October 11 - The news that a team of shipping, offshore and finance professionals based in Norway are to establish a bank especially structured to satisfy the funding needs of owners and operators active in the shipping and offshore industries worldwide c

According to Bloomberg, the new establishment will be known as Maritime & Merchant AS and be based on Oslo. Its backers are all long-established in the shipping finance world and its portfolio of services will include secured lending, syndication, hedging products and payment services for deepsea and offshore activity.

A tight global credit market plagued with much stricter capital requirements has all but dried up funds for owners and operators. The business model established by the backers is likely to appeal to many small to medium-sized owners and operators that are seeking finance but which are being locked out of the market. The bank is set to open its doors to clients and borrowers in the latter part of next year.

The Friday Flyer has noted further actual and planned shipping capacity increases this week: China Navigation (CNCo) has marked the successful sea trials of the first 39,000 dwt B.Delta37 handysize bulk carrier with an order for four additional bulk carriers of the same class, while MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping's Golden Karoo marks the end of a new build programme, which has seen the shipping line take ownership of four new ships into its fleet of modern multipurpose container ships in recent months. CNCo will deploy the new ships in CNCo's drybulk division to carry bulk and heavy project cargoes.??This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Broekman Project Services, located in the Port of Rotterdam, which offers a total solution for handling and assembly of project cargoes - www.broekman-group.com/bps

In the corporate world

Subsea 7 has initiated a share repurchase programme of up to USD200 million over the next year through the Oslo stock exchange.

Russia's AirBridgeCargo Airlines, a part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has transported 223,732 tonnes of cargo in the first eight months of 2013, up 4 percent year-on-year over the same period of 2012.

Air Partner's results for the 12 months ending July 31, 2013 saw revenue down by three percent year-on-year compared with FY2012 to USD352.64 million, underlying profit before tax rose 31 percent year-on-year to USD6.71 million.

Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics AB has merged with Neptumar AB to create Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics AB, which will have offices in Sweden.

Dockwise has been awarded the contract to load and transport the stricken Concordia from its Italian crash site. The line will use its largest semi-submersible heavy lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, to transport the cruise liner.

Heavy machinery exports from companies like Caterpillar helped Georgia Port Authority's Port of Brunswick to an impressive 47 percent increase in total tonnage for fiscal year 2013.

Capacity developments

GAC has been bolstered in West Africa with the extension of the GAC-OMA network agreement to include the Ivory Coast, following the country's return to stability in late 2011.

The world freighter fleet could reach almost 3,000 aircraft in the next two decades, with emerging countries set to outpace the growth of developed countries in capacity increases. Maindeck will be the driver of this growth as belly cargo's share will remain static, predicts manufacturer Airbus.

The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has now scrapped its fourth general cargo vessel, creating a net gain of USD4.8 million for the line.

PEMA has added three-axle semi low-loaders (pictured top right) for the transport of access platforms and construction equipment to its rental fleet.

American Roll-on Roll-off Carrier LLC (ARC) has enhanced its Atlantic service with the addition of the ro-ro vessel Freedom to its fleet and by adding Galveston, Texas and Veracruz in Mexico to its regular ports of call.

Notable shipments

A pontoon was called in by Coordinadora to move a 34.9 m, 918-tonne cracking reactor (pictured right) from the Turkish port of Derince after its journey from Muroran, Japan to the Tüpras Refinery in Izmit, Turkey.

Waiver Logistics is co-ordinating a large wind power project (pictured second right) taking place in Cochabamba, Bolivia, some 330 km from La Paz.

Van der Vlist recently transported out-of-gauge components for a biomass-fuelled heating plant to Purmerend in North Holland from Odense and Herning in Denmark.??C.H. Robinson Project Logistics chartered an AN-124 freighter to deliver heavy oilfield equipment from Calgary, Canada to the Middle East. The heaviest component loaded on board weighed 30 tonnes.

Chapman Freeborn teamed-up with NATCO Global Transport Solutions and Projects to charter the world largest freighter, the Antonov AN-225, delivering a 170-tonne consignment (pictured bottom right) from Switzerland to Bahrain.

Network news

RAK Logistics has joined the Project Cargo Network (PCN) representing South Africa.

Cargo World Logistics Ltd (CWL), based in Mombasa, is now a member of the Global Project Logistics Network (GLPN), representing Kenya.

Port Line Shipping & Logistics has become the newest member of the Pacific Power Logistics Network (PPL), representing Pakistan.

People and places

GAC Sri Lanka has been named the sole authorised agent for Sarjak Container Line's NVOCC activities in the country, while American Worldwide Agencies (AWA), a network of freight forwarders and agents, has been appointed sales agent for Austral Asia Line's (AAL) West Coast service. Preethilal Fernando and Rumi Engineer (pictured right) shake hands on the deal.

ANA Aviation Services is now general sales agent (GSA) for Astral Aviation in the UK.

All about Evie

Evie's going to stock up with the popcorn when she goes along to see the movie Captain Phillips when it comes to her local cinema. The film is a tribute to those who helped rescue Captain Richard Phillips, master of Maersk Alabama, the containership attacked by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa in April 2009. The US-flagged box ship became the first US ship to be boarded by pirates in roughly 200 years.

A scheme to convert ocean containers into low-cost housing, first tried in Amsterdam, is to be piloted in London and Evie is hoping it might work towards improving the chronic lack of affordable housing in her favourite city. The 'mYPad' unit - which costs USD32,000 - is fully kitted out for modern living with a flatscreen TV, en-suite bathroom and air conditioning as well as a small kitchen and space for a single bed. The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is behind the move and would locate the first two in north-east London. The units will be available at £75 per week (USD120), which Evie considers a steal in one of the world's most expensive cities.

And finally, Evie notes that industry stalwart, Peter Ferdinand has left DHL Global Forwarding Industrial Projects to follow other prospects. Ferdinand joined DHL from Bertling UK in the middle of the last decade and has played a key role in developing the company's activities in the project forwarding arena. His departure follows that of the division's then CEO, Hans Toggweiler at the end of May, with an announcement still pending on a replacement. Ferdinand featured in the first issue of HLPFI in November 2007 when he said he would carry on working for as long as he is excited by all the opportunities and possibilities and for as long as people value his contribution. Evie is confident that is still the case.

Getting social

Heavy Lift & Project Forwarding International is upping its game in the social media arena. Our well established LinkedIn group complements the print and online editions of HLPFI and offers you the opportunity to discuss key issues and network with your peers and a wide cross-section of industry experts. Join the discussion now at: http://tinyurl.com/ces7odb Our Twitter feed @heavyliftpfi is now being populated with several tweets every day and we now have a page on facebook where news will also be posted daily. If you use facebook, search for HLPFI and like our page.