It's known to most in the industry as the WorkBoat Show, but the official title of the world’s largest commercial marine event is the International WorkBoat Show, highlighting the hundreds of commercial vessel owners, operators and builders from across the world that descend upon New Orleans every year. 

However, the timing and location of the event has seen many of the innovations and discussions that define the event filtered through a perspective that is specific to the U.S. This is set to be expanded in a major way at this year’s event with the international component of the WorkBoat Show being taken to another level. 

With a new focus on suppliers and vendors that can provide support for operators outside of the U.S., attendees from across the world can explore new options on the exhibit floor.

Being able to do this is something that stakeholders from companies like Transpetro, the largest multimodal oil and gas logistics company in Latin America, are excited to experience. Transpetro operates 49 terminals, 8,500 kilometers of pipeline and 36 vessels, according to the International Trade Administration (ITA).

“We want to learn and improve our knowledge on new technologies at the International WorkBoat Show, in the search for new fuels and vessel automation,” said Sérgio Hermes Martello Bacci, president of Transpetro. “We are looking for possible partners and suppliers, and of course options for vessel performance optimization. Our main challenges are the need for qualified labor and equipment supply like propulsion engines. We’re searching for solutions for new vessels that will be built, as well as adapting the existing fleet.”

Those types of solutions will not only be on display across the WorkBoat show floor but will also be highlighted as part of the WorkBoat Conference Program. Multiple sessions are set to feature speakers from across the world, discussing technology and challenges that are affecting the entire industry. One of these key discussions is set to be around the evolution of the navigation sector, which international delegations are excited to hear about and discuss at event. 

“In the navigation sector, the main challenge is to increase the reliability on interior navigation and thus foster its use. And for other types of navigation is the compatibility of international rules and regulations with national legislation,” said Bruna Santoyo, general coordinator of waterways in Brazil’s Ministry of Ports and Airports. “There are also challenges in financing, especially on how to best manage resources in a way that can promote navigation and still allow for investments in waterway infrastructure.”

Others are excited to explore these innovations and ask questions that specifically detail how they can make a difference in locations outside the U.S. These topics have a depth and breadth that will be specific to attendees' needs, priorities and locations.  

“On issues related to navigation, the expectation with the event is the possibility to have access to innovations in the sector and how we can adapt those to the Brazilian context,” said Karênina Dian, general coordinator of navigation in Brazil’s Ministry of Ports and Airports. “In regards to financing, the main expectation is to learn about models being used in other countries and see what opportunities are there that could be suitable for Brazil.”

This feedback highlights the traction the WorkBoat show’s new program has received to attract and recruit international buyers and procurement officials. Working closely with the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce's ITA, 90 total delegates from executive and operational levels are confirmed for the WorkBoat Show from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Australia and the United Kingdom, among others. 

WorkBoat Show exhibitors are invited to register interest now to export their U.S. products and services to foreign markets. To do this, just answer a few basic questions on this simple online form.

Jeremiah Karpowicz is the Editorial Director for WorkBoat. He has created articles, videos, newsletters, ebooks and plenty more for various communities as a contributor and editor. You can get in touch with him on Twitter: @jeremiahkarp