February 8 - The old adage - talk is cheap - does not seem to apply in the EU's corridors of power in Brussels where agreement is being sought on a trillion-euro budget for the next seven years for the 27-nation union.
For the heavy lift and project cargo industries, this is no academic exercise by accountants and politicians: the budget helps to fund EU transport and infrastructure projects that involve many players in our industry and any significant cuts in these sectors could impact negatively on many bottom-lines throughout the global industry.
EU leaders looked today to cut the bloc's budget for the first time in its six-decade history. This translates into a possible agreement to trim EU spending by three percent in absolute terms over the rest of the decade at a time when many member states are being required to suffer draconian cuts in investment and state spending.
Another vocal adage - jaw-jaw is better than war-war - seems to have been applied on the US East Coast, as ports avoided black Wednesday following a tentative agreement between the US Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen's Association over a new six-year master contract. The tentative agreement is subject to the ratification procedures of both parties and, as well, to agreements being achieved in a number of local union negotiations.
This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by 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
On the ocean wave
The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has taken delivery of the first of six general cargo ships ordered from Hyundai MIPO in 2011. Bahri Abha, is the first of six vessels that were contracted by Bahri in 2011 for a total value of SAR1,543 (USD411) million.
Damen Shipyards Bergum has delivered a brand new combi-lift vessel - the Damen Combi Freighter 3850 'Hoogvliet' - a 3,800 dwt vessel with an 8.43 m hull height and a tween deck on half height. The vessel won't stray far from home as it will be deployed into service in European waters.
Global boat transportation provider Peters & May has named ATS International Projects Europe (ATS) as a new sales agent in Germany, having previously served its German customers from its UK head office.
On the apron
It was quickly off the starting blocks for Russia's largest all cargo carrier AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) to deliver the first of a series of charter flights between Frankfurt, Germany and Sochi, Russia, loaded with sports equipment for the host city of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Cargolux wasn't content with just expanding its network to three new destinations - Xiamen, China; Latacunga, Ecuador; and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico - its B747-8 freighter was the first-ever service of the type into Xiamen when it touched down from Beijing.
Port to port
Managers at the Port of Antwerp are hoping that the chance to defer value added tax (VAT) without having to pay a deposit on EU imports will prove attractive to shippers in these straitened economic times. Previously, importers who brought goods into Belgium through a national port had to pay VAT immediately when goods were declared for free circulation, which could then be claimed back in a periodic VAT declaration.
Good growth rates in its project logistics business - particularly in the wind power market segment - are making port services provider Cuxport managers very happy. The German port handled approximately 1.6 million tonnes of cargo over the course of 2012 in total. The reconstruction of asphalt concrete pavements at its ro-ro terminal, improved port security systems and for the reconstruction of the port railway tracks will be the result of a RUB253 million (USD8.42 million) allocation of funds at JSC Sea Port of Saint Petersburg.
On the forwarding front
Blue Water Shipping (BWS) has been selected by Lamprell Energy to transport a LeTourneau S116E jack-up rig from the UAE to Russia. BaltShip has strengthened its position in the Asia-Pacific market by upgrading its Singapore sales office to a fully-fledged project logistics hub, with chartering and project management capabilities. South African heavy lift specialist Vanguard has transported a 130-ton (117.9-tonne) transformer 2,300 km between Johannesburg and Cahora Bassa Power Station, Mozambique; whilst Intermax Logistics Solutions has transported over-dimensional mill stands from Deyang, Sichuan Province, China, to Jiangsu on the east coast of the country. For years, Popeye loved Olive Oyl. Now SDV Italy really loves olive oil after it shipped four 40 ft flat rack containers and two 40 ft open top containers containing olive trees between Valencia, Spain and Ningbo, China.
Greening the supply channel
Clipper Group has been awarded ISO 50001 - Energy management systems, certification for its fleet of vessels, covering both Clipper Fleet Management as a company and the vessels it manages. Meanwhile C.H. Robinson Worldwide has donated USD20,000 to Cascade Sierra Solutions - a Eugene, Oregon, USA based non-profit organisation dedicated to helping small trucking businesses afford fuel and emissions-reducing technology.
Casey Jones in the desert
MaxXLogistics FZCO was on the right lines when it started delivery of rail wagons that will be used in phase one of the Etihad Rail Project, which will link Shah-Habshan-Ruwais rail line in the western region of the UAE for the transport of granulated sulphur. The first delivery of wagons arrived at Mina Zayed port during January.
In the dock
Will justice be served as HLPFI with Niels Stolberg, the former ceo and founder of bankrupt Beluga Shipping, set to face 16 counts of fraud? At the time of writing, no trial date has been set. Those fluent in German will have read reports in the German media that Stolberg will be charged with obtaining higher credit from the banks by overstating shipbuilding prices in a fraud worth some EUR90 million.
Back on their feet
Four months after Hurricane Sandy caused widespread destruction on the northeast US coast in October 2012, Crowley Maritime Corporation and its subsidiary TITAN Salvage have completed a number of emergency response projects in the areas hit hardest by the storm. Shortly after the storm hit, S.S. Wright - a Crowley-managed Maritime Administration (MARAD) ready reserve force ship - relocated to Staten Island, New York, to support the recovery.
Hatches, matches and dispatches
After almost a quarter of a century at Maersk Line, most recently as pricing manager for out-of-gauge cargo, Colin Howell has joined UK heavy lift and project cargo specialist Allseas Global Logistics as its new project co-ordinator.
Fatih Karsliogou, formerly of UTI and Hapag-Lloyd, has been appointed branch manager of the new Bellville Rodair International (BRI) office in Istanbul, Turkey. Wojtek Grzybowsk, has packed his bags to move from BRI's London headquarters to help Karsliogou in the new role.
All about Evie
Ms Evie Aufheben, our sassy gossip columnist, is known for her natural, German beauty on quaysides around the world. She is a stranger to Botox and the plastic surgeon's blade. Imagine her surprise then to learn that Maersk is giving some of its ships a 'nose-job' chopping off bulbous bows from 10 of its vessels to make them more fuel efficient. No need to panic Evie. Maersk assures us that the work is all in a good cause. When a ship sails, it generates waves where the ship bow splits the water. These waves then hit the front side, shoulder of the ship, and in order to break them, the ship needs energy, i.e. fuel. The faster the ship sails, the higher the waves and the more energy it needs to get through the waves it creates itself. A bulbous bow however can create counterwaves that neutralise the waves created by the ship sailing through the water, and thus reduce the amount of energy required to move forward. So there.
Having read her beloved German newspapers this week, Evie wonders if Niels Stolberg, the former ceo and founder of bankrupt Beluga Shipping, is imprisoned for fraud, will he end up doing time on a prison ship?
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Work is well underway on Issue 31, which will include country reports on Brazil, Russia, the USA and the Gulf States; plus a review of logistics within the mining industry; a focus on heavyweight road haulage; an operational review of escort and permitting issues; an equipment focus on jacks, skates and rollers; plus our regular articles on law, insurance and safety; and letters from our regional correspondents. It will also include our first report on the logistics activities behind the movement of yachts, cruiseboats and other floating craft. To submit editorial contributions, or book advertising, contact Ian Matheson on +44 (0) 1689 857631 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.