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Oh, it’s alright for you. I suppose you’re planning on taking August off, kicking back and soaking up the sun. Lounging around in flip-flops with a Campari Soda. Maybe reading this issue on a beach somewhere nice and warm, or lying in a field at a music festival trying to understand young people these days.
Well, bully for you. It’s not easy, you know, trying to keep up our output when Europe closes down for a month – where’s the news? At least our Stakhanovite cousins in North America manage to restrict their vacation time and keep us in copy. Then again, it also gives us a perfect excuse to offer this combined July/August issue and take some time off ourselves.
This year, though, we here at HCB Towers are going to be chained to our desks over the summer, because we’ve got things to do. Plus, after the hot dry spring we had here in London, summer is turning out to be a bit ‘meh’.
So what’s so important we can’t take time off, eh? Well, for a start, just like our rather more glamorous (and rather more well paid) cousins at Vogue, we will be working on the bumper September issue. As always, this is our ‘Europe special’ issue ahead of the EPCA meeting, which this year takes place in Berlin at the start of October. With any luck, the European industry will have found its way back from the beaches of the Mediterranean and be well up for a good old knees-up.
The September issue is already shaping up to be something of a record-breaker, as indeed is the EPCA meeting, which as I write this already has more than 2,000 delegates registered. In that respect, it mirrors some of the other big shows HCB has attended in the first half of the year, with ILTA, for instance, reporting an 8 per cent increase in footfall and others, including COSTHA back in the spring, posting record delegate numbers.
The other thing that will be keeping us here is the website. HCB’s current site went live around the end of 2009 and two years is a long time in the world of the web. There have been some things we have wanted to be able to offer readers that the current site just cannot do, so we have opted to go for a thorough rebuilding job.
We are aiming to have the new site live for users from the start of September. Come back to www. hazardouscargo.com after that and you will see a very different front page and easier navigation to a massive archive of material. There will be a rolling news service – faster and more informative than our current site – and pointers to highlights from recent issues. The site will also have a ‘shop’ to give readers the chance to buy back copies, renew subscriptions, order the Tank Guide or ask to be added to the circulation list for the free weekly newsletter.
Oh yes, that’s the other thing we’ll be doing over the summer: getting on with researching the 2012 edition of the Tank Guide. This will be the 19th edition of this directory of the worldwide tank container, road tank and rail tank car industries and is being fully reworked from the ground up. After all, as in many other areas of our business, the emergence of new manufacturers and operators in developing economies is changing the landscape quite rapidly. We will be doing the research to find new suppliers so you don’t have to. Then you don’t have to worry about spending time on the beach!
Bear in mind, though, that while you might be taking a vacation, regulators don’t – we have already had a sneak peek at the discussions at last month’s meeting of the UN TDG Sub-committee and there are some juicy changes in the offing. That is one more thing we will be reporting on in September – so off you go, relax a bit and come back after the holidays ready to face the future.
You lucky things...