PCW Week 22 2020

Week #22 – 2020

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In this edition: Veritas Global Transportation Inc. – Idaho, USA | Hillebrand Kenya Limited – Nairobi, Kenya | COMEXAS Ivory Coast >>>

Week #22 | 28th May 2020

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 28th of May and the final issue before June. We are in the continuous grip of the pandemic, although we are slowly starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. I only wish that it is not the headlights of a train coming towards us.

Some airlines plan to gradually resume flying their normal routes, but of course, it won’t help much if you will have to go into quarantine on arrival or if your desired destination doesn’t even allow you to enter.  So, yes, it will take a bit of time for sure to get things back to the new normal!

I have been following the situation regarding the oil prices a bit, and since oil/bunker is a major thing in shipping and a major cost, the control, quality and price of the product does play a major role in the world economy. When the oil price is high, there will also be much more project cargo around. Singapore plays a big role in the bunker trade as does Rotterdam, and therefore, it didn’t escape my notice that a major, bunker trading scandal happened in the Lion City (recently again I might add). If you read this article from the South China Morning Post, it will give you an idea into what’s been going on. However,  newspaper content should be corroborated. So, I confronted an old friend of mine who has experience in this area from Singapore in the nineties. He had this to say about the bunker trade in Singapore—at least back then.

So, I guess that it is indeed like Mao Tse Tung famously said once: “In the cleanest water lives no fish.  Although Singapore does portray itself as a beacon of light in the sometimes murky business world, things DO happen there that belong to grey and shady business even to this day. Finishing this chapter off, here is the official promo video about bunker trade in Singapore.

Don’t think for a minute that we do not have our own issues in Europe. In Malta, a wonderful island in the Mediterranean and part of the EU recently, scandals have abounded,  even including the murder of a journalist who happened to write about nepotism and business corruption reaching into the government. So, perhaps the shades of grey exist among us in most places—some lighter, some darker.

Business-wise this week we start off in the US state of IDAHO. According to the interviewee, Veritas Global Transport, the state is indeed a place to which people wish to move into and not out of. Veritas tells us about their capability in logistics and inland transport across North America.

We then speak to a freight forwarder originally famous for the transportation of wine & spirits, i.e., Hillebrand, and we are enlightened by the manager of their office in Kenya. I must say he has perhaps the best “wild nature view” of any home office that I have seen recently.

We finally re-visit another part of Africa, i.e., the country of Ivory Coast, and we speak to a well-known, Belgian, project freight forwarder called Comexas.  Belgians certainly are at home also in Africa it would seem!

We finish our newsletter with the usual shipping news, trade intel, and wise words, etc. We hope that you will find the newsletter still to your liking.

On a separate note… kindly be advised that PCW will take a long term holiday from June 18 (last issue before summer) until Aug 6 (first issue after summer).

Until next Thursday, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen


Veritas Global Transportation Inc. – Idaho, USA

Veritas Global Transportation Interview Graphic

Interview with

Mr. Sean Betts


First of all Sean, tell us about your own logistics career leading up to becoming president of Veritas in Idaho.

This is a question that I could answer a couple of different ways. Officially I started my career in logistics in 2000 working as a warehouse receiving clerk for a newly merged consolidator that you have probably heard of Vanguard Logistics (DCL, Conterm, Brennan). But really my logistics career started much earlier than that. My Mom, Donna Betts, was one of Charlie Brennan’s (Brennan Int’l) first hires and become a key component to the company’s success. From the time I can remember, forwarding has been in my life and so you can say I grew up with a logistics spoon in my mouth. I worked many summers as a kid pulling files and doing odd jobs for Charlie and others at Brennan. I learned a great deal about shipping in my formative years and I believe that has helped me throughout my career.

Hillebrand Kenya Limited – Nairobi, Kenya


Interview with

Mr. Christian Fazekas
Regional Manager East Africa


First of all, Christian, tell us a bit about your own logistics career leading up to your stationing now in Kenya.

My journey in Logistics started 33 years ago in Austria and did a stopover at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City 2002. It continued to the Middle East (Dubai) for 10 years where I had already been in charge of East Africa for a few years. Due to the fact that my wife is Kenyan and Hillebrand needed some groundwork to do in East Africa, it was a good mix for both parties. We service 13 countries in East Africa, and apart from alcohol, we have quite a unique product with our self-produced Flexitanks which can carry up to 24,000 liters of bulk liquid in a standard 20’ Container.

COMEXAS Ivory Coast

Comexas Ivory Coast Featured

Interview with

Mr. Xavier Berbers & Mr. Pierre Paul Agnero
Managing Director & Logistics Manager


First, tell us about the Ivory Coast. Tell us about the major overseas trading partners, size of the country and what ports are used for trade to and from the Ivory Coast?

The Ivory Coast or. officially the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, is a French-speaking country located on the south coast of West Africa. Its largest city and economic capital is the port city of Abidjan. The country borders Guinea, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana. the Ivory Coast has, for the region, a relatively high income per capita (US$1,662 in 2017) and plays a key role in transit trade for neighboring, landlocked countries.

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PCW-Shipping News

American Club and Eagle Ocean Marine Issue Video Honoring Seafarers

Editor’s Note:
100,000 or more seafarers are right now waiting to be repatriated and replaced on ships around the world. They miss their families and children and have already for the most part been away likely more than 6-9 months already. It is time to set out rules enabling them to go home! Therefore PCW fully agree with this video honoring seafarers.

American Club and Eagle Ocean Marine Issue Video Honoring Seafarers Video

Swire Bulk Takes Delivery of New Bulk Carrier

Editor’s Note:
China Navigation has taken delivery of their latest new building a bulk carrier. A company with proud history indeed in particular in Asia and Oceania calling outlying islands as almost the only lifeline available for some of the islands.

Swire Bulk, the bulk division of The China Navigation Company, has taken delivery of its new, log-fitted bulk carrier into service. MV Singan is traded worldwide with a strong focus on the logs trade in the Pacific and South Atlantic.

Chipolbrok – Partner of Global Wind Power Industry

Editor’s Note:
Renewable energy is a big item nowadays. We have mentioned this before and we hope the wind continues to blow for the whole breakbulk industry to continue to have regular project cargoes to carry. If the wind also blow the covid19 virus away for good then we would be really thankful! Chipolbrok prides itself on the ability to carry renewable equipment and here is a press release and a few nice pictures giving you an idea of this worldwide trade.

Chipolbrok - Wind turbrines

Life On Board Edith Maersk Container Ship

Editor’s Note:
Perhaps it doesn’t fall under the category shipping news as such however seafarers need all the attention they can get these days. A high quality video here from life onboard a modern Maersk Line container vessel. Enjoyable to watch and again PCW hopes that the crew will be relieved soon!

Skama Shipping and Projects

New Geothermal Partnership to Offer Medium to Large Scale Binary Plants in Japan

Geothermal Development & Investment Inc. and TICA Thermal of TICA Group have signed a distributor agreement for medium and large ORC power system from EXERGY International Srl (‘EXERGY’) for the Japanese market.

In a release, Japan-based Geothermal Development & Investment Inc. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Tomofumi Ono, ‘GDI‘) has signed a distributor agreement with TICA Thermal of TICA Group, a major Chinese air-conditioning manufacturer, for medium and large ORC power system from EXERGY International Srl (‘EXERGY’) who was acquired by TICA Thermal on Sep 25, 2019 and is a world-leading producer of binary generators, and will begin offering binary generators.

Amusement Logic Develops New Waterpark Project

In order to create an economic income in Oman alongside the country’s main income, the export of oil and gas, a large number of profitable new projects are being developed in the country on the Persian Gulf. One of these major projects is a 1.5 square kilometers large leisure and tourism area near the capital Muscat. The Spanish architecture company Amusement Logic, which specializes in the leisure industry, has now been awarded the contract for the development of a water park located in this area. The Hayy A’Sharq Water Park will be a unique water adventure park, which will be aimed at families, covering an area of around 70,000 square meters.

Welspun Corp Ltd Bags Contracts for Supply of 102 KMG of Pipes

Welspun Corp Ltd has been awarded contracts for supply of 102 KMT of pipes. Out of these orders, 90 KMT (approx.) is for its US facility, including a large order received from one of our very prestigious North American customers for a pipeline to be commissioned in the USA. This demonstrates the confidence that customer has on our technical and executional capabilities for servicing large projects. This also reinforces company’s global leadership position in the line pipe business, during such challenging times.

Honeywell to Build New PPE Production Line in Scotland

Honeywell announced that it will build a new production line capable of producing up to 4.5 million FFP2 and FFP3 disposable face masks per month at its Newhouse site in Scotland, U.K. These masks will assist the U.K. government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

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PCW-Featured Video

Sunset in the Taiwan Strait

Editor’s Note:
Was onboard CMA CGM Andromeda from Malta to Busan along with my daughter in 2017. 32 days as passengers onboard and we were witness to one of the most spectacular sunsets or rather one where the setting sun paints the whole sky in wonderful colours. It happened just north of Taiwan after we had been drifting for a day to avoid meeting an oncoming typhoon that later on hit the mainland and Xiamen. Enjoy and when possible book a trip at www.cross-ocean.com/ocean voyages.

Video: Sunset in the Taiwan Strait
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
When the new Panama Canal just opened I was lucky enough to be there chairing the CLC Projects Network conference. You certainly wouldn’t need a gangway to get off the ship here and jump safely to shore, that is how close this one of the first mega-container vessels passing the canal was. Later that day in the restaurant at Miraflores Locks, Miss Universe (Pia Wurtzbach from the Philippines) and her entourage were eating lunch at the table next to us. We forgot all about shipping that’s for sure!

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