As membership of the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) hits 120 companies, we caught up with Pietro De Michieli on the sidelines of the Association’s annual autumn meeting to hear how the Association is broadening its scope to help tackle challenges facing the global ports and terminals sector, and how PEMA plans to drive change in the industry. De Michieli was recently appointed as chair of PEMA’s Equipment Design and Infrastructure Committee and is vice chair of the Association’s Safety and Environment Committee.
“I’m delighted to chair PEMA’s Equipment Design and Infrastructure Committee. I have an excellent contact network of people across a number of segments, so I offer an open window to different sectors, for example container handling, although I have most experience in bulk handling – one of the sectors where PEMA is now attracting members. This is vital if we are to advance PEMA’s work on building the mutual exchange of information and learning best practice from across different sectors,” says De Michieli.
A broader vision: De Michieli sets PEMA’s sights on accelerating change in the global ports sector.
“Another thing that I really like about PEMA is that all its activities are conducted on a voluntary basis, so people are here out of personal interest, not financial gain. Furthermore, PEMA people are highly skilled and highly capable, so it’s a challenging, stimulating environment. I find the detailed approach of our various committees to be fascinating.
“Finally, I value the independence of the Association. As a forum for global port equipment manufacturers it offers a strategic approach that allows you to speak from a position of strength. Our position is not defined by a single supplier, but by the industry as a whole. This gives us the momentum to drive genuine change and make ports safer, more efficient, and reduce environmental impact.
“As chair of the Design and Infrastructure Committee, my main goal is to increase the number of active members, and to motivate more passive members to be more active, so as to establish the right conditions for teamwork. As a chairman, my job is to encourage people to pull together, to work as a team.”
PEMA’s broadening scope
“We are the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association. Ports are not only about container handling. They’re also about bulk handling, cruise, Ro/Ro etc. So, one of my challenges is to increase the number of Association members from different sectors. My primary target is bulk, where we’re already succeeding with new members active in that segment, for example Rocktree Consulting, STM and Tenover,” explains De Michieli.
“In terms of challenges facing the global ports industry as a whole, I would argue that improving digitalization and improving Industrialisation 4.0 to support the wider use of preventative, predictive maintenance of machinery to reduce downtime is of crucial importance. This is the sort of area in which PEMA can help address challenges by being a key industry forum to explore the value of new ideas and technologies. The way PEMA brings equipment suppliers and end-users together to drive mutual understanding of each other’s perspectives makes PEMA unique.
“PEMA was established 15 years ago with fewer than 10 members. Today, membership has jumped to around 120. For a relatively short period of time, this is a huge result. I would say that because PEMA’s activities are conducted on a voluntary basis, they are done out of real passion for what we are doing, rather than being something that members feel they should do. I would therefore invite people to join and be active members, because more members result in more ideas and ultimately more beneficial outcomes for the sector.”