It is Thursday the 21st of May, and we are hopefully in your inbox. This last week has been rather uneventful for me, as l continue to work from home. There still seems to be no real let up in the restrictions to traveling, although some of the airlines are starting to tell us that they expect to ramp up capacity in July, so realistically, I suppose I won’t be flying to Asia until August.
I do need to visit Bangkok and Hong Kong as a priority, and hopefully, it will be possible—service or no service onboard the flight, if we must take to heart what we were told in the interview from last week, giving us an account of a recent “COVID-19” flight back from Bangkok to Amsterdam.
I did take some time out for a long walk on Tuesday to downtown Stockholm/Slussen to see the place where the giant 145x45m and 3500 ton piece, known as the Gold Bridge, was discharged from a semi-sub to pontoons for the final ride to its place of rest. As a reminder to you all, see the video from some weeks ago here, and the pictures taken from this week here.
I have also increased my book reading in the week since we spoke, and right now, I am quite far into a book by the author, Svetlana Aleksijevitj entitled “Zinkovyje Maltjiki” which is the original title. In English, it is “Boys in Zinc”. The book covers the horrific Soviet invasion of Afghanistan during which so many young Russians perished, fighting in a war that no one could understand. Aleksijevitj won a Nobel Prize for that book, and it’s been gathering dust on my bookshelf for 4 years.
From time to time, I glance up from my book like any “modern” person nowadays, looking at my mobile phone to see if there are any messages from the “President” or anything else has happened since I checked 5 minutes ago. That is the extent of the mobile “infection” that I have caught, but as I can see I am far from being the only one infected.
Did you ever check how often you yourself look at your mobile? Please don’t do it or you will be unpleasantly surprised.
Speaking of mobile phones and books, I do believe that there is a reckoning to be had at some point, and that goes to the profit margins of Apple and the working conditions of Foxconn (producing for Apple in South China). Why must Taiwan’s already richest company earn more, and why must Apple—already the world’s most profitable company—earn more? Are both of them really unable to ensure that working conditions, including salaries, are improved in their Chinese factories and sweatshops? I referred to books/Apple/Foxconn above, and the reason is because I put in an order for this book, “Dying for an iPhone: Apple, Foxconn, and The Lives of China’s Workers , 2020″ which will be released on Amazon on July 21. It will, no doubt, be interesting to read.
Thinking about workers’ rights, leads me to the question, “Where are the workers rights rights so openly protected in the constitution of China or are those just words without a meaning? Still, of course, there are 2 sides to every coin, and I am confident that the other party will make their voices heard once this book is out. Life isn’t fair I guess, but we could do better in many countries and in many world organisations in combating the systematic abuse of workers.
In politics this week, nothing much has happened except the usual: the EU showing a total inability to move forward except on one point—asking member states to pay more to the EU coffers. This is irrespective of the fact that a large net contributor, the UK, is leaving soon, so the belt should be tightened. It seems the COVID-9 crisis is opportune for those who wish even more regulatory powers to be granted to the “elephant” in Brussels. At least we can be pleased that COVID-19 has put a stop to the ridiculous traveling circus that the EU parliament perfoms once a month between Brussels and Strasbourg at the cost of 100 Million+ Euros a year.
With the hope of a continued slowdown of the virus and opening of our freedom of movement, I turn now to this week’s business. We start off with a visit to one of the most beautiful countries I have visited, and that is South Africa. For starters, we interview Frits Kroon Transport, a company strongly asset-based with expertise in inland and international OOG haulage and logistics in Africa. We then pay a visit to the land of the kibbutz, oranges, high tech in specific areas, and the home country of the lesser-known but global carrier Zim to interview a capable and local service provider called Genesis Forwarding & Logistics. We round off our interviews this week with a re-visit to Croatia, where we remind you about an interview we had with Comark & Liburnia, a successful partnership on the shores of the Adriatic, with a main office located in Rijeka. We naturally provide you with our usual condiments, and it is my hope that you will take pleasure from all of it, perhaps finding some usefulness from the intel that we provide you with.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Frits Kroon Transport – South Africa
Mr. Frits Kroon
Frits Kroon is the name of the company, and it is also your name. Can you tell us the story about your company, when it was established, who owns it, and your main line of business nowadays?
Yes, I remember putting the key in the ignition of my first truck back in 1999. It was a one-man show for the first part. Today, we have grown into a well-established family and fleet that has spread its wings not only across our borders, but also offering a holistic transport service. We specialize in abnormal loads in South Africa and also cross borders.
Genesis Forwarding & Logistics – Israel
Mr. Yaron Per
Business Development Manager
What are the main ports used in Israel for import/export, and is there any difference between them from a service level point of view?
Genesis mainly deals with imports to Israel (around 98% of our business). Of those imports, 95% are imports by sea and 5% by air. Our main activity is from China to Israel. We are one of the biggest forwarders in the trade from China to Israel. We also have a large amount of traffic from Turkey to Israel as we are one of the 5 biggest forwarders on this line. In addition, we handle a big volume of the traffic from Italy, Spain, Belgium, and Germany. We are strong in ceramics/tiles, furniture, white goods, disposable goods, tires, and plywood.
Liburnia Maritime – Croatia / Comark – Slovenia
Mr. Marin Skufca / Mr. Branko Butala
C.E.O. / C.E.O.
Although we have spoken to you before, perhaps you could reiterate the quick rundown of the history of Liburnia and Comark respectively?
Both companies have, since the very beginning, been very focused on project cargo and heavy lift. Liburnia started in 2004 as agents and brokers. Project forwarding came a bit later to adapt to clients’ needs and gain better control of the cargo flow. Comark originally started its work in 1992, first specialising in oversized road transport. However, in 2009 the current owners took over and the Comark service became much wider, offering also multimodal transport and seaworthy packaging. In 2014 Comark opened a new company in Rijeka, Croatia.
The companies were competing but were also highly respectful of each other’s achievements. Notably, the connections between the owners and personnel have always been very good. After a short discussion, we realized that there were a lot of opportunities for synergy and so we decided to combine.
Namport Welcomes the Biggest Vessel Ever in the History of Namibia
An interesting newsletter from Port Authority of Walvis Bay. It is even possible to transship cargoes via Namibian ports into parts of Central Africa. We ran a feature about this last year and you may find more information using our search button on www.projectcargo-weekly.com. Its a beautiful country I have heard, sparsely populated and certainly a country on my bucket list.
The Namibian Ports Authority received the largest vessel to ever dock in Namibian waters. The 335.41 meters long, 43.16 meters bean and a 7500 TEU capacity Maersk Sheerness, which is similar to a 9000 TEUs class vessel, called along the Port of Walvis Bay on 24 April 2020 and departed on the same day.
HMM ALGECIRAS at NGB Meishan Container Terminal
The worlds largest container vessel has now arrived Ningbo on its maiden voyage from South Korea to Europe. Here is a video from the pilots perspective.
Record Container Load Departs China for Europe on HMM Vessel
Staying with the World’s largest containership a while longer, it has now departed China with an almost FULL load of containers. Read this article and be impressed at the intake for this maiden voyage. Let’s hope some of the freight is also paid and that World trade will soon catch it’s stride again, because this story is a bright light, but only one among many many dark spots, on the shipping horizon.
The world’s largest container ship, the HMM Algeciras, has departed China on its maiden voyage to Europe with a world’s record container load.
The shipment is said to be further evidence of China’s progress to resume manufacturing operations after the interruptions in the first quarter of 2020 due to the spread of the coronavirus. In recent weeks, there had been some doubts in shipping circles of the ability to fill the ship and maintain service based on the global pandemic and its impact on the world’s economy and global trade.
How Offshore Oil Rigs Work
Perhaps it does not really fall under the category of shipping news, but since the media is on about the roller coaster ride of the oil prices, perhaps it is an idea to know how an oil rig actually works. I call myself a skilled shipping-man, but the knowledge needed to really be able to call oneself one is endless and, I certainly learnt a lot by watching this video.
GE Selected for 52-Turbine Turkish Deal
GE Renewable Energy has been selected by Fina Enerji to supply 52 of its 3MW platform onshore wind turbines for four wind farms in Turkey. The wind farms, Baglama, Tayakadin, Yalova and Pazarkoy, have a total capacity of 193MW. The scope also includes a 10-year servicing agreement.
Siemens Gamesa to Supply Hybrid Plant in the Philippines for Berkeley Energy
Siemens Gamesa is set to deliver a hybrid energy project in Puerto Galera on the island of Mindoro in the Philippines. The project is expected to help in reducing the consumption of diesel by ensuring a stable electricity supply.
Sungrow to Supply 1500V SG250HX Inverter Solutions to 500 MWac PV Plant in Oman
Sungrow, the global leading inverter solution supplier for renewables, announced it will supply 1500V SG250HX inverter solutions to the 500 MWac IBRI II project in Oman, which is the largest utility-scale PV plant in the Sultanate to date, demonstrating the Company’s robust efforts in supporting Oman’s ambition of lifting the renewable energy mix by 10%. The delivery of inverter solutions will commence in Q2 this year.x
Sterling and Wilson Solar bags $525 million EPC contract
In its largest order in Australia, the Indian multinational company has bagged $525 million in EPC contacts along with $85 million in operations and maintenance.
Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited has bagged its largest order in Australia with the signing of a contract for engineering, procurement and construction work valued around $525 million along with an $85 million operation and maintenance contract. The O&M contract is for a maximum period of 20 years.
CITIC HIC Ball Mills Due to Arrive at Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in Mid-2020
The ball mill manufacturing is proceeding at leading Chinese processing equipment OEM CITIC Heavy Industries Co Ltd (CITIC HIC) at its factory in Luoyang. The process plant long lead items have started to arrive on site, with the ball mills scheduled to arrive in mid-2020. There are two 7,800 kW primary balls mills 21 ft by 31.5 ft and two secondary ball mills of the same power rating and size (each of the two 3 Mt/y grinding lines having a primary and secondary ball mill).
Nuka Arctica in Bad Weather in the North Atlantic
Whilst we can see beautiful weather surrounding the featured pictures of the week with mv “Tukuma Arctica” please also see this footage of one of the other vessels in the Royal Arctic Line fleet in rough North Atlantic weather enroute to Greenland.
Ship Rolling in the Pacific, Life at Sea in Cabin
We sometimes can see video footage of ships in rough weather but it is more seldom to have footage from inside the cabin in really rough weather. Here is an interesting video showing a rather relaxed wife of the seafarer filming trying to go about her chores whilst being onboard a ship in stormy weather.
Denmark is a huge country that is when we calculate in our “autonomous region of Greenland” that is. Royal Arctic Line has a very distinct color of their ships and with a background of ice and snow very often or clear blue skies they DO stand out in the traffic to/from the worlds largest island. They also accept breakbulk cargo on their newbuilding as can be seen here mv “Tukuma Arctica” recently delivered from a chinese yard. For more information contact:
Mr. Esper Boel
Team Leader Agency & Projects
Royal Arctic Line, Denmark