This week's round up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.
Overall confidence levels in the shipping industry fell during the three months up to November 2014 to their lowest level for two years, according to the latest Shipping Confidence Survey from Moore Stephens.
Among the concerns expressed by respondents were the high cost of achieving compliance with new industry regulations, namely the upcoming sulphur emissions regulation change; the struggling economy and political situations in various countries; and ongoing doubts about overcapacity in the market.
One respondent curtly remarked that "there is too much competition, too many ships, and not enough cargo," while others were more optimistic, with one predicting that the global markets will begin to pick up in the middle of 2015.
Moore Stephens shipping partner Richard Greiner noted: "The market is likely to remain volatile in 2015 as shipping attempts to meet the challenge of finding the right balance between risk and reward."
It appears that Polet Airlines has suspended its passenger and cargo operations, following an ongoing case involving Moscow Arbitration Court.
Manston Airport looks set to close for good after Thanet district councilors voted against pursuing a compulsory purchase order for the Kent gateway.
Pacific Basin Shipping has sold PB Towage Australia to Smit Lamnalco, a 50-percent owned associate of Royal Boskalis Westminster.
Transport Intelligence has said that the talks between DSV and UTi Worldwide show that there is an undiminished appetite for mergers and acquisitions in the global logistics industry.
Anti-bribery business association TRACE is partnering with the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) and Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network to bring information and awareness of anti-corruption tools and solutions to project forwarders.
According to performance rankings published in the new online version of the Carrier Performance Insight published by shipping consultancy Drewry, Maersk Line and Hamburg Sud are ranked as the two most reliable container shipping carriers.
The latest addition to Talbert Manufacturing's Traveling Axle Series of trailers is ideal for hauliers who need the flexibility of a California-legal trailer with a lower deck height to clear bridges and tunnels when transporting taller equipment, the company claims.
Terex Port Solutions (TPS) is supplying the Philippines' Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. (MNHPI) with six rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes, expected for delivery at the end of 2014.
Following a lengthy trial period, the Baltic Cargo Shuttle (BCS) service is now fully established.
Terex Cranes has launched a new app - Cranes Expert - which it claims is the lifting industry's first electronic application designed specifically for crane companies.
Shipment of the week
Scandinavian Express Poland transports a steel footbridge, weighing 48 tonnes, from Gydnia in Poland to Malmö, Sweden.
On the move
CEVA Logistics expanded its presence in Singapore with a new 48,000 sq m logistics centre - West Hub - at Jalan Buroh.
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) added to its senior management team with the appointment of Steve Schollaert as executive vice president for North America.
Networks and association developments
The XLProjects (XLP) network gained Darka Group as a new member in Sudan and South Sudan, and Celtic Shipping Agencies in Ireland.
Canada's Rodair International joined the Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN).
CGLogistics from Ecuador joined the Pacific Power Logistics (PPL) network.
All about Evie
It seems a few congratulations are in order this week, says Evie, who extends her praise to HLPFI staff writer Annie Roberts who was noted as highly commended by the judges of the Seahorse Club's Newcomer of the Year award this week.
Evie would have been more pleased to report that Annie had won, and added another Seahorse award to HLPFI's trophy cupboard, but a commendation will do...for this year.
C.H. Robinson also gets Evie's congratulations this week for scooping Driscoll's U.S. Carrier of the Year Award for 2014 - good job!
And as a lover of all things dwelling in the sea, Evie was most heartened by news that Jaxport has received the inaugural Right Whale Champion Award from Sea Shore Alliance, for the port's efforts to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale.