HLPFI reviews the 2019 shortlisted and winning entries from the inaugural Heavy Lift Awards. 

Airfreight Solution of the Year, sponsored by Sarens 

Hansa Meyer won the Airfreight Solution of the Year Award for its involvement in a project to deliver 12 oversize modules from Chile to Bolivia using the AN-225 aircraft.

For this award, our judges were looking for an airline, operator or forwarder that executed an outstanding project cargo shipment by air. 

Timely delivery, safe and efficient loading procedures and customer satisfaction were just some of the criteria for this category and our winner – Hansa Meyer Global Transport – demonstrated all of this and more with its project involving the delivery of 12 160-tonne heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) modules from Chile to Bolivia using the AN-225 Mriya aircraft. 

Our judges were particularly impressed with the management of the tight schedule, how Hansa Meyer deployed teams in remote areas and the company’s engineering performance in order to deliver the urgently needed equipment. 

Hansa Meyer managing director Henrique Wohltmann commented: "It is a great honour to receive this award and special thanks go to our global team from Hansa Meyer Germany, together with Hansa Meyer Shipway in Chile, for an outstanding performance. Such projects are only successfully realised when you have a team of experts working together as one unit." 

Congratulations are also in order for our shortlisted entries – AirBridgeCargo (ABC) Airlines for the delivery of its 500th aircraft engine; Antonov Airlines for a number of heavy lift transports over the past year, including a round-the-world flight to deliver humanitarian aid to Guam; and Fracht USA for the transport of power plant equipment from Europe to Atlanta, Georgia. 


Environment Award, sponsored by Blue Water Shipping 

Nicola de Leva, managing director of Grimaldi Belgium, accepted the Environment Award for the initiatives Grimaldi Group has implemented to tackle emissions in the shipping industry.

This award was presented to the company that has shown a considered approach to environmental concerns within the day-to-day running of operations and the long-term strategy of the organisation. 

Grimaldi Group stood out for the number of environmental initiatives it has implemented to tackle emissions in the shipping industry, including the order of state-of-the-art ships, the development of new eco-friendly ro-ro and ro-pax vessel concepts, and the installation of solar panels and wind turbines at the group’s terminals.

Taking home highly commended in this category was Cargolux Airlines, which our judges thought had made great strides in reducing its carbon footprint, going beyond set industry standards. 

Our third finalist for this category was UECC for it s latest vessel Auto Energy, which can complete a 14-day round voyage using solely LNG fuel, offering a significant reduction in particulate matter, sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxides when compared with other fuels. 


Excellence in Engineering, sponsored by Red Box Energy Services 

ALE’s winning entry for the Excellence in Engineering award involved the installation of two bridge sections that formed the arch of the new Matagarup Bridge in Perth, Australia.

The Excellence in Engineering award presented a difficult challenge for our panel of judges. The number of impressive entries was outstanding and we had some truly remarkable finalists for this category including: Çaba & Misnak, which was highly commended for the relocation of the 1,100-tonne Zeynel Bey Tomb in Hasankeyf, Turkey; Fagioli, which demonstrated an innovative approach to a complex project for the stacking and de-stacking of a 997-ton (904.5-tonne) module; and Nickel Brothers Industrial, which had to design a customised trailer to transport 44 heavy and oversized tanks. 

Other finalists included Sarens for the load-in and load-out of transition pieces and monopiles weighing up to 1,100 tonnes in Rotterdam, and Trans Global Projects (TGP) for its shipment of construction materials and equipment to Antarctica. 

While all the shortlisted entries demonstrated impressive feats of engineering, it was ALE that took home the trophy for the installation of two bridge sections that formed the arch of the new Matagarup Bridge in Perth, Australia. 

Our judges commended the professional approach to this challenging project, which involved the coordination of different techniques and equipment, including barges, mega jack systems and strand jacks. 


Forwarder Network of Year, sponsored by CJ ICM Logistics 

Forwarder Network of the Year was another challenging category for our judges with all four shortlisted entries – Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN), Project Cargo Network (PCN), WCA Projects and The Heavy Lift Group (THLG) – demonstrating value-added services for members and a conscientious and thorough approach to vetting new members. 

It was GPLN that impressed our judges the most with its specialised heavy lift training courses, access to technical drawings, successful annual meetings, bi-monthly newsletters and effective use of social media. 

GPLN told HLPFI it was “proud and honoured” that the Heavy Lift Awards judging panel had selected its network as the winner of this hard-fought award. 


Innovation Award 

Sarens scooped the Innovation Award for its huge SGC-250 crane, which is capable of lifting 5,000-tonne loads.

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes and our judges were looking for clear enhancements in handling capabilities and durability, improvements in cost and time efficiencies, high safety and environmental standards as well as a step forward in terms of technology for this award, and Sarens delivered just that with the launch of its SGC-250. 

One of the largest and mightiest cranes in the world in both size and capacity, the SGC-250 is a feat of engineering innovation and has a maximum load moment of 250,000 tonne metres, allowing it to lift 5,000-tonne loads. 

Competition was tough in this category, however, and the other nominees also displayed some of the highest levels of innovation in the heavy lift and specialised transportation sector. 

Goldhofer’s new generation of PST/SL transporters with Speedrive was commended for its clear enhancements to the daily operations of its heavy-duty modular trailers. The Speedrive technology, according to Goldhofer, allows the driven axles to be switched off and operated in the freewheeling mode at a speed of up to 80 km/h in laden condition, while the increase of the tractive force results in a much better hill-climbing ability. 

Straightpoint, meanwhile, was shortlisted for its HHP app and Bluetooth load cell range. Developed so that smart devices can be used to monitor any Bluetooth-enabled wireless Straightpoint device with the advanced technology, the app surveys high-risk lifting situations from a distance of up to 100 m. 

As one judge commented: “A nice example to showcase that some of the best innovations can be made in the development of something small that will be used across the industry.” 


Overland Transport Provider of the Year, sponsored by Goldhofer 

Barnhart’s director of European business development, Simon Sumner, collected the Overland Transport Provider of the Year award for the company’s impressive delivery of a reformer vessel across North America.

This award was presented to an equipment-owning provider of overland services by road, rail or inland waterway that has demonstrated its commitment to the safe, efficient and innovative transport of heavy and oversize project cargoes. 

Our winner – Barnhart Crane & Rigging – has always been a frontrunner in engineering tools and equipment in order to solve clients’ transportation and installation needs, commented one of our judges, and the project submitted was no exception. The transport of a secondary reformer vessel, measuring more than 22.3 m long and weighing 193 tonnes, from Tulsa to a refinery in Lima demonstrated thorough planning, understanding of regional permit and escort challenges, and the use of innovative equipment and technologies. 

Barnhart utilised the longest and widest dolly transporter it has ever assembled for the move. The heavy transport specialist made significant enhancements to the equipment in order to accommodate the width of the load and to minimise the overall height of the combination. 

“We were delighted to win an award and gain worldwide recognition within the heavy lift sector for a challenging job that showcased our capabilities well,” said Simon Sumner, Barnhart's director of European business development.

Lift & Shift India was highly commended in this category for the movement of one of the longest and heaviest crude and vacuum columns in India. Other finalists included: ALE for the 1,000 km transport of 13 turbines across Thailand; Çaba & Misnak for the delivery of a 502-tonne heavy unit in Uzbekistan; Mammoet, which handled the transport of a giant splitter vessel from Edmonton to Fort Saskatchewan; and Tradelossa for the movement of heavy components for the Tierra Mojada combined-cycle power plant in Mexico. 


Port/Terminal Operator of the Year, sponsored by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean 

The Port/Terminal Operator of the Year award was presented to the team at Duluth Cargo Connect, with the port’s safety record and investment in technology impressing the Heavy Lift Awards judging panel.

Duluth Cargo Connect scooped the port/terminal operator of the year award, with its safety record and investment in technology standing out to our judges. The full-service terminal operator has earned a world-class reputation for professional service and customer satisfaction, providing seamless cargo handling, storage, distribution and transportation logistics services for breakbulk, heavy lift and other project cargoes moving in and out of North America’s heartland via the port of Duluth. 

Highlighting its commitment to the safe and efficient handling of oversize cargo, Duluth expanded its participation in rigging training and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training; invested nearly USD30 million in port infrastructure in the past three years, including resurfacing more than 25 acres (10.1 ha) of project cargo laydown space; and estimated that it had reduced the supply chain costs of regional businesses by 30 percent thanks to its collective expertise, facilities and resources. 

“We are honoured to accept this award and we appreciate the recognition for our terminal,” said Jonathan Lamb, president of Duluth Cargo Connect. 

Congratulations are also in order for our shortlisted entries – DFDS Seaways, ICTSI ME and Port Corpus Christi – which also presented strong cases for their commitment to heavy lift cargo handling capabilities. 


Project Logistics Provider of the Year, sponsored by AAL 

Blue Water Shipping was the winner of the Project Logistics Provider of the Year award for its involvement in the Tengizchevroil (TCO) future growth project-wellhead pressure management project in Kazakhstan.

“Project logistics at its best,” commented one of our judges when deciding that Blue Water Shipping should win this year’s Project Logistics Provider of the Year award. Another said: “I was completely in awe of the planning that went in to this project.” 

They are referring to Blue Water’s involvement in the Tengizchevroil (TCO) future growth project-wellhead pressure management project in Kazakhstan, where the company is leading four consortiums that control more than 80 assets being used in the project to transport 279 modules weighing up to 1,800 tonnes. “We find a combination of all criteria related to the selection of the Project Logistics Provider of the Year: use of new technology, solid recruitment and training programme, special techniques and thorough planning,” said our judges. 

Indeed, Blue Water is calling upon an in-house IT team consisting of 63 experts, including 22 programmers; has been involved in the design of a number of units that will be used to move the heavy components; and worked with the client to build a strong team of engineers, project freight forwarders, planners, document controllers, cost engineers, construction managers, HSSEQ staff, IT support and contract management for one of the most complex and demanding delivery schedules. 

Blue Water beat some stiff competition to take home the trophy, including deugro, which showcased its involvement in the Liwa Plastics Industries Complex project in Oman. In total, deugro delivered over 1 million freight tons, including a steam cracker unit weighing 1,230 tonnes, for the complex project. 

Logistics Plus also secured a place on the shortlist, with our judges commenting on the company’s approach to customer service, its global network and tailor-made solutions that call upon a technical know-how and a strong tack record of past projects. 

Our fourth finalist was RTL, which demonstrated a high level of skill transporting very heavy components through the complex delivery of oversized equipment for the construction of a plant in Kingisepp, Russia. 


Safety Award, sponsored by deugro group 

Gert Hendrickx, sales director at Sarens, was presented with the Safety Award at the inaugural Heavy Lift Awards.

Sarens secured its second award of the evening, having demonstrated a clear commitment to safety. The launch of its own training centre, combined with its innovative app that encourages a much greater compliance for reporting incidents, resonated with our judges, who felt that Sarens showcased a superior safety record and active commitment to improving safety standards across the heavy lift and specialised transport sector. 

Sarens’ group marketing and communications manager, Kleopatra Kyrimi, commented on the company's double success: “We are proud of the awards we received. They show how hard we work for innovation and safety.” 

Our other finalists should also be commended for upholding the highest safety standards. AAL’s ‘zero harm and zero damage record’, as well as innovations it has implemented to improve safety – the use of multi-lift vacuum units to discharge pipes in Darwin, as an example – were among the points referenced by our judges. 

ALE, meanwhile, was congratulated on its commitment to safety with respect to safety leadership, training, and execution in logistics planning and design. The company recently introduced a new modular frame to move transition pieces safely in ports and a new route survey tool that automatically logs accurate route data, height and width limitations, road inclines and cambers on digital maps. It measures critical sections of a route as well as generating photos and video footage for more in-depth analysis and processing of the route survey report. 


Shipping Line of the Year, sponsored by Trans Global Projects 

Kyriacos Panayides, managing director at AAL, received the first Shipping Line of the Year award at the ceremony in Antwerp. 

For this category our judges were looking for a proactive approach to safety and environmental regulations, an optimised fleet capable of supporting a wide range of customers and markets, and the implementation of new technologies or techniques to support the loading of complex cargoes, as well as expanded coverage or increased capacity. 

Our winner – AAL – demonstrated all of this, with one of our judges commenting: “AAL has an excellent approach for future challenges and a top class engineering department, backed by a reliable performance in the heavy lift shipping sector.” Its proven track record for delivery, safety and commitment to the industry earned AAL the first shipping line of the year award. 

The shortlist for this award included United Heavy Lift (UHL), which has significantly increased the number of vessels that it manages commercially and recently completed a record shipment of Vestas wind turbine blades from China to Spain; and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean (WW Ocean), which has a fleet of 50 ro-ro vessels and a long history moving heavy and oversized cargoes. 


Training Award, sponsored by RTL 

Industrial Training International (ITI) won this award for its virtual reality (VR) tool for crane operators, which one of our judges described as “an exceptional, innovative training solution, one that is proving successful on an international scale”. 

When launching the ITI VR tool, the company set out three objectives: provide an incomparable, totally immersive user experience; remove barriers to entry with a subscription model and low capital costs; and open up simulator training to all applicable team members by making access and utilisation simpler than ever before. 

Taking home highly commended in this category was Collett & Sons for its Training4Transport Centre for Excellence facility, which was developed to champion safety standards within the industry. Offering courses across the transport and logistics sector, our judges were impressed with how Collett not only trains its own employees but also shares its expertise with other organisations in the industry; using training to get new people into the business. 

The Project Cargo Network (PCN) was shortlisted for its work on a bespoke eLearning Platform for its members, enlisting the help of industry expert Marco J van Daal to create six online modules. Also shortlisted was the Project Professionals Group (PPG) for its certificate course in project forwarding management. Over the last ten years, the course has welcomed 500 students from 90 countries. 


Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Beluga Projects Logistic 

HLPFI was proud to present Steve Drugan, senior vice president of deugro group, with our Lifetime Achievement Award. 

When the Heavy Lift Awards was launched, there was a flurry of nominations for this category but one stood out. Drugan was described as “a hallmark of our industry, someone who has tremendous influence on the lives of the individuals that they have worked with, and a mentor”. 

As Drugan approaches retirement at the end of this year, our awards came at the perfect time to show the industry’s appreciation for a character that is not only well respected and revered by clients, but also by his peers. 

One nomination said: “He is among those very few people who does not need an appointment to visit any Global EPC, purely because of the weight his name carriers, earned through years of intelligent and diligent work.” 

Speaking to HLPFI after the event, Drugan said: “It was an unforgettable and emotional evening for me winning the Lifetime Achievement Award. I certainly did not expect to win, and am extremely honoured and humbled to receive such a prestigious award.”