Are liner shipping lines hiding their cartels in plain sight? When the European Commission's (EC) lawmakers turned their sights on anti-competitive activity in 2011, the most obvious characteristic of a cartel was clandestine cloak-and-dagger meetings bet

In the two years since the fruitless raids, it seems that cartels might still be operating but this time in full view. Gambling that what is out in the open is always trusted to be fair and honest, industry observers are pointing to a practice they dub 'price signalling'. That fulsome interview with the shipping line ceo highlighting potential price moves in the marketplace, or that news item about a small rate rise caused by rising costs common across the industry, may not be as innocent as they seem.

In an age of social media, instant media coverage and growing whistleblowing encouraged by corporate social responsibility, shipping lines seem less likely than ever to commit illegal cartel activity to a hard-drive, memo or Post-It note. In some cultures, a wink of the eye when a comment is uttered suggests that the truth is opposite to what is being said. 'Price signalling' might be the big wink of an eye when a ceo gives that fulsome interview.

The cause of the tragic crane collapse in Brazil at Sao Paulo's stadium, due to host the opening ceremony of the 2014 World Cup finals, is yet to be determined but throws into perspective the continuing dangers that project cargo forwarders and installation engineers continue to contend with. To meet a Fifa deadline, Brazil has admitted it is struggling to have all 12 venues ready for next summer. It would be a tragedy if such a pressure was the root cause of the two reported deaths.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by WWL ALS, a privately owned 3PL & 4PL freight forwarding company specialising in the global logistics of project forwarding, capital equipment, abnormal loads and supply chain management -


In the corporate world 

The Aeroscraft 'lighter-than-air' aircraft was the topic of a presentation by Aeros president and ceo Igor Pasternak, and director of strategic finance William Feeley at the European Parliament. The company has also inked a strategic partnership with Icelandair Cargo (IAC) to develop new logistical air freight routes through the Arctic Circle.

This week saw Damen Shipyards unveil a wind farm service vessel (pictured top right) to support and accommodate turbine maintenance crews at sea, allowing them to 'walk to work', providing on-site work facilities and accommodation for 45 maintenance personnel and 15 crew-members on voyages of up to one month.

Expansion-minded InterMax Logistics Solutions has acquired the Yangtze River shipping company, Hualong Shipping, which has subsequently been renamed Max Shipping Co. Ltd.

In a management clear-out, four members of the STX Pan Ocean (STX PO) board have resigned from the debt ridden company, including its ceo and executive director of just five months, Chun Il Yu, and three independent directors, Dong Moo Choi, Yun Jae Baek and Joon Woo Han.

F.S. Mackenzie has opened its sixth Russian office in Vladivostok to complement offices in Moscow, St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Novorossiysk. The Vladivostok office will be headed by Dmitriy Maslov.

JasProjects has signed a strategic alliance confirming Jas Forwarding Worldwide as BG Group's primary freight forwarding partner for the next five years, providing BG Group with vessel and aircraft chartering.

It is now being reported that Qingdao Port in China (pictured second right) is operating normally following a pipeline explosion in the city's Huangdao district last week, near the Lidong Chemical Plant.

Capacity developments

A trio of cranes - a 250-tonne active heave-compensated (AHC) subsea crane, a 20-tonne SWL offshore crane (picture right) and a 5-tonne SWL shipboard crane - will be delivered by MacGregor for a new offshore accommodation and construction vessel being built in Quebec.

Integrated Logistics has acquired a Terex AC 1000 all terrain crane with a lifting capacity of 1,200 tonnes, making it the largest mobile hydraulic crane in the company's 400-crane fleet.

Senegal's Port Autonome de Dakar (PAD) has awarded the contract to operate the gateway's ro-ro terminal to Bollore Africa Logistics for a period of 25 years.


Notable shipments

Boxco Logistics has transported an 880-tonne splitter column (pictured right) from Dahej, India to the port of Mumbai, via Adani port, mobilising two 28-axle lines of Scheuerle-Kamag K25 self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) to complete the move.

Jumbo has completed a number of shipments as part of the first stage of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal project in Queensland, Australia.

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and Michel Hurel Transport (MHT) utilised a B747F, chartered from ANA Aviation Services, to fly 70 tonnes of outsize oil well equipment (pictured second right) from Singapore to Luanda in Angola originally slated for ocean transport.

Rolitrans International has shipped 11 large bobbins (pictured third right), weighing a total of 1,747 tonnes, from Brazil to Singapore.

Bladt Industries has completed the shipment of the tower sections for Vestas' 8 MW offshore wind turbine prototype (pictured bottom right), with Mammoet handling the road transportation, to the Danish national test centre for large wind turbines in Østerild, North Denmark.

Japanese-made heavy construction equipment has been moved by WWL ALS, a division of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, from South Shields, England to Lugar and Dunbar in Scotland. The consignment consisted of a Komatsu PC2000 excavator, only the fourth to be operating in the UK, and eight Komatsu HD785 dump trucks.

In an intra-regional move, Dubai based Fleet Line Shipping (FLS) has shipped two 106-tonne gas flotation pressure vessels from a jobsite in Hamriya Free Zone in Sharjah, UAE to Kuwait.

Project Cargo Network's (PCN) Brazilian representative, Double Star Logistics, and fellow Czech Republic member, Zoom Cargo, teamed-up to handle a ro-ro shipment of heavy-duty truck chassis from Czech Republic to Brazil.


Network news

To date, 90 members of the Global Project Logistics Network (GPLN) have signed up for the network's 11th annual general meeting (AGM) in Bangkok, Thailand from March 16-18, 2014.

Project Cargo Network chairwoman Rachel Humphrey used materials supplied by HLPFI during her keynote speech to more than 145 senior managers from 65 countries who gathered at the Imperial Queen's Park Hotel in Bangkok for the network's third annual summit.

Dissaco has become the latest organisation to join the Global Project Logistics Network (GLPN).


People and places

Crowley Maritime Corporation's solutions group, project logistics and global freight management team and its subsidiary, TITAN Salvage, have relocated to a 9,523 sq m shared office and warehouse facility in Houston, Texas. TITAN has moved its Headquarters from Pompano, Florida.

All about Evie

Evie notes that DB Schenker remains on the start line as it will continue to provide the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) with logistics, freight forwarding and Customs clearance services for the Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia 2014 and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2016.

She also encourages recipients of the Friday Flyer to share it with your colleagues/contacts, and ask them to contact us if they want to receive a copy regularly.