Offshore Technology Conference 2013
OTC is here again. Every May, drilling contractors, original equipment manufacturers, and offshore supply companies come to Houston for the largest oil and gas show in the United States. Last year was the best attended conference with 90,000 attendees. This year is expected to surpass the 100,000 mark. There will be seven governors and the crown prince of Norway also coming to the show. For break bulk shipping companies, oil and gas logistics companies, and freight forwarders in Houston, the exhibits tell what will be moving in a few month’s time.
How Break Bulk Matters
Of course, the main draw of the conference is the exhibitors. They number in the thousands and represent every market and field that is (sometimes even very remotely) related to the oil and gas industry. Because of the strong international presence, break bulk logistics companies have a strong interest in attending the conference and meeting as many possible customers as possible. However, not all freight forwarders are able to handle break bulk shipments and sometimes the larger the company, the more difficulty they have in handling complicated moves. The secret in break bulk, project logistics, and oil and gas logistics is not in offering the cheapest solution through scaling economies or through routinization of the work. Break bulk shipping is complicated and no two jobs are alike. Therefore, massing materials, personnel and turning projects into systematized plans never works. It actually hurts.
It’s what you know
Freight forwarders either know break bulk and oil and gas logistics or they do not. If a huge freight forwarder concentrates all of its efforts in delivering computers from the factory door to the buyer’s doorstep, they simply do not have any idea about how to move a drill rig. Heavy hauling and drill rig moving seem to be the same thing in concept as shipping anything else. In other words, both move something from here to there. But the details show that there is almost nothing in common, not in equipment, not in personnel, and certainly not in the knowledge necessary to get the job done.
What OTC can teach the buyer of freight services
When walking around Reliant Stadium, take a look at the equipment being showcased and ask yourself, “How did that get here, to this spot? Where did it come from? Did it get damaged? How important was it to have a dependable freight forwarder?” To ask these questions is to answer them. It’s obvious when one sees the extremely large and extraordinarily sophisticated machinery that not just any freight forwarder can handle cargo shown at OTC. One needs a very dependable freight company specialized in break bulk shipping, oil and gas logistics, and heavy haul.