March 30 - Australia's largest freight forwarder of mining and construction equipment, Skelton Sherborne, has appointed Julie Magnone as chief executive officer (CEO).

Magnone has more than 20 years of experience in the heavy equipment logistics industry and Skelton Sherbornedirector Brad Skelton said it is an excellent move for the company.

Skelton said: "Julie has been at Skelton Sherborne for 14 years, starting in freight operations as a consultant. She quickly proved herself and was promoted to acquisitions manager, general manager and COO before moving into this new job.

"We are very happy that Julie has accepted the role. She has already been fulfilling many of the responsibilities of CEO and I'm confident she will enhance the position Skelton Sherborne already occupies in the market."

Magnone's promotion to CEO will allow Skelton to focus on other initiatives. The position of COO will be filled by Bob Gairdner. He has 22 years of experience in the road transport and air freight industries.

Meanwhile, in its latest Shipping Index, for February 2012, the company notes that Australian machinery import volumes in February decreased by 21 percent overall to 4,511 units, though this included some normalisation of apparent exaggerated tracked crane data in January.

The figures are still buoyed in the area of "road making, paving and other public works equipment". The Tariff item that these goods are classified under includes smaller commercial machines which may have been imported in bulk during the current period. By excluding the particular Tariff item volumes, it can be noted that the number of other "heavy" equipment machines has decreased 9 0.000000or February from 2,426 to 2,200 units.