Attendees spoken to at the 20th Annual Breakbulk Conference in New Orleans report that capital and infrastructure clients are cutting back, industrial projects are being put on hold and contracts for new projects are remaining unsigned while the backlog of projects clears.As major projects generally take two or three years, and sometimes longer, a backlog has been built up and this has provided a buffer for companies specialising in project cargo which is now diminishing.There remains a glimmer of light in the darkening outlook: the economics of building big ships has meant there has never been an excess of capacity that has had to undergo costly mothballing and a number of new projects are being put out to bid.That was the premise of discussion of shipping industry experts during yesterday’s opening session of the Conference.Gerhard Janssen, director of marketing and sales, Rickmers-Linie, told delegates that a core reason for the lack of over-capacity in the market is that one in three multi-purpose ships are more than a quarter of a century old. All the multipurpose ships on order currently will not replace this capacity when it retires: this will lead to a shrinking project cargo fleet in time.While the sector has escaped the woes of the container lines, project cargo carriers must not assume there will be no impact on them from the troubled box lines. These lines have invested in ro-ro ships for wheeled traffic streams that can now be switched to breakbulk, high and heavy and project cargo.In terms of potential traffic, the last few months have suggested a strengthening of demand from EPCs and others seeking to undertake project cargo movements.Gerald P. Haley, vice president of global procurement for shipper Chicago Bridge & Iron was upbeat in his assessment of where his market was heading, citing a number of significant projects being lined up for the next few years.However, a number of these potential projects are being put at risk as certain clients are pinning down suppliers such as Chicago Bridge very hard on prices. The uncertainties of oil prices and the inability to secure significant finances for a number of projects is also worrying Haley.
Chengdu has thriving industrial and hi-tech sectors and is home to some of the world’s leading IT and technology brands such as Intel, IBM, CISCO, Nokia, SAP, Siemens, Canon, HP, Xerox, Microsoft, Tieto and NIIT.The municipality of 14 million people also has a well established aircraft manufacturing and aviation technology base as well as a growing financial and pharmaceuticals sector.”Chengdu is one of the fastest growing cities in China and demand for logistics services is increasing. The new office will strengthen our presence in the region, providing improved reach into the regional market and create new opportunities for us to grow our business,” said Henk Westerhoek, Logwin, country director Central and Northern China.www.logwin-logistics.com
Marc Celetti, Fire Chief of the City of Lauderhill has nominated the crew of Engine 57; Lieutenant Jamal Clarke, Driver/Engineer Lexcy Belfon and Firefighter Daniel Speerin to be awarded: “The Fire Chief’s Association Award of Broward County,” for their acts of bravery, critical decision making and preventative actions that ensured civilian and firefighter safety.April 10, 2017 incidentThe nomination relates to an incident on April 10, 2017 when the city’s Fire Engine 57 responded to a fire alarm at 2551 NW 41 Ave., in Lauderhill. When the crew arrived they saw flames coming from the fourth floor of the building. The crew of Engine 57 was informed people were trapped on the “C” side of the structure.Mother about to drop kids from 4th floorAs Engine 57 made its way to the “C” side, the crew witnessed a mother hanging over the edge of a balcony railing of the 4th floor, about to drop her 4 and 5 year-old children to bystanders at the bottom of the building who had mattresses and chair cushions to catch them. With the mother clutching the balcony railing with one hand and holding her 4 year-old child with the other hand, the Officer from Engine 57 feverishly tried to persuade the mother to not throw her child off the 4th floor and return to the balcony. With understandable fear, the mothers’ only reaction was one of panic and fright and all directives and plea from the Officer was ignored. Engine 57 crew takes controlEngine 57’s officer, however, took control quickly of the escalating scene. Although the Officer didn’t have a ladder tall enough to reach to the 4th floor, a 24 foot extension ladder was set up which reached a few rungs above the third floor balcony. The Officer out of reach and standing on the very top of the ladder, was able to speak to and calm the mother, convincing her to return to the safety of the balcony landing with her children. The officer remained at the top of the ladder and kept his focus on the family to be calm until Engine 57’s Driver/Engineer and Firefighter arrived on scene. A 35-foot extension ladder was retrieved from the first arriving ladder company and was quickly set up for rescue as flames from the building increased. Engine 57’s Firefighter and Officer then took turns and climbed up to the fourth floor and safely brought down the two children and two adults to safety. Immediately after the rescue of the family, the crew of Engine 57 did not delay or hesitate, they continued assisting with the search and rescue efforts for additional victims and fire attack of the fire that would eventually go to a third alarm response.The Fire Chief said, based on the action of the crew of Engine 57, “It is with great honor and pride” that he nominates them for the award.
The Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) says its ongoing efforts to provide pipe-borne water throughout the country is crucial to the nation’s socio-economic development.A LWSC source recently confirmed to the Daily Observer that the availability of pipe-borne water for Liberians is crucial to the management of sanitation and health facilities in the country.Those who in the past failed to see the crucial link between health and sanitation now realize that Ebola has everything to do with sanitation, in which quality running water is an absolute necessity in prevention and eradication of the deadly virus.Adherence to frequent hand washing, a cardinal preventive measure stipulated by health authorities, played a huge role in hindering more Ebola contamination to the point where the virus is now on the wane. The habit of frequent washing of hands with water and detergents could be more successfully sustained by having pipe-borne water available in communities throughout the country.The Ebola virus outbreak in Northwestern Liberia’s Lofa County glaringly exposed the acute weakness of the nation’s health and sanitation conditions.The ongoing efforts by the LWSC to rehabilitate public latrines and water facilities in several parts of the country are genuine indicators of a solid beginning in addressing post-Ebola challenges.It is a known fact that some support partners are ready to join in assisting Liberia in its drive toward sustainably addressing the growing post-Ebola challenges, including the availability of pipe-borne nationwide.But more importantly, Liberia as a nation, with the required fortitude, determination and resilience, must design effective and realistic projects and programs to cope with the post-Ebola challenges and constraints.It would be prudent for the Ministry of Public Works and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to join the current efforts of the LWSC and support partners bringing their resources and expertise to the table to help tackle the sanitation and environmental challenges of the nation.There is no gainsaying that the EPA, though compounded with administrative and policy challenges of its own, is a critical partner that must consider paramount on its agenda the post-Ebola challenges including protecting water sources, identifying safe locations for disposal of waste of all kinds and keeping pollution of the environment at a minimum.The EPA, if it could only graduate from its current activities of hosting international programs by drawing up initiatives that are tailored to the current environmental realities on the ground in Liberia, would help make the country a better place to live.The challenge is for these three critical agencies of the Liberian Government —LWSC, Public Works and EPA—to mobilize their collective efforts and professional workforce together with support partners, such as the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and China to tackle the challenges obstructing the free flow of pipe borne water to every household in the nation.From all indications, in spite of the enormous challenges and problems, the government continues to enjoy the goodwill of friendly governments around the world, notably, United States of America, China, Nigeria, Germany, Norway, among many others who are willing to assist Liberia.The list also includes United Nations, African Union, World Bank, African Development Bank, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), International Monetary Fund and European Union.Principally, most if not all these countries and institutions have indicated and pledged their keen interest in the water, sanitation, hygiene and the general health sectors of the nation, especially in the post-Ebola era.In conclusion, it should be recommended that unrelenting efforts to harness critical funds and technical resources from support partners be intensified in order to achieve the desired result of making pipe-borne water a norm rather than an exception in Liberia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)