The exhibitor booth for the Bureau of Dangerous Goods was busy.
Michael Bowen, president of the company, was speaking with a representative from a Japanese airline about the Bureau’s services. Former NFL player Lee Rouson, who Bowen said is a family friend that is dangerous goods trained, signed autographs.
Bowen’s father began the Bureau in 1981. The company provides hazmat training and software.
“Dangerous goods are a large part of our economy, one way or another,” Bowen said. “Everything that you can think of is pretty much manufactured with probably some component of dangerous goods.”
He also noted that moving dangerous goods allows companies to charge additional fees, making it an attractive proposition.
IATA used to have a conference on dangerous goods. Now, that’s been folded into WCS as a track, though Bowen said IATA has discussed starting a multi-day dangerous goods conference again.
“It’s important to bridge the gap between the shippers of dangerous goods and the carriers that carry them,” Bowen said.
A less populated exhibitor booth was that of Airport Lahr Germany. This airport in southwestern Germany used to be owned by the Royal Canadian Navy for its European center until two decades ago, and now it’s being promoted as a heavy load cargo airport near the borders of France and Switzerland. It also has multimodal capabilities with rail and a nearby river.
Michael Erath, managing director of Airport Lahr Germany, said the airport – which has DB Schenker, CEVA Logistics and DHL – came to WCS to connect with experts and investors.
“We’re here to get us better known in the cargo world,” said Markus Ibert, managing director of startkLahr Airport & Business Park Raum Lahr, a company that is helping to develop the freight potential of the airport and its surrounding area.
Consulting and technology company Accenture was also exhibiting at WCS in order to raise awareness – but for Accenture, it was about telling others that it is also a software company, said Ganesh Vaideeswaran, managing director Accenture software, freight and logistics.
“We’ve been resting and building the software out for almost 15 years, but we were laying very low in terms of events, branding and all that,” he said. “We’re not known to many of our prospects here in the market.”
Accenture has gotten serious about building awareness of its software, so promoting at conferences such as WCS “goes a long way toward people knowing we’re in this market,” Vaideeswaran said.