This week's round up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.

Reports this week indicate that the number of energy jobs cut globally has risen above 100,000.

Swift Worldwide Resources, a staffing firm with offices across the world, says that whilst much of the focus on layoffs has centered on the USA, employment levels in oil-related businesses across the globe are being reduced.

Such wholesale redundancies do not appear to be happening in the logistics side of the project cargo supply chain at present. Although uncertainty about the employment marketplace in the near future has certainly been expressed by several senior figures in large and medium-sized logistics companies with whom HLPFI has spoken.

We have also seen a considerable increase in the number of changes at a senior level within a number of the major brands in the project forwarding business over the last 12 months; and from what we hear on the grapevine that looks likely to continue.

In business

Pan Ocean signs purchase deal

Having received approval from the relevant South Korean court, Harim Group and the JKL Consortium have signed a contract for the purchase of Pan Ocean.

US ports suspend operations

The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), representing employers at 29 US West Coast ports, suspended vessel loading and unloading at all ports on February 12 amid stalled labour contract negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

Antwerp offers expertise in India

The port of Antwerp is offering training for port professionals in India in a new specially equipped training centre at Jawaharlal Nehru Port.

Bolloré secures Bluesea wind project

Bolloré Africa Logistics has been awarded a contract to provide project logistics services for a 40 MW wind power plant in Meru County, Kenya.

NWSC sees volumes slip

North-Western Shipping Company's (NWSC) cargo volumes fell by 13 percent year-on-year in 2014 to 5.6 million tonnes.


Capacity developments

White Marlin enters the stage

The Dockwise vessel White Marlin has been named and christened during a ceremony in Guangzhou, China.

Spain calls for Höegh

Höegh Autoliners is adding direct sailings from Veracruz, Mexico and Jacksonville, Florida to the Spanish ports of Barcelona and Valencia. 

Le Havre ups multimodal offering

HAROPA's port of Le Havre has invested EUR130mn (USD146mn) into a rail and barge facility, which is expected to begin operating in spring of this year.

Mammoet targets crane training

Mammoet has added a new custom-built simulator for its largest crane - the PTC 140/200 DS - to its training centre in the Netherlands.

Emirates adds second freighter from France

Emirates SkyCargo has introduced a new weekly B777F service between Paris and Dubai.


Shipment of the week

A huge steel structure has been installed as part of the construction of Antwerp Port Authority's striking new headquarters, which were designed by architect Zaha Hadid.


On the move 

Hill Dickinson appoints Hoyland

Rachel Hoyland has joined international law firm Hill Dickinson as a senior associate in its shipping team.

Geodis appoints Indian sales head

Geodis India has appointed Martijn Tasma as its national sales manager.


Network and association developments

The CLC Projects network added Fast Logistics in Kuwait and AGIL Freight Logistics in Qatar to its roster.

India's Vangard Logistics and Din's Trading in Malaysia joined the Project Cargo Network (PCN).


All about Evie

Evie welcomes the introduction of Ryder System's new heavy duty truck, which is specially designed for women drivers. Featuring 15 bespoke features developed to better meet the needs of female drivers, Evie cannot wait to take it for a spin.

Evie was also heartened by news that Lufthansa Cargo was flying freighters laden with millions of red roses for Valentine's Day, and hopes that the airline will drop one off at her house especially.

Congratulations are also due to Intermarine, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this week.

Elsewhere, Evie was amused by news that Samson rope had played a significant role in the Super Bowl XLIX as its product was used to suspend singer Katy Perry during her half-time performance.