Week #15 | 11 April 2019
It’s Thursday April 11th and we have hopefully arrived in your inbox. Britain should apparently have left the EU by now but surprise, surprise, it has been delayed, much to the dismay of those of us who believe in democracy. Politicians who are elected to fulfil the wishes of the people seem to mostly be busy stalling or delaying the inevitable.
Here in Sweden, a democratically elected party with almost twenty percent of the votes are shunned by the eighty percent majority and instead of standing up for their own beliefs, they will bend their beliefs in order to keep the twenty percent out, even declining to negotiate on a case by case basis with them. I fear that all this will result in proof that, although we’re a democracy in name, in reality it doesn’t matter whom you vote for because the vote will have little meaning in practice. Soon, we are going to elect our representatives to the European Mickey Mouse parliament in Brussels. It was reported last week that only twenty percent of the EU politicians elected from Sweden were willing to account for the $5000 a month they get for ’office expenses’ which, of course, is in addition to their virtually tax free $10,000 a month salary.
Of course, cost control was never high on the agenda in the EU, although they like to pass laws that make it more difficult for everyday people to make a living, or even cover their cost of living. Once politicians are in their ivory tower, elected, they lose all sense of reality and contact with the outside world. In Denmark we had scandals of this nature too, with EU politicians signing up for meetings in Brussels (to collect the benefits of attendance), but then not in practice actually attending, instead flying home for the weekend. The protests we are seeing in many countries are just the beginning, but the mainstream media in Europe continuously call out anyone who’s against such practices, or against the ever-increasing control by EU laws. How about taking a breather and actually looking into whether the protests have some merit?
Trump was elected, much to the dismay of Hillary Clinton, who hardly ventured outside the big cities into the heartland. Brexit became a fact, much to the surprise of David Cameron and most others, including the mainstream media who, again, got it all wrong. My advice to most journalists is to get away from their desk, travel into the countryside and try speaking to the (still) majority of people who live there. Yes, this does mean you must travel outside your comfort zone of the big cities. Still, I think it was Winston Churchill who said it that, in spite of all its flaws, democracy is still the best system there is. What we are witnessing is most likely simply that the pool of candidates is getting poorer than ever. Most of them have no kind of actual business or practical work experience.
The EU is a gigantic failure in its inability to deal with problems that many people face on a daily basis. Here, I am not talking about the free roaming using your mobile, but rather the free roaming of thousands of people who (legally or illegally) wish to make Europe their home. However, I do have hope because one of our great leaders in Germany told us ‘wir schaffen dass’, so I believe we are heading towards brighter times.
Turning our focus to the world of business, we start off with a visit to the country of Georgia, located by the Black Sea. It’s a beautiful country with great history, food and wines and we speak to a local project freight forwarder who tells us about their business. We then travel to Belgium and speak with a company that are very strong in Africa, before we continue our flight to the port city of Qingdao, China, where we learn more from a local project freight forwarder about transportation to/from China. We have shipping news for you, some interesting videos and also trade intelligence that you may find interesting. As usual, we finish off by providing you with Wise Words, just in case this editorial didn’t have any..
Until next week,
Mr. Gia Danelia
Is customs clearance difficult in Georgia? Are there any rules of thumb that you could give our readers when handling shipments to Georgia?
Customs clearance is actually very easy in Georgia. All customs procedures can be completed within a day, except for in special cases such as military, dual purpose devices or ADR that might need additional revision and confirmation from the appropriate state bodies.
In cases of out-of-gauge cargo, special escort services can be considered.
Mr. Amaury Luyckx
Polytra has a well-established name in Africa. Could you outline for us your current organisation on the African continent? Where do you have your own offices, where do you currently see the most development on the continent and what are your future plans?
Africa has always been one of Polytra’s most important divisions. We have been importing and exporting cargo to and from the African continent since 1974. We started in the Katanga region in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) back in the day, transporting large consignments of goods. Over the years, we gradually expanded these operations to our current presence in Africa. At present we can proudly say that we are in the top three clearing and freight forwarding agencies in every country where we are active.
Mrs. Maya Feng
China is a massive country, with many provinces and ports. Could you please tell us about the main ports in the Shandong province, where your main office is located? Which ports are generally used for moving project cargo in and out?
China is indeed a big country and possesses the largest numbers of ports in the world. In the Shandong province, there are several ports: Qingdao port, Yantai port, Tianjin port, Rizhao port, Weihai port and some foreign trade port groups. Our company is located in Qingdao, Shanghai, Tianjin, Dalian, Ningbo, Shenzhen, Guangzhou and other port cities. The operation of project cargo usually takes place in Qingdao, Dalian, Guangzhou and, especially, Shanghai and Tianjin ports.
Dry Port In Vientiane, Laos
Kerry Logistics Network Limited (‘Kerry Logistics’; Stock Code 0636.HK) announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding between its subsidiary, KLN (Singapore) Pte Ltd, and Laos’s Sitthi Logistics for the establishment of a joint venture to develop a dry port in the Vientiane Logistics Park in Laos. The signing ceremony was held today and attended by the Deputy Prime Minister of Laos, Sonexay Siphandone, as the guest of honour. The move is part of Kerry Logistics’ development strategy to seek accelerated growth in ASEAN by developing an integrated Greater Mekong Region platform covering Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos.
APL Strengthens Trans-Pacific Portfolio of Service
APL announced the introduction of the new Central China – Loop 3 (CC3) service; and enhancement of the South China – Loop 3 (SC3) service, both serving the Asia-North America trade lane.
Growth in container traffic with German ports reflects strength of Swedish economy
Sweden fills fourth place in the Top Ten of the Port of Hamburg trading partners and is a strong economy. With 11.8 percent growth to 334,000 TEU in 2018, the kingdom made a positive showing among Baltic container traffic services. Sweden actually ranks second among trading partners in Europe. With the advance based on loaded boxes, the process of catching up is already in its second year.
Containerships: The New Multimodal Transport Intra-European Leader
Containerships: a single brand resulting from the union of Containerships and MacAndrews, two experts in intra-European multimodal transport.
A combined offer of 26 maritime services and 8 inland services operated through a fleet of
32 vessels and 700 trucks
Claude Lebel appointed new CEO of Containerships to promote the development of the
new single brand
A new logo reflecting Containerships’ integration into the CMA CGM Group
The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, is pleased to announce the union of its Containerships and MacAndrews brands under the single Containerships brand.
Freighter Travel: A Cargo Trip from Cape Town to Rotterdam
I came across this interesting footage on youtube about a Swiss gentleman who first biked through Africa and then took a multipurpose ship home from South Africa to Europe. Now that is impressive and as an avid traveller by containership myself (whenever the wife allows which current is every 2 years) I surely can recommend it (though perhaps not the biking) . I just booked my trip onboard CMA CGM CHOPIN from Singapore to Melbourne end of June. 18 days through the Indian Ocean to Australia awaits.
MTU Rail Engines For Sri Lanka
Rolls-Royce Power Systems and Chinese company Dongfang Electric International Corp. have reached agreement on the supply of four MTU 12V 4000 R41 rail engines to be installed in railcars made by CRRC, the world’s largest train manufacturer, and operated by Sri Lanka Railways. This is the fourth time since the year 2007 that Sri Lanka Railways has chosen MTU drive systems.
Toray to double production of water treatment membranes in China
Japanese materials manufacturer Toray Industries will build a new plant to make water treatment membranes in China, doubling its production capacity in a country facing water shortages.
Chinese Construction Giant CGGC Signs Contract for Pakistani Dam Project
Chinese construction and engineering company China Gezhouba Group Co (CGGC) has signed a contract with Pakistani authorities to take part in a hydropower project valued at 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in the south Asian country, the company has said.
Kenya begins construction of biggest drug factory in Africa
Constructions works on Africa’s biggest Aids drug factory in Kenya has commenced and is being developed under a partnership between the government and the Global Fund and local drug manufacturers at cost of US $100m.
Ecoener to build 22.4 MW of wind in Canary Islands
Spanish independent power producer (IPP) Ecoener SL will build five wind parks totalling 22.4 MW in the Canary Islands, several local media reported on Thursday.
The wind farms will be equipped with turbines supplied by Germany’s Enercon GmbH.
High Altitude Happy Hour Onboard Emirates
Your editor taking charge for a couple on minutes onboard the Emirates A380 from Hong Kong. Business and First class has a bar area – perfect place to mingle and meet in the sky.
Hong Kong / Beijing by Train in 9 Hours
One has to be impressed by the infrastructure of China nowadays. The US and Europe are lagging far behind in the development of their rail networks and the EU, as usual, still cannot agree on standards or how to work properly together seamlessly between the countries in order to live up to their LOFTY green goals of moving transport from road and air to rail.
In China however nothing is a problem and nothing is discussed forever. 9 hrs from Hong Kong to Beijing by fast train. If you calculate 3 hrs by flight, 2 hours in advance at the airport and 1 hr or so to the airport the difference is perhaps max 3 hrs in total AND you can work during your train trip. I have to try this when in Asia next.