The skills shortage caused by aging workforces and a lack of fresh young talent are some of the biggest challenges facing the bulk liquid storage sector.
According to the Industry Trends Report, commissioned by StocExpo, 46% of the 171 key decision-makers agreed that the skills shortage and lack of talent are the biggest challenges facing the sector. Despite this, more work is being done now to maximise basic profit levers than to address upskilling and attracting the next generation of workers, leading the report to speculate that reducing costs and boosting capacity are relatively easy and short-term ways to salve the complex and abstract 'people-problem'.
The report also identifies and explores trends like the growth of LNG and hydrogen, which is on the diversification agenda for more than half of storage terminal respondents, but only 22% and 6% are storing LNG and hydrogen respectively at present. The research also highlights the rise of niche storage areas expected to grow over the next two years, including chemical and speciality chemical storage according to 48% and 43% of respondents respectively, as well as the storage of biodiesels (43%) and vegetable oils (28%).
The full report, which will be revealed during the three-day exhibition and conference at the Rotterdam Ahoy from March 10-12, has directly informed the show's conference programme. Organised by Tank Storage Magazine, the conference will address all of the issues raised, such as sustainability, digitalisation, IMO 2020, skills and the rise of new storage areas.
StocExpo divisional director Mark Rimmer says: 'StocExpo has always focused on providing value to the bulk liquid storage industry. That's why it's the main event for the sector.
'Our position naturally gives us a birds-eye-view of the industry and unique access to a huge number of bulk liquid storage's best and brightest. Something we've leveraged to deliver even more value this year in the form of an Industry Trends Report.
'The report will offer intelligent insight into the commonalities among businesses in the supply chain and shine a light on the perceived challenges and opportunities. That, coupled with our conference programme of expert speakers who will be talking on all the issues raised, will hopefully give the industry a sense of solidarity, direction and confidence equipping it as it faces down a somewhat demanding future.'
The report will be available for free to all delegates and exhibitors and will be made available to the wider public after the show. For more information on the show visit www.stocexpo.com.