Five years since the global economic crash in 2008, many obituaries of the euro have been written, yet it still functions; Germany has re-elected chancellor Merkel to keep a steady hand on the tiller; UK unemployment and economic output are improving faster than expected.One sector with reasons to be cheerful is rail. Its bullish growth over the last decade has – and will continue to – directly benefit heavy lift and project cargo forwarders.British MPs have given the green light to the High Speed 2 (HS2) railway project that could create significant business opportunities for heavy lift and project cargo forwarders over the next decade.In Turkey, opening of the world’s deepest underwater railway tunnel in Istanbul this week under the Bosphorus, connecting two continents by rail for the first time, made headlines. Dubbed the “Iron Silk Road” by the Turkish government, Erdogan said the Marmaray rail line would connect “London to Beijing”, reviving the ancient trade routes across Asia to Europe.Just yesterday, Etihad Rail signed a MoU with Dubai-based RSA Logistics which paves the way for RSA to use the rail network for their transport needs in the UAE and cross-border services into neighbouring GCC countries.This week’s Friday Flyer is sponsored by Omega Morgan, a heavy haul specialist experienced in large freight moves, industrial construction, millwright services, and machinery moving – www.toughguyswanted.com In the corporate worldFagioli has secured new credit facilities from the group’s existing pool of main Italian banks to support a three-year international growth plan and investments in new equipment.Miclyn Express Offshore (MEO) has executed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 50 percent of the shares in Uniwise Towage Limited (UWT) from Svitzer Asia with an USD18.9 million price tag.Depth Logistics has formed a partnership with Riback Stevedores, jointly developing a new quarantine washpad in Lae, Papua New Guinea (pictured right). Capacity developmentsIn a major expansion, Mammoet has signed a contract for 650 axle lines of Self Propelled Modular Transporters (SPMT) from Scheuerle, bringing to more than 3,000 the total number of axle lines employed globally by Mammoet.Shuttlelift has unveiled its new 16.5 m tall, 20.7 m wide and 13.4 m long DB 200 crane (pictured top right), with a load capacity of up to 181 tonnes. It claims the crane is the largest rubber-tyred, double-beam, fully traversable gantry crane it has ever built.Crowley Maritime Corporation’s liner services group and Seaboard Marine have entered into a vessel sharing agreement to provide a weekly service between South Florida, Costa Rica and Panama.The National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri) has taken delivery of its latest general cargo vessel, the 26,000 tonnes dwt Bahri Jazan, the fourth of six vessels to be delivered under a 2011 contract.The first steel has been cut (pictured bottom right) for the Genoa-based shipping company Ignazio Messina’s latest newbuilding, Jolly Vanadio, in the STX Offshore & Shipbuilding shipyard in Jinhae, South Korea. It is the third in a series of four 240 m, 3,900 teu ro-ro newbuilds the Korean shipyard is releasing for delivery in 2014. Notable shipmentsWagenborg Nedlift used two Terex AC 500-1 all-terrain cranes and a Terex CC 2500-1 crawler crane to position a pedestrian bridge in Rotterdam, Netherlands (pictured top right).Globalink Logistics Group has handled the relocation of military equipment from West Africa to Mongolia.Van der Vlist has transported a large Büttner drum dryer from Dinklage, Germany to Chaykovsky in Perm Krai, Russia.Coordinadora Internacional has completed the delivery of a 918-tonne cracking reactor (pictured bottom right) from Japan to Turkey. Network newsThe Heavy Lift Group (THLG) appointed six new members (pictured top right) during its 53rd conference, held last weekend in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England: joining are Holleman, Lion Shipping, Barnhart Crane and Rigging and Amathus Aegeas as well as FLS Project Cargo and Madras Freight Carriers.54 project freight forwarders from 36 countries attended the fourth global conference of CLC Projects Network, held last week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. New members were appointed from Uzbekistan, Brazil and Saudi Arabia (pictured bottom right).Famous Pacific Shipping (FPS) Group celebrated its 15th anniversary with one of its best-attended annual conferences. Over 100 delegates attended the four-day event at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka, which included the AGM and two days of one-to-one meetings. People and placesBraemar Adjusting has appointed a quartet of executives: Ian McInroy (pictured top right) re-joins Braemar’s London office as a director; Braemar’s Houston office welcomes director Vincent Marrot along with Jeremy Palmer. Patrick Carey has become part of Braemar’s Singapore team as an energy adjuster.During its recent AGM, a number of Famous Pacific Shipping (FPS) Group board changes were implemented and the chairman of the FPS Group advisory board, Gihan Nanayakkara, was re-elected for a further two years.After 47 years of service for Ipsen Logistics, Helmut Behrmann (pictured bottom right) has retired from his role as head of the company’s Africa division. In his place, Arndt Sonntag will be responsible for sea freight in Africa; Henrique Wohltmann will head the newly established projects department; Christian Ditsch is now responsible for customer service for German customers in Algeria; while Henri Laskowski remains in charge of business development in the Maghreb. All about EvieEvie echoes the tribute paid by THLG members to THLG founder Doug Hird for his unstinting guidance and contribution over many years. He continues to support the group, established over 25 years ago, and she wishes him many more years of support.In a superb case of “you couldn’t make it up”, Evie was flabbergasted that Britney Spears has emerged as a weapon in the fight against the Somali pirates that challenge shipping. The media is reporting that Britney’s hits, including Oops! I Did It Again and Baby One More Time, are being used by British naval officers in an attempt to scare off pirates along the east coast of Africa. Perhaps nothing – not guns, not harpoons – is quite as intimidating as the sound of Ms Spears singing “Ooh baby baby!” Getting socialHeavy Lift & Project Forwarding International is upping its game in the social media arena.Our well established LinkedIn group complements the print and online editions of HLPFI and offers you the opportunity to discuss key issues and network with your peers and a wide cross-section of industry experts. Join the discussion now at: http://tinyurl.com/ces7odb.Our Twitter feed @heavyliftpfi is populated with several tweets every day and we now have a page on Facebook where news is posted daily. If you use Facebook, search for HLPFI and like our page. Career opportunitiesKOG TRANSPORT LIMITED (UK), now established in London, England, is seeking suitably qualified project forwarding professionals. For more information about this opportunity please click here. Recruiting the right person can be a costly business. Agency fees can be prohibitively high and going through countless irrelevant applications can be very time consuming. Why not advertise your employment vacancy on our website?If you have a job vacancy to fill contact us today via [email protected] or on +44 (0) 1689 860660. Make a note: HLPFI has moved. From today the operational headquarters, mail and visiting address for HeavyliftPFI Ltd will be:FLINT Research Institute132 Heathfield RoadKestonKentBR2 6BAUnited KingdomTelephone numbers and email addresses will remain unchanged. Please adjust your address books accordingly.