This week's round up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.
News that Royal Dutch Shell is to buy BG Group for USD70bn has driven many industry experts to recall the late 1990s, when the oil and gas industry was shaken up by low oil prices and a subsequent string of mergers and acquisitions.
And this seems to be what is happening here, with the massive Shell-BG deal coming soon after Halliburton paid USD35bn for Baker Hughes and Spain's Repsol bought Canada's Talisman Energy for USD8.3bn. Many believe more mergers are in the pipeline.
Consolidation at the top of the upstream oil and gas industry is a key indicator that new energy exploration and extraction projects may grind to halt. Oil and gas majors clearly believe that in the current low oil price environment, bigger is better.
In this case, Shell will secure access to BG Group's existing oil and gas fields and in turn, it will be able to postpone investment decisions for the extraction of difficult-to-reach energy assets.
Project freight forwarders reliant on this work - particularly in the offshore sector - may have to wait until oil prices recover significantly before new, large-scale projects are once again on the table.
US-based project shipping company Intermarine has joined the Trident Alliance - the shipping industry initiative for robust enforcement of maritime sulphur regulations.
Mid-tier accountancy company Chantrey Vellacott DFK is to merge with Moore Stephens.
Russian Railways Logistics (RZDL) has purchased a 50 percent stake in Latvian rail freight company Liepajas Naftas Tranzits (LNT) through its affiliated partner RZDL Multimodal.
Manitowoc has launched a new Grove all-terrain crane - the 250-tonne capacity GMK5250L.
The ALL Family of Companies has purchased nine Terex cranes in response to demand for increased bridge construction and other related construction work across the Midwest USA.
Shipment of the week
SAL Heavy Lift's Annemieke has loaded two Damen Singapore-built Fast Crew Supplier 2610 (FCS) vessels at Jurong Port.
On the move
Braemar Shipping Services is making a number of changes to its board of directors, all of which become effective after the company's AGM on June 24, 2015.
Stephen Askins is joining the specialist maritime law firm Tatham Macinnes from Ince & Co as a partner in its London-based offices.
Network and association developments
Achievers Logistics was appointed an exclusive member of the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) representing Ghana.
The XLProjects (XLP) network gained a number of new members this week, including Integrated Projects Logistics International in China; Prima SA Transport & Trading in Switzerland; Transmares Logistica in Colombia; and Transmares Costa Rica.
The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) welcomed five new members to its roster: Divine Energy Services; HeavyLift Crane Services; Hoistlift of Texas; Lake City Trucking; and Vaught Trucking.
All about Evie
Evie was intrigued to hear this week about the impending launch of a new report/publication called Heavy Lift & Project Cargo International. Despite having a surprising similar name to HLPFI, Evie wishes to inform readers and supporters, who may have been contacted about the new report, that there is no relationship between the two publications.
Furthermore, there is no relationship between Lexx Publishing & Media - the company that is apparently planning to publish the new title - and Heavyliftpfi Ltd, which launched and has published HLPFI since 2007. Wasn't it Oscar Wilde, who said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness?
Evie also expresses her deepest disappointment in the Brazilian Customs authorities that decided to impound the consignment of our magazine that was sent for distribution at this week's Intermodal exhibition. It was nice of them to claim that a magazine of such quality must have a significant commercial value and be liable for tax and duties. Despite assurances that the magazines were to be given out for free at the event, Brazilian Customs refused to budge, leaving our team high and dry. :-(