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

What a week for news in the heavy lift and multipurpose vessel sector.

First Thorco Shipping's chairman tells Reuters he is expecting to expand the line's fleet by 50 percent in coming years and plans to list on the Copenhagen stock exchange.

Then, Briese Schiffahrt, the only shipping group with more multipurpose ships than Thorco, announces the set-up of BHS Pool Weser-Ems as a new joint venture with Harren & Partner to create a shipping pool of 15 heavy lift ships to be managed by BBC Chartering and Combi Lift.

And now a report on the gCaptain website raises questions about the impending delivery of the Jumbo Kinetic, one of two heavy lift vessels currently under construction at the Brodosplit Shipyard in Croatia for Dutch shipping line Jumbo. More on that next week.

All of which overshadowed the news of the delivery of RollDock Storm to Dutch shipping company RollDock and the arrival of NileDutch's latest newbuilding, NileDutch Breda.

We all know that the global shipping industry has struggled since the global financial crisis in 2008 with low freight rates as a result of overcapacity in nearly all sectors of the industry.

Whilst analysts believe demand for multipurpose shipping will pick up in the next few years, many on both sides of the supply chain, say industry consolidation is a pre-requisite of any real recovery. It looks like that consolidation could come in many forms.

Crowley Solutions sponsors this week's Friday Flyer. Offering turn-key solutions for clients with marine infrastructure, offshore construction and marine cargo & logistics projects, Crowley provides project management, marine engineering, heavy lift barge transportation, ocean towing, marine project logistics, DP2 tugs to 150 tonnes and barges to 400 ft x 130 ft.

In the corporate world

Blue Water Shipping reported a turnover of USD813 million in 2013 up 8.4 percent compared with 2012.

ClassNK registered its first German-flagged vessel, and earned expanded authorisation from the German flag administration for the classification of German-flagged vessels.

Aeros rebranded to Aeroscraft Corporation to support forthcoming global cargo delivery operations utilising the Aeroscraft.

Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers (ARRC) appointed Ernst Glaessel GmbH & Co KG as a general agent for northwest continental Europe, covering Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

The Pacific Maritime Association and International Longshore and Warehouse Union are negotiating a new contract with US West Coast ports.

Clarkson Port Services (CPS) acquired Belfast based port agent Michael F. Ewings Shipping Ltd (MFE).

Capacity developments

Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft (FSG) handed over the 8,000 dwt RollDock Storm (pictured top right) to RollDock bv.

The Budgetary Committee of the German Federal Parliament allocated USD358 million for the widening of the eastern section of the Kiel Canal from 44 m to 70 m by the end of 2014.

Van der Vlist added a new ten-axle semi-trailer to its fleet, which was put to use collecting cable reels from Trieste in Italy for delivery to Zelzate in northern Belgium (pictured second right).

NYK took delivery of the new 7,000 ceu pure car carrier, Aries Leader (pictured third right), from Japan's Shin Krushima Dockyard.

This month ARRC will add the 30,500 dwt multipurpose tween deck vessel, San Pablo, to its fleet. It will increase its St Petersburg sailings and extend to wider European destinations.

Intermarine LLC added a regular service from the US Gulf and East coasts to the Mediterranean and Middle East Gulf.

NileDutch named the first of its four newbuild 3,510-teu vessels NileDutch Breda (pictured bottom right) at a ceremony in Shanghai.

Liebherr developed a rescue crane - the G-BKF - for the German Army, as well as delivering a second 750-tonne capacity LTM 1750-9.1 mobile crane to H.N. Krane.

Shipments of the week

Dockwise's semi-submersible vessel Dockwise Vanguard loaded Diamond Offshore's 22,174-tonne rig Ocean Patriot in Singapore, destined for Firth of Forth in Scotland (pictured top right).

EMS Chartering's Fehn Capella has been on a grand tour of Europe loading and unloading project cargoes, taking in Croatia, Italy, Algeria, Portugal, the Netherlands and Poland.

Damani Shipping handled the shipment of a 150-tonne transformer (pictured bottom right) from the port of Mumbai to Peru's Port Callao, for final delivery to Angamos in Chile.

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

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

Capital projects and contracts

Petroperu awarded Tecnicas Reunidas the lumpsum turnkey contract for the Talara refinery modernisation project in Peru.

EnQuest PLC agreed to acquire the ExxonMobil interest in the Seligi oil field and the PM8 PSC, located offshore Malaysia.

Vattenfall awarded two multi-million pound contracts for work on its GBP400m Pen y Cymoedd wind energy project in south Wales to Express Reinforcements and Prysmian Cables & Systems.

For a fuller round up of capital projects and contracts announced this week please visit the HLPFI website or contact David Kershaw.

On the move

Nurminen Logistics appointed Harri Mustonen as sales director of its railway logistics business unit in Finland, and Maija Dietrich as the company's human resources director and member of the executive board. Shantanu Bhadkamkar was unanimously elected as chairman of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Association (IFCBA), while Gene Seroka was appointed as executive director of the Port of Los Angeles. Bati Shipping and Trading opened a new office in Zakho, Iraq, while Braemar SA opened a branch in Panama that will be led by staff surveyor Elonys Lopez. FPS Sri Lanka also opened a new office in Galle (pictured). UTi Worldwide opened ocean charter service centres in Amsterdam,  Johannesburg and Singapore, with a global hub in Houston. Elsewhere, Henderson Insurance Brokers established a new marine division in the UK.

Network news

It was a busy week for the XLProjects (XLP) network with the addition of four new members to its group: Brazil's Wasa Projects and Logistics; Falcon Shipping & Logistics Services in Oman; Scotland's Searoute Group; and McDan Shipping Company in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia. The Project Cargo Network (PCN) also welcomed two new members, with Blue Sea Shipping and Sky Line Maritime representing Egypt and Sri Lanka respectively. The CLC Projects network added a trio of members to its roster, including Ireland's Leinster Shipping (Agencies); India's Premier Global Logistics; and Turkey's Bati Nakliyat ve Tic. AS.

All about Evie

Having had the pleasure of meeting German World Cup star Thomas Mueller in a Berlin night club recently, Evie is looking forward to seeing some great football at this year's tournament in Brazil, but was left disappointed by the refereeing decisions during the opening game. Shame on Fred, she says, who went down more easily than a heavily-laden mobile crane working on swampy ground with no outrigger mats.