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

This week, energy company Shell was criticised over plans to use a ship named after a convicted Nazi war criminal to decommission a North Sea oil field. Shell awarded the contract for the decommissioning of the Brent field to the Allseas Group, owners of the massive platform decommissioning vessel, Pieter Schelte.

The vessel is named after the father of Allseas owner Edwin Heerema, Pieter Schelte Heerema, who served in the Waffen SS during the Second World War.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is demanding that Allseas immediately change the vessel's name. ITF president Paddy Crumlin said the vessel's name was a disgrace and it should not be permitted to operate in UK or European waters. "For Allseas to name its vessel after a convicted Nazi war criminal is utterly shameful," he said. "To even countenance honouring a Waffen-SS officer just shows how twisted, arrogant and out-of-touch Allseas management is."

ITF general secretary Steve Cotton commented: "It is almost unthinkable that Allseas would have a vessel honouring a senior Nazi war criminal operating in European waters. It is nothing short of a grave insult. The Pieter Schelte should not be permitted to operate until it changes its name."

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "Coming just days after we remembered the liberation of Auschwitz it is sickening that a vessel named after a senior Nazi is set to be working on a tax-payer funded contract in British waters. This scandal must be stopped and RMT will work with our sister union's and the ITF to bring this outrage to public attention and force it to be called to a halt."

Steve Todd, RMT national secretary, added: "This shocking news compounds the fact that with a massive decommissioning programme in place on the offshore UK continental shelf over the next 10 to 20 years, out of all the vessels that will be used hardly any of them will have British crews on board. Furthermore, we will be lucky if any of the work from the decommissioning benefits anywhere in the UK or any of the UK workforce and yet it is UK taxpayers' money that will fund the programme.

Pieter Schelte Heerema disappeared in August 1943 and joined a resistance group in Switzerland. He was arrested after the war and jailed for three years, but was released after one-and-a-half for his work with the resistance. The Dutchman later went on to become a respected maritime engineer.


In business

Copenship files for bankruptcy

According to reports in the Danish media, shipping line Copenship AS, incorporating Copenship Bulkers, Copenship MPP and Copenship Singapore has filed for bankruptcy.

WWPC and CEE get certified

The Worldwide Project Consortium (WWPC) and Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) networks have received certification from anti-bribery organisation TRACE.

Chile acquisition for Logwin

International logistics service provider Logwin has expanded its activities in South America by acquiring all the shares in Logwin Air + Ocean Chile.

ISS assists HMM in Australia

Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has appointed Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) to handle its Australian container liner business.

Everett signs up Midwest agent

The Port of Everett has signed a contract with Green Funnel Agency (GFA) to serve as the gateway's Midwest agent and to help generate additional cargo opportunities.

Derwent rebrands

Five years after Derwent Shipping and Logistics was formed, the company has rebranded and will now trade as DSL Global Freight.

Air cargo specialist partners with AIN

Volga-Dnepr Group has become a corporate sponsorship partner of Advanced International Networks (AIN) for 2015.

The sky's the limit for Maximus Air

Maximus Air posted a profit increase of 20 percent year-on-year for 2014.


Capacity developments

Ocean Globe makes a splash

Intermarine LLC, through its US flag affiliate US Ocean LLC, has taken delivery of the 17,000 dwt multipurpose vessel Ocean Globe.

Project cargo safety guide launched

The UK P&I Club has joined forces with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS) to publish new practical guidance for shipowners and operators on how to carry project cargo safely at sea.

New trailer moves old truck

A new two-axle narrowbed low loader trailer, developed by Van der Vlist Group subsidiary Zwaar Transport Twente (ZTT), has made its debut.


On the move

Three cheers for Gruber

Gruber Logistics added three new project managers - Torben Kleiber, Sebastian Dutz and Jens Eifler - to the Intertransport Gruber team in Bremen, Germany.

TT Club crowns King

International transport, freight and logistics insurance provider TT Club has appointed Kevin King as its regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Bencher gets Frank

Martin Bencher has named Jonas Frank as its new business development manager in Shanghai.

Höegh doubles up in Mexico

Höegh Autoliners has opened a second Mexican office in Mexico City, which is the commercial twin to the shipping line's existing operational office in the port of Veracruz.


Notable shipment

Wagenborg has coordinated the transport of two giant LPG tanks from Belgium to the Netherlands, on behalf of Rotterdam based Chemgas Shipping.