Week #43 – 2019

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In this edition: Samudera Group – Indonesia | Ningbo Connexion International – Ningbo, China | Aitken Spence – Colombo, Sri Lanka >>>

Week #43 | 24th October 2019

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday 24th October and that means we bring you another issue of Project Cargo Weekly. I will be visiting one of my favourite cities tomorrow, the city of Hamburg. Few cities of the world have such a nicely integrated mega port and city centre side by side and both with good restaurants, excellent shipping connections and proximity to where I live. It is always a pleasure to visit Hamburg and while I’m there, I will have a few meetings with shipowners and shipping agents. I will even stay privately in Hamburg with a friend of mine, whom I first met when working for the former Sinotrans/Rickmers joint venture in the mid-eighties. Networking is always best when it turns into a long-term friendship.

I am a bit saddened by what is happening in another one of my favourite cities, Hong Kong, where I originally got married first time in 1987. It seems that the ongoing protests, which are normally acceptable in any democracy, have gone overboard (to stay in the shipping parlance) and now consist of violence and vandalism. It’s the same as we have seen in Barcelona recently. I believe that this should never be tolerated and most likely it is the few (as usual) who ultimately destroy more for the many.

There is a saying in English that ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ which in this context means that those who make the most noise will get the media’s attention. The media, as we all know, never focuses on the silent majority, instead almost always focusing on the few that create the scary headlines. We tend to forget that news media are not here to report the facts, but they are here to earn money, so having balanced views and listening to both sides of a conflict is something that very few outlets master. Of course, you can fully trust Project Cargo Weekly, enough said. 

A TV program caught my attention this week. It aired on Swedish TV and it was a documentary, displaying the huge export business of e-waste out of Scandinavia and other parts of Europe. E-waste, after having been discarded here by users, is collected mainly by Eastern European traders, loaded into second-hand cars and shipped (using primarily Ro-Ro carriers, it seems) into West Africa. It’s a trade that goes on unabated and because of the stupidity of our Schengen agreement, virtually no-one checks what passes the borders until it reaches the shipping port of Hamburg.

There is a convention that states that we shouldn’t export our scrap or environmentally dangerous items to third world countries, but this is a trade that has gone on for years. Frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach to see that, whilst our overpaid politicians follow the green climate religion and blab in Brussels about environmental standards, we are so lax in checking what we are happily exporting to other countries. We’re letting them sort out our rubbish, burn the scrap electronics and, thus, destroy their water, soil and air. I have had enough of well-meaning politicians jetting around the world to tell everyone how to conduct their businesses and their lives. They do this whilst makes the average Joe Bloggs in the street pay exorbitant amounts ‘for the environment’.

I wonder when some of our climate activists last paid a visit to the gigantic scrap yards of Lagos, Nigeria or Tema, Ghana. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s good that second-hand items are still useful, but perhaps we in the west should learn to waste less, buy less and, above all, clean up our waste! I found a clip on YouTube from a French news source that very well depicts what I am talking about. Check it out below.

Ghanas E-Waste Graveyard video

Businesswise, this week we pay a visit to a very beautiful country that consists of thousands of islands. I even lived there from 1997-2000 with my second ex-wife on the island of Lombok. I am, of course, talking about Indonesia. There, we have an interview with a representative of Samudera, who tells us all about their vast archipelago and the logistical challenges and solutions that go with it. Next, we visit the port of Ningbo and talk to Ningbo Connexion, a local project freight forwarder active there. Finally, we return to the island of Sri Lanka and we revisit an interview with Aitken Spence, who has not only run logistics services but also hotels, ports and so on.

So, we think you should find this week’s issue to be very interesting! Needless to say, we provide you with the usual shipping news, trade intel, and wise words, and until next week, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen

AntwerpXL banner

Silkargo Indonesia – Samudera Group


Interview with

Mr. Muhammad Faqih
Managing Director

First, could you tell us about the history of Samudera Group? I understand that you are both a shipowner and a logistics provider?

Samudera Indonesia Group is known as the largest shipping and logistics group of companies in Indonesia. Founded on 13th November 1964 by Mr. Soedarpo Sastrosatomo, Samudera started its business as…

Ningbo Connexion International – Ningbo, China


Interview with

Mr. Ken Wang
Vice General Manager

Tell us about the Port of Ningbo in China. In which province is the port located and is it a good port for handling project and heavy-lift cargo?

The Port of Ningbo is in the Zhejiang province and is composed of the Beilun Port area, Zhenhai Port area, Daxie Port area, Chuanshan Port area, Meishan Port area and old Ningbo area. It is a combination of…

Aitken Spence – Colombo, Sri Lanka

Aitken Spence

Interview with

Mr. Milinda Balasooriya
Assistant Vice President

Tell us about Aitken Spence. When was it established, who owns it and when did the group get involved in freight forwarding?

Aitken Spence has been listed on the Colombo stock exchange since 1983. The company is a signatory to the United Nations’ Global Compact and has concentrated on…

Intermodal Europe
PCW-Shipping News

Container Ship Rescue at Sea

Editor’s Note:
The ocean is huge and, although you yourself may be on a large container vessel, virtually any size of ship is small once its out there sailing. You get an idea of the vastness of the ocean when you look at this video that I found describing how a Maersk Line container vessel searched for, and found, a yacht in distress.

Rescue at Sea

Anchoring Of Vessels

Editor’s Note:
Although you could say it is not exactly shipping news, I want to refresh everyone’s memory and know-how about what the anchor of a ship really does and how vital it has been for centuries in shipping. Read and refresh your knowledge through this interesting video

Anchoring Of Vessels

Scot Explorer Launched

Editor’s Note:
I used to work for Ben Line once and, barring the Dutch, the Scots are supposedly the most stingy people around. I recall being told a joke once that went, “How can you recognise a Scottish vessel on the horizon? There are no seagulls following it!”
Anyhow, Scotline, with its head office in the UK, just got their latest new building from a Dutch yard. Enjoy the beautiful pictures here and perhaps talk to them when you’ve got some regional project cargo to ship to Baltic/Intra Europe, or even elsewhere.

SE Launch
SE Launch

Scotline Marine Holdings are pleased to announce that on Friday 11th October 2019 the Scot Explorer was launched at Royal Bodewes Ship Yard in Groningen, Holland design means she is capable of carrying 7,000 cbm of sawn Swedish timber.

She has been built to comply with all the latest legislation including provisions to be ready for the ballast water treatment system. The Scot Explorer will have a length of 89.98 meters, a beam of 15.20 meters, a maximum sailing draft of 5.68 meters and cubics of 240,000 cbf (6650 cbm). She will be powered by a MaK engine, will be sailing under the British Flag like the rest of the Scotline fleet and classed under Lloyd’s Register. Scot Explorer is expected to be fully operational and delivered in at the end of November 2019.

CMA CGM Launches Shipfin Trade Finance

Editor’s Note:
New products from the shipping lines are seeing the light of day. Not only do some shipowners profess to be able to handle door-to-door transport, either in conjunction with or in competition with the traditional freight forwarders, but there also now exist products, here from CMA CGM, that help exporters with the financing of their export. As we all know, many a good idea has faltered because of cashflow, and not for other reasons. Interesting.

The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, is pleased to announce the launch of Shipfin Trade Finance, its new range of financing services dedicated to importing and exporting, in partnership with Incomlend, a global invoice finance platform.


Ukraine to Build its First Float Glass Factory

In a first for the country, a float glass factory will be built in Ukraine. The factory will be built in Borodyanka in the Kiev region, with the total investment amounting to €300 million. Production capacity is planned to be at 600 tonnes per day and will create 300 jobs.

Beijer Ref Invests in New Plant for Green Refrigeration Technology

In order to meet the market demand for refrigeration based on natural refrigerants, the production capacity of the subsidiary SCM Frigo is being expanded with a new plant.

SCM Frigo S.p.a, based outside Padua, Italy, is one of Beijer Ref’s fastest growing subsidiaries. The company develops refrigeration systems based on the environmentally friendly refrigerant CO2. SCM Frigo is one of the global leaders in the market.

Hursan Press – New Distributor in Sweden

Hursan Press is a leading manufacturer of hydraulic presses in Turkey with an impressive factory in Konya located in central Turkey. The production includes workshop presses up to 200 tonnes and production presses up to 3000 tonnes with customized automation solutions. Olson’s Machine Service has signed an agreement to represent Hursan’s broad press program in Scandinavia and the Baltics.

Featured Project Shipment

Editor’s Note:
Scandinavian based project freight forwarder Tschudi Logistics Group recently handled the transportation of steel structures from Spain for the Hisings Bridge in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Tschudi Logistics Group


PCW-Featured Video

Top 20 Busiest Ports in the World

Editor’s Note:
A nice compilation from this year about the world’s twenty largest container ports. Watch this and perhaps be impressed by world trade and world containerisation.

Top 20 Busiest ports in the world
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
Close to Kingston, Jamaica, as seen from the container vessel MV Lutetia, en-route to Cartagena.

MV Lutetia, en-route to Cartagena
PCW-Wise Words