Week #08 | 21 February 2019
It is Thursday and we are here again. The week past saw me visiting Dubai and the week ahead will see me visit Frankfurt, before heading to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok in mid-March. Meeting people gives you input, in particular when you have a chance to speak ‘off the record’. The saying goes, “workers of the world unite”, right? Personally, I would prefer to say “freight forwarders of the world unite”.
It seems to me that many shippers nowadays are placing such stringent demands on the freight forwarders, coercing them into signing contracts that are beyond reason and include exorbitant liquidity damages. Why do the freight forwarders accept it? They are told to give them six months for credit, but freight forwarders should not finance shippers, bottom line, and don’t have a banking licence! There are already shipping rules in place and rules governed by bills of lading.
To me, it seems to some extent that the only winners are the insurance companies, because both the freight forwarder and shipper will take out an insurance policy. It’s also evident that many shipping managers nowadays have never actually seen a cargo ship. In short, they simply lack knowledge of shipping and how the shipping world works. The concepts of rough seas and potential hurricanes being to blame for ships being late also appears to be beyond many ‘shipping managers’ comprehension. Rather, some seem to be experts in excel spreadsheets and power point presentations focusing on avoiding responsibility and boosting the bottom line, i.e. reducing the freight costs.
In addition, it doesn’t help either to spend all your time listening too much to in-house lawyers, also with potentially no understanding of shipping. In short, these days the risks sometimes hugely outweigh the rewards for freight forwarders and the result is the knowledge that, “you sometimes get what you pay for”. On the other hand there are, no doubt, some freight forwarders out there that should lose the licences they perhaps don’t even possess. In my view, the ‘shippingman’, whether on the forwarder’s or the shipper’s side, is in short supply. Some have only seen meeting rooms, having never been aboard anything besides passenger ships, if even those. If we don’t take a breather on occasion and come together to agree on some common ground, we’ll soon be required to have a method statement just to go to the toilet.
Adding extra rules and regulations is always easy, but removing those same restrictions shows true leadership, especially when we think about politics. Our industry surely feeds a barrage of lawyers and insurance companies, at least, that much is evident both from the fees they can charge and the office buildings in which they are housed.
Today’s newsletter includes a visit to Germany first. We talk to a very competent project forwarder, strong on wheels Europe-wide. They discuss the many rules that govern trucking of heavy lifts in Europe nowadays, so dealing with an expert is crucial. Next, we speak to a company in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, located on the west coast, that runs FCL and LCL services from Asia via rail. They explain how even Scandinavia can be reached nowadays by rail. Finally, we listen to the radio, or rather, we learn about a person also located in Gothenburg who produces a podcast about shipping. I am sure that possibly some out there may still not know exactly what a podcast is, so if you’re unsure then before you read the interview, click here to see.
We finish off with business intelligence, shipping news, Picture and Video of the Week and finally Wise Words in case you didn’t already find any above.
Until next time, I remain,
What is the main focus of Hegmann Transit in project cargo transportation?
Hegmann Transit Group is very experienced with transporting and handling heavy-lift project cargoes with our trucking fleet with more than a hundred possible combinations of trailers.
Our main strength is European inland transport but we do plenty of handling via cranes and multimodal transport solutions worldwide.
Besides careful handling for direct clients, forwarders and brokers of different and several types of cargoes such as windpower, electricity, building materials and others, we are always looking for new solutions for our contractual partners.
What have been your main activities in shipping, overall, since the company started?
We act as an agent for thirteen different shipping lines in Sweden. Hoegh Autoliners, Kestrel, EML and CSAV are just a few of them.
In general, we specialize in shipments that require a deeper knowledge than simply arranging a container to take them from A to B. Our project department handles everything from flat racks to chartering vessels in order to carry out complicated projects.
In recent years, we have focused a lot on the development of our rail service because we see an increasing demand in the market from both direct customers and small and medium sized forwarders in Sweden who lack the experience or contacts in China to set this up themselves.
What triggered the idea of a Shipping Podcast?
I get seasick even on trains, so I cannot read whilst travelling. However, I can listen with my earbuds and experience interesting conversations. When I got the task to build a brand, but had no marketing budget, I decided to learn everything there is to know about social media and the strategies behind it, so I started hanging out on a lot of online ‘geek’ conferences and met a lot of people I usually wouldn’t meet. When I heard someone talking about the podcast channel and how it’s used for storytelling, I started to think that ‘someone’ should start a podcast for the maritime industry.
After having nagged people about that for a year or so, I finally got triggered when someone told me, “stop thinking that someone else will do it and just make it happen”. So, I did make it happen in July 2015.
Australia’s Largest Cargo Ship Christened
I visited Tasmania some years ago as they planned to build the Gunn's pulp factory there. It's an amazing and rather big island south of Australia. Our crown prince of Denmark married a lady originating from there if I am not mistaken.
Australia’s newest and biggest cargo ship was christened Tasmanian Achiever II in Burnie, Tasmania, on Saturday.
The 700 TEU Tasmanian Achiever II is the largest general cargo ship to fly the Australian flag and is set to enter service on March 1, carrying goods between the Port of Melbourne and the Tasmanian Port of Burnie.
The 210-meter (690-foot) vessel is the first of two new ships commissioned by Toll to carry freight between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, increasing Toll’s Bass Strait cargo capacity by more than 40 percent on each voyage.
Port of Hamburg Press Release – Cargo throughput and traffic development 2018
Port of Hamburg is the heart of Hamburg and vital to its being alive – so is the dredging of the Elbe which is a must to keep and maintain big mainliner traffic. They must also remember to treat the cargo providers from East Block and not least Scandinavia well and provide reasonable tariffs!
Handling 135.1 million tons of seaborne cargoes (down one percent), Germany’s largest universal port can report a respectable result for 2018. Hamburg successfully asserted itself in a difficult environment, achieving a distinct advance on railborne seaport-hinterland transport.
In 2018, this category accounted for totals of 46.8 million tons – up 2.7 percent – and 2.44 million TEU – up 4.7 percent. More than 60,000 cargo trains with around 1.6 million freight cars were handled during 2018 on the Port Railway network alone. This topped the record total set in 2016 and extended Hamburg’s position as Europe’s leading rail port.
A Glimpse into Shipping History
I was 23 years old or so when I was responsible for the port arrangement and clearance of this beauty seen here in port of AARHUS, Denmark loading brewery equipment for Carlsberg to Zhujiang Brewery I think it was in South China. Big tanks from DK-Grenaa among others, reefer cargo in the hold for Hong Kong and all kinds of plant material. mv "Peter Rickmers" of the renowned Rickmers Line was in town for loading.
MHPS Supplying Three J Class Turbines For Combined Cycle Power Plant
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) will supply three 1×1 M501JAC powertrains for a 1600 MW combined cycle power plant in the state of Virginia, USA.
When completed in 2022, the Chickahominy Power Station will provide electricity in support of expected regional growth. The station is named in honor the Chickahominy Nation, an indigenous people that have populated the lands in east-central Virginia near Richmond for centuries. Balico, LLC, Gemma Power Systems, and MHPS are teaming on the project.
Construction of a US $2m waste-water treatment plant in Ghana begins
The government of Ghana has cut the sod for construction of a US $2m waste-water treatment plant in Kumasi the Ashanti Region to begin.
Speaking during the sod ceremony, Samuel Atta Akyea, Minister of Works and Housing, said the project, a partnership between Jospong Group of Companies and a Hungarian technological engineering company, Pureco, will be a first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa.
Boustead Projects unit wins over $70m contract to design and build high-tech manufacturing facility
Real estate solutions company Boustead Projects on Tuesday (Feb 19) said its wholly-owned subsidiary, Boustead Projects E&C, has won a contract worth over $70 million to design and build an integrated advanced high-tech manufacturing facility in Singapore.
The facility will have a gross floor area of approximately 36,300 square metres and is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2020. It will expand the client's existing operations in Singapore.
Fluor wins EPCM contract for Valvoline lubricants plant in China
Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.fluor.com) was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract for Valvoline’s new blending and packaging facility in Zhangjiagang, China. The project is Valvoline’s first plant in China. Fluor booked the undisclosed contract value in the fourth quarter of 2018.
TERA Group – PVC Plant Decommissioning Project – Kerteh
An impressive job by TERA group of Malaysia decommissioning a whole plant.
PETRONAS Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM) Plant Decommissioning Project at Kerteh – Tera Group has successfully completed the plant decommissioning project and transferred close to 16,000 freight ton of cargo ex project site to Kemaman Port for loading.
Among the dismantled items, there were some oversized & heavy units such as reactors, vessels, tanks & silos. After conducting detailed route survey, we have identified the best possible route to transport these oversized items which is close to 8 meters in diameter from the project site to Kemaman storage yard and finally to Kemaman Port for loading.
We started the journey ex project site around 2300hrs with police escort and arrived at the storage yard next morning around 0800hrs. It took 9 hours to complete the whole journey (approx. 45 KM). Traffic lights removal, electricity cables removal, telecommunication cables removal, tree trimming, road leveling and high-tension cables shut down were executed during the convoy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp_P5ze7xss
Leaving breakbulk Dubai with a great view and of course on Emirates drink in hand!
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