Your midweek round-up of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.
In a statement released last week, Justin Archard, managing director, Asia Pacific & Oceania at SAL Heavy Lift Singapore, discussed the outlook for ship owners in 2015. "Owners are due a break," he said, "but I don't think it will come in 2015."
He suggested that 2015 has for some time pointed to better utilisation factors across multipurpose and project carrier fleets, but noted that it is hard to say whether or not the oil price shock will have a sting in its tail.
With the price of Brent crude oil falling below USD50 a barrel for the first time since 2009 today, Archard was understandably cautious: "Whatever the truth, uncertainty remains as the only constant, and will in my view continue to dampen investment in capital projects and ships in the MPV/project carrier shipment."
He also discussed the effects of oversupply and freight rates on the sector, suggesting that the industry will see more mergers and acquisitions in 2015, particularly for owners with smaller fleets. "Continuing low freight rates will eventually persuade some - either of their own volition or coerced by the banks - to find pooling partners to maximise the potential of their vessels."
Despite adverse factors, it is not all bad news, said Archard. "Sentiment is lifting and this forms a driver in its own right," he said, with the relatively optimistic conclusion: "I think in 2015, the fleets that remain focused on their core business, manage costs yet remain flexible will ride out what I believe will be the last of the difficult years."
HLPFI will be analysing the outlook for the shipping industry in 2015 in more detail in the January/February 2015 edition of the magazine - if you have any comments of your own, please contact the editorial team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK-based Trans Global Projects has acquired Swiss project logistics specialist Natco in a multimillion dollar deal.
The OIA Global group has decided to rebrand all of Bellville Rodair International's operations under the OIA Global banner.
Hunting has confirmed that discussions have commenced with E.A. Gibson concerning the potential sale of the business to an employee benefit trust.
Blue Water Shipping has signed a contract to provide logistics services on a global scale to project engineering company Semco Maritime.
McDermott International has secured contracts from Mexico's Pemex Corporation to install the offshore jacket, deck and piles for the Ayatsil-A drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico.
Multraship and Damen Shipyards Group confirmed an agreement for three new ASD tugs, all scheduled for delivery in 2015.
Höegh Osaka, which is currently grounded outside the port of Southampton, will not be refloated today said the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
Recently established HongFa Shipping confirmed that it is ready to start its new liner service.
DSM Dyneema has formed a strategic partnership with Norway's Load Solutions for the development, manufacturing, sales and marketing of link chains made with Dyneema fibre.
The Venice Port Authority has taken another step forward with its innovative offshore-onshore port transfer system.
Since its introduction in early 2014, several new features have been developed for the FiberMax crane mat product line, according to its developer DICA Outrigger Pads.
According to media reports, India's Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) plans to invest over USD317 million over the next five-years to carry out various development projects at the port.
Baku-based Silk Way Group confirmed reports in the Azerbaijani and Russian media that it has signed a letter of intent with Boeing for the purchase of three 747-8 freighters.
On the move
The Port of Everett's marine terminal director Dave Madill is to retire in April 2015, with current marketing director Walter Seidl having been chosen to replace him.
Inchcape Shipping Services enhanced its African management team with the appointment of Riaan Blom as vice president, sales for the region.
Martin Bencher named Mikkel Kristensen as the new managing director of Martin Bencher Australia in Sydney.
Emirates SkyCargo appointed Henrik Ambak to the position of senior vice president, cargo operations worldwide.
Coordinadora managed the transport of two concrete gravity-based structures, weighing 11,700 tonnes and 10,900 tonnes respectively, from Cartagena, Spain to Invergordon in Scotland.