The first International Cranes and Transport Asia Pacific (CATAP) conference at the end of September

The first International Cranes and Transport Asia Pacific (CATAP) conference at the end of September 2014 attracted more than 160 attendees

Positive feedback is still coming in for the CATAP conference and the Singapore Crane Fair held to great acclaim last month.

Final numbers are also in for the inaugural International Cranes and Transport Asia Pacific conference (CATAP) and the associated Singapore Crane Fair. CATAP had 167 attendees and was one of three events in the first Singapore Crane Fair, held in late September.

First was the Crane Carnival on 28 September, attended by more than 1,500 crane industry people and their families. This event was held for the first time in 2013 when it drew a crowd of 800. In addition this year, 226 people registered for the industry recruitment drive initiative. “The turnout was incredibly positive, showing that people are becoming more aware of the tremendous opportunity available in the crane industry,” commented Alan Chan, Singapore Crane Association (SCA) chairman, one of the event’s organisers.

A dozen or more cranes were on display to visitors and there were operator skills challenges and more than 30 exhibitor booths. The Crane Carnival was aimed at potential employees and the existing crane industry workforce and their families. Aims of the event were to raise awareness of industry developments, highlight the workplace health and safety aspect and show the professionalism of the industry’s workforce.

On the 29th was the Crane Safety Symposium, attended by more than 400 industry stakeholders focusing on ways to raise awareness of and improve industry safety by reducing the number of accidents and near misses. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has taken action against 79 companies following Operation Goldcrest, a special enforcement operation targeting the construction industry. It was conducted from 1 July to 31 August 2014 and focused on unsafe lifting practices and crane operations. For details of the outcomes see our separate story.

After the Crane Safety Symposium was, on 30 September, the inaugural International Cranes and Transport Asia Pacific (CATAP) conference. Following a welcome from Alex Dahm, International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine editor, was an introduction by Ted Plafka, conference chairman.

Highlights of the event included an insight into Burma’s developing crane market from Han Soe Kyaw who runs Two Elephant Crane & Forklift, the country’s largest crane rental company. Rob West, general manager at Tat Hong’s Tutt Bryant Heavy Lift & Shift, gave an insight into standards, expectations and challenges of crane rental in Australia.

In addition to quality speakers it was also a theme extending to the delegates throughout CATAP and the Singapore Crane Fair. A long list of leading crane companies represented by attendees at the event included the following; Asiagroup Leasing, Bok Seng, Hiap Tong, Hong Fa Logistics and Engineering, Hontrade Engineering, Mammoet, Sarens, Tat Hong, Tiong Woon, Tutt Bryant, Vanaja Crane Hire, and Vema Crane.

Keynote speaker at the start of the CATAP event was Rajiv Biswas, chief economist at IHS, who set the scene with an economic roundup and outlook for the region. Following Biswas with a focus on safety in Singapore’s crane industry was Mohamed Abdul Akbar Bin Mohamed Abdul Kader, chairman of the National Crane Safety Taskforce in Singapore. Akbar is also managing director at Nan Guan Construction Pte Ltd.

Akbar commented on the Singapore Crane Fair, “To put together an event of such scale requires strong collaboration among key stakeholders, namely SCA, SCAL [Singapore Contractors Association], the Building and Construction Authority, WSH Council, MOM [Ministry of Manpower], and International Cranes and Specialized Transport magazine. Many thanks to the team for coming up with the Singapore Crane Fair to help raise the profile of the crane industry.”

Safety at CATAP was the key theme continued by Bryan Cronie, Mammoet Asia Pacific regional SHE-Q and training director, who explained the importance of creating a safety culture. A round table session on lifting and transport in oil & gas and petrochemical environments was one of several sessions helping to generate a lively participation from attendees asking questions from the floor.

Helping to make the whole event possible was a long list of sponsors and exhibitors, both end user companies and equipment manufacturers. Among many other companies were the following: Antar, Blue Star Crane Service, Huationg (Asia), Jaso, JCB, Lifting Equipment Engineers Association, LSI Robway, Manitowoc, Mobile Cranes Asia, Modulift, Pollisum Engineering, Sany, Scheuerle/Nicolas/Kamag, Sin Heng Heavy Machinery, Tanglin Corp, Terex, Tiong Woon, Tong Soon Crane, XCMG, Yongmao Machinery, Zoomlion.

Event organisers, supporting associations and other organisations involved included, the Building and Construction Authority, Crane Industry Council of Australia, Ministry of Manpower, National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators, Singapore Cranes Association, Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, The Singapore Contractors Association, Workplace Safety and Health Council.

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