While politicians and eco-warriors might battle over the question 'to frack or not to frack', the heavy lift and project cargo community are no doubt considering whether the business of fracking for shale gas is good or bad for their bottom lines.

What looks like a positive potential stimulator of project cargo logistics demand, may have negative implications. What if a switch to onshore fracking plants reduced offshore gas exploration and installations. What if the much trumpeted US self-sufficiency in gas leaves it less hungry for coal imports to fuel its power stations, reducing the drive for coal mine investment around the world and dampens the need to shift heavy capital equipment by sea?

Fracking operations could, however, provide interesting opportunities for project cargo operators. This week it was reported that in the UK, or rather, under the UK, there seems to be at least 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and the UK government is including shale gas drilling as part of its infrastructure plans.

However, the whole argument has a great potential for generating 'sound and fury' in the corridors of power that may yet dampen any real business opportunities for the sector.

A bumper edition of this week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Liebherr Maritime Cranes, which offers a perfectly balanced portfolio of innovative heavy lift solutions. The state-of-the-art mobile harbour crane range has a maximum lifting capacity of up to 208 tonnes and even up to 416 tonnes in tandem operation. Over 1000 mobile harbour cranes delivered worldwide prove the high demand for sophisticated heavy lift solutions in ports. Additionally, Liebherr's advanced range of heavy-duty deck cranes provides strong lifting capacities of up to 450 tonnes.

In the corporate world
Terex Port Solutions is getting closer to its clients; streamlining its customer services by creating one point of contact responsible for coordinating all necessary products and services.

Climate changes that are keeping the Arctic Ocean's North East and North West Passages navigable for longer periods of the year have spurred Iceland to work with bremenports to plan a new port in the Finna Fjord.

DB Schenker and Salem Freight International have created Schenker Logistics LLC as a new Abu Dhabi joint venture operation.
Less than two weeks after filing for court receivership in South Korea, STX Pan Ocean has filed US Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection with the federal bankruptcy court in New York.

Erickson Air-Crane has received a subcontract with Fluor Corporation to support deployed forces in Afghanistan, as well as reconstruction activity, worth more than USD100 million.

DSV has acquired its Columbian agent, Airmar Cargo, to further strengthen its foothold in South America.??Grieg Star will open an office in Singapore on July 1, in an effort to capture opportunities in this part of the world together with its offices in Tokyo, Seoul and Shanghai, says the company's president and ceo, Tom Rasmussen.

Capacity developments
Steel is being cut on the RollDock Storm, a semi-submersible heavy lift ro-ro vessel and the second RollDock newbuilding, at the FSG Shipyard in Flensburg, Germany.

Searoute International is now selling "K" Line's twice-monthly ro-ro service, suitable for heavy and out-of-gauge cargoes, between Southampton, UK and Galveston, USA.

Crowley Maritime Corporation is building two new heavy lift deck cargo barges for use in the Asia Pacific region.
Geodis Wilson is on track after expanding Asia-Pacific operations to include domestic Chinese rail freight operations, with services to Europe planned for the future.

Mexico's transport ministry is planning USD4.34 billion in infrastructure developments to increase port capacity in a move that includes two new ports and six port expansions.

Two post-Panamax car carrier vessels, scheduled for delivery in 2015 and 2016, are to be built at Tianjin Xingang Shipyard in China for Wallenius Lines.

BigLift Shipping has named its brand new heavy lift vessel Happy Sky at a ceremony in Zhangzhou, China (pictured top right).
Terex Port Solutions has launched its new Gottwald Model 5 harbour crane, with a maximum load capacity of 125 tonnes, suitable for heavy project cargo.

Etihad Cargo has taken delivery of three new freighter aircraft - one B747-8F, one B777F and one A330F - taking its dedicated all-cargo fleet to nine (pictured second right).

Network news
Project Cargo Network (PCN) welcomes a number of companies. Land Bridge Logistics has signed up representing Laos; membership in Morocco is now closed as Trafimar joins as its third and final representative; membership has also closed in Venezuela as Interlogistic come on board in the country; Specialized Shipping and Logistics has become the Project Cargo Network's (PCN) third and final member in Iraq. Wilhelmsen Ships Service Georgia LT (Wilhelmsen Georgia) has also become the third member to join PCN representing the country.

People and places
Nabil Sultan has stepped into the shoes of Ram Menen as divisional senior vice president Emirates SkyCargo (pictured top right).

Claudia Roller, Port of Hamburg Marketing (HMM) ceo, will step aside at the end of 2013 on her retirement. Executive board member Axel Matter will take temporary charge of HMM until its supervisory board identifies a successor.

Farook Al Zeer, who is currently managing director of Schenker LLC in Dubai, has extended his existing responsibilities to become managing director of Schenker Logistics LLC.

It's ahoy to Lindsey Francis as she joins yacht transportation firm PSP as a sales executive (pictured second right).
Tuvshin Zorigt brings a decade-and-a-half of industry experience to his new role as head of industrial projects, Singapore for DHL Global Forwarding.

Crowley Maritime Corporation is opening a new project management office in Singapore.

The Port of Esbjerg has opened its brand new 650,000 sq m Østhavn (East harbour) extension for the wind turbine industry.??Bremen based logistics company, IPSEN LOGISTICS, has revealed Henrique Wohltmann has the new man in charge of its worldwide project cargo activities as the company prepares for further development of the division (pictured last above).

Experience Liebherr Maritime Cranes at the following shows: Breakbulk Americas (New Orleans/USA) in September, NEVA (St. Petersburg/Russia) in September and TOC Americas (Miami/USA) in October.

All about Evie
Evie wished she could have seen Universal Africa Lines (UAL) blow out the candles on its cake to celebrate its 30-year anniversary in Rotterdam, where it also christened the new 8,600 dwt cargo ship UAL Texas. Here's to the next 30 years, she says.

As a sophisticated wine lover, the news that two containers containing New Zealand wine slipped over the side when MOL Comfort foundered and broke in two on the Indian coast, hit her to the core. After ascertaining no one was injured, her thoughts turned to the 30,000 bottles of her favourite Kiwi Sauvignon blanc that were lost at sea.

She could have done with a drink this week when she heard the news that the long-established De Lloyd newspaper and sister magazine Transport Echo have closed. She naturally sends her best wishes to some old friends on the editorial team and wonders if there is room in the market for a nimble, fast-moving, boutique publishing company to step in to fill the information gap. Watch this space.