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REVIEW | 2015-2016


“The optimism in early 2015 dissipated as an increasingly grim year wore on.” HLPFI (in 2016)


a joint venture with NYK Bulk & Projects Carriers; and Mammoet joining forces with Sankyu in a new venture. And the tie-ups kept rolling in. Hartmann


Group and Schulte & Bruns agreed to cooperate, both taking a 50 percent share in Schulte & Bruns Chartering; three of Japan’s largest shipping companies – NYK, MOL and “K” Line – announced plans to merge their container shipping and overseas terminal operations; Sarens and Sinotrans Heavy-lift Logistics created a joint venture; as did Grieg Star and Gearbulk, dubbed G2 Ocean, to combine their respective fleets and expertise. After a failed bid from Zoomlion, Terex announced that it was selling its materials handling and port solutions division to Konecranes. Sadly, 2015 and 2016 marked the end of


the road for some companies. Copenship – which incorporated Copenship Bulkers, Copenship MPP and Copenship Singapore – filed for bankruptcy, while Van Doosselaere & Achten brought its long history to an abrupt end. 2015 ended on another sad note as news broke of Flamar and OXL also filing for bankruptcy. Meanwhile, Gebrüder Weiss and Röhlig


confirmed that their joint venture – Weiss- Röhlig – would be phased out, and Buss Port Logistics ceased operation of its Buss Hansa Terminal (BHT) in Hamburg. Feeling the effects of overcapacity in the


multipurpose shipping sector, Flinter confirmed that ING Bank was no longer providing financing for nine of its vessels, leaving the line with no other option than to file for suspension of payments; while reports circulated of Abis Shipping’s fleet of


vessels going under the hammer, as another bank pulled financial support. Boskalis also announced that it was going ahead with plans to retire ships and make wholesale redundancies across the company.


Break-ups and tie-ups In two years filled with as many break-ups as there were tie-ups, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Antonov Airlines stole the spotlight as they confirmed that their longstanding freighter joint venture, Ruslan International, was to end.


But it was not all doom and gloom. We


also saw d.ship Carriers launched by the deugro Group; Höegh taking delivery of the first two of four new pure car and truck carriers (PCTC); Cakeboxx introducing a door-less container for project cargoes; Nooteboom launching its Manoovr semi- trailer; Intermarine confirm another


newbuilding order; the launch of the UGLYcargo marketplace; ZPMC-Red Box Energy Services take delivery of Audax and Pugmax; the founding of the Project Logistics Alliance; and ESTA publish its long- awaited best practice guide for the use of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). Compliance came to the fore once again, with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) charging F.H. Bertling Ltd - the UK-based subsidiary of the German-headquartered Bertling Group - together with seven former and current executives, with one count of making corrupt payments contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906; while the European Commission found a consortium of truck manufacturers guilty of breaking EU antitrust rules, by colluding for 14 years on truck pricing and passing on the costs of complying with stricter emission rules to customers.


February 2016: Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement signed January 2016: International sanctions on Iran lifted June 2016: UK votes to leave the European Union HLPFI10 | 79


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