It’s Thursday 10th October and I have just returned from South Africa. As I mentioned in the newsletter last week, my impressions from attending the FIATA global conference were very positive! It was a great networking event and I managed to personally meet with about 120 people over three days from various parts of the African continent as well as, of course, many more from around the world. It dawned on me whilst sitting on the flight back (in the back of the plane too, and unable to sleep), that there seems to be a gigantic development coming in the field of shipping and logistics in Africa.
Of course, it has been talked about for years, but somehow, judging from the people that I met from Ghana, Congo, Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya and more, the African sentiment is very upbeat and positive! To my mind, it seems that Africa is one of the only remaining relatively undeveloped areas of the world and this is considerably true in logistics and shipping, whether regarding ports, inland transport or even customs regulations. However, great strides are being finally taken through the signing of the African Continent Free Trade agreement, and yet I must admit that I am a novice when it comes to understanding about Africa. However, I am now determined to rectify my lack of knowledge by really developing a sense of the great continent through more visits, more attention to the diversity of the continent and more in-depth analysis of the history of the continent where we Europeans, to a great degree, seemingly extracted what we needed and left little behind.
Looking into some Swiss bank accounts (that they just keep on keeping secret in that little country) would no doubt reveal just how many local leaders and presidents have amassed wealth extracted from their own peoples in the name of ‘freedom’. I suppose people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, but it has always amazed me what use anyone could have for, say, an extra ten million dollars? Twenty? A hundred? As Bud Fox says to Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, “How much is enough Gordon? How many jets you can water-ski behind?”
So, thinking of Africa, what comes to my mind first is animals, beauty and greed, but also wonderful people from whom we could learn a lot, including styles of music, colours etc. Let’s hope that the continent is on the right track going forward. As you may have surmised, I have decided that this issue of PCW should be somewhat dedicated to Africa, and I have chosen to republish interviews we have had from North, South, East and West Africa, so that you can gain a balanced view. Although, of course, we can only cover a tiny bit of the massive continent in one issue.
A very important thing that I would like to stress in this newsletter is everyone’s responsibility for saving and protecting wildlife. At the FIATA exhibition centre, I became aware of an NGO called Traffic that is fighting against animal trafficking, and we are, as freight forwarders and logistics providers as well as shipowners, responsible for being alert as to what we are transporting. Traffic and FIATA have subsequently launched an online course that I think could be of interest to you all.
You can see the related press release here, as well as a photo montage below.
Usually, I include some political commentary in each newsletter. However, strangely enough, this week I haven’t any comments to make. Perhaps that’s for the good reason that my recovery after the trip took a couple more days than I expected. Also, it could be that meeting and talking to so many interesting people in such a short period of time rendered my level of energy for matters of politics non-existent.
However, I hope you will enjoy this African-focussed newsletter. Of course, we have our reliable shipping news and trade intelligence, a video of African ports as well as some African wise words, so please do read on!
As always, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Compagnie Maritime de Consignation (CMC) – Tunisia, North Africa
Mr. Noureddine Mannai
Is it possible to tranship cargo via Tunisian ports to other places in North Africa, or is this seldom done?
Transhipment from Tunisia to Algeria is possible, but this is seldom done. Transhipment is mainly done via Sfax port for project cargo heading to Southern Algeria (Oil fields and industry). Sfax port is closer to Southern Algeria than any…
FATS (Forwarding African Transport Services) – Durban, South Africa
Ms. Caron Harris
How about customs clearance in South Africa? Is it troublesome? What about procedures in case of transhipment to other countries? Are there any rules of thumb?
The South African Revenue Authority (SARS) has a state of art online customs EDI system and it works very well and efficiently. You must remember that South Africa is both…
Skyline Logistics Ltd – Nairobi, Kenya, East Africa
Mr. Eric Mailu
Tell us about the main ports of Kenya – which are mainly used for the country’s import/export and which are mainly used for project cargo?
Currently we only have one in Kenya, Mombasa Port, which serves all…
Globetrans S.A. – Conakry, Guinea, West Africa
Mr. Alexandre Camara
Your country is rich in resources. Does this mean that you regularly have a lot of project related shipments to/from Guinea?
Yes, I can confirm this. Unfortunately, historically Guinea has had a very low level of domestic production! But also, because it’s in the middle of a…
Young Freight Forwarder Honoured at FIATA World Congress
FIATA is right in considering how to get young and clever people to join our industry, so it was indeed a good idea to honour the young freight forwarders of the year at the recently held FIATA world congress in Cape Town.
For over twenty years both FIATA, the global federation of international logistic service providers and freight forwarders, and TT Club, the specialist insurer for the freight and logistics industry, have championed the development of young professionals in freight forwarding. Now in its twenty-second year, the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year (YIFFY) Award has been supported by both organisations in order to promote this mission.
FIATA Wraps Up Successful World Congress in Cape Town
Attending the FIATA congress was a great experience and here you will find the wrap up press release, which you might find insightful.
Established in 1926, with their headquarters in Switzerland, the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) is the world’s largest transport and logistics organisation. It represents an industry of approximately 40,000 forwarding and logistics firms and employs approximately four million people in 150 countries.
New MIAX Service Now Available on Quick Quotes
I recently attended the launch party of the MIAX service in Cape Town. Here is the latest development in Hapag’s forward push for providing freight rate quotations in a smart and I.T. savvy way.
Hapag-Lloyd Quick Quotes allows you to get instant quotations, wherever you are, whenever you need. By generating transparent, real time online quotations for your container shipments, Quick Quotes makes the quotation process tremendously fast, easy and convenient. Another great advantage: you can use the system around the clock, worldwide.
Green Cycle Tour South Africa 2019
During the FIATA conference I was approached by the coordinator of South Africa Green Cycle tour. It might interest some of you since going green is now so high on everyone’s agenda. They are looking for sponsors for their cycle trip in the Cape Town area on November 30th. If you are in South Africa end of November and interested in supporting this event, then please read more below.
The event is an open family green cycle tour in which the public is invited to be part of the green cycling community. The event is a community and open family cycle tour.
The cycle tour carries an environmental message across all ages, and it is an awareness public event. People are encouraged to sign a petition and commit to be part of the #GreenCycleMovementSouthAfrica, which runs on social media.
Your Weekly African Business News Roundup
Africa is a large continent with many countries, In short, it’s difficult to keep up with them all. I have found, however, a well-informed newsletter that I would like to point your attention to, i.e. African Business, which has a weekly news round-up. As politics and business including shipping business hangs together, we need, as shipping people, to understand what is happening on the political front to know which projects are coming and which are in the pipeline.
The leaders of Africa’s biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, met in Pretoria on Thursday to heal a rift caused by a wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa last month.
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement
In 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was founded by the independent states of Africa. The OAU aimed to promote cooperation between African states. The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action was adopted by the organization. The plan suggested Africa should minimize reliance upon the West by promoting intra-African trade.
Yorkshire Manufacturer Wins Swedish Contract
West Yorkshire-based Rosehill Rail has won a contract to supply products to Trafikverket, the Swedish transport administration. The Sowerby Bridge company, through its partner Lesanco, will supply Trafikverket with anti-trespass panels for use across Sweden.
Andrew Knight, export manager at Rosehill Rail, said: “This deal is great news for both Rosehill Rail and Lesanco, whose teams have worked tirelessly over the last three years to bring it to fruition.
K-C Invests US$40M in Costa Rica Plant
Kimberly-Clark (K-C) has announced a significant investment plan at its Coris Mill in Costa Rica. The expansion programme includes more than US$40m investment in Coris Mill and the creation of jobs at its Global Business Services centre.
K-C Costa Rica employs over 1,500 collaborators who produce over five million products daily to supply the domestic and regional markets…
Fransabank Secures EIB funds for Lebanese Glass Container Manufacturing Facility
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a $24m (£19.5m) loan to Lebanon’s banking group Fransabank SAL to finance the new glass container manufacturing facility in the country.
Fransabank has signed a financing agreement with EIB to support the construction of a Greenfield glass container manufacturing plant in Lebanon.
How Things Work: Port of Mombasa
Our choice of featured port video this week shows the port of Mombasa, Kenya. Please enjoy this footage.
Freighter Travel: A Cargo Trip from Cape Town to Rotterdam
Since we are dedicating this week’s newsletter almost exclusively to Africa, it makes sense also to show you a nice video about a freighter cruise from Cape Town to Europe. I was just in Cape Town, staying right across from the docks, where this passenger likely boarded, as I had a MACS vessel alongside there for a couple of days.
A view of a berthed MACS breakbulk vessel in Cape Town, South Africa.