CEDA Dredging Days 2024

Dredging in a changing world
Leading science and business in the dredging industry

Introduction to the conference theme

27-29 May 2024, WTC Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

The world is changing. Global warming is a physical change (of climate), but also societies are changing. Sustainability is becoming a firm driver for decision makers, financiers, and technological developments. Across the world, and across all generations, people become increasingly convinced that the exploitation of earth's resources must be limited and become sustainable soon. A further change is that globalisation (growing international trade and global logistic chains) is reconsidered. And geopolitics has become an important factor yet again. 

The dredging industry, providing a variety of services to the economies and people worldwide, has always been known for its adaptive potential, and in many cases as being a frontrunner in developments. Both in science and technology, as well as in business and market development, the industry was and is successful in 'changing'. Striking examples are: the concept of Building with Nature, the development of rock cutter dredgers, introduction of adaptive management to ensure environmental compliance within marine projects, the efficiency gain by scaling up of dredging equipment, and the ongoing scaling up of offshore wind power installation capacity.

The challenges but also the prospects for the industry in the years and decades ahead will be big. Decarbonisation of the dredging fleet is a clear challenge for all. It requires clear regulation and a firm pathway on governmental level, and the willingness from project owners to pay for the invariable rise in costs. For the industry and its suppliers the task is to rapidly develop full-scale near-zero and net-zero alternatives, and the willingness to actually invest heavily in such solutions and defer from the use of fossil fuels.

Whereas a large part of the world population lives in coastal regions, the threats as a result of sea level rise and more adverse climate only increase, with natural barriers like mangroves under pressure. It is for the dredging industry to take a leading role in further developing and implementing sustainable solutions for coastal protection. This is both a mission as well as a market prospect.

During the CEDA Dredging Days 2024 conference, the manner in which the dredging industry acts and reacts on changes will be presented in a variety of sessions, aiming for abundant interaction between delegates. Science and business go hand in hand in the dredging industry, and the Dredging Days are leading the way in a changing world.


Last update: 5 March 2024