Right now I am on a train between Sundsvall and Stockholm where I just paid a visit to SCA Logistics who are running RORO services from continental Europe into the Baltic (see their introduction here).
It is Thursday, the 13th of February and time for me to try making some sense of the week that has passed. I am loathed to write more about the coronavirus except to say that it is still a horrific event and it seems to go on unabated. There have been serious consequences for many, with some paying the ultimate price and a yet unknown impact on the World economy.
A friend of mine in Shanghai sent me some pictures showing what a ghost town the city looks like now (see here) and I have seen similar from Beijing and other cities in China, something that I never imagined I would ever see. Let us hope that the combined efforts of China and the World will result in a reversal of this virus and that we will all learn from it! We also depend on each other more than ever before and it seems no border or Great Wall anywhere is able to contain anything or anyone.
I have just reorganised my own travel plans and thus canceled my trip to join Breakbulk Asia in Shanghai (combined with a trip to Hong Kong). Instead, I will be visiting Breakbulk Middle East in Dubai 24-28/2 and then New York City and Lisbon on the way back to Stockholm. Although the flight from Dubai to New York is long, it is on Emirates with whom I find flights to be a pleasure almost always, irrespective of the seat class.
I haven’t visited the big apple for a few years but I heard that prices haven’t gone down and that it’s as expensive as ever. Tipping is customary there, as usual, no matter the service is good or bad. Let’s see, it will be nice to visit the city that never sleeps. Although it is not a project cargo shipping hub, I am still hopeful to meet up with a few project cargo specialists during my stay.
On the political front, nothing much has happened, the show must go on, in particular in US politics. As for the EU, there have been many meetings, of course, but few, if any, concrete decisions. So yes, we in the EU still live in an area that NYK used to refer to, in their shipping ads a few years ago, as “borderless”. The talk is now (for the 6th or 7th year in a row) about how to strengthen the EU’s external borders. With all the inaction of the EU, we see misery and tragedies unfold, especially in the over-capacity refugee camps of Greece and elsewhere. Human traffickers are having a field day and naive NGO’s that think they are doing good may have to rethink their strategy and business model.
In shipping this week I am focusing on the giant continent of Africa. First, we talk with Ginchi Trading, a logistics provider in the landlocked country of Ethiopia, which is developing rapidly. After that, we speak to a French shipowner called Navitrans, running a West African coastal service between several countries. Finally, we end-up in the South of Africa where we speak to the Italian owner of Global Logistics Alliance who settled in Cape Town many years ago. It surely takes incredible food to get an Italian to leave his home country, but believe me, they do have exactly that in Cape Town, incredible food and wine!
As usual, this week we also have shipping news, trade intel, some interesting videos, and pictures for you before we finish off with wise words.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Ginchi Logistics – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mr. Tesfa Dagnachew
Ethiopia is a rapidly developing country with a strategic location. Tell us about the seaborne trade. How does it reach Ethiopia mainly, and can you tell us about the ports and airports that are primarily used since Ethiopia is landlocked?
Ethiopia is the world’s 12th most populous country (estimated at 114,963,588 according to 2020 data from the UN) and at the same time, the fastest developing country. We say we are a land-linked country. Our main sea gateway is Djibouti Port which handles more than 85% of the volume of both imports and exports to Ethiopia. We use Port Sudan in North Sudan and Berbera in Somalia for the balance of the volumes. Our main airport gateway is Addis Ababa International Bole Airport with a capacity of 22 million passengers and 1.2 million tons of cargo per year.
Mr. Loïc Adigard des Gautries
Chief Commercial Officer
What are your main activities in Navitrans – we understand that Africa is very much in your focus?
Africa is clearly at the heart of our operations and day to day developments: 18 out of our 20 countries covered are in Africa. Navitrans has always been, since day one, linked to Africa and will continue to be. Our vision is to be the most sought after and respected service provider in the Marine, Freight Forwarding & Project industry in Africa.
Global Logistics Alliance (GLA) – Cape Town, South Africa
Mr. Giuseppe Arnoldi
Do you have much experience in handling project cargo and could you provide us with some examples of the same?
Yes we have a great deal of experience in providing logistics services for the construction of CSP and PV solar plants. In fact, our company has successfully completed the logistics services for the below listed solar plants.
We awarded three projects for Scatec Solar. This project is comprised of three different sites, each of 86 MW of Photovoltaic solar.
Breakbulk Asia Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak
Breakbulk Asia organizers have decided to postpone the event, originally scheduled for 18-19 March to a later date in 2020.
This decision has been reached after considering the challenges and uncertainty caused by the restrictions on travel to, from and within China.
Breakbulk will announce the new show dates in 2020 imminently.
AAL Celebrates 25Th Anniversary with Launch of a Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service
Launching this month, the Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service will connect main ports between Europe, Middle East / India and Asia, to serve the market’s MPP & project heavy lift cargo transport requirements.
In celebration of its milestone 25th year of operations, the award-winning multipurpose and project heavy lift carrier, AAL Shipping, has announced the launch of a new service – the Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service – that will offer the market trusted and scheduled monthly liner sailings, connecting main ports between Europe, Middle East / India and Asia. It will harness AAL’s 2nd generation 31,000 dwt ‘mega-size’ A-Class fleet, renowned for its 40,000 cbm cargo intake capacity and 700t lift capability.
Yang Ming Ship Arrested in Australia for Pollution Debt
You pollute, you clean up and pay the bill, of course. However, nothing was ever cheap in Australia when it comes to cleaning up. Wages are high, coffee breaks are many, and with all the safety hats and gears they need to wear for doing anything down there, no wonder any bill will shoot up. It would seem that arresting a ship, in order to squeeze the shipping line to pay-up, is a bit extreme. This should be dealt with on a government level as Yangming Line belongs to the Taiwan government. At least that is the editors view.
The sister ship of the YM Efficiency, which lost 81 shipping containers off the coast of Newcastle and Port Stephens in June 2018, has been arrested in Sydney for a pollution debt that could reach as high as AU$20 million ($13.4 million).
Namibian Ports Authority – Namport Newsletter
Another interesting bulletin from Namibia, and since we cover East, West and South Africa in this issue, why not South West Africa, which was the former name of Namibia.
Namport Executive: ICT Victor Ashikoto hosted the Premier of Gauteng Province, South Africa, Hon David Makhura, as well as Hon Cleophas Mutjavikua, Governor of the Erongo region on 30 December 2019 at the Port of Walvis Bay.
Coronavirus Disrupts Global Container Shipping
The corona virus is wreaking havoc in greater parts of Asia and with almost deserted streets in most cities of China and now also in Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere. It would seem that we are all being affected one way or another, so shipping is affected too, of course. Let’s hope the world learns something from this outbreak and China, in particular, starts to deal with old habits in the interior when it comes to live markets, hygiene and overall cleanliness. Sacking a few officials won’t do something about the root cause of this, i.e. lack of education and too much tradition.
China’s fast-spreading coronavirus is throwing the global container shipping trade out of sync, with lines re-routing cargoes and reducing calls to Chinese ports, setting the scene for months of delivery delays ahead, industry sources said. The spread of the deadly virus has shut down cities and factories in China and disrupted global air travel.
Orano wins further MOX order from Japan
French Orano has signed a contract with Japan’s Nuclear Fuel Industries (NFI) for the fabrication of 32 MOX fuel assemblies for the Takahama 3 and 4 reactors operated by Kansai Electric Power Company (Kansai). Mixed oxide fuel, or MOX, is nuclear fuel made from reprocessed plutonium and uranium.
Retech Systems Shifts Operations
Ukiah, California-based vacuum alloys furnace maker Retech Systems LLC has announced shifts in production and research and development (R&D) away from its long-time home in California.
According to a late 2019 announcement from the firm, Retech will “transition much of the manufacturing and assembly previously done in Ukiah to facilities in Świebodzin, Poland.” Retech has been part of the larger Poland-based SECO/Warwick group of companies since 2011.
SolarEdge Secures Major European C&I Inverter Deal
Major PV inverter company, SolarEdge Technologies has secured a significant single deal of around 1GW to supply PV inverters and power optimizers for European commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop projects that will be financed, built, and operated by Enfindus.
Denmark’s Orana to Invest $ 1.5 mn to Setup Plant in Sri Lanka
Denmark-based Orana, one of the world’s largest suppliers of fruit based raw materials for dairy products, beverages and bakery products plans to invest US$ 1.5 million to set up a fruit processing plant in Sri Lanka.
Port Authority of Guam – Modernization at a Glance
Guam was famous during the 2nd World War for naval battles raging there between the Japanese Imperial Navy and the US Navy. Here is an update from the port of Guam and I wonder if it wouldn’t also be a place to visit as a tourist.
Voyage Through the Suez Canal
Filmed whilst onboard CMA CGM Andromeda en route to Jeddah. Standing at the bow of the vessel proceeding slowly through the Suez Canal is a marvel to behold.
Power of Huawei P30 zoom used in the Indian Ocean. Outline of a container vessel on the horizon then using zoom an OOCL container vessel can be seen.