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

After a busy week of networking at the Breakbulk Europe exhibition in Antwerp, which had a record attendance of over 7,000 delegates this year, news broke today of further consolidation in the multipurpose shipping sector.

Zeaborn, which was co-founded by ex-BBC executive Ove Meyer and consultant Jan-Hendrik Több, has acquired half of the Leer-based EMS ConBulk - a chartering company responsible for handling the fleet of Reederei Bockstiegel.

According to the EMS ConBulk website, the company operates around 15 mulitpurpose heavy lift vessels each with a deadweight of 12,780 tonnes, which will be added to the ten newbuilds currently being built for Zeaborn at the Taizhou Sanfu shipyard in China. Keep your eyes peeled for more news on this development next week.

This deal comes after last week's news that multipurpose carrier AAL has launched a global cooperation with Hamburg-based Peter Döhle, which will see the companies offer joint tramp and project cargo services with a shared fleet of 26 multipurpose heavy lift vessels.

And all this against a backdrop of change in the shipping industry with a new player in the market, set up by ex-SAL managing director Lars Rolner, storming onto the scene in April, and forming a partnership with Arkon Shipping & Projects - which had also previously formed an alliance with Dutch heavy lift shipping specialist Jumbo. Who will be next?


In business

Zeaborn makes EMS ConBulk buy

Zeaborn Chartering has acquired 50 percent of EMS ConBulk, a chartering company responsible for handling the fleet of Reederei Bockstiegel.

SCPA breakbulk tonnage 'ahead of plan'

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) has handled a total of 1.2 million tonnes of breakbulk cargo in the fiscal year to date, which is 4.5 percent ahead of plan.

Ro-ro growth at Tulsa Port

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa in Oklahoma witnessed an increase in shipping activity across its low water wharf and ro-ro facility in April.

PPG enjoys Spanish hospitality

The Project Professionals Group (PPG) enjoyed a successful eighth annual conference in Las Palmas, Canary Islands from May 13-15.

PCN puts on party in Antwerp

The Project Cargo Network (PCN) organised a free Mini Meeting & Casino Party Night for its members on May 19 at the Ramada Plaza Antwerp.


Capacity developments

ARRC proves commitment to Antwerp

Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers' (ARRC) multipurpose vessel Baltic Mercur II has made its first voyage from Russia to the US Gulf via the port of Antwerp.

Ulstein introduces new HLV designs

Ulstein Group has introduced the HX103 and HX104 offshore heavy lift vessel designs.

Final NileDutch newbuild named

The naming ceremony for NileDutch's fourth newbuild vessel - NileDutch Rotterdam - has taken place at the Transnet Terminals in Cape Town, South Africa.

Scheuerle delivers to Tomislav Sajko

Tomislav Sajko has invested in a Scheuerle UltralightCombi trailer, consisting of a gooseneck, one two-axle module and two three-axle modules.

Liebherr crane expands Elcon fleet

South African crane contractor Elcon Crane Hire has taken delivery of a new 400-tonne capacity Liebherr LTM 1400-7.1 mobile crane.

Big Red buy for Alistair Group

Alistair Group has taken delivery of a Manitowoc MLC165 crawler crane, nicknamed 'Big Red'.

New crawler from Sennebogen

Sennebogen has launched a new 50-tonne capacity telescopic crawler crane.


Shipment of the week

Alexander Global Logistics (AGL) has coordinated a full-barge charter from Berlin to Antwerp - the 20th heavy lift full-barge charter the company has completed so far in 2015.


On the move

Currie joins Forth Ports

Forth Ports has appointed Sharon Currie as its new business development manager for Scotland.

Short appointment for C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson has named Mike Short as president of its global forwarding division.

Korean specialist joins UTC

UTC Overseas has appointed Lloyd (Woo Sung) Bae as director of sales and operations for the company's Korea desk.

Rhenus enters Africa

Rhenus Logistics has set up a new branch in the Moroccan city of Tangier - the first office the company has established in Africa.

Logistics Plus opens in Egypt

Logistics Plus has opened two new Egyptian offices in Cairo and Alexandria.


Network and association developments

The XLProjects (XLP) network welcomed Asia Shipping Transportes Internacionals as a new member in Brazil.


All about Evie

Evie enjoyed her trip to Antwerp this week, meeting up with old friends and making many new ones at the show. When she wasn't sampling the Belgian beer, Evie made a note of some of the highlights.

In Evie's opinion, the best dressed award goes to the two men (pictured below right) from Agence de Prestations Maritime in Cameroon; Tuscor Lloyds came a close second to Antwerp's Sallaum Lines in the best giveaway category; while deugro gained top marks for its freshly made pizzas, with Broekman's French Fries coming up just short of the prize.

Elsewhere Evie noticed some interesting goings on at the show, including an unattached North European shipowner spending a large amount of time on the stand of a North American-headquartered multipurpose shipping line. Is a transatlantic marriage on the cards?