May 24 - Project cargo broker InterConti Navigation is claiming a heavy lift benchmark with a recent shipment from the Czech Republic to Norway of the world's largest double-hull cryogenic tanks.

The 48.7 m double-hull cryogenic tanks, each weighing some 213 tonnes and with a capacity of 1000 cu m of LNG, were worth EUR1 million (USD1.4 million) each.

The 560 km journey started on two barges on the river Elbe from manufacturer Chart Ferox in Dìèín to Hamburg; this part of the journey took a week as a result of bridge, tide and draft issues. At Hamburg, two 150 tonne Gottwaldcranes were used for loading at Steinweg's Südwest terminal before sailing to Fredrikstad in Norway on the Anmiro.

InterConti was formed as recently as January 2011 and has three partners: Dennis Clavier, formerly of Fisser & van Doornum, broker, with experience at high and very heavy Elephant Projects; Thies Lüders, formerly Menzell & Döhle Liner Agencies, with two decades in Latin America; and Rudolf Hess, owner of forwarder R.H. Shipping & Chartering of Mexico and Houston.

"We combine knowledge and contacts in drybulk chartering, forwarding, project forwarding, project chartering and liner shipping and breakbulk centres," says Lüders.

"While the world economy is presently developing well, project cargoes are not yet. In a strong market owners get picky and do not take newcomers like us seriously; in a weak market there is more fighting over the few cargoes. So timing is always bad but not really essential for starting a brokerage firm. What counts is the effort you put in and the contacts you have, combined with solid know-how," he adds.