When is an auction not an auction? When a sole buyer turns up with a chequebook to make the lowest bid possible, especially when that buyer seems to be a group of potential competitors.

Friday Flyer readers interested in the oil and gas industry may have watched with bemusement as officials in Brasilia squirmed after the sell-off of Brazil's biggest-ever oil field descended into farce as only the state-run energy company Petrobras put in a bid at the lowest possible price. The situation is made more bizarre by the fact that Petrobras had teamed up with European oil majors and Chinese rivals, who presumably were expected to make their own bids, against widespread civil unrest outside the very auction room.

The winning - and only - bid was for 15 billion reais (USD6.88 billion) up front with an agreement to spend many millions of reais on further exploration. Given Brazil's hosting of the Olympics in 2016, this seems hardly a gold medal effort by the state.

Meanwhile, the latest instalment in the Panalpina antitrust saga has been played out with the preliminary agreement to settle a US antitrust class action. Now it has agreed to pay an amount of USD35 million, which includes previously received proceeds of USD5.8 million, in an unrelated class action against various airlines. This settlement is subject to US court approval and will have an impact on the Swiss company's fourth quarter, 2013 results.

This has been rumbling on since the civil class action lawsuit was filed in the USA in 2008 against a number of air freight forwarders, including Panalpina, as a direct consequence of investigations by the USA's Department of Justice for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act, regarding certain surcharges imposed on international air freight forwarding services.

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
Van der Vlist has facilitated the demobilisation and last journey of a Royal Boskalis Westminster's fallpipe vessel at its terminal in the port of Moerdijk (pictured right).

Boeing is reducing its 747-8 production rate from 1.75 aircraft to 1.5 per month in 2015, to better align production with demand says the planemaker.

France, the Netherlands and the Belgian regions of Flanders and Wallonia have signed the 'Declaration of Tallinn' in which they promise to undertake "all necessary steps" to bring the planned construction of the high capacity Seine-Nord Europe Canal "to a good end".

Leading UK logistics company Charles Gee has run out of road after 126 years as it has called in restructuring firm FRP Advisory after suffering acute cashflow pressures following years of tough trading.

Capacity developments

Saudi Airlines Cargo and AV Cargo Airlines have entered into a joint co-operation for the movement of cargo to four destinations in West Africa, via Saudia Cargo's hub in Lagos.

BTB Logistik GmbH has replaced its Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 with a new LTM 1750-9.1 (pictured top right).

Shipper demand for 40 ft high-cube containers is still increasing, creating stowage problems for ocean carriers and analytical difficulties for trade forecasters using teu measurements, as the proportion of 40 ft high-cube (9 ft 6 in high) containers in the global maritime container fleet is predicted to exceed 50 percent by the end of this year for the first time.

Notable shipments

Allseas Global Logistics has organised the door-to-door shipment of five new internal gantry cranes (pictured right) from Scotland to Saudi Arabia on the chartered vessel OXL Avatar.

Fleet Line Shipping Services LLC has shipped two 58-tonne pressure vessels (pictured second right) from the Hamriya Free Zone in Sharjah, UAE to Busan in South Korea.

Tuscor Lloyds saddled up for the shipment of an oversized horse's head sculpture (pictured third right) from Felixstowe, UK to Philadelphia, USA.

Kübler Spedition has transported of part of an Airbus A380 aircraft some 8.5 m wide for the manufacturer from Dresden to Hamburg Kübler first manoeuvred the cargo on two 14-axle Scheuerle Intercombi platform cars through tight Dresden streets, before a voyage on the Elbe on an inland waterway barge to Hamburg.

DHL Industrial Projects, Ecuador carried out a huge relocation project (pictured fourth right), moving the 53-year-old Mariscal Sucre International Airport to its new site in Tababela, 18 km away from its former site in the capital city of Quito.

Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Yusen Logistics Co Ltd have handled the transportation of a training boat which had been washed ashore in California after the 2011 quake, free of charge, from the USA, back to its home city in Japan.

GAC Sri Lanka has completed the movement of the offshore drilling rig, Hercules Triumph (pictured bottom right), from the Sri Lankan port of Trincomalee to Kakinada, India.

People and places

Joseph Riva is to become vp and chief surveyor of ABS from today, responsible for overseeing ABS survey activities, taking over from Linwood Pendexter who is stepping down in early 2014.

Roland Soltys has stepped up to the plate at Ainscough Crane Hire as project engineer to extend and enhance the engineering solutions available and provide technical assistance and support.

Sascha Geiken is now new cluster managing director for the Middle East for Geodis Wilson, responsible for UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, just four years after joining the company.

Collett & Sons Ltd is set to open its new heavy lift and port facility in Grangemouth, Scotland.

All about Evie

All the world will be a stage this weekend as Evie packs her bags and hot-foots it to Stratford upon Avon to enjoy the discussions and delights on offer at the Heavy Lift Group 53rd Conference being held in the hometown of William Shakespeare.

Delegates are attending to discuss the current state of the heavy lift market and to network with each other to strengthen the bonds that tie them to the group and promote increased co-operation. THLG has a worldwide membership of companies expert in the movement by air, sea and land transport of extraordinary cargoes to and from anywhere on the planet. Their motto is "Power in Unity" which could almost be something written by the Bard of Avon himself.

On the other side of the world, readers visiting the PowerLogistics Asia 2013 Exhibition & Conference in Singapore, should try to catch up with HLPFI's recently appointed correspondent who is based in the Lion City. Angeline Terisa Yeo is keen to speak to all participants attending the event.

And finally, Evie hears that DHL Global Forwarding Industrial Projects has a new CEO. We haven't been able to acquire a copy of an official announcement, but if her Linkedin account is anything to go by, the person in the hot seat is Nikola Hagleitner; who moves into the position vacated by the retirement of Hans Toggweiler at the end of May. Meanwhile, we also learn that Peter Ferdinand who left the company earlier this month, is now working with the Turkish company Misnak International, as well as the Norsea Group.

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.