It is Thursday the 14th of May and we are baaaaaack as Mr. Schwarzenegger said with a heavy Austrian accent once in a movie.
This past week, surprise surprise, I have been working from home. However, I did manage to sneak out on a short trip using my car and drive to the port of Sodertalje, some 25 km south of Stockholm, to witness the discharge of prefabricated housing modules coming by the shipload from Malaysia to Sweden. Apparently, it is so much faster and cheaper to have the modules made almost completely in either Malaysia or China, and then have them assembled here in Sweden for a housing market that has been booming for years.
I’ve included some of the pictures that I took in Sodertalje below in this newsletter but what was nice was to get out of the house, take a drive, and actually see something else. I suppose in these COVID-19 times any travel will be a blessing for those stuck looking at the same walls or even the same people all the time. Love is grand but I believe everyone needs their own time space regularly.
By chance, I read that it is 25 years since the Taiwanese superstar singer, Teresa Teng died. She was special to me because it was the music that I listened to in the past, from when I arrived in Asia 1986, until I married for the first time in Hong Kong in 1988. Here is a link to her music which is soft and pleasant to my ears at least and epitomizes my arrival in Asia – an area of the world that I really could not live without for a variety of reasons.
Thinking of the 80’s, or rather 1986, reminds me of the year that my father was captain of a naval cadet training vessel which was a gift from the Danish Government to Thailand. It was built at the North Sea Shipyard in Ringkobing, Denmark. If you would like to see a video and remind yourself about shipbuilding anno 1986 then watch the video here.
1986 was also the year when I first visited Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong at the age of 23. I can say for sure that it was a whole different world back then in China. We could NOT fly direct, so we used Lufthansa into Hong Kong and then CAAC (“China Airways Always Cancelled” as the joke went) from Hong Kong, still under British rule, to the Chinese capital which was dark, drab, and almost with everyone in grey or blue mao suits riding their bikes to and from work.
We were treated very well, and it was fantastic to see how China was more and more “open minded” the further south we got in the country. Our trip took us to Beijing-Shanghai-Guangzhou and finally to Hong Kong. See this pdf of photos from 1986 with me, Claus Andersen of Triship, Copenhagen; Mr Chen Wei (I think his name was) from Penavico, Beijing; and the driver by the Ming Tombs. There are also a few shots from Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Whampoa (now Huangpu) port.
Well, all of this thinking about history can be triggered by any event, and as we grow older, I guess the weight of history starts to bear on you – but certainly I appreciate my memory bank and travel there freely and inexpensively. I am thankful to have been given the chance back then by the owners (Mr Claus Andersen & Mr Walter Christophersen) of Triship, Denmark, the agent of COSCO/Sinotrans in the eighties in Denmark.
Turning to business this week, we start off with a highly reputable and known shipping agent & logistics provider in Turkey and parts of the Black Sea/Caucasus region called Lyonel A. Makzume (LAM) Group. Turkey has a strategic location indeed, and thus, it is important to have reliable partners there for logistics. We believe that LAM could be one of those choices.
We then turn to the current situation of international travel today, and by chance, a friend of mine and manager of Scan Global Logistics, Thailand/APAC, Mr. Torben Nybo shares with us his recent trip back from lockdown Bangkok to lockdown Amsterdam and onwards to lockdown Copenhagen. An interesting story that you won’t want to miss, but what they call “business class” in COVID-19 times you certainly would like to miss in future after reading his report. Torben has extensive experience in Asia and is now recovering from his trip at his summerhouse in the solitude of Western Jutland, Denmark.
We finish off by visiting an island that is famous for whisky, bar songs, Thin Lizzy & Phil Lynott, and red-haired girls, i.e. IRELAND. We remind you about an interview we had with AB Cargo Belfast in a place that is now no longer known for its “troubles”.
We of course share with you our usual shipping news, trade intel, wise words and video & photo of the week.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Lyonel A. Makzume Group of Companies – Istanbul, Turkey
Capt. Umur Ugurlu
Head of Project Department
First of all, could you tell us a bit about your history? I understand that LAM is the abbreviation of Lyonel A. Makzume. Where is your head office located, and who are the owners today?
We are a family company with both a family and corporate culture. The company was founded by Lyonel A. Makzume in 1994 in Iskenderun, Turkey. Today, the group’s HQ is based in Istanbul, Turkey, overseeing a group of companies and its own presence in 11 countries.
Flying During a Pandemic – Mr Torben Nybo Jensen – Scan Global Logistics – Thailand
Mr. Torben Nybo Jensen
Regional Director, Business Development, APAC
Business class is normally synonymous with drinks, appetisers, a selection of movies and nice stewardesses. How was your COVID-19 business class trip?
It was a very different experience all around. Business Class passengers were asked to board the plane last. No pre-departure drinks – in fact no alcohol was available at all. Each seat had a pre-placed plastic bag with fruits, nuts, biscuits, water and a Coke. Additionally, a small aluminum container with noodles was served after take-off. Breakfast consisted of a sandwich and one bottle of water. Coffee or tea was not available, and no other meal service was available throughout the flight.
AB Cargo Limited, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Mr. Tony Budde
Tell us about the ports available in Northern Ireland and, for the readers who do not understand the Irish situation, perhaps you can elaborate a bit on the historical relationship between Northern Ireland and Ireland? It will help if our readers can understand your position regarding the EU and its effect on logistics.
Belfast is the primary port in Northern Ireland, Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, and they account for 75% of all trade on the island. Belfast, however, is the UK and Ireland’s premier wind farm and renewable energy port, with investments and commitments from DONG Energy, Siemens and Ridgeway Renewables to name a few, being involved with the UK and Ireland’s first bespoke wind terminal in 2012.
With the impending Brexit situation, there’ll be a number of factors affecting the outcome of the trading status of the UK, the EU and the Republic of Ireland. The most disappointing aspect for all businesses locally is the uncertainty of the outcome, because as businesses we cannot make plans and must wait until the EU and UK have come to a conclusion.
Pirates Board Container Ship in Gulf of Guinea
I repeat my message from before that it seems ships need to fly the ISRAELI, US, RUSSIAN, or perhaps CHINESE flag to have anything done in the way of proper protection of the seafarers. Only their governments seem to take action when ships flying their flag is being attacked, but perhaps the flag of convenience, or for the seafarer in-convenience. needs to be looked at critically. And one more thing, close down the Swiss bank accounts of the African leaders governing the countries where these attacks take place. That might be the most efficient way to deal with it.
Security company Dryad Global has received a report that the Portugal-flagged container ship Tommi Ritscher has been boarded by pirates at the Cotonou Anchorage, Benin, in the Gulf of Guinea.
The pirates boarded the 4,785-TEU vessel from a speed boat which subsequently left the scene when a naval vessel approached, leaving the pirates stranded onboard. Some of the crew are believed to be in the citadel, but Dryad Global indicates that eight may be held by the pirates. Two naval vessels are believed to be at the scene and assistance had been sought from Nigeria who are understood to have dispatched a patrol boat.
‘Prisoners at Sea’: Stuck On-Board Cargo Ships, Crews Find Their Mental Well-Being Under Threat
As you can see, we focus our shipping news this week on the plight of the seafarers worldwide which are indeed, if not in the frontline like our doctors and nurses around the world, still very close to it. They help maintain the balance of world trade and keep the supply chain running. Kudos to them all and I hope that shipowners provide amenities like internet access, etc., especially when they are unable to change crews.
They man the merchant ships that keep global trade flowing, but coronavirus restrictions mean thousands of seafarers are unable to return home. After months at sea, stress, fatigue and time away from loved ones is taking its toll.
A New Generation of High Security Locking Solutions for Shipping Containers and Closed Body Trucks
We interviewed them before but it seems that this small Finnish start-up has refined their products which are security seal for containers and related products. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org www.seguratainer.com
UAL Chartering Established in Denmark to Launch New Mediterranean and Black Sea Service
Copenhagen keeps on attracting local offices for various shipping companies in Europe. Latest one to set up shop is UAL.
Global shipping company Universal Africa Lines Ltd (UAL) has reinforced its position as the leading break bulk carrier to Africa for the oil and gas industry by establishing a new chartering desk in Denmark.
UAL Chartering becomes the extending leg to the established UAL liner services from Europe and USA, providing customized solutions worldwide to and from Africa, including shipments from Europe, the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea.
Allowing UAL to expand its current services with new regular sailings from the Mediterranean and the Black Sea to West Africa, the Danish chartering desk will additionally focus on the group’s services to East Africa.
Tbm Built in China for Indian Project
A large diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) has been built in China for a project in India. Manufacturer CRCHI has constructed the TBM at its main facility in Changsha, China. The TBM will be used to help construct a tunnel stretch for the Mumbai Coastal Road Project.
Weltec Biopower Builds Biogas Plant For Greek Abattoir
In the summer of 2020, the German plant manufacturer WELTEC BIOPOWER will start building a biogas plant in Veria, northern Greece. The main investor and operator of the project is one of the largest abattoirs for cattle and pigs in Greece. The 500-kW plant – which WELTEC has planned in collaboration with its Greek partner Tetoros Machinery in Megara – is set to go live as early as mid-November 2020.
Jenoptik Supplies State-of-the-Art Laser Systems for Automotive Supplier Xinquan in China
A Chinese automotive supplier has ordered an additional laser-scoring machine for precision airbag perforation, investing in industry leading technology for processing automotive interiors.
Long-term customer Jiangsu Xinquan Automotive Trim Co Ltd, located near Shanghai, has ordered an additional airbag laser perforation system from Jenoptik, after a recent delivery of an identical system to the same customer just a few weeks earlier. The new JENOPTIK-VOTAN A Scan system is currently being set up and commissioned in Jena, Germany. Delivery will take place shortly before summer.
B&W Vølund Awarded Plant Service Contracts for Waste-to-Energy Customers in U.K., Denmark
Babcock & Wilcox Vølund has been awarded a multi-year service contract for two UK waste to energy plants owned by Viridor, and a plant upgrade service contract for Frederikshavn Forsyning A/S’s combined heat and power waste to energy plant in Frederikshavn, Denmark. The combined value of the contracts is more than $4 million.
Departing Haiphong Near Halong Bay Onboard Rickmers Antwerp
10 years ago, in 2010, I was a passenger onboard mv Rickmers Antwerp from Singapore to Houston. The voyage took exactly 2 months and the first stop after Singapore was Haiphong Roads. Here is a short video sequence departing Haiphong close to Halong Bay. Regrettably we didn’t have any James Bond film crew to follow us (Tomorrow Never Dies was shot there). It was a wonderful experience for all five of us passengers.
This week I went to visit PORT OF SODERTALJE just 20 minn south of the capital Stockholm. It’s a well known roro port but also increasingly known for other project cargoes such as prefab housing modules coming by the shipload, this time from Malaysia, but also in the near future from China. A solid port with good service, hands-on management and friendly staff. For more information about the port write to: email@example.com