SMM 2022: Everything at a glance

The countdown is on: From 6 to 9 September 2022 the Who’s Who of the maritime sector will meet in Hamburg. For nearly 60 years SMM has been a magnet for shipowners, suppliers, shipyards and industry visitors from all around the world. Some thoughts on what makes the event so attractive, what innovations it will showcase, and what else the leading international maritime trade fair has to offer this year.

“The mere fact that SMM can take place as a live event again after the break imposed by the coronavirus is a highlight in and by itself,” says Bernd Aufderheide, President and CEO, Hamburg Messe und Congress (HMC). Celebrating its 30th anniversary at the same time makes this maritime gathering even more special, he adds. After a purely digital version took place in 2021, Hamburg’s expo chief expects around 2,000 exhibitors and 40,000 industry visitors from over 100 nations to attend this year’s SMM. All eleven halls are fully booked.

All this is quite remarkable considering the humble beginnings of the industry fair: No more than 35 exhibitors set up their stands for the original “Schiff und Maschine” (Ship And Machinery) expo in Hamburg’s exhibition halls in 1963. By 1968 that number had risen to 212. As more and more exhibitors joined, the title of the event grew longer, as well: “Ship and machinery” was augmented by “Meerestechnik”, or maritime technology. Until this day the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Maritime Technology trade fair has enjoyed sustained international success under its acronym, SMM. “I am sure the members of the Hamburg Association of Ship Engineers (Vereinigung der Schiffs- Ingenieure zu Hamburg) who founded the precursor to SMM would be proud of us. What was once a predominantly German event with some 200 exhibitors in 1968 is today a leading flagship fair with an international reach,” says Aufderheide.

A shipping world without SMM is hard to imagine
The success of SMM is probably attributable to the astute instinct of its organisers for what the industry really needs. This year SMM more than ever focuses on the maritime energy transition, the digital transformation and climate change. Many exhibitors consider SMM as a must-attend event: “As a technical provider for marine energy transition growth, we need SMM as the perfect international stage to display our technologies from MHI Group for decarbonising the maritime shipping industry,” says Toshiaki Hori, CEO of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Marine Machinery & Equipment. To Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of the ship classification society DNV Maritime, SMM is nothing less than the “home for shipping”. The main sponsor of the event presents its new “Flagship Report – The Maritime Forecast to 2050” this year. “With a focus on fuel sustainability and the carbon neutral fuels needed to reach decarbonization, this year’s report is really going to give the industry a lot to discuss,” says Ørbeck-Nilssen.

For the 2022 SMM the organisers are setting the stage to reflect the chosen theme, “Driving the maritime transition” while emphasising the unique interactive character of the trade fair. “We have consciously reduced some of the exhibition areas in favour of the Transition Stages to give participants more room to present their ideas and product novelties in an open forum,” explains Claus-Ulrich Selbach, Business Unit Director at HMC. There will be three stages in total, each dedicated to a particular theme:

  • The Green Transition Stage in Hall A4 will focus on alternative propulsion systems, environmental technologies and sustainability.
  • The Digital Transition Stage in Hall B6 will highlight automation, digitalisation and data management.
  • The Cruise & Ferry Stage in Hall B5 will feature interior design, outfitting and technologies for cruise ships.

Following each day’s programme of lectures and presentations, the new networking format “Wine o’ clock” will provide additional opportunities to get answers and establish new business contacts.

Innovations big and small
From the methanol-ready dual-fuel engine by MAN Energy Solutions that weighs several tonnes to the lightweight energy-saving LED lamps by WISKA, the exhibition halls will showcase innovations big and small, grouped by theme. For example, Halls A3 and A4 are home to companies developing alternative propulsion systems or exploring eco-friendly fuel solutions, such as Rolls Royce: “Our contributions to the journey towards carbon neutrality comprise everything from diesel engines with exhaust gas treatment systems or gas engines and the use of sustainable fuels, to hybrid systems, and through to methanol engines and fuel cell systems,” says press spokesperson Silke Rockenstein. Rolls Royce will also showcase new ship automation products.
More smart solutions will be presented in Hall B4 where well-known shipyards will be represented side-by-side with digital experts. For example, the featured Naval Architect cloud-based platform has been developed to merge all relevant information in shipbuilding projects to minimise risks. Halls B5 and B6 form the MARINE INTERIORS section @SMM where everything revolves around the design and interior outfitting of passenger vessels. Stands bearing major names, such as Kaefer Schiffsausbau or Rheinhold & Mahla, are located here.

The full layout for all exhibition halls can be found on the site map. The theme routes (Cruise & Ferry Route, Digital Route, Green Route, Job Route, Security & Defence Route, Start-up Route) guide visitors conveniently across the 90,000 square-metre expo to exhibitors of interest.

Sharing views and thoughts with experts
Besides browsing the exhibition halls, visitors looking for major innovations and key insights are encouraged to turn to the stages where SMM’s five specialist conferences take place. These are the conference themes:

  • Digitalisation & Cybersecurity: on 5 September at the Maritime Future Summit
  • Market Overview and Finance: on 6 September at the TradeWinds Shipowners Forum
  • Environment and alternative propulsion systems: on 7 September at the gmec. – New: The NGO panel discussion will be open to the general public. For further information please visit:SMM Digital Platform)
  • Science & Wind Power: on 8 September at the Offshore Dialogue. – New: This conference is an event of the UN Ocean Decade, an international research project for ocean protection
  • Security & Defence: on 8 and 9 September at the MS&D

Supporting programme
SMM is accompanied by an attractive supporting programme featuring:

  • Women in Maritime Jobs: On 7 September at 4:00pm, WISTA Germany will elect the Person of The Year (PoTY) on the Green Transition Stage.
  • Start-up Night: Start-up companies will introduce themselves and present their projects in pitches at individual sessions and compete against each other for the best new idea. On 7 September the winners will be handed the Maritime Start-up Award on the Digital Transition Stage. The competition has three categories: Digital, Environmental and Shipbuilding & Machinery.
  • Maritime Talent Exchange: On 9 September the Maritime Career Market (MCM) takes place in Hall B6. From 10am until 2pm, experts will provide insights into the maritime employment world. At the MCM, graduates, students and young professionals can meet potential employers. Admission to the MCM – and the entire SMM – is free for secondary school and university students on Friday.
  • Cruise Talk: On 6 and 7 September, Artlink CEO Tal Danai and his top-flight panel of guests will take a look into the Future of Cruise Shipping on the Cruise & Ferry Stage.

For more information on SMM go here.

About SMM
The leading international maritime trade fair will take place in Hamburg from 6 to 9 September 2022. Around 2,000 exhibitors and more than 40,000 visitors from over 100 countries are expected to attend. In eleven exhibition halls, SMM covers the entire value chain of the maritime industry. As a platform for innovation, it brings together leaders from around the world. The 30th SMM focuses on the maritime energy transition, the digital transformation and climate change. The 2021 SMM was held as an online event due to the COVID pandemic. This year, the maritime community will once again gather live on the exhibition campus and in conferences featuring top-ranking panellists. SMM 2022 is held under the patronage of German chancellor Olaf Scholz.


Nora Hirschfeld
PR Manager
T. +49 40 3569-2445
[Translate to EN:] Nora Ebbinghaus