Heading south

13 August 2015

This month in Hoist we focus on the Southern Hemisphere. We start with highlights from the successful inaugural LEEA Lifting & Rigging Conference in Asia. Seminar and presentation-led conference programmes are often difficult formats to keep fresh, but this recent event in Singapore combined valuable insights on a number of training, safety and technology-based issues.

In 2013 Brazil accounted for 54.8% of Latin America's USD 7.4bn cranes, lifting and handling equipment market so the government's stimulus plan is good news for overhead lifting manufacturers and suppliers.

Hoist's Keren Fallwell speaks to a number of key companies operating in the region, including Street Crane's Latin America salesman, Victor Saucedo to gauge their views.

"Despite a faltering economy, Brazil is making unprecedented investments in infrastructure under the Accelerated Growth Program and the Logistics Investment Program," he tells us.

Also in the August issue, Sally Spencer places the spotlight on developments taking place in cleanroom environments Most people would prefer to work in a clean and safe environment but when that environment is the manufacturing of food or pharmaceutical products, those two factors become a necessity rather than a preference. And sector-specific, customised lifting equipment plays an important role in cleanroom workplaces, explains Spencer.

Elsewhere, the destination for the upcoming TOC Americas, which we preview, couldn't be more apt. The event returns to Panama from October 13-15 at what the organisers are calling a watershed moment. The $5.2 billion project to widen the Panama Canal is nearing completion and from next April, container vessels of up to 13,000TEU will be able to navigate the Canal, which more than doubles the canal's current 5,000TEU limit. Jorge Quijano, the chief executive of Panama Canal Authority will deliver a keynote at the event, which is pitched as the annual forum for maritime container trade, transport and port professionals doing business in North and Latin America.

Broadening the international shipping lane to bigger vessels is predicted to drive "significant" change in international and regional maritime trade dynamics, and the expansion arrives at a time of a rapid global escalation in container ship sizes, with both North and Latin America facing a wave of big ships.

Finally in this issue, we take a closer look at how load cell technology is helping ensure major productions on the London stage take without a hitch.

As one of the world's most prestigious and iconic entertainment venues, it comes as no surprise that the Royal Opera House has an equally setup behind the scenes.

When it made the decision to update its production workshop's lifting operations, it turned to Straightpoint and Rigging Services.

Tim Sheahan