December 1 - It's all change at the top of shipping line SAL Heavy Lift, following the departure of Lars Rolner as managing director and chief operating officer.

Rolner is being succeeded by Toshio Yamazaki, a long-serving senior manager within Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha ("K" Line), who has spent the last four years as executive officer, jointly managing SAL from its German headquarters. Before that, he worked at SAL Japan as commercial general manager for four years.

"K" Line Group took full ownership of the SAL Group in 2011, which saw the SAL founders Hans and Claus Heinrich retire from the shipping line's daily operations.

As he handed over his role to Yamazaki, Rolner commented: "I have devoted most of my life to SAL. But now, I have decided it is time to hand over my position, because the company is now in good shape and will be in the black in 2014."

In future, Rolner will work as managing partner of the maritime engineering company HeavyLift@Sea, which specialises in offshore solutions and ship design, which he founded two years ago with the help of shipbuilding engineer Hendrik Gröne, who has managed the business ever since as managing director from its base in Hamburg's HafenCity. Now Rolner is expanding the management to cover the areas of sales and transport engineering.

The 12-man team of engineers, technicians and designers at HeavyLift@Sea prepares individual simulations and calculations for its customers to ensure the best possible proportions and movement in the ship, crane and cargo for various applications. The team designs lifting tools, such as special cross beams, and takes over the project management and planning of offshore operations. Furthermore, it develops entire special vessels based on customer specifications along with prototypes of its own design, and takes charge of construction at the dockyard.

Rolner said: "I felt it was time for a new professional commitment. I like to move boundaries and make the impossible possible. HeavyLift@Sea is a young company that has set itself precisely such goals. The company can boast extremely comprehensive know-how and experience in heavy-lift cargo shipping, which is what makes us unique among maritime engineering companies in Germany. Since its establishment, it has developed very well. I'm looking forward to working actively within the management in future and using my network in the industry to support the further growth of HeavyLift@Sea in the market."


From left to right: Lars Rolner and Toshio Yamazaki.