. Other highlights included the presentation of the start-up award and the Maritime Career Market, where talented young people could make contact with interested companies. “There is no better opportunity to bring the diversity and breadth of our industry closer to the public – including the young talent that is so important – as well as to political decision-makers,” summarized Dr. Reinhard Lüken , General Manager of the Association for Shipbuilding and Marine Technology.  

This is also confirmed by the surveys among the visitors. According to this, 97 percent stated that the SMM is the most important trade fair for the maritime industry, and 86 percent definitely want to be there again next time. 97 percent of the visitors confirm that the SMM offers a very good opportunity to make international contacts.

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