Week #10 | 7 March 2019
It is Thursday March 7th, and that means Project Cargo Weekly is here again. I paid a visit to my native country of Denmark last week and I was pleased to be able to fly direct, avoiding transit in Copenhagen. This means it only took me four and a half hours instead of up to eight, door to door, from home to visit my parents.
When I was in Denmark, a country that I moved out of in 1986, I found out that our public transportation system still has many flaws that haven’t been addressed for years. The upgrade of the local train into Aarhus (the second city of the country) from my hometown of Grenaa is more than two years late and – guess what – is already exceeding budget. Thanks to this, I had to take a ‘fast bus’ that covered the sixty kilometres in one hour and twenty-five minutes. Well, it’s a good thing that I am not prone to stress, but certainly more could be done in parts of my country in terms of transportation and planning.
We are famous for many things in Denmark, including renewable energy, democracy and happy people. However, in recent months, we’ve also regrettably become infamous for our money laundering, most recently with another bank (besides the notorious Danske Bank) being accused of acting as a conduit for illicit worldwide money transfers out of Russia and CIS. Let’s see what happens on that score. I suspect that, as usual, the buck will stop at a certain level and the higher ups will get away with a golden handshake, as we have seen so many times in both business and politics in recent years.
Still, on balance, Denmark is a wonderful country and it is indeed a nice place to live. It is very supportive of people with handicaps too. People say that you can judge a country on the way it treats its less fortunate, handicapped or addicted people. Speaking of addiction, I came across quite a sad movie clip on the South China Morning Post website recently (see here) and if we are talking shipping, it seems that the drug fentanyl is being shipped regularly from China to the US, where there’s apparently a big market for such drugs. If the video is truthful then I sure hope that treatment is available in the US without astronomical costs and that China uses its usually strong intelligence services to stop this deadly trade
Regarding our business interviews this week, we are very fortunate! First of all, we have an interview with a Danish logistics giant. They have grown immensely in recent years and now can be regarded as being in the same league as the usual suspects of Swiss and German origin. They seem to have managed their mergers and acquisitions very well indeed. We then leave Denmark but stay in the Scandinavian region as for the first time we’ve had a chance to interview a real shipper. Freight forwarders, logistics providers, shipowners etc. would not have much business unless someone had some cargo to move around the world! Consequently, it was indeed interesting to interview a big Gothenburg-based Swedish trader about handling very large shipments worldwide and dealing with forwarders and carriers of all sorts.
I hope you will find both interviews interesting to read. We finish the newsletter with not only shipping, but also airfreight news. There is now a new book out about the history of Antonov that you may want to consider purchasing. They are known for having the world’s largest capacity cargo freighters and, with a proud past and an active future, they would certainly be worth reading about. I was on board an An-124 several years ago when I was logistics manager for an Ericsson joint venture in Beijing and you really do feel small inside one of those. Link here
Finally, we round off our newsletter with the usual Picture and Video of the Week, as well as Wise Words, just in case you didn’t find any wise words in this editorial.
Until next time, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Firstly Marna, could you please kindy explain what type of company Ekman is and what you ship around the world? Could you also enlighten our readers a bit about the history of Ekman & Co?
Ekman & Co was founded by Gustav Henric Ekman, son of Peter Ekman III, and Gustaf Rudolf Prytz in 1802. Ekman was also the first Swedish trading house operating in China when they opened their office in 1914. Ekman & Co celebrated two hundred years as an incorporated company in 2002.
Ekman is a trading house that offers a wide range of services covering the entire forest products supply chain. Also, we contribute valuable market intelligence to each stage of our business partners’ enterprises. We are specialized in the sales, purchasing and marketing of forest products, with a lot of experience in creating financial and logistics solutions.
First of all Ole, could you please tell us about your own career in project forwarding and logistics? When did you start your career and what made you choose a career in this line of business? How many years have you been at DSV and what are your responsibilities there today?
I started working in freight forwarding in 1979 and grew into international trading and logistics. I have been dealing with project freight forwarding since 1986 and it has remained ideal and motivating for me thanks to every day being different, business wise. The interaction with stakeholders during the stages of pre-planning, bidding, kick off, execution, and the closing of single projects really work with my mindset. I have been working for DSV since 2000, but considering merger and acquisition I have, in reality, been in the same company since 1984.
Having a breakbulk ship from COSCO Guangzhou loading some 3,000 cbm of brewery equipment from BTI, Aarhus was big news in 1986. I attended the loading myself and in one of the photos I can even see the “limousine” company car (a Toyota Starlet) that I was granted from the head office. Those were the days…
Sanctions on Black Sea Region Countries
An interesting collection of news from the Black Sea region compiled by a maritime lawfirm based in Ukraine.
Black Sea Region (Ukraine, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Georgia) plays a crucial role for Europe: main routes connecting from west to east and from north to south cross it. All the post-Soviet protracted (frozen) conflicts occurred mainly in the Black Sea Region.
Interlegal has kindly prepared a full, ultimate guide on sanctions in the Black Sea region.
Video: Russian Freighter Damages Freeway Bridge in Busan
Again a Russian vessel involved in an accident. Let us hope that alcohol was NOT a contributing factor to this event as we have seen here in Scandinavian waters with other Russian vessels.
A Russian freighter struck a highway bridge in Busan, causing damage to the vessel and to the structure. Korean Coast Guard investigators are examining whether the master’s alleged intoxication may have been a contributing factor.
Editors Own Shipment
I personally shipped 1 x 20ft container with furniture from Malta to Bangkok last month. I had 6 high chairs available that didn’t fit in the condo there so after checking the freight rate for this rather small lcl shipment I found out that the cost of shipping 1 x 20 fcl was the same. Thus decided to buy ALL furniture in Malta and ship it to the condo in Bangkok which is now under renovation.
My own 20ft container was shipped on CMA CGM TITAN sailed Malta 10th of February. Always special to have your own cargo onboard instead of talking about other peoples cargo.
A few photos of the vessel alongside and sailing to the Far East.
A short video of the demolition team in Bangkok (no QHSE involved here).
AntwerpXL – Shaping the future of breakbulk – video preview
Antwerp, which is famous for hosting Breakbulk Expos in the past is reviving it’s reputation by hosting another breakbulk expo (www.ANTWERPXL.com) as an alternative to Breakbulk Bremen. As a frequent visitor to Breakbulk Expos I can applaud that competition is also happening in this field.
Coming soon to the Port of Antwerp
Taking place 7 – 9 May 2019 at Antwerp Expo, the exhibition and conference is set to put breakbulk back at the heart of the conversation, connecting buyers and cargo owners with leading suppliers in the European hub of breakbulk.
Chabahar Port opens for TIR with first Afghan-Iran-India transport
Interesting development with the port of Chabahar actually located in Iran but open to trade in spite of sanctions and facilitating trade between 3 interesting and developing countries.
In a previous edition we had a video about port of Chabahar. Road transport TIR is now available.
Chabahar Port is now a critical TIR trade gateway to and from India, linking the country to Afghanistan, Central Asia, Russia and eventually Europe.
This week’s successful pilot TIR operation from Nemroz in Afghanistan via Iran to India establishes the new reliable intermodal access route for trade across the region.
Dongfeng Forging Orders 5,000-Ton Forging Pres
SMS group received an order from Dongfeng Forging Co., part of commercial vehicle manufacturer Dongfeng Motor Group, for the supply of an eccentric forging press with a forging force of 5,000 tons for its plant in Shiyan, Hubei Province, China. Dongfeng Forging, which operates a total of 26 forging lines at this site, intends to use the new forging press to manufacture light-truck crankshafts with a maximum finished part weight of 47 pounds (21.5 kg). The closed-die press will forge parts fully automatically with a nominal forging force of 50 MN. Dongfeng Forging exports its products to Brazil, America, Sweden, Japan, Australia, and India.
OCP to build chemical plants and fertilizer blenders in four sub-Saharan countries
The OCP Group, Morocco’s leading exporter of phosphate rock, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilizers, is planning to build an ammonia plant in Nigeria, reports Reuters quoting OCP Africa’s chief executive.
OCP revealed that it will start production in its chemical plant in Ethiopia by 2023/2024, the same source said, adding that the Moroccan group is also considering the construction of a factory in Ghana in 2020.
Macau | Tender for custom-made flood gates for Ponte 16 awarded to Singaporean company
A tender to build personalised flood systems around Ponte 16 has been awarded for MOP4.18 mln to Singaporean company Parafoil Design & Engineering Pte Lt
Alstom wins Bangalore metro electrification contract
Bangalore Metro Rail Corp has awarded Alstom a €71m contract to provide power supplies and electrification for the extension to the city’s two metro lines being built as part of Phase 2 of BMRC’s network development plan.
Another heavylift piece shipped onboard a containership as breakbulk this time from the US to the Middle East. Work done by DT Project America.
DT Project America delivered a rotor weighing 63 metric tons with dimensions of 1229 x 272 x 272 cm from door Charleston, North Carolina USA to Port of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
DT Project loaded the cargo as breakbulk on a container ship allowing the customer to deliver the cargo on time to the receiving site. www.dtprojectamerica.com
Launch of DOC 8500 ‘Maersk Connector’
There is always something special about launching a newbuilding. Here is a very nice video from the GALATI Shipyard of Romania portraying a launch a couple of years ago of a Maersk newbuilding.