Could a dispute between client and builder push back the completion of lock upgrading on the Panama Canal past the planned competition date of October 21, 2014 into 2015?

The Panama Canal Authority (PCA) appears to be at loggerheads with the consortium that is building its new locks over the contractor's claims for cost overruns. It could come down to the PCA paying a billion dollars to continue work on expanding the waterway while warning that it might bring in others to finish the job.

The announcement this week that Maersk is set to revive the SeaLand brand as a niche intra-Americas carrier could be a tipping point in moves to redefine container shipping as being two distinct industries: an East-West industry of big ships and heavy-volume trade lanes; and another serving niche trades where volumes and shippers are smaller and the market conditions are entirely different. The jury is still out on this one.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by the Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) - and the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) - The former is a leading dedicated network for project cargo freight forwarders. The latter is a global network for cargo equipment owners and operators, which specialise in moving and handling heavy and outsized shipments.

In the corporate world
Nurminen Logistics Plc has sold its 4PL division to its operative management.

The Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SC&RA) will hold its Specialized Transport Symposium during March 19-21, 2014 in Houston, Texas.

Evergreen International Airlines has sought bankruptcy protection from the US Bankruptcy Court.

The non-profit KPI Association Limited (KPIA) will be restructured over the course of 2014 to be an independent trade association that can collect, collate and correlate industry-specific key performance indicator (KPI) data on behalf of the entire maritime sector.

Röhlig and Gebrüder Weiss have restructured the shareholder structure within the Weiss-Röhlig joint venture company.  Röhlig takes full control of the joint ventures in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and India. Gebrüder Weiss takes a 100 percent shareholding in the Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Canadian and UAE operations.

Air Partner has overcome cyclical and structural challenges and is in a strong position to return to profitable growth, says investment consultant Liberum Capital.

Safmarine MPV's OPEX service to West Africa has moved terminal in Antwerp.

Capacity developments
The Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) is going ahead with a contract which will see the port of Lemesos' western basin quay extended by 500 m, increasing its total length to 1.2 km (pictured right)

AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has taken delivery of its fifth Boeing 747-8F (pictured second right) which will be utilised on the carrier's existing route network linking Europe, Asia and the USA.

Notable shipments
A heavy lift ten-axle hydraulic trailer was utilised when CEA Projects helped launch the new 80 ft long Heliotrope 80 mixed energy catamaran (pictured right), at the Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Thailand.

Martin Bencher's Singapore office has completed the second shipment of two outsize modules (pictured second right) for an oil and gas client, from Singapore to South Korea.

Transpo Logistics has handled the shipment of a steel fabricating mill (pictured bottom right) from the Port of Laem Chabang in Thailand to Altamira, Mexico in a consignment weighing nearly 500 tonnes.

The out-of-gauge dimensions of four large lifeboats and their accessories moved by Delta Maritime Ltd from Piraeus, Greece to Bergen, Norway was completed in a single shipment using four 40 ft flat racks and ten 40 ft open containers.

Network news
Mars Freights has become the latest member of the Project Cargo Network (PCN), representing Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

People and places
Greencarrier Shipping & Logistics has opened a new office in Stavanger, Norway (pictured right) and Georg Skivik Moltu is its new director of global energy and project solutions.

GE Oil & Gas has opened a new 54,813 sq m logistics base in Niteroi in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to serve the region's oil and gas sector.

Duncan Bonner (pictured second right) has been named managing director of industry training provider NSL.

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has named Jochen Freese as its first chief commercial officer.

All about Evie
Evie is known for her love of the après ski, so she was cheered when she learned that the Russian 2014 Winter Olympic torch was transported onboard a Ruslan International AN-124-100 freighter from Ulyanovsk, as part of its ceremonial torch relay.

Jim O'Neill, former chief economist and head of asset management at Goldman Sachs and recognised inventor of the 'BRIC' acronym, has given Evie another acronym to put in her economic alphabet soup. O'Neill flags up Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey as the MINT economies to watch.

The girl needed a strong mint when she learned that Port of New Orleans president and ceo Gary LaGrange, had made a wager of tasty, fresh Louisiana seafood with the Port of Seattle ahead of tomorrow's NFL showdown. LaGrange threw the gauntlet down to Port of Seattle ceo Tay Yoshitani ahead of the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks NFC Divisional Playoff game.

In words he hopes he won't regret, LaGrange is so confident in the boys in Black and Gold "that we're betting Louisiana seafood with the Port of Seattle on this game." The Port of Seattle has skin in the game, as well. Yoshitani is betting a Washington seafood sampler, including crab, salmon and halibut on the game. Who said betting wasn't yummy!