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Supply chain blockchain is taking root at a rapid clip. Emerging today are the components needed to create robust supply chain blockchain networks. However, exponential change will truly start to take shape through the integration of blockchain with other innovative technologies like AI and IoE. Technological intersections like these have lead to major corporations like Amazon, Uber, Stripe, and numerous others.

The collision of cutting edge solutions like blockchain, AI, and IoE will help the supply chain and logistics market address key issues as well as costly problems by providing a deeper understanding of what and how supply chain and logistics processes can be optimized.

XChain2 is a two day event promoting education, collaboration, innovation, and research among technologists, stakeholders, solution providers, and business leaders.

Join us for an enlightening exploration into these revolutionary technologies and learn how they will synergize each other and industry. At XChain2, you will discover how blockchain, AI, and IoE have solved real-world problems in logistics and meet subject matter experts who will be showcasing their pilot projects as well as the value they added. More importantly, you will learn how to incorporate blockchain, AI, and IoE into your business and transform your supply chains.

supply chain and logistics truck photo

Speakers & Panelists

*Speakers & Panelists from May 2018 Conference

Interested in speaking at the next edition of XChain2? Contact us at [email protected]

Mr. Erwin Verstraelen

Chief Digital and Information Officer, Port of Antwerp

Mr. Bill McBeath

Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research

Mr. Vincent Annunziato

Director, Office of Trade, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Mr. Charles Thompson

Chief Information Officer, Port Houston

Mr. Michael Shaffner

Director of Operations Planning and Technology, Port Houston

Mr. Nico Wauters

Chief Executive Officer, T-mining

Mr. Peter Harris

Co-Founder, Chain Business Insights

Mr. Paul Brigner

Managing Director, B-TED

Mr. Jason English

VP Protocol Marketing, Sweetbridge

Mr. John Moseley

Senior Director of Trade Development, Port Houston

Dr. Shin'ichiro Matsuo

Research Professor, Georgetown University; Director, B-TED

Mr. Luca Schiatti

R&D Associate Manager, Accenture Labs

Mr. Mark Toohey

Founder, TBSx3

Ms. Allison Clift-Jennings

Chief Executive Officer, Filament!

Mr. Derek Lovrenich

Chief Executive Officer, InsurEco

Mr. Alexander Varvarenko

Chief Executive Officer, ShipNEXT

Mr. Andrew Bruce

Chief Executive Officer, Data Gumbo

Ms. Tetyana Colosivschi

Director, Strategy, Business Dev and Partnerships, ConsenSys Energy

Mr. Max Ward

Chief Executive Officer, OpenPort

Mr. Peter Tirschwell

Senior Director of Content, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit

Mr. Arno Laeven

Digital Strategy and Blockchain Lead, Shell

Mr. Krishna Danda

Investor, GE Ventures

Dr. Craig Pirrong

Director, Global Energy Management Institute, University of Houston

Mr. Michael Prokop

Managing Director, Deloitte & Touche, LLP

Mr. Jason Ford

Vice President, Greater Houston Partnership

Mr. James Row

Managing Partner, Entoro Capital LLC

Ms. Deanna Reitman

Corporate & Securities Counsel, DLA Piper

Mr. Adrian Fortino

Managing Director, Mercury

Mr. Keith Letourneau

Partner Maritime, Blank Rome LLP

Mr. Matthew DiBona

Senior Director, Digital Transformation

Mr. Daniel Martin

Chief Operating Officer, Producers Market

Ms. Yei Sung Kim

Management Consultant, Accenture

Ms. Sharon Yin

Digital Currency & Blockchain Attorney, The Yin Law Firm, PLLC

Ms. Amanda Edwards

Council Member, City of Houston

Mr. Amit Daga

Executive Partner, Ricoh USA

Mr. Corey Vickers

Global Logistics Category Group Manager, Chevron

Mr. Balaji Ramakrishnan

Director of Procurement and Supply Chain, BP

Mr. Mark Koeppen

Principal – Energy & Resources, Deloitte

Dr. Dale Tibodeau

Professor of Supply Chain Management, C. T. Bauer College of Business

Mr. Daryl Price Jr

Senior Regional Client Executive at Unicom and former NFL Player

Mr. Michael Skadden

Attorney at Law

Mr. Cody Burns

Enterprise Blockchain Architect, Accenture

petrochemical supply chain and logistics train photo


*Agenda from May 2018 Conference

Monday, May 21, 2018
8:00 AM – 8:25 AM
Registration & Breakfast
8:25 AM – 8:30 AM
Master of Ceremonies Introduction
Daryl Price Jr
Senior Regional Client Executive at Unicom and former NFL Player
8:30 AM – 8:35 AM
Brief Welcome Remarks
Amanda Edwards
City Council Member
City of Houston
8:35 AM – 8:50 AM
Opening Remarks
Peter Tirschwell
Senior Content Officer
IHS Maritime & Trade
8:50 AM – 9:50 AM
Session 1: Keynote Address ‐ Digitalization and Blockchain: Foundation for a Port of the Future

The unique combination at the Port of Antwerp of cargo handling, intermodal connections, logistics services and industrial activities is the ideal supply chain ecosystem to implement Blockchain solutions. Digitalization strategies are an integral part of the Port’s vision on how to strengthen the competitiveness and efficiency of the Port. The recent appointment of a Chief Digital and Information Officer reflects that commitment to all the stakeholders at the Port and all players in the supply chain. The goal of the presentation is to position blockchain by means of several real use-cases, which demonstrate the opportunities, as well as the challenges, to improve transparency and a “verifiable trust” driven supply chain. In addition, the testimonials will emphasize the Port’s commitment to make blockchain an integrated building block of the Port’s architecture built on connectivity, collaboration and innovation.
Erwin Verstraelen
Chief Digital and Information Officer
Port of Antwerp

Nico Wauters
Chief Executive Officer
9:50 AM – 10:15 AM
Session 2 Part 1: Solving Pain Points of Freight and Trucking Industry with Blockchain

Today, freight industry is facing many challenges such as cash flow, efficiency, risk control, and shortage of drivers (trucking). Blockchain and distributed ledger may hold keys to solve some of these challenges and persistent pain points. In this session, speakers will cover, use case and pilot experience of blockchain and open standard for managing truck drivers as well as cash flow; application of blockchain for freight billing. The speakers are pioneers venturing into new frontiers across industry boundaries.
Billing Freight Better with Blockchain and a Demonstration
Yei Sung Kim
Managing Consultant, J.D.

Cody Burns
Enterprise Blockchain Architect
10:15 AM – 10:35 AM
Networking Coffee Break
10:35 AM – 11:00 AM
Session 2 Part 2: Solving Pain Points of Freight and Trucking Industry with Blockchain

Today, freight industry is facing many challenges such as cash flow, efficiency, risk control, and shortage of drivers (trucking). Blockchain and distributed ledger may hold keys to solve some of these challenges and persistent pain points. In this session, speakers will cover, use case and pilot experience of blockchain and open standard for managing truck drivers as well as cash flow; application of blockchain for freight billing. The speakers are pioneers venturing into new frontiers across industry boundaries.
Blockchain-Powered Trucking: Using Irrefutable Records to Drive Cash Flow and Liquidity
Max Ward
Chief Executive Officer

OpenPort is using blockchain technology to accelerate the cash flow in supply chains. Micro-rewards incentivise compliance and data sharing, with shipment events recorded on a decentralised ledger, proving exactly what was delivered, when, and by whom. With an instant and irrefutable proof of delivery, the speed and reliability of payments between parties is greatly enhanced.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 3: End-to-end Supply Chain Collaboration Critical for Shippers/BCO’s

In 2017, the global supply chain and shipping industries have seen a number of blockchain pilot projects and consortiums involving shipping lines, banks, freight forwarders, insurance companies, and customs brokers to digitalize supply chains and eliminate paperwork. These include the joint venture between Maersk and IBM; shipping pilot across multiple jurisdictions by a consortium comprising AB InBev, Accenture, APL, Kuehne + Nagel and a European customs organization. Nexledger shipping pilot led by Samsung SDS along with South Korea players including shipping logistics companies, the Korean Customs, and major ocean liners; A pilot of agriculture commodity trading and shipping transaction over blockchain (Easy Trade Connect platform) comprising Louis Dreyfus, one of the world's largest commodities traders, financial institutions ING, Societe Generale, ABN Amro, Russel Marine Group, and Blue Water Shipping.

All these blockchain projects worldwide are covering all the various aspects of the supply chain. All the stakeholders trials/test applications are essential for eventually coming to an end-to-end transparent and efficient supply chain. In order to move forward from pilots to widespread adoption, speakers in this session will share their insights on how global supply chain stakeholders can work together to gain benefits from this emerging technology, in particular, in the context of international shipping. Key questions include interoperability, standardization, and stakeholder participation. Terminal operators and Ports are like all stakeholders and are an essential part in that strategy.
Special Introduction By
John Moseley
Senior Director of Trade Development
Port Houston

Peter Tirschwell
Senior Content Officer
IHS Maritime & Trade

Erwin Verstraelen
Chief Digital and Information Officer
Port of Antwerp

Charles Thompson
Chief Information Officer
Port Houston

Michael Shaffner
Director of Operations Planning and Technology
Port Houston

Nico Wauters
Chief Executive Officer

Alexander Varvarenko
Chief Executive Officer
Veles Bulk and ShipNEXT
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Networking Luncheon
1:00 PM – 1:20 PM
Session 4: Powering Blockchain Innovation through Academic – Industry Partnerships

Blockchain Technology and Ecosystem Design (B-TED) is a network of Universities comprising Georgetown University, University of Houston, and other higher education partners. B-TED’s activities focus on providing academic research results to industry members to facilitate future innovation and design in a blockchain-based ecosystem. B-TED is similar in basis to maturing blockchain technology and its ecosystem as academic precursor for the Internet, and will provide independent academic and a vendor neutral knowledge base for blockchain technology from a wide range of academic backgrounds targeting industry applications and sectors at the regional, national, and global level.

In the context of industrial and academic collaboration, B-TED is the place to conduct joint research to provide industrial members academic support for future sophisticated innovation. The results of B-TED are the foundation of future standardization for technology, economics and regulations. In this session, speakers will present partnering and collaboration models between academia and industry, as well as share success stories from those collaborations.
Shin'ichiro Matsuo
Research Professor, Director, B-TED
Georgetown University

Paul Brigner
J.D., Managing Director B-TED
Georgetown University
1:20 PM – 1:45 PM
Session 5: Blockchain for O&G Exploration & Production: Pilots and Future Opportunities

This is a presentation and discussion of savings identified from implementing blockchain solutions in the supply chain. These findings are from a case study with a major oil company. Other ancillary examples will also be included.
Andrew Bruce
Chief Executive Officer
Data Gumbo
1:45 PM – 2:10 PM
Session 6: Automating and Securing the Enterprise Blockchain Network and Machine Economy

Smart contracts enable a machine-to-machine economy, automated transactions, and business processing. The technology holds tremendous potential for many industries such as insurance, smart manufacture, transportation, supply chain management, to name just few. However, in order to unleash its full potential and deliver the promised economic benefits, industry applications rely on authenticity, auditability, and correctness of data feeding into smart contracts. Filament is developing a transformative technology to fill this capability gap for achieving the benefits of blockchain and smart contracts in the machine economy while enabling business process automation. It will amplify the efficiency and benefits that we are already witnessing now in the pilot studies and take it to the next level.
Securing the Machine Economy
Allison Clift-Jennings
Chief Executive Officer

The promise of blockchain technology is strong, and has important potential to optimize many business processes across industries. However, there are some fundamental requirements in the security underlying this promising innovation. In this presentation, speaker will walk through the "non-negotiables" when it comes to deploying production enterprise blockchain networks.
2:10 PM – 3:00 PM
Session 7: Smart Contracts in the Insurance Industry: Disruption or A Better Form of Risk Management?

The Insurance Industry is in the midst of a technical renaissance. Smart contracts and blockchain can streamline and simplify insurance transactions by connecting all stakeholders in the insurance value chain with shared, current, accurate, and secure risk information. The results will be automation of invoicing for settlement between contracting parties, improved assessment of risk and losses, and a faster and cheaper fulfillment process. A recent blockchain pilot involving insurer MS Amlin, Re/insurance company XL Catlin, Willis Towers Watson, and ACORD show significant benefits of blockchain in achieving greater transparency, eliminating low-value tasks, and reducing administrative costs. This session aims to enlighten the audience how this emerging technology could deliver high velocity impact and profoundly transform the insurance industry.
Insurance Will Revolutionize Logistics from Within
Derek Lovrenich
Chief Executive Officer

Insurance and the Blockchain
Amit Daga
Executive Partner - Insurance
Ricoh USA

3:00 PM – 3:15 PM
Networking Coffee Break
3:15 PM – 3:55 PM
Session 8: Investing in Blockchain Startups: Perspective from VCs and Corporate Ventures

For early stage investors and corporate ventures, blockchain is a new and emerging space. Blockchain entrepreneurs, startups, and angel networks are looking for insights, sharing experiences, and learning how corporate ventures and early stage accelerator programs can take advantage of this technology trend. Panelists in this session will address questions from angel investors, blockchain entrepreneurs, corporate investors, blockchain evangelists, and industry stakeholders on how to cultivate an ecosystem for blockchain startups in order to bring its benefits to industry stakeholders and promote economic growth.
Adrian Fortino
Managing Director
Mercury Fund

Krishna Danda
GE Ventures

Allison Clift-Jennings
Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Bruce
Chief Executive Officer
Data Gumbo

Sharon Yin
Digital Currency & Blockchain Attorney
Yin Law Firm

Michael Skadden
Attorney at Law
3:55 PM – 4:30 PM
Session 9: Digital Petrochemical Distribution and Supply Management over Blockchain

Advanced digital technologies drive new business opportunities to integrate along the business value chain, and improve competiveness of chemical companies. The total expected benefits from digital transformation amount to US$14.4 trillion by 2022, of which US$2.7 trillion are attributed to supply chain-related savings. Smart contracts and blockchain are key technology ingredients for unleashing the power of digital supply chain. It facilitates supply chain collaboration and allows suppliers, producers, logistics providers, customers, and other partners in the value chain to exchange information. Companies need to get started now to develop a blockchain strategy for digital supply chain.
Dale Tibodeau
Professor of Supply Chain Management
C. T. Bauer College of Business

Mark Koeppen

Balaji Ramakrishnan
Director of Procurement and Supply Chain

Corey Vickers
Global Logistics Category Group Manager
4:30 PM – 4:55 PM
Session 10: Supply Chain Transparency and Traceability

Blockchain provides an ideal solution for supply chain traceability and transparency. Many of the world’s largest food companies and retail giants are investigating how blockchain technology can solve some long lasting challenges in supply chain transparency. With the promise of real-time, secure, tamper resistant, end-to-end traceability, blockchain promises the capability to track a product from retail shelf back through every stage of the supply chain, right to the producer, with speed and accuracy as previously never imagined.

In this session, blockchain experts and pioneers will share their insights and experiences of this game changing technology to enable trustworthy transparency, visibility, and traceability in global supply chains and logistics.
Global Food Supply Chain and Logistics
Peter Harris
Co-Founder and Research Principal
Chain Business Insights

Global population growth forecasts require food production to increase by 60% by 2050. Consumers increasingly demand fresh produce that can be proven to have been produced safely according to ethical and sustainable methods. Producers, manufacturers, distributors, carriers, logistics providers and retailers need to boost efficiency and improve supply chain traceability - especially in light of recent safety scares and recalls. This presentation draws on recent research by Chain Business Insights and will set the food supply chain scene, highlight the complex and unique challenges of food logistics, and drill down on recent blockchain pilots that are addressing current shortcomings and challenges of the global food supply chain ecosystem.
4:55 PM – 5:50 PM
Session 11: Transforming Supply Chains with Blockchain

In this session you will learn about the value of blockchain technology combined with other innovations and how they are delivering increased liquidity, freeing working capital and easing settlements in today’s global supply chains that will benefit world economies, and the people working within them. This session will also cover solutions to producer exploitation and produce counterfeiting.
Supply Chains and Blockchains - Driving Economic Impact and Fairer Trade
Jason English
Vice President of Protocol Marketing

The true economic impact of blockchain and IoT will be driven through supply chain. While the evolution of Fintech is important, the $54T global supply chain and logistics market, which encompasses two-thirds of the world’s economy, offers even greater opportunities to make a positive impact on global GDP and produce better outcomes for companies and individuals throughout the value chain. Blockchain use cases for supply chain will support all aspects of the design, production and delivery of goods to meet customer needs. Even more interestingly, supply chains have operated as decentralized economic organizations for centuries, often with their own forms of shared ledgers. The value of blockchain technology combined with other innovations now offers us a means for increasing liquidity, freeing working capital and easing settlements in today’s global supply chains that will benefit world economies, and the people working within them.

From Lineage to Safety: Chewing on Blockchain’s Application to the Food Industry
Matthew DiBona
Senior Director

Blockchain use cases abound in all industries, and the recent food safety recalls underscore the promise of blockchain to the food industry value chain. During this session, Matthew DiBona will review several of the noteworthy opportunities for blockchain in the food industry, then will demonstrate a Smartbridge mobile application built to facilitate the physical and digital handoff of goods along food value chain participants, including integrating the Ethereum blockchain to backend enterprise applications.

Using Smart Contracts to Connect Producers and Buyers
Daniel Martin
Chief Operation Officer
Producers Market

Today, larger industry players cause producers to get only a fraction of the retail value of their produce. Imagine using smart contracts where an online marketplace can cut out the intermediaries so producers can go direct to market, even though those markets 1000's of miles away. The speaker will cover the financial market aspects of using smart contracts to facilitate trade with agriculture producers and the benefits of blockchain.
5:50 PM – 6:00 PM
Closing Remarks
Daryl Price Jr
Senior Regional Client Executive at Unicom and former NFL Player

Tuesday, May 22, 2018
7:30 AM – 8:00 AM
Registration & Breakfast
8:00 AM – 8:05 AM
Master of Ceremonies Introduction
Daryl Price Jr
Senior Regional Client Executive at Unicom and former NFL Player
8:05 AM – 8:20 AM
Opening Remarks
Jason Ford, CEcD
Vice President of Regional Economic Development
Greater Houston Partnership
8:20 AM – 9:00 AM
Session 12: Keynote Address: Blockchain – A Government Perspective

Blockchain as a technology is capable of achieving a global view of the supply chain and visibility without using traditional centralized infrastructure, it holds many promises to improving efficiencies and ensuring compliance in commercial customs and implementation of a single window. COAC Global Supply Chain Subcommittee established an Emerging Technologies Working Group to look into the applicability of blockchain to trade processing. In Nov, 2017, the workgroup came up with 14 use cases including capturing and keeping track of partnering government agencies licenses, permits, certificate of origin reporting and free trade agreement product qualifications, carnets and bonded movement tracking.

Subsequent deep-dive efforts with members of the trade community in early 2018, further resulting in three use cases of blockchain for trade: automation of paper processing tied to certification of origin to qualify for free trade agreements including NAFTA (current process is to validate post-audit, time consuming and cumbersome); automation of Carnets; Partner Government Agency (PGA) licenses, certifications, and permits with a focus on tuna form to automate an interagency paper process.
Vincent Annunziato
Director of Trade Transformation Office
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
9:00 AM – 9:40 AM
Session 13: Supply Chain Trade Finance Traceability

In this session, you will hear and see a live demonstration and use case of blockchain within the global supply chain.
Luca Schiatti
R&D Associate Manager
Accenture Labs
9:40 AM – 10:05 AM
Session 14: Off the Chain! Network SaaS Platforms and Blockchain: What Belongs On-Chain vs. Off-Chain

We will discuss the high cost and performance limitations of existing blockchain technology and why the majority of blockchain applications for supply chain will not be blockchain alone, but a combination of blockchain integrated with other technologies: supply chain optimization and execution applications, network analytics, traditional databases, workflow, global trade services, etc. These will leverage the decades of development, deployment, and best practice refinement in existing supply chain systems and applications. The talk will cover Network SaaS Architecture and examples of platforms, existing supply chain technologies being combined with blockchain, and how decisions are being made about which functionality and data belongs on the blockchain vs. off the blockchain.
Bill McBeath
Chief Research Officer
ChainLink Research

In this talk you will hear about:
  • Network SaaS Architecture — What is a Network SaaS architecture, how does it differ from an Enterprise SaaS architecture, and what kinds of functionality does it bring?
  • Network SaaS platforms — Existing examples of Networked SaaS platforms for logistics, procurement, supply chain, and finance.
  • Blockchain + X — What existing supply chain technology is being combined with blockchain to create supply chain applications?
  • On-chain vs. Off-chain — How are decisions being made about which functionality and data belongs on the blockchain vs. off the blockchain?
We will look at specific use cases, such as produce freshness management, anti-counterfeiting, and supply chain optimization, as examples to see how this applies in real-world applications.
10:05 AM – 10:30 AM
Session 15: Assessing the Realities and Opportunities of Blockchain Implementations in Supply Chains

Beyond the hype: A frank assessment of current blockchain capability from one of the industry's early adopters. The credible plans to use blockchain technology to enhance and protect supply chains will be balanced with an acknowledgement of the industry's current challenges. Additionally, the strengths and current limitations of the technology will be candidly discussed. In this presentation, you will find out more about a growing consortium of some of the world's largest supply chain companies.
Mark Toohey
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM
Networking Coffee Break
10:45 AM – 11:35 AM
Session 16: Fueling the Future of the Petrochemical Industry

There are huge interests from the petrochemical industry concerning Blockchain. An article published on March 1st by Energy Post claims “the next oil boom will be fueled by blockchain”. A number of blockchain platforms focusing on petrochemical and energy industry have been developed and some have been tested in recent pilots. For instance, a pilot project involving BP, Eni and Wien Energie demonstrated how a blockchain platform could automate trade reconciliation processes using smart contracts. Through collaboration with Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ), a blockchain-based platform was developed to improve transparency, efficiency, government reporting and compliance. Other efforts include Petrobloq’s PetroBLOQ blockchain platform developed exclusively for the supply chain needs of the Oil & Gas sector. A BP, Shell and Statoil-backed oil-trading consortium to modernize physical energy post-trade processes using blockchain technology also caught huge market interests. In this session, blockchain and petrochemical experts will present how blockchain may transform the future of Oil & Gas industry.
From Curiosity to Strategic Technology: The Journey of 18 Months in Blockchain Exploration at Shell
Arno Laeven
Blockchain Lead
Royal Dutch Shell

Energy and the Supply Chain
Tetyana Colosivschi
Director, Strategy, Business Development and Partnerships
ConsenSys Energy

Blockchain revolutionizes major industries across the globe and one of the largest and most comprehensive horizontals of all – that required trust among variety of parties involved – the supply chain. Supply chain processes in Oil & Gas industry are extremely laborious and prone to human error, and can be a perfect start for a company that wants to begin implementing blockchain technology in its operations. There are multiple ways to apply supply chain tools, and I will be talking specifically about processes that have been implemented by ConsenSys and leading enterprises.
11:35 AM – 12:00 PM
Session 17: Latest Developments of Blockchain Technology in the Energy Industry

In this session, the speaker will cover a multitude of topics from Blockchain’s promise and essential characteristics to use cases to implementation hurdles. Examples will be pulled from the maritime trade and oil and gas industries as well as energy commodities and renewables. Additionally, the presentation will cover payment reconciliation, trade finance, and recent regulatory developments.
Keith Letourneau
Partner - Maritime
Blank Rome LLP

12:00 PM – 12:40 PM
Session 18: Moving Forward Blockchain Applications in Energy Trade and Finance

In this session, speakers will discuss how to move forward with adoptions of blockchain in the energy industry from financing, trading, and regulatory compliance aspects.
Craig Pirrong
Global Energy Management Institute - Bauer College of Business - University of Houston

James C. Row, CFA
Managing Partner
Entoro Capital, LLC

Deanna R. Reitman
Corporate & Securities Counsel
DLA Piper

Michael Prokop
Managing Director
Deloitte & Touche, LLP
12:40 PM – 12:50 PM
Closing Remarks
12:50 PM – 1:50 PM
Networking Luncheon

supply chain and logistics container ship unloading in port

Organizers & Advisors

*Organizers & Advisors from May 2018 Conference

Dr. Larry Shi, Organizer

Associate Professor, University of Houston

Dr. Omprakash Gnawali, Organizer

Associate Professor, University of Houston

Mr. Bill McBeath, Advisor

Chief Research Officer, ChainLink Research

Mr. Filip Vandenbussche, Advisor

North American Rep., Port of Antwerp