September 5 - A consortium of Latin American companies specialised in the transport and handling of heavy cargoes are combining to form a new association: ALATRANS (Asociacion Latino Americana de Empresas de Transporte y Movimiento de Cargas Pesadas).

At an international event in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which was attended by 16 companies representing nine countries in Latin America, it was decided to set up an association that motivates business leaders to increase the valuation of companies based in the countries of Latin America.

The association's initial objectives will be to regulate and promote the training of operators of cranes and heavy transport equipment; the promotion of standardisation of operation of transport and crane equipment; and the promotion of the limitation of liability for operations.

ALATRANS will be based in Uruguay and have executive offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Henrique Zuppardo of Brazil's Megatranz Transportes has been elected president of ALATRANS' first board of directors, with the association's other directors being senior executives from the following companies: COAMTRA S.A. Ingeniería de Movimiento from Argentina; Gruas Mar in Uruguay; Argentina's ROMAN Servicios; and MAKRO Engenharia Ltda Brazil.

A secretary general was also nominated for each country or region.

The founding member countries are Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and Uruguay.