HLPFI staff's Valentine's Day present was the launch of a new-look website that we hope will set the agenda for heavy lift and project cargo reporting for years to come.

The new look website retains old school journalistic values to remain the go-to site for news on the heavy lift and project cargo business. The relaunch comes as the site posted its 5000th news story since it was launched - showing how important heavyliftpfi.com continues to be as source of news and information.

Labour is working
Peace seems to have broken out in the dispute that threatened to bring the US East Coast ports to a standstill on a number of occasions as labour and bosses sought to iron out salary and benefit packages. The details of the tentative master contract, which will expire September 30, 2018, between the International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX), have been revealed on the former's website.

Just jammin
It's not a rum idea that Jamaica could transform itself into a logistics hub for the Caribbean, Latin America and US Gulf and East Coast once the Panama Canal expansion project expansion is complete. That's the view of the money men from the World Bank Group.

Future-proofing for profitability
It would appear that the directors of Cargolux have been burning the midnight oil to create a new business plan to take the all-cargo carrier forward to 2017, whilst Cargotec posted disappointing figures for its 2012 results.

Port to port
Whilst Belgium's port of Antwerp has gone to Russia with love to link up with Rosmorport, the state-owned umbrella company that represents the interests of all Russian seaports in a five-year collaboration agreement, fellow countrymen Wijngaard Natie has become the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) member for Antwerp.

There was disappointing news for managers at the Port of Hamburg as cargo declined over the course of 2012. Total seaborne cargo throughput at the gateway reached 118.8 million tonnes, one percent down on 2011. General cargo, including break bulk and project cargo, throughput stood at 83 million tonnes, for the year, a 1.4 percent decline over the 2011 figure.

We hear that delegates at the European Wind Energy Association's (EWEA) conference were blown away by the presentation by the Seaports of Niedersachsen, representatives of which had blown into Vienna to explain the capabilities of its ports to deliver logistics solutions for the wind energy sector.

Snapped up

As the Dockwise board of directors unanimously welcomed the proposed combination with Royal Boskalis Westminster, Danish-based  Seatainers Group was acquired by logistics services provider DSV, whilst Wilhelmsen Technical Services opened for business in Houston.

Hitting back
The Japanese shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) believes that the best way to stop a bullet is with a job and has joined with Shell, BP, Maersk, Stena NYK and 'K' Line in support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to support job creation and skill development projects in Somalia to fight piracy in the region.

Back to the future
The Swedish East India Company and the Swedish transportation company Greencarrier have signed an agreement for the latter to use the former's 18th-century East Indiaman sailing ship, Götheborg, as a marketing platform. Other shipping news saw the launch of the first of China Navigation Company's eight newbuild MPVs; Clipper Projects reported the shipment of 56 wind turbines for Vestas Wind Systems; and Safmarine MPV name Norton Lilly as its full liner agent in the USA. Meanwhile Drewry reported that ship and container-level KPIs showed significant quarter-on-quarter improvements in reliability in the fourth quarter of 2012.

On the forwarding front
Argentina's Transload International is enhancing its existing membership of Project Partners by enrolling its branches in Brazil and Venezuela into the specialist network for project freight forwarders.

US-headquartered mining equipment manufacturer Joy Global Mining has given the contract for its South African distribution services to Imperial Distribution. The three-and-half year contract was won by the South African-based forwarder on open tender and represents the company's first in the mining industry.

CEA Projects and Logistics Thailand
has transported oversized and heavy oil refinery equipment through Thailand to Mataphut port, bound for Iraq. The 758.4-tonne consignment consisting of numerous over-dimensional cargoes, the largest pieces were eight units measuring 14.3 m x 6.5 m, weighing 58.9 tonnes each.

CEE members, Multitrade Spain, a railway transportation specialist, is working with Intermax Logistics Solutions in China, to handle a prototype tram being moved from the Spanish port of Tarragona to Chengdu via Shanghai, under a contract signed between Vossloh and the Chinese city. It could be the first of many as the contract stipulates an option for an additional 22 carriages.

All about Evie
Gossip columnist Evie Aufheben woke on Valentine's Day to a boudoir full of the most fragrant red, red roses from many of her numerous admirers. How was this possible, she pondered as she reclined on the duck feather pillows, embraced in the Egyptian cotton sheets that wrapped around her loved-up body? She blew a kiss towards managers at Saudia Cargo who used B747 and MD-11 freighters to operate four extra freighter flights from Nairobi to Amsterdam in order to meet extra demand for flowers in the traditionally busy month of February - ahead of Valentine's Day.

Ms Aufheben is about to undertake her own project cargo shipment later when she decamps from London to the slippery, snowy slopes of Switzerland. The only use she'll have for a 'low-boy' is to bring her a warming Gluhwein by the log fire in her remote Alpine cabin. Now, she's hoping for an invitation from GAC Logistics to experience life on the ocean wave as it splices the main brace as the official logistics partner for Oman Sail EFG Bank Sailing Arabia The Tour event.

Career opportunities
Recruiting the right person can be a costly business. Agency fees can be prohibitively high and going through countless irrelevant applications can be very time consuming. Why not advertise your employment vacancy on our new website? If you have a job vacancy to fill contact us today via ian@heavliftpfi.com or on +44 (0) 1689 860660.

Join us on LinkedIn
The Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International LinkedIn group complements the print and online editions of HLPFI and offers you the opportunity to discuss key issues and network with your peers and a wide cross-section of industry experts. Join the discussion now at: http://tinyurl.com/ces7odb

Work is well underway on Issue 31, which will include country reports on Brazil, Russia, the USA and the Gulf States; plus a review of logistics within the mining industry; a focus on heavyweight road haulage; an operational review of escort and permitting issues; an equipment focus on jacks, skates and rollers; plus our regular articles on law, insurance and safety; and letters from our regional correspondents. It will also include our first report on the logistics activities behind the movement of yachts, cruiseboats and other floating craft. It's not too late to submit editorial contributions, or book advertising, but you need to move fast. Contact Ian Matheson on +44 (0) 1689 857631 or ian@heavyliftpfi.com for more information.