March 22 - As this Friday Flyer is being written, agency wires are humming with news from Cyprus. In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have told MPs that she wanted Cyprus to remain within the euro, but that it must realise its business m

Global shipping has a long tradition in Cyprus, a flag of convenience for much of the oil and aggregate shipping fleet. While the heavy lift and breakbulk shipping lines may have a smaller connection to the island state, there are growing fears that the Cyprus banking crisis threatens bunker and shipping firms, as those with deposits in Cyprus might have to scramble for new ways of financing their working capital.

The Financial Times asks whether the crisis over a bailout for Cyprus will end with the Cypriot and Russian governments establishing a much closer political and security relationship? Cyprus only joined the EU nine years ago yet threatens to cause significant economic chaos in the Union. There is no question that the island has become extremely attractive to Russians and their money: some 40,000 Russians reside in Cyprus and Russian businesses are thought to have deposited USD25 billion in bank accounts in Nicosia.

Much of the recent discussion has been on the presence of undetermined oil and gas fields near the island that Gazprom is said to be interested in. Heavy lift and project cargo lines will be tempted to take advantage of oil and gas exploration and extraction opportunities once the crisis is resolved.

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 -

All hail the chief

Four 22,000 dwt Chief class multipurpose vessels from Zhejiang Ouhua shipbuilding in Zhoushan, China have been ordered by the Swire group's China Navigation Company (CNCo) subsidiary. The quartet will be delivered in 2015 with an option for an additional 2+2 vessels in continuation. Swire Shipping is confident that the Chief class represents another significant investment in its liner division and has been specifically designed to meet the unique demands of the trade between Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Ice breaker
It takes more than severe, icy weather to stop V. Alexander International Logistics delivering on its promises. The CEE network member for Germany had to bring in an inland waterway icebreaker to free a passage for a barge delivering an 87.1-tonne reactor to Hamburg port for its journey from Germany to Indonesia.
Third time lucky
A scholarship at the Kühne Logistics University is on offer to the winner of the third successive humanitarian logistics case study competition held by Hamburg, Germany-based Kühne Logistics University. Twenty-four participants from Germany, Poland, Turkey and Qatar will participate in the case study competition.
Towering over the rest
The tower crane rental arm of its business is bringing home the bacon for California, US-headquartered Bigge Crane and Rigging. Its fleet now includes over 60 tower cranes and more than 80 man and material hoists, available for rental throughout the USA.
Canal locks
A German parliamentary budgetary committee has given the go-ahead for an increase of EUR65 million for an urgently-needed fifth lock chamber at Brunsbüttel, on Kiel Canal (pictured top right) and invited tenders for the new lock construction with immediate effect.

It's going to get more expensive to sail through the St Lawrence Seaway from today's opening as there is a three percent increase in seaway tolls in Canada for the 2013 shipping season.

At least you can sail through the St Lawrence Seaway. The deteriorating political situation in Egypt, including last week's civil riots in Port Said, is raising the spectre of a possible illegal closing of the Suez Canal (pictured bottom right). Although the arterial trade route is unlikely to close, the possibility cannot be ignored. Cargo would then be forced to sail from the Far East to Europe via the Cape of Good Hope or Panama Canal.
Forwarders news
Tilbury, UK headquartered Eurogate Logistics has become the newest member of the Project Partners forwarder network, representing Hungary. The forwarder, with offices in eight European countries, offers project shipping as part of its services.
After a 6,000 km transit, global logistics provider Agility has successfully completed the first delivery of equipment for the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, the largest multi-stakeholder organisation operating an investment pipeline project in Russia.

Multimodal transportation specialist Globalink has delivered two over-dimensional transformers from Turkey to North Buzachi, Kazakhstan, in a project crossing three countries and the Caspian Sea.

Keeping it safe, Gulf Agency Company (Egypt) is the newest GAC Group subsidiary to become a member of the anti-bribery body, TRACE International, the non-profit organisation that offers anti-bribery solutions and certification for multinational companies (picture bottom right).
Dim sum and borscht
As Chinese premier Xi Jinping arrives in Russia on the first stop of his maiden overseas tour, with a visit to Africa to follow, China's first domestically developed jumbo freighter aircraft is ready to launch into official service. The Yun-20 is taking off with Russian engines at the moment but these will ultimately be replaced with Chinese-built horsepower.
Sailing to the sun
The Christmas Caribbean Rally (CCR) - a new transatlantic rally from Marina Rubicon, Lanzarote to Jolly Harbour, Antigua - has appointed Southampton, UK-headquartered boat transportation specialist Peters & May as its preferred shipping agent. The rally starts at Lanzarote on December 16, 2013 and, weather permitting, will finish in Antigua in early 2014.
Hatches, matches and dispatches
Paul Chinery has been given the task of developing Toll Global Forwarding's UK air freight business after being appointed as director - air freight for its UK operations.

In an action-packed AGM, Cargotec revealed a raft of board appointments: Tapio Hakakari, Ilkka Herlin, Peter Immonen, Antti Lagerroos, Teuvo Salminen and Anja Silvennoinen were re-elected while Jorma Eloranta was welcomed to the board. The directors then decided to form an extended executive board effective April 1, 2013 with president and ceo Mika Vehviläinen, executive vice president and cfo Eeva Sipilä and business area presidents Mikael Mäkinen (MacGregor), Olli Isotalo (Kalmar) and Axel Leijonhufvud (Hiab).

Its 'farvel' to Paw Cortes (pictured second right), ceo of Denmark-headquartered offshore cable specialist CT Offshore as he steps down from May. His replacement will be Frank Hansen (pictured bottom right), formerly md of Metalock, a part of MAN Diesel.

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering and Lufthansa Cargo have signed a strategic cooperation agreement, which will see the global aircraft charter specialist handle Lufthansa Cargo's third-party chartering requirements and allow the German airline to focus on marketing charter capacity on its own fleet of 18 McDonnell Douglas MD-11F aircraft.

A trio of 'hellos' has greeted the appointment by international oil and gas logistics firm Asco Group of three new members to its European management team: Scott Donald is now European finance director; Zak Flemming is now European logistics and operations director; while David Rae joins the team as Europe commercial director.
All about Evie
As if Berlin is not facing enough calls on its coffers, government bean-counters might have to find almost two billion euros to right a legal wrong in its Maut. Being of Germanic extraction, you don't have to explain to Friday Flyer gossip columnist, Evie Aufheben what Maut means; for outsiders it's the road user charge for heavy vehicles.

In a case of vorsprung durch NOT technik, it seems that eight years after its introduction and seven years after implementation, judges have ruled it wrong as it had too few vehicle categories. Now, according to German media reports, thousands of firms want their money back.

Evie loves nothing more than electronic gaming so when her friends at the Port of Antwerp introduced "Serious Game" in which port users can learn in an entertaining way how they can make their own individual contribution towards making the port more safe and secure, she was up for it. In the game, players are confronted with various situations that present a potential threat.
After completing a particular level, the player is given an explanation of why these particular actions should have been taken. It's a game for the girl.

Niels Stolberg's name has been all over the German mainstream media again this week, with some reports suggesting that some of the fraud charges which he faces are about to be dropped. Other articles indicate that the prosector's office in Bremen has denied that any of the charges have been dropped and that it will reveal its findings in the middle of April.
Meanwhile, in the USA, Yacht Path International has initiated proceedings under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code, to protect itself from threats of involuntary bankruptcy procedures from certain parties, through their legal counsel. Yacht Path says it is not going out of business and Chapter 11 will give it a period of time to reorganise.