Two years filled with curveballs have equipped the logistics industry with the experience to tackle any challenges. For us at New Silk Road Network, watching and learning from our industry has given us the same determination and motivation to handle the pandemic induced curveballs seen this year too.
Though our Annual General Meeting was planned to be hosted in the world's business centre, Dubai, the closing borders and the anxiety of a pandemic became a barrier. However, this did not deter us from our dedication to bringing our members and partners together. Instead of an Annual General Meeting, we decided to host a Regional-Meet Up here in our hometown Bremen.
The objective of the Regional Meet-Up was to bring together companies who could travel to Germany without quarantine restrictions. Those who could not join the event in person yet again had the opportunity to meet companies virtually. The quaint and close-knit event resulted in successful collaboration between our members and partners.
Meeting Old and New Friends
The first event of our Regional Meet-Up was an intimate cocktail reception held at the Havanna Lounge, sponsored by NSRN’s local Bremen based member Alexander Global Logistics. A warm and intimate space, the exclusive Havanna Lounge can only be accessed by its members. Many of our members, some old ones and some new ones, had the opportunity to meet each other.
Conversations were rekindled over the memories of last year, and the introductions were made with new members. Over Gin Tonics, Beers and Wine (and some Cigars), everyone familiarised themselves with one another and found common connections. Friendly games of Pool between the members ignited the team spirit as everyone geared up for the next day, a day filled with business, collaboration, and action!
On the 16th of November 2021, the day of the one-to-one meetings, our attendees had jam-packed schedules meeting those attending in person and joining in virtually. 46 companies joined the meetings and had full schedules starting from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening. Each one-to-one meeting lasted for 25 minutes, where companies presented each other’s profiles and discussed pertinent collaborations.
During a meeting with attendees joining in virtually, iPad stations were set up dedicated to a particular company, and the live attendees went to the company’s iPad set up to meet with them. As our team already had the expertise in hosting a hybrid event, the meetings between our live and virtual attendees underwent smoothly. Between the meeting sessions, the attendees also had opportunities to gather over a formal lunch and coffee breaks to continue their discussions. A long day of meetings came to an end with a sit-down dinner, warm conversations, and good humour.
Day Trip to Wilhelmshaven
The next day, the participants of the Regional Meet-Up had the opportunity to visit JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven. NSRN jointly organised this trip with one of our partners, Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven JadeWeserPort Marketing GmbH & Co. Kg. Along with our attendees, we started our journey to Wilhelmshaven at 8:30 in the morning and arrived by 10 am. Ingo Meidinger, Director Sales at JadeWeserPort, gave us a picturesque tour of the facilities at the Port of Wilhelmshaven. At the end of the tour, we clicked a lovely group picture with one of the worlds largest container vessel in the background and the grey North Sea. A cold and windy port, one requires true logistical grit to provide quality service at a swift pace seen at the Port of Wilhelmshaven.
After an interesting tour of the site, we convened for presentations at a lovely nautical-themed restaurant. The first presentation, “BRI: Provocations, Facts and Conclusions”, was presented by former Chief Economist of Bremer Landesbank, Mr Folker Hellmeyer. Mr Hellmeyer’s approach to the topic of the Belt and Road Initiative offered a unique perspective to the freight forwarders present at the venue. After the engaging talk, Mr Meidinger presented on the nuances and facilities of the Port of Wilhelmshaven, giving relevant information with regards to the Port’s functioning and future projects.
As the educational part of the day came to a close, attendees gathered for a traditional North German lunch of ‘Grünkohl’ (German Kale), ‘Pinkel’ (Smoked Kaszanka sausage) and hearty potatoes. After a full tummy with food, we headed out towards the coast for the ‘Boßel’ tour (a traditional Northern German game), engaging our competitive spirit and taking in the views of the distant sea and the sudden appearance of a whole rainbow. The day ended with some warm coffee, tea and some heavenly German pastries.
Living up to its name, the Regional Meet-Up provided the region's flavour through activities, cuisine, and culture. The event would not have been possible without our sponsors, JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven, Kopf + Lübben GmbH and Alexander Global Logistics. But moreover, we are thankful to the members and partners who joined us despite the uncertainties brought forth by the ongoing pandemic. As we raise the bar for ourselves every year, we hope that next year’s Annual General Meeting brings all our members and partners under one roof for an awesome, epic and truly productive event!