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REVIEW | 2015-2016


2015-2016: CHANGES AFOOT


With oil prices hovering at rock-bottom levels, the heavy lift and project forwarding industry entered 2015 in a gloomy mood. During the two years we saw a wave of changes sweep over the sector, with mergers, acquisitions and break-ups dominating the news.


taking over Nordana Project & Chartering; Rettig Group divesting its ro-ro shipping company Bore to the Spliethoff Group; and NileDutch acquiring the remaining fleet and services of SafmarineMPV. We also witnessed Ahlers Belgium


acquire Antwerp Breakbulk Agencies (ABA); Universal Transport take over Züst & Bachmeier; and Rhenus Alpina acquire the general cargo business of Sweden's Loomis Group, including Mat Transport, Bonafide Logistic, Via Mat (France) and O.Lisboa Despachos Internacionais.


L


ooking back on 2015 in the January/February 2016 edition, HLPFI wrote: “The optimism in early 2015


dissipated as an increasingly grim year wore on.” In 2015 the price of Brent crude fell below USD50 a barrel for the first time in five years. Despite the crippling effect this had on the project logistics industry, there was no lack of sector developments. We saw Trans Global Projects (TGP) buy


Swiss freight forwarder Natco; the purchase of KOG Worldwide by global logistics provider Rhenus; BNSF Logistics acquire Transport Technology Services and the wind energy related assets of Vectora Transportation; Nurminen sell its projects


business to Ville Silvasti; and DSV complete the acquisition of UTi Worldwide. In a year that could be described as


industry-changing for the container shipping business, news that Hanjin Shipping had filed for court receivership in 2016 caused chaos at ports and logistics providers across the globe. Other shipping developments also


grabbed M&A headlines, with Zeaborn acquiring 50 percent of EMS ConBulk and a majority shareholding in the shipping- related companies of HC Group; CMA CGM agreeing to buy Neptune Orient Lines (NOL); Maersk Line reaching an agreement to purchase Hamburg Süd; Rickmers-Linie


Landscape change With consolidation on everybody’s lips during 2015 and 2016, as the landscape of the specialised transport market began to change, Jumbo inked an alliance with Arkon Shipping and Projects; AAL and Peter Döhle launched a global cooperation deal; Swire Shipping established a connecting carrier partnership with Rickmers-Linie; and Thorco Shipping combined its fleet and expertise with that of United Heavy Lift (UHL) to create Thorco Projects.


HLPFI also witnessed the merger of China


Ocean Shipping Group (Cosco) and China Shipping Group; ZPMC Offshore Services joining hands with Offshore Technology; Jas Worldwide and Necotrans creating a global alliance; Licvem Shipping & Trading forming


April 2015: Nepal earthquake kills almost 9,000 August 2015: Port of Tianjin explosions 78 | HLPFI10


December 2015: Paris Agreement on climate change adopted


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