When I started, the lifting industry was entirely new to me. It has proved to be fascinating: I’ve learnt a great deal about cranes and hoists, and about the industries that use them. I’ve also met very many enthusiastic and committed people. It’s a sector where good engineering matters, both in terms of productivity and safety, and it has been great to speak to so many expert engineers.

It’s a business that faces a lot of challenges. At CeMAT last year, Pekka Lundmark, president of Konecranes, made a point to me that I really hadn’t considered before: the crane industry, even for companies as big as his, is trapped between much bigger suppliers, like international steel giants, and `powerful customers in the manufacturing sector.

With those challenges to your ability to negotiate costs with suppliers and prices with customers, you have to be smart to run a lifting equipment manufacturer and make a profit. I’ve followed your responses to these challenges with considerable interest: whether it’s the biggest players in the industry building their businesses through acquisition and by fleshing out their global distribution networks, or smaller businesses finding new sectors to sell into and taking bold steps to develop their sales in new regions.

As well as all the changes in the industry over recent years, a lot has changed at Hoist since I joined the magazine: we’re no longer owned by Wilmington, and are now part of a larger publishing and data business, World Market Intelligence. And, for the past couple of years, I have been editing Hoist, its US sister title OCH, and Cranes Today, our construction crane title. That’s been a great experience, but managing three titles, over two very different sectors, has left me unable to dedicate as much time as I would like to any one of them.

So, I am delighted to say I will be handing over the editorship of this magazine to an established member of our team, Kevin Walsh. Kevin has worked on the magazine for two years, and is a highly experienced business-to-business editor. He’s written some impressive news and feature articles, and is now ready to take responsibility for the overall editorial direction of the magazine. He’ll be working closely with Jon Young, one of the most successful editorial managers in WMI, who will be helping him develop the magazine. I’ll still be here, but dedicating my time to our construction title Cranes Today. I’ll be happy to put you in touch with Kevin and Jon. Both will be travelling out to meet the industry at events this year. I hope you will all welcome them.