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

Interesting news from the Clipper Group this week with the confirmation that the company's partner and ceo Kristian Morch has left the board of Thorco Shipping due to differing views about the strategic direction of the company, leaving Clipper without a presence on the Thorco board.

Readers will recall that in 2013 Clipper Projects, which was a part of the Clipper Group, merged with Thorco Shipping under the Thorco brand, to form one of the world's largest multipurpose/project shipping lines with a fleet of around 90 vessels. Furthermore, in June last year, Thorco Shipping's chairman Thor Stadil said it expected to expand its fleet by 50 percent in coming years and was planning to list on the Copenhagen stock exchange when industry conditions improve.

Clipper Group has told HLPFI that "it is not in any way dramatic, and Clipper continues to have its remaining multipurpose fleet in commercial management with Thorco".

HLPFI understands that of the 40 ships that Clipper originally placed in the merged company, there are only 10 still under Thorco management.

Both sides are talking down Morch's departure, but it seems to be further evidence of the widely divergent views of the plans any shipping line needs to take to deal with a market that remains extremely tough.


In business

New Asian agent for BigLift

BigLift Shipping has named Asian Independent Shipbrokers (AIS) as its new representative for the South East Asia region.

McAleese on track

McAleese has reported a AUD52.5mn (USD41.4mn) net profit after tax for the first half year ended December 31, 2014, which is a great improvement on last year.

Peace breaks out in US ports

The PMA and the ILWU have announced a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract covering workers at all 29 US West Coast ports.

Iraq gains power with CPP and NAWAH

China Petroleum Pipeline and North America Western Asia Holdings have entered into an agreement to jointly pursue potential energy sector development projects in Iraq.

Crowley sets up shop at Jaxport

Jaxport has approved an expanded long-term lease with Crowley Liner Services, which will see Crowley relocate its Puerto Rican service from its private terminal to the port.

Project cargo soars in Philadelphia

Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) posted a 110.37 percent year-on-year increase in the amount of project cargoes handled at the port in January 2015.

Entrec makes plan for 2015

Entrec Corporation has announced its 2015 business plan and a net capital expenditure programme of USD21mn.

Manston closure was a mistake, says BACA

The Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA) has expressed its opinion that Manston Airport on the south coast of the UK should not have been allowed to close.


Capacity developments

Nordana Sky makes a splash

The first in a series of six multipurpose ecobox-design vessels - Nordana Sky - has been launched by the Ferus Smit shipyard in Leer, Germany.

Thorco Lanner launched

The latest newbuilding in Thorco Shipping's fleet - Thorco Lanner - has been launched by Honda Heavy Industries in Japan.

Another Jolly for Messina

The con-ro vessel Jolly Cobalto has been delivered to Italian shipping company Ignazio Messina from South Korean shipyard STX Offshore & Shipbuilding.

Terex offers online lift planning tool

Terex Cranes has launched a free online lift planning tool - Terex Liftplan.

Pacorini invests in Liebherr

Pacorini Metals has invested in a new Liebherr LHM 420 mobile harbour crane for its terminal in Vlissingen, the Netherlands.

TPS celebrates end-of-year success

Terex Port Solutions (TPS) concluded 2014 with a high order intake for various Terex Gottwald mobile harbour crane models.


On the move

Blue Water enters Portugal

Effective March 1, 2015, Blue Water Shipping is opening a new office in the Portuguese capital Lisbon.

Hansa enters China

Hansa Heavy Lift has strengthened its position in the Asian market by opening a new representative office in Shanghai, China.


Notable shipment

ALE has lifted the largest and heaviest bridge sections as part of the final stages of the landmark Cadiz Bridge construction project in Spain.