Week #23 – 2020

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In this edition: Global Shipping Services (GSS) – Houston, USA | Transportation To / From The Maldives and Sri Lanka – FPS (Pvt) Ltd NTC Logistics India (P) Limited – Chennai, India >>>

Week #23 | 4th June 2020

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 4th of June, and it is a day to remember in many ways, but one thing in particular springs to mind. That is the Chinese government intervention in Tiananmen Square.

I recall that day in 1989 vividly. I was driving through Sweden on the way to Denmark when my then Hong Kong wife started crying as she was listening on the radio to what happened in Beijing. All foreigners had fled from Beijing just leading up to that event and, my colleague back then in Triship, Mr. Claus Andersen, managed to get out with the last SAS flight from Beijing to Copenhagen. Perhaps those of you old enough remember this.

Fast forward to this day and age, and protests are now regularly occurring in Hong Kong. They are dealt with by local law enforcement but also increasingly with more and more force. On the other side of the Pacific, we see another huge country being rocketed by out of control protests, looting, violence, and, of course, when talking about the US, we must also include gun shootings. It seems to this editor that both countries, China & the US, really have their own problems to deal with and that they should focus on cleaning up their own backyards first before pointing fingers.  Throwing stones when in a glasshouse is never a good idea. There is enough in the news about the Corona virus, the lifting versus non-lifting of lockdown procedures, and statistics of both the dead and the recovered, so I won’t go further into that this week.

I turn my focus to shipping and the apparent change that has become more evident recently. The shipowners are now increasingly wanting to become a door-to-door, one-stop-shop for the customer. In effect, they inadvertently cut out the middle man, i.e. the freight forwarder, by going “ashore”.  A friend of mine, Mr. Pratap Nair, owner of FEI Cargo in Mumbai, reminded me about this development and shared his opinion here.

Personally, I worked as a liner agent in my career first, then as a project freight forwarder, and I also had a stint as logistics manager of Ericsson in Beijing. Although I wasn’t very good at my job, sitting on the shipper’s, side I learned to understand the situation from more than one angle. My personal view is that the freight forwarder DOES play a vital role because no one shipowner can do it all. No matter how much tonnage they have, there will always be some cargo for which they have no solution or no ship in position. That’s when the freight forwarders show their real value. In other words, they are free to scour the market for a broad range of solutions. Having said that, we must, of course, evolve in freight forwarding & shipowning, and as in shipping so also in life the pendulum swings back and forth.

I had time this past week to watch a video posted on YouTube about the value, or rather the reduced value of money. With all the stimulus packages and the printing of money that takes place to cover up our real problems, it is indeed scary to consider just how “worthless” money has become. Please do me a favour and watch this documentary about money, banks, and the financial system. The good thing about this video is that it’s in understandable English—even for us “non-financial industry wizards”!

The EU now wants to roll out a gigantic “loan without strings attached” package for the EU countries, once again bailing out mainly countries who already before COVID-19 were unable to reform, clean up and follow budgetary constraints for years.  Of course, the EU must show its relevance somehow, and the only way this is done is by asking for more money always – never the opposite.

When it comes to saving, you can rest assured of one thing: the traveling circus between the EU parliament in Brussels and Strasbourg and the gravy train for the EU politicians will continue, crisis or not!  8 years ago this video asked the question about it, and it is still ongoing today! Since this video, about 1400 million EUR has been spent—if the 200 million EUR/year figure from 2013 is still valid!

In our newsletter today, we start off by speaking to a capable, project freight forwarder in the land of Texas, USA.  Don’t mess with Texas as the saying goes, and for sure, Global Shipping Services (GSS) don’t mess about. They seem to be doing many OOG projects worldwide. 

We then re-visit a beautiful island, once called Ceylon, and famous for tea and beaches, now named Sri Lanka. FPS there tells us about their logistics capabilities. We stay in the region and fly north to India and speak to NTC—a very strong, logistics provider in India with serious capabilities for moving renewable equipment around the world and also inland in India.

We, of course, provide you with shipping news, trade intel, and wise words. We hope that you will enjoy this edition of PCW.

Until next Thursday, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen

Michel Hurel

In this new addition to the newsletter we share a selection of comments from our readers. Please share your comments by emailing me at bo.drewsen@projectcargo-weekly.com.

Reader Comment:
It’s always a pleasure to read you, a pleasant moment in this flow of uninterrupted emails…
Have a nice day and a relaxing week-end.

Warm regards

Reader Comment:
Dear Bo,

Thanks for your always interesting articles, widening horizons for all. Thanks also for mentioning our dear Daphne who was assassinated much in mafia style way back in 2017. Her murderers are still walking free with impunity and fading away from the public eye into oblivion or at least this is what our so-called governors are hoping for. Interesting also about oil fluctuations and its repercussions worldwide.

Best regards

Reader Comment:
Good Day Bo,

Your article about bunker trade and reference made on Singapore as a whole is not totally correct and may be perceived wrongly by your readers.

I do agree that bunker trade is not a clean game. But making a generic comment with reference “Singapore” as a country taken out of context. The bunker traders are run and operated by private companies in Singapore. Hence it is the private bunkering companies that are making the murky deals not the Government or the people of Singapore.

One bad egg does spoil the whole image but should not be the image of Singapore as a country as a whole. We have a clean and good government. So I take an exception in making Singapore as a reference in your article with regard to bunker trade. It should be private companies and not Singapore.


Global Shipping Services (GSS) – Houston, USA

GSS Louisiana-to-Savannah-to-Gibraltar-LIFO

Interview with

Mr. Paul Mcauley
Vice President Projects – North America

Paul Mcauley

Do you have experience in handling project cargoes? The USA is a huge country, and many overseas freight forwarders have come up short when trying to find a reliable company to do inland transports in the US. Elaborate for our readers, if you will, on a couple of the projects that you have undertaken with complex inland moves.

GSS is heavily involved in project cargo, both import/export and domestic. In 2010, we set up the Houston office as a dedicated project cargo center. In addition, we have project personnel in our New Jersey office to handle OOG cargo. In the 10 years since we opened GSS Houston, we have handled many vessel charters and interesting projects, the two that come to mind are:

The most interesting was an extremely urgent project. We were supposed to ship via Houston with CMA or Maersk, but conditions and timelines with the customer’s projects changed, and we had to switch to a last in / first out basis with Big-Lift. We also had to switch the port of loading in order to achieve a faster ocean transit times (11 days) from Savannah to Gibraltar. Then, at the last minute, we had to arrange back-to-back vessel discharge from BigLift vessel Happy Dover to the Heerema Crane vessel MV Sleipnir off shore, approx. 20 miles out from Gibraltar (l MV Sleipnir is the world’s largest crane vessel 2 x 10,000 mt lift capacity.

Transportation To / From The Maldives and Sri Lanka – FPS (Pvt) Ltd


Interview with

Mr. Gihan Nanayakkara
Chairman / Managing Director

The Maldives is famous as a tourist destination, what about cargo? How is cargo in fact shipped into the Maldives? Is there a port available there? Is it done via transshipment? Give us some detailed information about how to get cargo to and from the island nation.

Maldives is a leading tourist resort cluster of Islands.

The development of tourism fostered the overall growth of the Maldivian Economy. It created direct and indirect employment and income generation opportunities in other related industries such as logistics, transportation and tourism related businesses.

Maldives is comprised of many groups of islands, known as atolls where the capitol Male (also the main Port) is situated 400 miles Southwest of Sri Lanka.

The main sea Port is in the Male Island, the capital city. The International Airport is on a separate island adjacent to the capital. Most of the cargo to Male is transshipped via the Port of Colombo. The subsequent transportation to the respective islands are effected on local boats mainly in break bulk form. In a limited scale SOC boxes are carried to the final point of delivery by barges.

NTC Logistics India (P) Limited – Chennai, India

NTC Inland Transportation

Interview with

Mr. David Rajkumar.J
General Manager – Chartering

Please tell us about the history of NTC India. When was the company established, who owns it and what is the main line of shipping business that you do nowadays?

NTC was started in the year 1998 with one asset and three employees including our chairman and founding director, with a focus on a then largely unknown niche market segment called ODC cargo. Now we stand as India’s No.1 asset/equipment holding company and the world’s number eleventh as per a survey conducted by KHL magazine.

We have rapidly evolved and now offer bespoke solutions to any logistical requirement, be it air, sea, river, road or a combination of these. Our primary businesses, though, remain ODC, Super ODC and transportation of renewables (chiefly wind). From a pin to a plane, nothing is too small or too heavy for us.

The company was founded by Mr. Chandra Mohan, our chairman and managing director, and the board has four directors /partners.

NTI Global Logistics
PCW-Shipping News

Face Masks Washing Ashore After Cargo Ship Loses Boxes

Editor’s Note:
The master of mv APL England has been charged with misconduct in light of the recent accident during stormy weather near the east coast of Australia causing the vessel to lose in-excess of 40 containers overboard. AMSA, the local authority, claims to have found many deficiencies onboard the vessel – we just hope that AMSA understands that no matter how many rules, regulations and hard hats are carried or lashing gear applied, severe storms do occur and nothing can stand in the way of nature’s wrath.

Surgical masks and other items have been found washing up onto Australian beaches Tuesday after the Singapore-flagged APL England lost at least 40 containers overboard in heavy seas off the coast of Sydney.

The medical supplies have been found on shores between Magenta Beach and The Entrance, according to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which said the locations and contents are consistent with its debris drift models and items listed on the ship’s cargo manifest. Modeling suggests that debris could continue to wash-up over the coming days, AMSA said.

Mammoet Helps Austal Philippines Float its Largest Ferry Build

Editor’s Note:
Austal has done it again – built an impressive super-fast catamaran at their yard in the Philippines.

Mammoet was hired to help shipbuilder Austal Philippines carry out a full scope load-out and float-off of its largest ever high speed catamaran ferry launched earlier this year.

During its conceptualization phase, Mammoet’s engineers proposed a revised methodology that reduced the volume of heavy lifting equipment required to complete the maneuver, helping to bring down costs for the operation. With this, there was not a need to include a long list of equipment, including a class 330 transition barge, numerous ballast pumps and a tug for the transition barge. Therefore, both quantity of manpower and equipment were reduced. This streamlined the project as fewer transshipments were required before load-out of the 109-meter, 1,700-ton ferry could begin at the builder’s Balamban shipyard in Cebu.

Arrival of the First Container Ship at Stockholm Norvik Port

Editor’s Note:
As you know from earlier issues I attended the arrival of gantry and STS cranes from China to Stockholm Norvik (see here again for that wonderful footage from then). Now they got their first ship in port, so development, hopefully, and virus permitting, speeds up to pay for the huge investments soon.


Today will be remembered in the history books as the day the very first container ship arrived at Sweden’s newest freight port, Stockholm Norvik Port. The Stockholm region accounts for half of Sweden’s entire consumption, and now the opportunities to transport goods by sea as close to their final destination as possible have increased.

Hong Kong Customs Officers Find Nearly US$32 Million Worth of Cocaine Packed in Jet Engine Shipped from South America

Editor’s Note:
The most profitable trade in the world is the drugs trade and it’s increasingly, or perhaps exclusively, using shipping as a mode of transport.

The engine was inside a shipping container that arrived from Ecuador in March, but the haul was only discovered last week after it was opened for inspection at Hong Kong International Airport. Officers found 217kg of cocaine hidden inside.

Andina Freight

Chico launches major wastewater treatment project in Kiambu and Ruaka

The China Henan International Cooperation Group (Chico) has recently started construction and rehabilitation work on several wastewater treatment facilities in the cities of Kiambu and Ruaka in Kenya. Financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), this project will require an investment of 12 million dollars.

Serbia’s New Energy Solutions to Build 220 MW Wind Farm

The renewable energy management consultancy New Energy Solutions, based in Serbia, plans to build a 220MW wind farm in Kovacica, a document posted on the website of the Kovacica municipality showed on Monday.

Oxe Diesel Outboards to Be Built in U.S.

Oxe Marine AB’s line of diesel outboards will be built in the U.S. starting early next year.

The Sweden-based company has inked a deal with Outdoor Network Manufacturing for production of its 125- to 200-hp outboards to start in January of 2021. The company’s largest offering — a 300-hp outboard — will be added to the production line at a later date.

Wartsila to Supply Propulsion Solutions for High-Speed Ferry

Marine technology company Wartsila has received an order to provide propulsion solutions for a new 115m-long high-speed ferry. The ferry is being built for Danish operator Molslinjen by Austal at its shipyard in the Philippines.

PCW-Featured Video

Pink Ship – ONE Ibis Leaving Port of Southampton

Editor’s Note:
A video here from youtube showing the amazing magenta colours of the ONE alliance vessel here seen departing the port of Southampton. It took some getting used to but now I find the colour choosen by ONE as stunning and yes outstanding!

Pink Ship
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
Was onboard mv Lutetia drifting outside the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador and I was walking on the bridge wing port-side when I suddenly spotted this giant Manta Ray circling the ship, probably wondering what we were doing in it’s territory. An awesome sight that I will never forget.

Manta-ray swimming
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