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

Icy blasts swept across the USA this month, with some places in the Midwest seeing temperatures drop to -26C. As families across America cranked up their radiators, oil prices rose to nearly USD94 a barrel.

But a study by DNV GL revealing concerns over growing operating costs and uncertainty regarding oil prices, with 2014 projections down USD4 a barrel from 2013, may send an even frostier chill down the spines of those professionals involved in the oil and gas industry. Despite this, the study also reported that 88 percent of oil and gas professionals are confident about the industry outlook for 2014.

News that the IMO's Polar Code could go into force in 2016 might keep this optimism afloat, with about a tenth of the world's undiscovered oil and close to a third of its undiscovered gas thought to be hiding under Arctic waters.

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In the corporate world

It was interesting to see the share price of Cia. Sud Americana de Vapores SA tumble this week after the Chilean shipping company revealed that it had reached an agreement to combine operations with Germany's Hapag-Lloyd AG. The two companies said that the memorandum of understanding (MOU) they have signed to combine their respective container shipping activities is not yet binding, but a binding contract is likely after the next phase of due diligence has taken place.

As the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) reported its pleasure this week at the news that several high priority programmes crucial to safe, efficient and competitive operation of American seaports are included in the USD1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2014; a task force consisting of TIACA, IATA and FIATA representatives warned that the air cargo industry faces a leadership crisis unless it focuses on the educational needs of the next generation of managers.


Capacity developments

Notable equipment deliveries this week include a Liebherr LTM 1750-9.1 and LTM 110-5.2 to Taiwan's Hong Tai International Crane Engineering's fleet. Denmark's Bomholt also took delivery of Nooteboom's latest PXE low loader. The UK's Kings Heavy Haulage also acquired seven Euro-5 Mercedes-Benz Actros 6 x 2 tractor units.

Oceanside, Germany's Bremen Overseas Chartering and Shipping (BOCS) has extended its multipurpose service to West Africa by adding a fourth multipurpose ship on the route, while the Spliethoff Group and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority agreed to start a combined container and general cargo shipping route between Cleveland and Northern Europe from March 2014. Meanwhile, Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), has begun building the first of five 19,000 teu containerships for China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL), which will be the largest operating when they are delivered.

Portside, hot on the heels of two Kalmar post-Panamax cranes delivered to the gateway for APM Terminal Maasvlakte (APMT) last week, Rotterdam port has taken delivery of a further seven post-Panamax container cranes from ZPMC.

Shipments of the week

There has been record-claims aplenty this week, notably DB Schenker claiming a record shipping time for the transportation of two heavy streetcars from Shijiazhuang, China to Samsun, Turkey in a time of just two weeks. StederGroup chartered a box shaped coaster vessel to transport three 250-tonne cable reels from Italy to the Netherlands, while Germany saw Dako Worldwide transport ten 150-tonne generator sets on heavy lift vessels from Rostock to Houston, where the cargo was transferred onto heavy duty railcars and delivered to a power plant in Alberta, Canada. Meanwhile Wagenborg Nedlift replaced a seven year old rotation cooler, which weighed 103 tonnes with a length of 24.5 and a diameter of 3.5 m, at the BP Refinery in Lingen, Germany, making use of 16 axle lines of conventional trailer alongside a skidding system and two 200-tonne capacity cranes. In the UK Robert Wynn & Sons handled the shipment of six 170-tonne electricity transformers on its inland barge, Inland Navigator, to the Drax power station in North Yorkshire.

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


On the move

BNSF Logistics has opened a global project cargo centre in Houston, which will be headed up by Michael Halm, formerly of Albacor Shipping. The USA also saw Global Boat Shipping (GBS) open two new offices in Fort Lauderdale and Vancouver, with Egge Kloosterboer appointed to manage all North American operations. Air Charter Service (ACS) has promoted Justin Lancaster to group commercial director, taking over from Justin Bowman who was recently appointed vice chairman of the group. Greg Weigel, who most recently served as executive vice president of global airfreight at CEVA Logistics, has joined AIT Worldwide Logistics as its new vice president of global operations. Gebrüder Weiss has opened its first Turkish branch in Istanbul, with both Misel Yakop and Ridvan Demirhan taking the helm. Elsewhere, Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has established its fourth facility in Nigeria on Bonny Island after winning a contract to service some of Nigeria LNG's (NLNG) project vessels. With CT Offshore's ceo, Frank Hansen, stepping down, the company is now part of the management structure of A2SEA.


Network news

Tianjin-based Zhenhua Logistics Group has joined the Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN), which also welcomes CF&S Estonia, which has offices in Tallinn, Paernu and Kunda and China's Bondex Logistics.

Croatia's R&B Global Projects has joined the XLProjects (XLP) network, which has also attracted Fast & Direct Heavy Lift Solution Services from Dubai.


All about Evie

Evie makes no excuse for blowing the magazine's trumpet to remind readers that the HLPFI App is now available to download from the App Store and Google Play. She is already enjoying reading the magazine on her iPad.

Evie is also pleased to report that she plans to attend the forthcoming Breakbulk China event in Shanghai in March and the SC&RA's annual conference in Florida at the end of April and looks forward to meeting up with friends old, and new.