November 16 - It's time again for another edition of HLPFI's Friday Flyer, giving you a round-up of news from the last week, together with a few comments and asides from the editorial team.

The perfect stocking filler - as long as it's legal

Businesses throughout the project cargo and heavy lift industries considering what seasonal hospitality may be appropriate for staff and clients in the coming holiday period, would be advised to get their hands on the 120-page guide to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) that defines what Washington considers legal generosity and illegal bribery that could save a post-Christmas headache for managers.

Enacted when Jimmy Carter was in residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the FCPA looms over the issue of what a company can orcannot legally give to clients, especially important at this time of year. Doling out promotional material, such as pens, hats, t-shirts and other items? - OK, probably. A USD 12,000 trip for a government decision-maker? - A definite No-No. But what about a nice meal, a Christmas hamper, even an ordinary Christmas party. Anecdotal evidence is that many managers, uncertain as to what might be illegal, are veering on the side of caution and not giving anything to anyone. Better safe than sorry.

The snappily-titled 'A Resource Guide to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act' by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission shows who and what is covered by the FCPA's anti-bribery and accounting provision, who is a 'foreign official', what is a proper or improper gift, travel arrangement or entertainment and just what can happen to you if you fall foul of the rules.

Farewell Fairstar

In just three days, as the working week begins for many people, heavy lift shipowner Fairstar will be no more: shares will be delisted from the Oslo Stock Exchange after 'squeeze out' procedures saw the last 04 percent of shares were commenced. The move on Monday marks the end of a seven-year journey as an independent heavy lift operator: Fairstar Heavy Transport NV (FAIR) was incorporated in July 2005 and subsequently financedwith approximately USD50 million in equity through a private placement in July 2005.

Go West, young man

The news that a container block train taking 50 standard 40 ft containers from China to Eastern Europe should not keep any shipping executive awake at night. Since the Iron Curtain came down in the 1990s, dreamers and railway enthusiasts have talked up the movement by rail of boxes by land between the EU and China. Stark fact: this train may have travelled from Wuhan in Central China to the east of the Czech capital Prague in just 16 days via Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland to the Czech Republic but it carried only 100 teu: last week, the Friday Flyer reported on the entry into service of the CMA CGM Marco Polo that carries 16,000 teu, the equivalent of 160 trains.

Come on in, the pool's lovely

Clipper Projects, a leading carrier of project cargo, has created a new multi-purpose (MPP) pool with two fellow founding members, Enzian Ship Management of Zurich of Switzerland and Freese Shipping of Stade, Germany that promises to create a substantial pool of heavy lift capacity. It starts off with 14 MPP vessels of 15-20,000 dwt with up to 400 tonnes lifting capacity but has ambitions to invite other members to dive in with vessels up to 20,000 dwt.

Join the club

Every week, HLPFI reports on project forwarders and heavy lift lines joining networks of like-minded companies across the globe to nurture contacts and create revenue through joint-operations. Just this week, we reported that Global Multi-Modal Transport has joined the UK-based Project Cargo Network (PCN) in Nepal while in Dubai, Syon Logistics has replaced Heavy Load Freight Services, no longer a PCN member, as the third and final member in Dubai. Meanwhile, the Australian-based Project Professionals Group (PPG) has appointed Stella Group as its new Project Support member for Finland, the Baltics and Russia. Though the age is said to be instantaneously connected digitally through all manner of IT equipment, from desk-tops to handheld devices, nothing beats the personal touch that connecting through a network can bring. People still buy from people, especially in a service industry like freight.

Reducing risk

The UK P&I Club has produced a new DVD that places a specific focus on the 'Bow Tie' concept - a comprehensive risk assessment initiative which helps members identify and prioritise risk across their whole fleets. The 21st century shipping industry is under the microscope like never before - issues regarding piracy, green issues, staffing concerns and vulnerabilities to ne'er-do-wells are now as much a concern from the boardroom to ops centre as the weather and sailing schedules. The DVD is claimed to be a very effective form of communication when conveying the Club's risk prevention messages to ships' crews and managers, opening up its risk management process to everyone in the industry.

Hatches, matches and despatches

Two companies featured this week that neatly demonstrated the longevity of manycareers in the sector as two entrepreneurs with considerable backgrounds infreight remained close to the levers of power in operations founded in the last century. Neil Middleton has been appointed chief executive of Bisham Consulting, the leading independent supply chain and logistics consultancy. Derek Bell, who will continue on the board of the company, steps aside from heading the company he founded 20 years ago.

Geoff Partridge's route to become managing director of Logistics giant Toll Global Forwarding's South African operation started in 1989 when he and Vincent Magnus launched Clover Cargo. In 2010, Toll made a majority acquisition of the company, which Magnus then headed.

At the end of six years at the helm, Associated British Ports (ABP) chief executive Peter Jones has said that he will retire at the end of March next year and be succeeded by James Cooper, who has served as a non-executive director of ABP since May 2007 while TBS Shipping co-founder and COO Gregg McNelis has been promoted to CEO and president of the line.

A dynamic duo of senior appointments have been made by aircraft charter specialist Chapman Freeborn: since opening its new Moscow office earlier this year, Chapman Freeborn has named Alexey Zuev as commercial director, with responsibility for expanding the group's activity in Russia and the CIS while Dmitri Kourenkov has taken up the baton as ops director.

To boldly go

After years flying hundreds of thousands of miles, hurtling through the gravity-free and airless emptiness of outer space, the final 15 miles of the US Space Shuttle Endeavour were a little more grounded as it made its final journey last month through the streets of Los Angeles on KAMAG SPMTs organised by Sarens.

In September, the last American space shuttle Endeavour - which travelled around 200 million km in space - flew from the Cape Canaveral space centre in Florida to LAX in California piggy-back on the fuselage of a modified Boeing 747.

The shuttle has been delivered to its new permanent location at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The slow journey through the streets of Los Angeles presented a real challenge due to the dimensions of the space ship and was broadcast around the world by terrestrial and internet broadcasters. With a wingspan of 26 m, this involved maximum precision when manoeuvring between houses, trees and tight bends.

Work is now complete on issue 29 of HLPFI, which will include features on cargo warranty surveying,inland waterways, equipment hire companies, power generation - non-renewable energies, France, the Nordic countries, South Africa as well as Austria andSwitzerland; plus a supplement on the Caspian States and Central Asia. Issues should be hitting your desks by the end of this month.

Now, we start work on our first issue of 2013, issue 30, so do consider submitting editorial contributions or booking some advertising. There are still some opportunities to join the likes of Broekman Project Services, CEE, WWPC, GPLN, DHL, and PCN, by sponsoring our Friday Flyer.

Contact Ian Matheson on +44 (0) 1689 857631 or for more information on any of the above.