It is Thursday the 9th of April, 2020. In Denmark this date has a special meaning. It was the very date in 1940 that the Germans occupied Denmark during the Second World War.
History repeats itself, or so they say, but let us hope not. We still remain a flat country, easy for tanks to roll through on the way north, and the highest “mountain” only lifts itself off the ground by about 147 m or so.
Nowadays, we are mainly “invaded” by the Germans arriving in their cars which they can buy at about 1/2 the price of a car in Denmark, and although they do add a lot to our tourism income, they also are known for bringing most of their necessities with them. I don’t know whether it’s because of our traditionally high price level or their stinginess.
We are good neighbours nowadays, however, and Denmark did get off “lightly” in during World War II as opposed to many other countries in the world. I just finished reading a book about Stalin and his utter failure to beat the Finns during his winter campaign. A former customer from Finland (a veteran) once told me whether you fry a Russian in butter or in oil, he remains a Russian. So for the older generation up there and perhaps around the world, they won’t forget the aggressors from the past.
NATO, the European Union, etc. all are supposed to symbolize unity, but with the on-going COVID-19 crisis, we have again seen that this is mere lofty talk from what I normally call an overpaid, bureaucrat-ridden EU headquarters in Brussels.
For example, Swedish importer Molnlycke, famous for their sanitary products, had tons of face masks stopped illegally in France although they were deliveries for the worst-hit countries of Spain and Italy. Only after the Swedish foreign minister threatened “legal” action did the French finally budge and instruct their own enormous bureaucracy to release the items. So much for the open market.
This COVID-19 crisis will show that the national states will NEVER be governed fully by the EU, and it has shown that even the loudest of Eurocrat countries, notably France & Germany, are indeed the most selfish when push really comes to shove. Embarrassing, to say the least, but as we say in my home country, “Empty barrels always make the most noise.”
On another note, I listened to a podcast from the US, and to this day, I am still amazed at just how backward the country is in many ways when it comes to providing basic medical care for its citizens. Turn a corner in almost any city and you will find yourself in a 3rd world country where it is survival of the fittest. We, in Europe, sometimes practice survival of the unfittest, and in my humble view, we should find a way in between. Anyone can get sick, rich, poor, young or old, they should all get the care they need. A society should be judged by the way sick people are treated.
Minimum wage has been introduced, so how about a maximum wage as well? The general notion is that if we let capitalism have free reign and Wall Street have a free hand then “success” will trickle down, but the result is the opposite, isn’t it? This crisis has shown the gross inequality that is created by unfettered capitalism. “Wall Street” asking for government bailouts (whenever it rains a bit on them or their bonuses are touched) appears to have little to no regard for “Main Street” in a crisis. This is embarrassing in my view.
Well, with all my opinions from an armchair, it’s weird that I didn’t get into politics, so perhaps I should reduce my own rhetoric and focus on what I know a little about—shipping.
We start off in a small but very rich country with a well-known and famous airline—Qatar. We speak to Milaha which is a state logistics provider. They kindly tell us about their services in a country that has developed rapidly in recent years from a backward, desert area with access to the Persian Gulf to a modern, businesslike nation state.
We then visit the land of flamenco, wines, beaches, and drunken visitors from the rest of the EU—Spain. We spoke with Continental Worldwide Logistics Madrid who tells us about their company, and our thoughts are with them during this time of crisis as Spain is seriously hit by COVID-19. That they were able to take their time to reply to PCW shows just how resilient the Spaniards are.
We finally let you go with a story from the archives, and this week I have chosen to remind you about an interview we had with ISS Palumbo in The Netherlands which offers worldwide services, in particular in agency and oil/gas.
We provide you with trade intel, and it does show that companies are still entering into contracts. We list some recent shipping news that you might find interesting, and finally we round it off with our usual featured picture, video, and wise words.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Milaha – Doha, Qatar
Mr. Elias Abou Jawdeh
Senior Manager – Commercial
Qatar has many projects ongoing and coming up, kindly elaborate on the services that you can provide, shall we say, overseas project freight forwarders and customers in Qatar.
Qatar is well known in the region for its Oil and Gas project expertise. Milaha has played a major role in many industrial projects with global logistics requirements. With extensive project experience and diversified capabilities obtained throughout the years of operation in changing environments, Milaha is able to offer a complete solution for project cargo – be it onshore, offshore or both. From air and sea-freight forwarding, to land transport and warehousing, we give our clients engineered door-to-door, logistics solutions, as well as offering specialized equipment and skilled labor for managing warehousing & distribution and oil & gas facility yards of major upstream and downstream energy companies. Milaha is THE Qatar project forwarder; when it comes to project cargo and tailor made logistics solutions for the oil & gas industry, we are the preferred forwarder that every EPC can count on.
Continental Worldwide Logistics – Spain
Ms. Maria Jesus Fernandez
Branch Manager, Madrid
Tell us please about the history of Continental Worldwide Logistics (CWL). When did you establish the company? Who owns it today?
Continental W. Log. is a very active logistics company in Spain. We have over 20 years of experience, great organizational skills, extensive knowledge and technical resources, and a team of professionals of high level.
The beginning goes back to 1996, when our CEO, Luis Gimeno formed the company under the name of Continental Shipping to perform tasks of an international freight forwarder but with a clear focus on consolidating maritime LCL. Globalization and the new challenges it imposed on us led us to open our office in Barcelona in 2000 and then in 2008, our Madrid office. (I opened the Madrid office, in full crisis in 2008, starting from scratch.)
ISS Palumbo – Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Mr. Jan-Hein Dissel
Vice President Global
Where are your offices located around the world and is Rotterdam your head office?
ISS Palumbo’s head office is located in Livorno, Italy. Other Italian offices are situated in Genoa, Milan, and Rome. Globally, we have our own offices in Rotterdam (NL), Newcastle (UK), Dubai (UAE), Houston (US), Capetown (SA), Baku (AZ), Istanbul (Turkey), and Cairo (Egypt). Our teams with experienced, knowledgeable and motivated people, with a 24/7 attitude, are capable of handling all aspects of project freight forwarding and are always looking for the best possible solutions to our customers’ challenges.
ITIC Warns of Issues with Receiving Original Bills of Lading
As the world continues to face lockdowns due to the Coronavirus outbreak the International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued advice that warns port agents of issues with receiving original bills of lading.
Response to COVID-19, Closing the Skills Gap
In the times of COVID-19 we are stuck literally to our computers, so perhaps it’s an idea to start that on-line learning that you always thought about but never actually did. Here the latest from ICC Academy.
Australian Wharfies Refuse to Unload Ship
Australian wharfies were seldom overworked, even in their most stressful of times, and hardly have I heard of a place where more rests, coffee breaks and other benefits are included in the work agreement. Even back in the 1980’s when ACT was around they always included more days in their schedule because they knew of delays for whatever reason in Australian ports. However they may have a legitimate reason this time around in view of covid19, 2020.
The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) says three container ships that departed foreign ports in recent days are due to dock in Darwin this week, despite failing to undertake the 14 day coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine period. The union says the ships pose a clear health risk to workers and the community, and its comments come after union workers in Melbourne refused to unload another vessel.
Cabin Fever: Life Aboard the Quarantined Diamond Princess Cruise Ship
Saturday night fever with John Travolta was famous many kilos ago. There is now a new fever around which is far more dangerous and it even involves shipping, as this article “cabin fever” explains.
Hong Kong traveller Yardley Wong became the voice of the passengers through social media. For others on board, she became a link to the outside world – and helped lead a mutiny.
Finland Tests Longer Freight Trains to Intensify Russian Transit
Mine is longer than yours or so the saying goes. Now also concerning freight trains, in particular. With the coronavirus outbreak trains are now having a field day between Europe and Asia. Here the latest from the Finns who are often innovative.
Finnish rail freight company VR Transpoint have successfully tested operation with a 830-metre-long train. It is a record figure for the railway between Vainikkala, an important junction close to the Russian border, and the Port of Hamina. With the help of longer freight trains, VR Transpoint intends to speed up rail transportation of Russian transit goods to the Finnish seaports.
MC Signs MoU with Singaporean Companies on Sustainable Hydrogen Economy
Under the memorandum, the group will discuss the the technical and commercial feasibility of hydrogen as energy, and develop businesses for its import and use in Singapore. They will discuss the use of Chiyoda’s Spera hydrogen storage and transportation technology, enabling hydrogen to be transported in chemical tankers.
South African Defence Company Wins Major Export Order
German defence group Rheinmetall announced on April 7 that its South African subsidiary company, Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), had won an export order worth more than €70-million (or more than $80-million). The client was identified only as an “international customer”.
GameChange Solar Gets 50-MW Tracker Order in West Africa
US-based solar racking manufacturer GameChange Solar has received a purchase order for a single-axis Genius Tracker™ for immediate shipment to West Africa.
Fortescue, ATCO to Build, Operate Hydrogen Fuelling Facilities in Western Australia
Australia’s Fortescue Metals Group said on Monday it had signed a deal with the local unit of Canadian utilities company ATCO Ltd to build and operate hydrogen refuelling facilities for vehicles in Western Australia.
Port of Colombo
The beautiful country called Sri Lank is located strategically south of India by the main east / west corridor for shipping between Asia / Europe and Africa / Middle East. Here is a nice presentation of their port of Colombo.
Aqua Global Logistics Bahrain Handled Two Puma Helicopters from Bahrain to New Zealand
It’s not every day that a helicopter project is shipped from Bahrain to New Zealand but just recently it happened and it was performed by Aqual Global Logistics, Bahrain.