Your midweek round-up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.

Yesterday saw one of the UK's largest freight transport, logistics and supply chain management events - Multimodal 2015 - kick off at the NEC in Birmingham.

The beginning of the Multimodal exhibition coincided with news that the UK economy expanded by just 0.3 percent in the three months to the end of March 2015, compared with the previous quarter. This was half the growth rate in the last three months of 2014 and the country's slowest rate of growth since the end of 2012.

Industry experts have put the slip down to the UK's manufacturing and production industries, which have been severely wounded by the oil price collapse and subsequent North Sea crisis. The growth rate of manufacturing in the UK has decelerated quite significantly over the past year.

In the wake of the upcoming election, there have been some wobbles in the UK, but analysts have warned that the country's economic recovery is by no means over. GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first three months of the year, which is a solid figure and only a touch slower than the 2.5 percent forecast for this year.

These issues will no doubt be under detailed discussion at the Multimodal exhibition this week, along with the country's logistics and supply chain opportunities. HLPFI's Peter Edwards and Ian Matheson will be there today, so do look out for them.


In business

BNSF acquires Vectora wind assets

BNSF Logistics has acquired the wind energy related assets and contracts of Chicago-based third party logistics services provider, Vectora Transportation.

NCSG agrees to buy B&G

NCSG Crane & Heavy Haul Holdings has signed a stock purchase agreement to buy 100 percent of the outstanding shares of B&G Crane Holdings.

New and bigger base for Combilift

Combilift plans to invest EUR40mn (USD43.8mn) in a new manufacturing facility in Ireland.

Concerns over aid reaching Nepal

ACS group commercial director Justin Lancaster has expressed concern that aid agencies are facing unprecedented logistical challenges trying to help victims of the Nepalese earthquake.


Contractual obligations

Fagioli and Scheuerle ink huge SPMT deal

Fagioli is to purchase 100 axle lines of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) from Scheuerle.

Blue Water signs important Baku contract

Blue Water Shipping has signed a contract with Baku Shipyard covering the transport of two hull sections from Singapore to the new Azerbaijan yard.


Capacity developments

Swiss first for Terex

Welti-Furrer has taken delivery of the first two Terex Explorer 5800 cranes to be delivered to Switzerland.

Kuebler gives cargo centre a big lift

Kuebler Spedition has taken delivery of a giant mobile crane, weighing 450 tonnes, at its heavy cargo centre in Mannheim, Germany.

New NileDutch vessel named

A naming ceremony has been held for NileDutch's latest newbuild vessel, NileDutch Antwerpen, at IMT Terminals in Antwerp.

Panalpina adds Baku calls

Panalpina is adding calls to Baku, Azerbaijan on its Luxembourg-Shanghai srvice with scheduled chartered flights operated by Silk Way West Airlines.


On the move

Crook resigns from DHL

Roger Crook has resigned as a member of the management board of Deutsche Post DHL Group and ceo of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight.

Able expands development team

Able UK has appointed Chris Mackinlay as its new group marketing and development executive, and Debbie Fell as the property and development team's administrator.

Spliethoff targets Iberian Peninsula

Spliethoff has opened two new offices in Bilbao and Barcelona.


Notable shipment

The Allelys Group, in coordination with its partner, Osprey Shipping, had to overcome major geographical challenges to provide a complete factory to foundation solution for Siemens.