It is one of the most important conferences for academics in the field of maritime transport: the annual conference of the International Association of Maritime Economist (IAME). This year, the IAME conference took place in Hamburg – and for the first time, in Germany. Michele Acciaro, Associate Professor of Maritime Logistics at KLU, was one of the driving forces behind bringing the IAME conference to Hamburg.
From August 23 - 26, a total of 278 participants from more than 40 countries met at IAME, making it the association’s best-attended conference so far. The approximately 200 scientific contributions also added up to a record number for this year’s conference.
New ways in maritime economics
The presentation topics included some core areas for academics with an interest in maritime transport and ports: maritime logistics, ship finance, port economics, and hinterland transport. “The conference also offered an opportunity for presenting research on emerging topics,” said Acciaro. “We had sessions on big data applications in shipping and ports, innovation in ports, greener shipping and Arctic shipping, for example. The conference provided a blueprint for where maritime-related research might head in the future.”
Hosted by KLU and other members of the Hamburg Maritime Research Cluster, the conference opened with a speech by Hamburg’s Senator of Commerce, Frank Horch. An important event on the schedule was the roundtable led by Maria Besiou, Professor of Humanitarian Logistics at KLU. Entitled Migration by sea and its impact on humanitarian and maritime operations, it offered participants the opportunity to discuss the challenges of migration for international shipping with representatives from Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI).
Lots of hard work that paid off
A conference like this takes a lot of work; two years went into organizing the event. “I had the best support possible from the KLU staff,” Acciaro said. “A lot of activities had to be organized – from facility management to the website, booking accommodations and assisting the participants, issuing invoices and invitation letters… Everybody at KLU gave his or her best for this event. The dedication of Kathrin Storm, our Project and Event Manager, was invaluable in making sure everything worked well.”
The hard work paid off. The four days of talks and discussions came to an end and Acciaro was more than happy with the outcome of the conference. “We saw some excellent presentations and listened to some really interesting research findings,” he commented. Acciaro is especially proud of the positive impression KLU made on the attendees of the conference. “The IAME conference has put KLU on the map for many people. I got a lot of compliments for the way the conference was organized. This event has definitely served to establish KLU as a reference point in maritime logistics.”