August 6 - A raft of Q2 and H1 2009 results published in the last few days has demonstrated a very clear trend in the industry that has reflected the wider global picture: while all companies are down, US-based companies are more down than the rest.

US-based heavy lift ship operator TBS International suffered a significant slump in revenues in Q2 2009 in what the company describes as "challenging" conditions, down a massive 54 0n Q2 total revenues to USD 72.2 million, compared to the USD 156.9m for the same period in 2008. Net loss for the second quarter 2009 was USD 16.9m, a considerable fall from 2008's USD 52.6m profit for the same period.

US-based freight forwarder Expeditors International of Washington, Inc. announced net earnings of USD 54.0 million the second quarter of 2009, compared with USD 71.2m for the same quarter of 2008, a decrease of 24%. Net revenues for the second quarter of 2009 decreased 17% to USD 330.0 million compared with USD 397.3m.

True car crash figures have come from WWL, the specialist ocean car and ro-ro line as total operating profit for the Norwegian-based group was USD 114.7 million for the first half of 2009, down 29 0.000000rom H1 2008.

Heavy lift activity gave Dutch marine services operator SMIT a true lift as the division produced revenues of USD 95.5 million, up significantly from H1 2008's USD 67.2m. Operating profit was USD 5.9m.

The profit for the heavy lift activities increased compared to last year as a result of improved utilisation rates for the sheerlegs and an increased workload for the subsea activities, says the company. Marine projects business was at a lower level due to a lack of major projects.

Swiss-based freight forwarder Panalpina has seen its net forwarding revenue fall by 32 0n H1 2009 from USD 4.3 billion to USD 2.9bn. Gross profit fell by 15ompared with the same period in 2008. However, group management has succeeded in significantly driving down its cost base year-on-year and as a result was able to compensate for the fall in volume.

It was in the Middle East that the sector's only cheerful sets of results were released when Kuwait-based project forwarder Agility enjoyed a modest H1 rise in profitability, thank in part to Swiss-based commercial division, Agility Global Integrated Logistics (GIL), supply chain provider. For the first half of the 2009 fiscal year, whilst revenues declined 9% to USD 2.86 billion compared with 1H 2008, Agility's operating profits increased 5% to USD290.6 million

GIL has picked up some important contracts, including an estimated USD 200m contract from Chevron for supply base operations and transport services to support the Gorgon gas field project in Western Australia, that should allow it to weather the economic storms.