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ANALYSISUK


of growth and export business,” commented Jonathan Monks, chartering manager UK at heavy lift shipping line BBC Chartering & Logistics.


“This coupled with low freight rates due to an overcapacity in the market means that we are have to work hard to keep the vessels employed and utilised sufficiently,” Monks added. “Traditional low levels of industrial production in the UK, combined with the fact that we are still trying to claw our way out of a recent recession, has affected output even further,” remarked Monks. And the pressure on heavy lift shipping lines operating in the UK is increasing, he explained. “With a low output, the competition for cargoes has increased, and overcapacity in our sector is heightened by the fact that we are seeing competition from the container lines.” “As container rates have fallen, the lines are now competing in our sector and are offering very competitive freight rates on general breakbulk and project cargoes utilising beds of flatracks.


“These cargoes can often be nice top-up cargoes that complement any base cargoes that have been fixed, and can sometimes be the difference between a profit and loss on a voyage,” Monks said.


New competition


However, where one company struggles another can flourish, and forwarder Allseas Global Logistics is capitalising on this development, stated Nott. “Competition for traditional heavy lift cargo is now being offered by the container lines and we exploit this,” he said. With favourable outbound freight rates from the UK and regular container vessel calls at ports, the opportunity to move abnormal cargoes by more conventional means is on the rise. “Container terminals are now more equipped to handle project


The project market recovery is likely to be “a year behind” its general cargo counterpart, according to Tuscor Lloyd.


and uncontainerised cargoes,” observed Nott, and forwarders such as Allseas have taken advantage of scheduled sailings and regular calls from some of the world’s leading container liners. “Now all of the main liner boys are getting involved in the project cargo market,” he added. “Business is okay – still tough but okay,” remarked Andrew Civil, UK general manager at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Abnormal Load Services (WWL ALS) UK. “We are seeing signs of more positive outlook from clients and industry in general, but still tempered with caution and the long- term prospects – so business confidence is still an issue.”


In October 2012, shipping and logistics solutions provider Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) acquired a 60 percent stake in Abnormal Load Services Holding. “The involvement of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics with ALS and our re-branding as WWL ALS will generate more business


ESDAL streamlines road moves


The Highways Agency ESDAL (electronic service delivery for abnormal loads) system simplifies the process of notifying the relevant stakeholders when moving heavy loads by road.


UK legislation requires all vehicles and load movements that exceed standard dimensions moving on UK roads to notify the police, highway and bridge authorities, a task that historically involved masses of e-mails, faxes and phone calls. ESDAL is an online system designed to streamline this process. Project forwarders can now use an online mapping system to plot routes and obtain details of all the necessary companies that will need notification prior to making a movement. Police, road and bridge authorities can manage incoming notifications using the ESDAL system. Routes can be checked and considered for their suitability. All of this can be done electronically, without the need for specialist training or software.


78 July/August 2013


opportunities,” explained Civil. Ratti at Tuscor Lloyds feels that the UK’s slow economic growth is a key factor in holding back the project market and that “there is a time lag between general and project cargo markets”. He explained that the speed at which products are manufactured in the general market is much faster, with rapid production schedules. The project market works to a much slower cycle and Ratti feels it is “a year behind” its general cargo counterpart.


Strong energy sector


Although a burgeoning UK energy sector is what Ratti believes will ultimately grow the project and heavy lift market, “the energy sector is still very, very strong. I still expect this sector to pull us out.” Moving ahead, Ratti anticipated construction and high-technology infrastructure manufacturing will provide more project forwarding opportunities: “Specialist high-tech manufacturing for infrastructure improvements in the Middle East and Far East, centred mainly around the energy industry, still takes place here in the UK.” As the worldwide energy markets continue to grow this will help the UK project sector to move up, Ratti considered. Leach at Chris Bennett Heavy Haulage expects the construction sector to generate the bulk of its heavy lift and project business, in particular the Crossrail project – a 118 km railway linking Berkshire and Buckinghamshire with Essex, including 42 km of tunnels beneath London, which


www.heavyliftpfi.com


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