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

The European Commission is inviting comments on a proposal to prolong an exemption of liner shipping consortia from the application of EU antitrust rules that prohibit certain agreements between companies.

In light of the comments received, the Commission will then adopt a new Regulation before the expiry of the current Regulation in April 2015. The first consortia block exemption Regulation was adopted in 1995 and prolonged several times.

Meanwhile, Beijing officials have held talks with the Mexican government over setting up a joint fund to invest in infrastructure projects in Mexico.

China has invested heavily in the Far East, Africa and Europe in recent years as it looks to satisfy its burgeoning demand for minerals, and the Central Americans look like the next country to trade resources for infrastructure. A fund of up to USD2.5 billion has been tabled say international media reports.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Saudia Cargo, which operates a dedicated freighter fleet and ample capacity across an extensive global network spanning four continents.

In the corporate world

The Port of Auckland achieved record volumes for the six months ending December 31, 2013. Breakbulk cargo handling surged 41.9 percent year-on-year to 2.87 million tonnes.

The Port of Houston saw increases in all areas of cargo throughput  during January 2014.

BNSF Logistics and Tri Global Energy will combine resources to develop the burgeoning wind energy market in Texas, through BNSFL's West Texas Wind Energy Logistics Center.

Two days of industrial action, which began on February 26, by truck drivers serving Port Metro Vancouver impacted trucking and drayage operations at the Canadian port.

In Australia, Kings Consolidated Group has acquired Walker's Haulage.

The Panama Canal extension project has resumed having been delayed for two weeks due to a USD1.6 billion in cost overrun.

Toll Group has been awarded multiple contracts with oil and gas producer Santos, with a forecast revenues in excess of AUD275 million (USD247 million) over five years.

Capacity developments

Tianjie Heavy Industries has delivered 120 lines of Tianjie TJ-G3.0 type SPMTs (pictured top right), each of which a capacity of 45-tonnes per line, to two separate clients in Dalian, China.

MacGregor will deliver two subsea cranes to Hyundai Heavy Industries for a vessel being built for Subsea 7.

An MoU has been signed giving the go-ahead for the construction of berth four at the Cuxport Terminal.

Liebherr has delivered four LTM 1055-3.2 triple-axle mobile cranes (pictured second right) to the Swiss Army, while Able Seaton Port has taken delivery of a Liebherr LHM600SHL mobile harbour crane.

Transportes Pesados Itajaí (Transpi) has put Goldhofer's high girder bridge Faktor 5 (pictured third right) to use in Brazil.

Mojo Maritime has agreed a deal with Hammonia Reederei GmbH & Co. KG to develop a brand new class of offshore construction vessels - the HF4 (pictured bottom right).

Northwest Crane Service's new 750-tonne telescopic Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 crane completed its first project when it replaced the gearbox of an 80 m high 1.5 MW wind turbine.

Shipments of the week

Volga-Dnepr Airlines used an AN-124-100 freighter to deliver the pressurised cargo module of the Cygnus resupply spacecraft from Turin, Italy to Wallops Island in the USA (pictured top right).

Combi Lift's Palanpur safely delivered the 450-tonne clipper ship City of Adelaide to Port Adelaide, Australia, from Scotland (pictured second right).

R&B Global Projects shipped a Terex CC 8000-1 lattice boom crawler crane (pictured third right) from the port of Ilyichevsk in Ukraine to Thailand's Laem Chabang port.

Coodinadora Internacional de Cargas SA transported a 412-tonne LHM 400 mobile harbour crane from Aragon Quay to Cantabria Quay within the Tarragona Port.

WWL ALS has completed and is currently involved in a series of operations for wind farm projects for Nordex, including four projects completed for the Seven Trent and Todmorden wind farms, the latter of which is an ongoing project (pictured bottom right).

Other notable projects reported by HLPFI this week can be seen on the archive news area of our website.

Got some project news of your own? Send it in to

On the move

SAMSONBULK AS has opened a new office in Istanbul, Turkey, while DNV GL has consolidated operations in its new Singapore headquarters to meet growing demand for its services in the region.

Network news

Italy's Lysander Shipping has become the latest member to join the XLProjects (XLP) network, while the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) appointed Global Star Logistics (China) Co Ltd as an exclusive member for the China Central region. The Project Cargo Network (PCN) has welcomed Ghana's Baj Freight & Logistics Limited to its roster.

All about Evie

Evie saw the largest ever number of containers lost overboard from a single ship last week, when the Svendborg Maersk dropped more than 500 containers during hurricane force winds.

Luckily, the majority of them were empty, thought Evie, but she feels sorry for the Maersk employees tasked with informing customers that their shipments are at the bottom of the ocean.

Meanwhile, DHL provided Evie with a few laughs this week when she came across its advertising campaign video, which used the integrator's competitors to unwittingly promote DHL during deliveries. Evie suggests that you take a look yourself -

Evie also wondered where her invite to the Semper Opera Ball was, when she read that Krandienst Kunze's Liebherr LTM 1100-5.2 mobile crane had lifted a mirrorball for the event's light show.