It’s Thursday 25th April and the last issue before we celebrate as workers of the world unite on May 1st next week. Hopefully we are in all your inboxes and, if not, I hope you all remembered to check your spam folders as well.
Generally, we are all inundated by daily emails and I must admit (being editor-in-chief of this newsletter) that I, or rather, we, must share some of the blame for the inbox and email pollution that we all face. I recall a time when I worked as a logistics manager (and not very well by the way) at the mobile telecom company Ericsson’s joint venture in Beijing. It struck me that when anyone either replied to all or bcc’d some twenty people in the same email string, it meant that, often, the person really wanted to be noticed.
Perhaps that is what we are coming to as a society, the drive to be noticed, not only through email, but also via social media, Again, I can point no fingers because three of them are pointing back at me. Still, without arrogance, I believe we should be proud of what we do and focus on solving problems head on. But only with people who are involved, rather than cc’ing in a bunch of people, just to demonstrate how ’active’ we are.
You can’t judge a dog by its hair and that means that sometimes people put in twelve-hour days but aren’t at all efficient. Also, being constantly distracted by the plainsong of social media is makes one less efficient than someone who can focus, concentrate and finish one task at a time in an eight-hour shift. It was reported and, I suspect, it’s probably old news but many apps on our smartphones can monitor our movements down to the detail. Did you ever try to google your own name? There’s no doubt that our data is up for grabs and is readily for sale to anyone by anyone.
The UK’s Cambridge Analytica and other similar companies around the world need to be given rulesets so that we regular users aren’t exposed to undue monitoring and surveillance. Mr. Edward Snowden from the US, now languishing in Russia, can certainly tell us a story about the NSA in America, but I believe that China’s public security bureau and Russia’s FSB can similarly provide fuel to the fire surrounding surveillance, control and for what purpose this information is being used. Of course, I do like being able to know where my kids are thanks to tracking devices, but I also hope that the wife doesn’t have a tracking device on me when I claim that I am on a business trip or in a meeting, as we all know what that could mean, right?
Regarding surveillance, I don’t know where we are headed but I find it scary indeed that if we allow AIs or software to become so complex and powerful that it overrides human instinct, we may have more than a couple of Boeing 737MAXes on our hands, or another Viking Sky failure. Things have become so technical that even the guys running these systems can’t master everything. It is time that we questioned those in authority who are sitting behind screens. Double check with your IT guys, check with others to get second opinions, double check the diagnoses you get from your doctors and dentists and ask more than one bank when you seek a loan etc. It’s a bit like that line from All the President’s Men where the guy said to, “forget the myths the media has created about the White House, the truth is they are simply not very bright guys”. Food for thought indeed regarding our overall interactions with authorities of all kinds in the IT age.
Turning to business this week, we first visit the great city of Shanghai. We have interviews with two local project freight forwarders each with their own special strengths in project freight forwarding. As you all know, we always need to check carefully when dealing with Chinese freight forwarders as there have been many scams involving companies, particularly located in Shenzhen. I believe that most of you have received the email reading ‘Dear Friend, best rates for you’ and so on, on a weekly basis. However, if you read the interviews we have for you, you’ll discover a couple of very reliable companies in the greater Shanghai area. We finish off by talking to a network, also based in China, that’s focused on linking up Chinese and foreign freight forwarders, enabling you to better control with whom you are doing business. Finally, we end our newsletter with shipping news, sector news and the Wise Words that you may find useful.
Until next week, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Mr. Winston Xing
Winston, first of all, please tell us about yourself. When did you start your career in shipping and freight forwarding? Why did you choose this kind of career? Are you, yourself, from Shanghai?
When I graduated from Nanjing University in 1990, I happened to get a chance to work for an Italian forwarding company in Shanghai. At that time, the forwarding business was quite new in China and, frankly speaking, I knew absolutely nothing about shipping and forwarding. I decided to take the chance because I would earn a relatively higher salary in the market. So, I moved from my hometown Nanjing to Shanghai in 1990 and set up the first representative office in China for Saima Avandero.
Mr. Victor Lee
When did you start your career in shipping and logistics? Could you tell us about your background? Are you from Shanghai or from somewhere else in China?
I started in shipping and logistics industry when I graduated from university but, in fact, I entered the industry by accident. I was originally planning to engage in international trade.
I started with an internship in Shenzhen and after nearly three years there, I was transferred to Shanghai as a department manager to expand my business. After that, I was appointed general manager of the Ningbo Branch, which lasted until 2014 when I joined Shanghai Beetle as co-founder.
Ms. Grace Sun
How many paid members to you have and what are your requirements for membership?
The GLA family has over a thousand logistics enterprises from 145 countries. Any enterprises that wish to join GLA should have been established for at least 3 years, have good reputations in the logistics industry and should be without bad debt to other companies etc.
A new potential GLA member needs to provide the following materials for membership:
- Passport copies, ID cards for each of the owners.
- Registration license.
- 3 trade references with company names and contact information.
- Company profile.
- Office photo with the company logo.
- Copies of any other membership certificate or government association certificate.
Port of Rauma
PCW prefers to give a voice to smaller ports around the world and this week we provide you with some footage from the port of RAUMA on the West coast of Finland in the BALTIC. Have been to Rauma many times in the past when I visited the country of more than 100,000 lakes, FINLAND.
Swire Bulk & China Navigation launch MV Wulin
Swire has a long history in bulk shipping and is active in many trades linking Asia to the world. With roots in Hong Kong Swire is truly a big group in terms of shipping, trading in the true traditional sense of the word. Here a video depicting some of their newbuildings launched couple of years ago. Swire also recently took over the bulk activities of Hamburg Sud now that the they sold out to Maersk Line for their container shipping part.
Flat Rail – how to ship Break Bulk as OOG
An interesting concept here from Bespoke Load Solutions, UK about how they manage to solve the predicament of having cargoes that sometimes are too large for loading onto 40ft flatrack containers. https://www.bespokeloadsolutions.com/flat-rail/
Russia seeks Chinese support in developing Arctic shipping routes
Last week we had an introduction from COSCO about their Northern Route plans for shipping this season – here is more news about the matter from a more political level between Russia and China which, no doubt, will impact on shipping too.
Russia wants to team up with China to build an Arctic shipping route, its ambassador to Beijing has said. Moscow recently set out an ambitious programme to build new ports and other infrastructure facilities to increase cargo shipments across the Arctic, also known as the Northern Sea Route.
Russian ambassador Andrey Denisov told the South China Morning Post that negotiations over the supply of Russian gas to China through a route known as Power of Siberia Two were at an advanced stage.
ZIM Joins Trade Lens to Drive Transparency in Global Shipping
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services announced today that it has signed on as a member of TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping solution jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) and IBM (NYSE: IBM).
TradeLens uses blockchain technology to enable trust between multiple trading partners – from carriers to freight forwarders, customs officials, port authorities and more — when transacting in a digitized global trade documentation process.
Digital Container Shipping Association established
Digitalisation is on everyone’s lips, even in shipping. Among many competitors, even they seem to find common ground.
Ocean Network Express (ONE) announces that A.P. Moller –Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express establish Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) in The Netherlands. Industry veterans form leadership team, with Thomas Bagge appointed as CEO.
Zeaborn Group takes full ownership of Zeamarine
The Zeaborn Group has signed an agreement to acquire the remaining ownership interests in Zeamarine held by New Mountain Capital. The Zeamarine joint venture was formed in August 2018 when New Mountain Capital and Zeaborn agreed to combine the commercial activities of Intermarine, Zeaborn Chartering and Rickmers-Line under the umbrella of Zeamarine, creating one of the world’s largest MPP carriers.
Elephant in The Room
Booms and busts in business, just like ups and downs in marriages, come at regular intervals. What worries the undersigned nowadays is the global debt situation. In other words, countries living beyond their means. It’s an advantage to be able to print your own money of course, but it’s also true that the longer you delay facing the correction and pain, the harder it’s going to get, and signs are that we are in for a major bust affecting us all at some point. Here’s an interesting newsletter to follow on that very subject.
Among the many concerns highlighted at last week’s World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings and IIF events—including the Washington Policy Summit, Global Debt and Financial Stability Roundtable, and Sustainable Finance Roundtable—are growing risks for low-income countries and the spectre of a new wave of sovereign debt crises over the next several years.
USCG Offloads Drugs Worth $60M at Port Everglades
The shipping of drugs is shipping too and it’s amazing the amount of money that’s involved in this trade, isn’t it? Can’t (mainly) the US do something about demand? Here’s the latest news from a major drug bust on the high seas, close to the USA.
On Thursday, the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Bear offloaded about seven tons of marijuana and nearly two tons of cocaine. The drugs are worth more than $60 million wholesale.
The narcotics were seized off Mexico and Central and South America in five separate interdictions. As is usual for the Coast Guard’s drug offloads, multiple vessels contributed to the Bear’s haul.
Aurobindo announces €3m investment in oncology facility in Malta
Pharmaceutical company Aurobindo has announced a €3 million investment in a new oncology testing facility in Malta.
This is understood to be the third investment made towards its Malta facilities and coincides with the organisation’s celebration of its 10th year anniversary.
China-sponsored drinking water project breaks ground in Costa Rica
Construction of a China-sponsored
drinking water project is underway in Costa Rica and will help meet the needs
of over 26,000 residents in the cities of Canas and Bebedero.
During the project’s inauguration with the laying of the first pipeline on Wednesday in Canas, some 120 km away from the capital San Jose, Costa Rica’s presidential chief of staff Rodolfo Piza stressed the significance of local access to clean, safe drinking water after years of severe drought.
Stadler wins in Finland: 60 locomotives from VR Group.
Finland´s VR Group and Stadler have signed a contract for the supply of 60 new diesel-electric
locomotives to improve the operational efficiency in marshaling yards, freight terminals and on nonelectrified lines which make up 45 percent of the Finnish rail network.
The contract signed by Rolf Jansson, CEO VR Group and Iñigo Parra, CEO Stadler Valencia, includes the supply of 60 diesel-electric locomotives and an option for up to 100 additional locomotives, as well as the possibility to buy locomotive maintenance from Stadler. The contract’s value is approximately 200 million Euro.
GEA receives order for 20 Catfinemaster systems from Chinese shipbuilder
GEA has received an order for 20
CatFineMaster systems from a Chinese shipbuilding company, and the systems will
be installed on 10 oil tankers that are being built for a Danish company by
The CatFineMaster system – which consists of a heavy fuel oil separator as the core and a feed pump – help ships deal with the highly abrasive catalyst residues (‘cat fines’) found in fuels that have been produced by the catalytic cracking process.
Interesting Company: TSA Griddle Systems
TSA Griddle Systems is a privately owned company, specializing in designing, manufacturing and servicing industrial griddle machinery. We build high-output, reliable pancake, french toast, waffle, griddle cake, and batter-making machinery. In addition, TSA produce custom griddles for grilled sandwiches, blinis and omelets.