Week #24 – 2020

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In this edition: HHLA International GmbH – Hamburg, Germany | Afrilog – Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa | Hacklin – Regional Shipowner / Feeder Operator – The Baltics >>>

Week #24 | 11th June 2020

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 11th of June and we are here again. I just remembered by chance, that is, when I was editing the Project Cargo Weekly Yearbook 2019 that 10 years ago today I was a passenger onboard the mv Rickmers Antwerp on a trip from Singapore to Houston via China/Korea/Japan across the Pacific and international date line and via the Panama Canal. It was a fantastic experience, in the morning (Singapore time) I was at the bow of the vessel with my friend Torben from Scan Global Logistics filming this video.

We were both passengers onboard and I recall that we had a Romanian captain and Filipino officers and crew. We even had some breakbulk cargo from Martin Bencher (the company of which I was a chairman of and partner back then) onboard destined for Haiphong! It was cement plant equipment if I remember correctly.

So yes, although my private bank could do with a few more deposits, my memory bank is NOT in lack of deposits. The memory bank is more important than all the banks in the world because it lets you deposit and withdraw freely, there is no interest and it is always with you during good times and bad. I first got to think about the memory bank about 20 years ago when I was hospitalized in Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok with dengue fever that I had contracted in Koh Samui. My wife back then thought I just had the usual hangover but when it lasted mored than 4 days even she knew that something was wrong. I certainly don’t wish to remember that excruciating pain that i encountered during the dengue attack and since there is no cure it is simply life or death and time will show. Speaking of my friend Torben I recall that he paid me a visit back then with a bottle of whisky in hand, that I DO recall!

Shipping is many things, both good and bad, like memories. One of the darker sides of shipping relates to fishing and the industrial and sometimes criminal scale by which fishing vessels or industrial trawlers, especially from Taiwan and China, are scouring the oceans raping them of whatever they can yield in order to generate income for unscrupulous owners. It is incredible that the authorities in the small island nation of Taiwan cannot get a handle on this and as for China, which has been in the media recently too (read here) with their security apparatus, they surely should be able to clamp down on illegalities that are happening in parts of their fishing fleets. You may take a look at this video from youtube whilst enjoying your tuna and salmon and wondering what cost was paid in order for it to be ready for consumption. Some Chinese & Taiwanese employers are certainly not against mistreating foreign workers, so if they complain that overseas owned factories are treating their workers in China and Taiwan badly they may look at their own record too!  It seems to be mainly Indonesian workers who are mistreated and I hope Indonesia will remember this next time they consider a Chinese or Taiwanese company for a contract in their country. Modern-day slavery has apparently not been totally abolished.

I checked with a friend of mine living in Taiwan and he did say that things have come to light and have been improved – let us indeed hope so. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned about the company Foxconn of Taiwan producing for Apple in China and I remind you here about the book that you should order and read. it sheds a clear light on working conditions on land too.

Shipping-wise this week we start off with a visit to one of the great port cities of the world ie HAMBURG, Germany. We talk to HHLA International which, surprisingly enough, is not only involved in running an efficient port, ideally located in Europe, but they are also into logistics and inland transport and even have offices in the Caucasus region. We then visit another great country, South Africa, where the scenery and food, not to mention the wine, is heavenly. We interview Afrilog which tells us more about logistics into their country and beyond. Finally we return closer to home to a country where the men are famous for not saying much EVEN after 10 beers but still are trustworthy and the country is FINLAND. We re-visit the versatile and active local port operator and logistics provider Hacklin that has a very long and proud history in the Baltic. We of course provide you with shipping news, trade intel, wise words and so on.

Finally I would like to adjust some information for you: the final issue of PCW will be 25th of June and then on 2nd of July we will publish a link to the free e-book PROJECT CARGO WEEKLY YEARBOOK 2019 with selected interviews, editorials, videos from the whole of last year. It’s about 400 or so pages and it is free. I hope you will be able to relax with it during the month of July or whenever it suits you!

Until next Thursday, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen

CTO Global Logistics Banner

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:
Hello Bo,

Your comments regarding the current situation in the US are well noted. Unfortunately the „troubles” go Much further and are systemic. The house must be cleaned inside out and nothing will change during current administration.

In addition with the corona virus pandemic (110.000) lives lost in US alone we face high unemployment and trillions in added debt. Nearly two weeks of demonstration and rioting does not help.

In Chicago (I live in the City) we have been locked down for weeks and downtown is still deserted and boarded up.

Comments from the White House enrage the masses.

We shall see what happens in November but Trump relies on a solid following….

The future does not look too rosy.


Reader Comment:
Hello Bo,

I always receive this project news from your side, and I share them with my team, but I want to know if you can help me with something, we are researching for those networks that are only for project forwarders.

Best Regards

Reader Comment:
Hi Bo, how are you? Getting ready for summer? With great pleasure I read you weekly updates. Thank you for that.

We offer service from Europe to West Coast South America for RoRo and Breakbulk cargoes.

On several occasions you told about your trips on CGA CGM vessels. I have customer desperately trying to get from Germany to Argentina. Flying is not an option really until the end of August, and he asked me now if I know something about that. The only person I have heard of doing this is you.

Can you help me to get in contact with the right people?

Many thanks


HHLA International GmbH – Hamburg, Germany


Interview with

Mr. Philip Sweens
Managing Director

Mr. Philip Sweens

Let’s begin with a little bit about HHLA. What does the abbreviation stand for, and could you elaborate a bit on the history of HHLA as I understand that you now also have an international logistics outfit in HHLA?

HHLA – Hamburg Hafen und Logistik AG – is a well-diversified, European logistics company listed on the stock exchange. The company has a long history, established in 1885 to manage the port activities in Hamburg.

Today, HHLA operates container terminals in Hamburg (Germany), Odessa (Ukraine), and Tallinn (Estonia). In addition, with its intermodal subsidiary Metrans (one of Europe’s biggest private rail operators), HHLA has a close-meshed network with its own intermodal terminals in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. Metrans offers excellent hinterland connections to Central and Eastern Europe. HHLA represents a logistics and digital hub along the transport flows of the future. Its business model is based on innovative technologies and is committed to sustainability.

Afrilog – Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa

Afrilog Ft Image

Interview with

Basil L.S. Pietersen
Executive Director

Basil L.S. Pietersen

First of all, could you elaborate a bit on the history of Afrilog, its ownership, and your main line of business currently?

One cannot talk about Afrilog without making reference to the parent company, namely CSTT Afrique De L’Quest, commonly known as CSTT-AO. What started out as a Senegalese customs clearing business in 1949 has, under the leadership of its Chairman and Owner, Mr Mamadou Lamine Gueye, developed into what is today referred to as a supply chain business. That said, I must hasten to mention that a number of legal entities emerged from within CSTT AO while some were acquired.

The need to establish business across borders necessitated the need for a “universal /African” name which would be accepted across the African Continent. Afrilog was therefore born in the year 2000. Shortly thereafter, Afrilog South Africa was registered. Again, this was as a result of the demands and challenges placed upon the company by both our clients and the marketplace. The main reason for the establishment of Afrilog SA was to fulfil the Supply Chain Management requirements for our clients and by so doing, streamlining operations and reducing inventory cost while simultaneously improving service levels. The many years of operational experience across the “Group” companies enabled Afrilog to design supply chains. As a Group, our vision is to build long-term, sustainable supply chain solutions, incorporating ongoing improvements.

Hacklin – Regional Shipowner / Feeder Operator – The Baltics

Hacklin image

Interview with

Mr. Björn Palm
Managing Director

Do you accept breakbulk cargo onboard your feeder vessel?

Yes, we accept breakbulk cargo. We have welcomed this type of cargo for some time now and it’s an important part of our traffic.

Gambu Investment Banner
PCW-Shipping News

AAL Melbourne in Southampton with 38 Yachts on Deck!

Editor’s Note:
This project combining a lot of mega yachts into one shipment must be a success story profit-wise for the freight forwarder. We say well done from PCW and impressive to see the video below. Buying a yacht is expensive but I dare say that all the costs around it maintaining them, transporting them to/from where you are perhaps constitute ever more costs overall, still for some that is indeed no object. Well done also by AAL, well known for solid project cargo vessel performances.

AAL Melbourne in Southampton with 38 Yachts on Deck Video

EMS Chartering Opens Branch Office in St. Petersburg

Editor’s Note:
EMS Chartering opening a new office in St. Petersburg. Another step forward for the group that has expanded in recent years.

German logistics company EMS Chartering continues to grow: It has opened a branch office in St. Petersburg. Since the beginning of June, Senior Representative/Chartering Manager Alexey Yemtsov takes care of the market in Eastern Europe. EMS Chartering specialises in sea transports (breakbulk) and can rely, among other things, on its own fleet. In addition, the company offers a wide range of further logistics services. EMS Chartering belongs to the EMS-Fehn-Group, which is based in Leer, Germany.

First train arrival at Stockholm Norvik Port

Editor’s Note:
We have published a bit recently about the new Stockholm Norvik Port. It has now been integrated and linked up to the railway system here in Sweden as you can see from this press release.

Port of Stockholm

The first scheduled freight train has rolled into the new freight port, Stockholm Norvik Port, along the new industrial branch line. Ports of Stockholm constructed the railway line to provide greater sustainable transport possibilities and to increase the range of transport alternatives to and from the port.

HHLA Handles World’s Largest Container Ship at Burchardkai

Editor’s Note:
The world largest containership mv HMM Algeciras came to Europe last week. Thanks to HHLA Hamburg you will be able to find some really awesome images of the maiden voyage to Europe here.

HMM Algeciras
HMM Algeciras
© HHLA / Dietmar Hasenpusch

The world’s largest container ship HMM Algeciras, with a capacity of 24,000 20-foot standard containers (TEU), will call at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai (CTB) this Sunday, 07 June 2020. The HMM Algeciras is on its maiden voyage and will call at the Port of Hamburg for the first time. During its stay, the mega-freighter will load and discharge approximately 8,500 containers, or 13,600 TEU, and is scheduled to leave the terminal next Wednesday at around 2 p.m.

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Bombardier to Supply 28 Additional Bilevel Commuter Rail Cars to US West Coast Transportation Authorities

The most popular double-deck commuter rail car in North America, there are currently almost 1,400 BOMBARDIER BiLevel cars in operation across the continent

Epic Group Signs Wastewater Treatment Deal

The Epic Group, a major apparel manufacturer for global brands, has signed an agreement with wastewater treatment company Arvind Envisol to reduce pollution and conserve water at its factories in Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Jordan.

Celanese Signs Technology Licensing Agreement for Acetic Acid Route to Acrylic Acid

Celanese Corporation announced that its subsidiary, Celanese (Nanjing) Chemical Co. Ltd., has recently signed a tri-party agreement with SOUTHWEST INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL CO., LTD. (SWCHEM), based in Chengdu, China, and YANKUANG LUNAN CHEMICAL CO., LTD. (LUNAN), based in Teng Zhou, China, to build a Pilot Scale-up Unit (PSU) in Teng Zhou, China, to test industrial scale production of acrylic acid using acetic acid as the principal raw material.

Kstar Targets European Market Following Spanish Central Inverter Certification

Chinese inverter manufacturer KSTAR has received NTS 631 certification from Spain’s Certification Entity for Renewable Energies (CERE), claiming to be the first Chinese manufacturer to do so. Leo Liu, regional director at KSTAR, said the company would now continue to prepare for the implementation of new grid codes in Spain.

Marine Chartering Services
PCW-Featured Video

Port of Odessa

Editor’s Note:
An interesting video here from the Port of Odessa. By coincidence I just booked myself on a trip with CMA CGM to depart from Singapore June, 2021 onboard CMA CGM Volga to disembark in Piraeus. Odessa is one of the port calls enroute. Looking forward to the trip and let us hope that I don’t fall in love in Odessa. Ukraine is famous for love “business”.

Port of Odesa Video
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
Evening view at Westport Port Kelang, Malaysia from CC Georgia towards CSCL Globe.

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