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REVIEW | 2017-2018


“The shipping recovery might not be fully under way, but 2017 may come to be regarded as the year when the downward spiral was halted.”


Richard Greiner, Moore Stephens


profitability for the liner industry, which brought with it encouraging signs for the heavy lift and multipurpose shipping lines. United Transport Company, St.


Petersburg and COLI Group decided to form a new joint venture, while the Fagioli group got a welcome injection of capital with QuattroR taking a 49 percent stake. The year also saw Ocean7 Projects merge with Ikonship; Rhenus take a stake in Arkon; Jas Worldwide form an alliance with Greencarrier Freight Services and ALE team up with Cosco Shipping Project Logistics. We also saw the debut of GPO Shipping on the semi-submersible stage and Vineta, the holding company of Hamburg-based multipurpose shipping line MACS, acquire 100 percent of the shares in Rostock-based Hugo Stinnes Schiffahrt. There were significant changes of


personnel at some of the industry’s big brands, including the departure of Roger Iliffe from Hansa Heavy Lift, as well as Al Stanley as president and ceo of Intermarine. Gerard Bastiaansen succeeded Ton Klijn as


ceo of Wagenborg Nedlift; while Joerg Roehl joined Trans Global Projects as ceo for Europe and ceo of Natco. Blue Water Shipping named Soren Norgaard Thomsen as ceo with company founder Kurt Skov becoming executive chairman. Meanwhile Paul van Gelder was named ceo of Mammoet, and Abdullah Aldubaikhi became ceo of Bahri.


Innovations In the equipment arena, Faymonville set its sights on expansion with the acquisition of Industrie Cometto, while Sarens unveiled its new crane, the SGC-140, which will be deployed for at least three years on the Tengizchevroil (TCO) project in the Caspian. Innovations in the airfreight arena struggled to get off the ground in 2017, as Hybrid Air Vehicles’ Airlander was brought down to earth with another crash landing, having already undergone repairs to enable it to resume its flight test programme. Digitalisation and technological innovation continued to evolve and


threaten to disrupt the project cargo supply chain, with the launch of Uber Freight and talk of using blockchain in the logistics industry raising questions about the future of freight forwarding as we know it. But with rising digitalisation, we have also seen a rise in cyber security concerns with A.P. Møller-Mærsk suffering a huge cyber attack in June 2017. While no-one foresees a return to the


heady days of ten years ago when HLPFI began, commentators suggest some improvement is on the way. Richard Greiner at Moore Stephens, shared this optimistic outlook with his review of the year, stating: “The shipping recovery might not be fully under way, but 2017 may come to be regarded as the year when the downward spiral was halted.” In November/December 2017, HLPFI wrote: “Recovery in the project logistics sector is likely to be as fickle as a summer storm, with sunshine in patches but foul weather in others.” Come rain or shine, HLPFI is committed to taking the journey with you.


November 2017: HLPFI celebrates its 10th anniversary November 2017: Robert Mugabe steps down as president of Zimbabwe 2018: The journey continues... HLPFI10 | 87


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