December 31 - Having spent the last 12 months reporting on the biggest items of cargoes, we end 2008 with the heart-warming story of what could well be the world's smallest shipment!
2008 saw researchers in Spain, Austria and Switzerland develop a nanoscale monorail that can creep along a nanotube track and successfully shift its first load, hauling a gold nugget - 250 nanometres (o.25 micrometers) in width - a distance of 500 nanometres (0.5 micrometres). The ball moved at speeds ranging from 0.1 nanometres per second to 1 micrometre per second while the researchers observed the motion using an atomic force microscope.
The so-called nano-freighter could be a useful addition to microscopic construction toolkits that researchers hope will advance computing and other fields.
What's around the corner we ask? Nanoscale logistics where shipments are broken down into their molecular parts, shipped to another site, then reassembled. To infinity and beyond!
And with that thought, we bid farwell to 2008 and welcome to 2009. Best wishes from the team at Heavy Lift and Project Forwarding International to all involved in moving heavy, over-dimensional and awkward project cargoes. Bon voyage!