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Bulk Materials International: For bulk handling and transportation professionals worldwide.
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Headline news...
Rate recovery expected later in 2015
Strong trade growth, moderating fleet development and deployment of new fuel efficient vessels are expected to lead to a recovery in dry bulk shipping rates later in 2015. More
Rio Tinto "streamlines" structure
Rio Tinto is restructuring its product groups and corporate functions in a bid to refocus on efficiency and costs. More
Metso appoints McHale in Ireland
Metso has appointed McHale Plant Sales as exclusive agent in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland for its mobile rock crushing and screening product lines. More
Egypt returns to buying US wheat
Egypt surprised the wheat market last week when it bought 290,000t, its largest single US acquisition for some time. More
Hamburg to host IAPH conference
This year's IAPH World Ports Conference will be held in Hamburg, between 1 and 5 June. More
Insurer warning on claims concentration
The TT Club has warned the supply chain industry around the world that there is a persistence of claims in a handful of loss types. More
Trident Alliance to host sulphur enforcement event
Trident Alliance is inviting representatives from national and European authorities and NGOs to an event to discuss how effective enforcement of sulphur regulations can be achieved on the high seas. More
CDM system for glass cullet processor
CDM Systems has installed a conveyor system that it said has solved a material handling challenge for a glass cullet processor. More
Safety in focus after BHP Billiton deaths
BHP Billiton has said it is highly focused on health and safety, in the wake of the death of two employees at Worsley Alumina refinery and at Olympic Dam. More
Liebherr LHM 420 to Vlissingen
Pacorini Metals Terminals BV has invested in a new Liebherr mobile harbour crane, type LHM 420. More
Rhenus takes over Serbian operator
Rhenus Group has taken over the Serbian terminal operator and inland waterway logistics services provider CFND AD Beograd from the French companies CFNR and ATIC Services. More
Another bulk shipper bites the dust
Yet another dry cargo shipper has filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the collapse in freight rates. More
Investment for Irish bulk port company
Ireland's largest bulk port company, Shannon Foynes Port Company (SFPC), has announced a Euro50M capital investment programme at Foynes. More
TBMA bag filler for Dutch milk supplier
Noordwijkerhout, Netherlands-based TBMA has delivered a hygienic big bag filler to a large producer of baby milk powder in its home country. More
China rethink paves way for Valemax calls
China has amended the rules about ships it will allow to berth at mainland ports, paving the way for giant Valemax vessels to call in the country. More
Sennebogen 880 Classic to India
Sennebogen has announced the delivery of a type 880 Classic material handling machine to the Indian seaport of Sanegaon. More
Pilotless Reef runner's master arrested
The master of a Taiwanese Capesize bulker that allegedly sailed through the Great Barrier Reef without a pilot early this year was arrested this weekend following the ship's return to Australia. More
German firms face decline
German mining equipment manufacturers are facing a 33% decline in revenue to Euro3.5B this year, while domestic sales will fall by 20% to Euro320M, according to the VDMA Mining Association. More
Tasmania barge plan snubbed
Plans to export southern Tasmanian woodchips using a tug-and-barge operation to load carriers anchored offshore appears to have been scuppered by an immediate community backlash after its announcement. More
Europe's longest conveyor installed
ContiTech and Techmi have built a 6.2 km conveyor belt system for a cement factory in Montalieu, France. The system was installed to transport limestone from a quarry to the Vicat cement plant on the banks of the Rhone in the east of the country. More
San Antonio rail progress
The Port San Antonio, Texas has reported that its East Kelly Railport experienced another strong year in FY 2013-14, ending 30 September. The facility served almost 10,000 railcars over the 12-month period, setting a new record and was almost four times the volume handled in the inaugural year FY 2007-08. The 350-acre facility is located minutes from downtown San Antonio and is adjacent to UP's South San Antonio Classification Yard. It has direct access to UP and BNSF trains and has quick access to major area highways. More
Beijing to link up Asian markets
China is to earmark US$40B to set up a Silk Road infrastructure fund, intended to breathe new life into large-scale trade and transport corridors throughout Asia. More
Trans-Oil expands grain capacity
Moldova largest grain trader, Trans-Oil Group (TOG), is expanding its grain terminal in the country's only Danube port, Giurgiulesti, as well as acquiring and upgrading a grain storage facility in the neighbouring Ukrainian harbour of Reni. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a US$25M loan to TOG for the two projects. More
DHHI marks modular milestone
On 24 September, Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group Co Ltd (DHHI) held a ceremony in Dalian, China, to mark the launch of its modular assembly of handling equipment for the Roy Hill iron ore project (RH) in the Pilbara. The event coincided with the completion of DHHI's modules for the first unit for RH, a fixed stacker, prior to shipment to Western Australia. More
New mining line for Mali
The government of Mali has announced that it has signed a deal with Beijing to provide new rail capacity for iron ore and bauxite exports. Bamako announced that US$1.5B would be invested in upgrading the existing 1,230 km line to the port of Dakar in Senegal, while a further US$8B would finance the construction of a new line that would run for about 900 km from Mali to the port of Conakry, which is the capital of Guinea. More
Transnet Freight Rail decides on capacity
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has rejected plans for the construction of a new state-owned coal terminal at Richards Bay. The parastatal had considered building its own terminal to provide export capacity to black empowerment mining firms, while complementing the existing capacity provided by Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT), which is privately owned by a consortium of mining companies. However, it has now secured an additional 4 Mtpa of capacity for empowerment firms at RBCT, while a separate privatesector developer will provide yet more capacity. More
WICET wobbles
Gladstone's Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal (WICET) in Australia will now not ship its first exports until 2015, amid uncertainty about several shareholders' plans and disputes with major contractors over alleged cost over-runs - but the company is talking about expansion. More
Huge coke shift to rail
ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products (TKMP) has shifted traffic of foundry cokes from road to rail. Using "Black-BoxX" dry bulk containers, around 200,000 tpa of Polish and Czech cokes will be railed to ThyssenKrupp Stahl blast furnaces in Germany and Denmark. The modal shift will save around 8,000 truck trips, with an aggregate 6.4M km each year. More
New Brazil terminal
Cesar Borges, the minister in charge of Brazil's Ports Secretariat (SEP), has approved construction of a new Private Use Terminal (TUP) in the municipality of Santana in Amapa State. The facility will be developed by Cianport alongside Santana Canal, on the right bank of the Amazon River. More
Latvia faces Russian cargo loss...
The EU-Russian trade war has also impacted the Baltic States. While the transport sectors of Estonia and Lithuania have recently loosened their dependence on Russian transit flows, Latvia remains critically dependant on Russia, from which it receives around 80% of all inward railed cargoes. More
Unloader to Kuwait
Kuwait-based Acico Construction Co has taken delivery of a new Siwertell mobile ship-unloader for cement handling at the port of Shuaiba, south of Kuwait City. More
First train runs to Nacala
The railway between Moatize and Nacala in Mozambique has been completed and tested, ahead of the opening of Nacala coal terminal. At the end of November, the state transport utility, Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Mocambique (CFM), announced that it had run the first trial train between Tete Province and the Indian Ocean port of Nacala via Malawi. The line will be operated by Northern Integrated Logistics Corridor (CLN), a company owned by CFM (20%) and Vale (80%), but which will provide a service to all coal mining companies in Tete, as set out in the operating agreement signed with the government. More
 Feature articles
Plenty of choice for operators
Bulk and general cargo handlers can choose from a rich vein of design approaches from mobile crane suppliers. More
Coal out in the cold
North America's coal exports are falling as coal prices sink and miners struggle to find costeffective port capacity. More
Loaders look to a mobile mark-up
Demand for high-throughput shiploaders has peaked with the end of the commodity boom, but mobile machine makers are eyeing market opportunities. More
Creating a win-win environment
A new RSA concept promises to deliver a mutually rewarding Handysize bulker pool and fuel-savings for shipowners/charterers. More
Battling the grain drain
Brazil and the US are two major grain export nations where shipping costs continue to climb, creating challenging conditions for farmers, traders and the authorities. More
EU wants its money back
The EU is seeking the return of Euro250M of aid funding from Spain after a fraud investigation into the financing of El Musel dock. More
Covering up problem storage
Covered storage is playing an increasing role for commodities where open air storage was previously considered sufficient. More
Coal remains the elephant in the room
Despite the optimistic outlook of many producers, the long term future of coal is under threat from increasing environmental pressures. More
Crane unloader markets look to diversity
Bulk handling has spawned a wide range of different ship-unloader types, but crane designs are far from reaching their peak. More
Brazil irons out its problems
With its own logistics chain, Vale is set to double its iron ore exports to China in fi ve years, but poor infrastructure is hampering other producers. More
Putting a squeeze on energy consumption
Improving controls and drive systems can be a cost-effective way to enhance the efficiency of powerhungry bulk handling equipment. More
Energiewende blown off course
Dealing with the challenges facing Germany's steelmaking and coal-fired power industries will play a major part in the country's future bulk import requirements. More
Biomass fires fading
While biomass was initially hailed as a replacement to coal, questions are now being asked about its overall environmental merit. More
Australia develops split personality
Australia's resources boom is over, though activity remains relatively high, but it is falling commodity prices that is dividing the fortunes of producers. More
Still digging up orders
While the enthusiasm for heavy-duty continuous ship unloaders may have waned over the past few years, there is still interest in this concept. More
Bulking up Oman's ports
Expanding bulk and general cargo activities at Oman's ports and associated industrial zones is a vital part of the nation's economic growth plan. More
Handy challenges and opportunities
Changing markets, fierce competition and shipowners' needs to be cost-effective are driving consolidation in parts of the dry bulk shipping sector. More
One rope or two?
Can the advantage of being able to operate on a single-rope crane overcome the higher cost, higher tare weight and complexity of motor-driven grabs? More
Time to smarten up conveyors
Conveyor systems are the arteries of any bulk handling plant but they are essentially "dumb" although electronic control and monitoring could change this. More
Great Lakes look to diversify
Faced with difficult markets for coal and iron ore, the Great Lakes ports are looking to breakbulk and general cargo to drive future growth. More

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