Your midweek delivery of news from the world of heavy lift and project forwarding.

Torquing point by Evie Aufheben

HLPFI was interested to read the Reuters report that the European Union is set to restore 40 Iranian shipping firms back onto a list of sanctioned groups.

In January this year the EU's General Court, its second highest court, annulled EU sanctions on the 40 shipping companies, which faced asset freezes as part of pressure on Tehran.
The reinstatement comes at a critical time in international talks on Iran's nuclear programme and will disappoint Iran's transport sector which has sought an easing of trade restrictions.
The companies, which Reuters says include Hamburg-based Ocean Capital Administration, were previously placed on the EU's sanctions list because the EU said they were controlled, or otherwise linked to, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), which had previously been blacklisted.
HLPFI is left wondering if the decision to re-list the companies is purely politically or whether the EU has real evidence that any of those affected are linked with supporting nuclear proliferation.
Companies that are engaged in working with Iran would do well to visit North P&I club's website to read a quick reference guide which aims to simplify EU and USA sanctions legislation governing what can and cannot be shipped in and out of Iran.

In business
Pan Ocean back in black
Pan Ocean posted a profit of USD748.5 million for the 12 months ending December 31, 2014.

AEP to sell barge business?
American Electric Power (AEP) has engaged Morgan Stanley to explore strategic alternatives for its barge transportation subsidiary, AEP River Operations.

Positive development for GW
Gebrüder Weiss posted a preliminary net turnover of EUR1.24 billion (USD1.35 billion) in 2014, about a 5 percent year-on-year increase.

Banner year for New Orleans
Cargo handled at the Port of New Orleans' public docks in 2014 totalled 8.37 million tonnes, a 28 percent rise compared with 2013 and the gateway's highest total since 2000.

Traffic grows, investments approved at GPA
Georgia Ports Authority marked strong and sustained growth across all major markets during February, including breakbulk, autos and machinery, as well as bulk and containerised freight.

Duluth-Superior predicts big year for project cargoes
The Port of Duluth-Superior, which saw the start of its 2015 commercial shipping earlier this week, is anticipating a banner year for project cargoes.

Lufthansa profits rise
Lufthansa Cargo achieved an operating profit of EUR100 million (USD106 million) in 2014, which represents a significant increase for the airline when compared with 2013.

Freja on the move in Norway
Freja Transport & Logistics is planning to move its head office from Fjellbo, north of Oslo, to a logistics centre adjacent to the E6 highway in Langhus.

Contractual obligations

Wagenborg cooperates with Sitech
Wagenborg Nedlift has signed an agreement with Sitech Services to provide transport, rigging and project engineering services to several plant locations at the Chemelot site in Geleen.

Omega Morgan and TNDC team up on Canadian projects

Omega Morgan and the TNDC have signed a MOU that will see the pair cooperate on specialised transport and logistics opportunities in northwestern British Columbia, Canada.

Capacity developments

ARRC welcomes two
Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers (ARRC) is welcoming two new vessels - Warnow Venus and Warnow Sun - into its fleet at the end of March and beginning of April 2015.

Arklow Breeze launched
Arklow Shipping's newbuild vessel Arklow Breeze has been successfully launched at the Westerbroek yard of Ferus Smit.

Swire changes North Asia rotation
Swire Shipping's North Asia service will now call at the Japanese ports of Yokohama and Osaka before arriving at Busan, South Korea.

Fangmann adds Liebherr crane
Fangmann Industrie has taken delivery of an LTM 1130-5.1 mobile crane from Liebherr.

Olympia boosted by crane purchase
The port of Olympia has purchased a previously-owned Gottwald GHMK7608 mobile harbour crane to boost its handling capabilities.

XCMG opens new factory
XCMG's heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant in Xuzhou National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone has started production.

On the move

Daseke welcomes new board members
North American open-deck and specialised transportation company Daseke has added three new members to its board of directors.

LOC Group names two
LOC Group (London Offshore Consultants), has appointed John Quarrington as group marine warranty surveying manager, while Mark McGurran has been named Asia regional hull & machinery co-ordinator.