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Bulk Expo

BULK2024 to return

The Australian Bulk Handling Expo will return after a successful event in 2022. ABHR learns more about the show and how it plans to grow the industry.

The bulk handling industry is a diverse sector – made up of businesses that transport and handle bulk solids. 

At first glance it might seem that a major iron ore mine, a cement plant, or a grain shipping terminal don’t have much in common. However, they each use similar equipment like conveyors, silos, hoppers, and more to move their materials from one point to another. 

They are also grappling with a labour shortage. Skilled labour has also become harder to find, and much harder to retain. The latest skills priority list released by Jobs and Skills Australia in October found that 36 per cent of occupations assessed were in a shortage. 

Technicians and trade workers had some of the highest shortages, particularly in regional and remote areas.  

Jobs and Skills Australia found that the shortage is being driven by the continues tightness in labour market conditions, reflecting either a lack of people who have the essential technical skills, or those with the right skills and qualities who aren’t willing to apply for vacancies under current pay and working conditions. Occupations with a strong gender imbalance were also more likely be in shortage. 

A range of strategies are being implemented across the country to help address the issue, but there is no silver bullet. It has led many organisations to begin looking at innovations like autonomous machinery to help increase their efficiencies as much as possible, whether it’s a port, mine, or manufacturer. 

The Australian Bulk Handling Expo (BULK2024) plans to bring this diverse industry together, under the one roof in September. Located at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre, the event aims to help spread industrial knowledge, showcase the latest technologies and innovations, and provide an opportunity to network with likeminded peers. 

Lauren Chartres, BULK2024 Show Director, said the event is the only dedicated Australian expo for producers of bulk commodities such as grains, coal, iron ore, cement, animal feed and woodchips.  “The bulk handling industry is a vital part of Australia’s economy, with a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share,” Chartres said.  “To have all these exhibitors under one roof is not only a great place for business opportunities, but a fantastic occasion to network within this essential industry.” 

BULK2024 is aimed at bulk commodity producers who are looking to run their businesses more efficiently and keep one step ahead of the competition. 

To ensure they can do that, the latest in equipment will be on display, including conveyors, silos, motors and drives, belt scrapers, container tipplers, dust control systems, and weighing or level measuring products. 

“Industries around the world are revolutionising as technology becomes more connected. Industry 4.0, automation, and artificial intelligence have the potential to radically change the way businesses operate,” Chartres said.  “Stakeholders from a broad range of sectors will share their insight and expertise on how to stay at the cutting edge of technology and avoid being left behind.” 

Attendees will have the chance to connect with industry leaders and innovators on the show floor and at various networking opportunities at the show. 

It will also offer the opportunity to meet with new clients, learn about new markets and connect with customers you might never have met elsewhere. The expo will be held in conjunction with one of Australia’s biggest transport, logistics and supply chain events, MEGATRANS2020. The two events will be hosted over 30,000 square metres at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with one ticket entry for access to both exhibitions. 

It will also host the 2024 Australian Bulk Handling Awards, the only awards program specifically for the bulk handling industry. Chartres said the awards are an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding achievements and successes of companies and individuals that have demonstrated innovative practices and superior performances across the year. 

Nominations are currently open for the awards night and can be submitted online at the Bulk Handling Awards website. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner held on 18 September. 

“We’re inviting everyone to be a part of this game-changing expo – from hands-on decision makers in the bulk handling industry to CEOs, COOs, regulatory bodies, and government at all levels,” Chartres said.  “We’ve seen how impactful bringing the industry together was at BULK2022 and are excited to see the industry continue to grow.”  

 BULK2024 will take place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 18 – 19 September, 2024.