It is Thursday the 25th of June, and we are having our last regular issue of PCW before the summer. However, we will, on Thursday the 2nd of July, publish the much awaited Project Cargo Weekly YEARBOOK 2019. We will share a link to an ebook that you will be able to download for free. You are welcome to share this link and do with it as you please—which I, of course, hope will include actually reading it and enjoying a compilation of editorials, main interviews, and clickable videos from the start to finish of 2019. It is the first time that I have published a yearbook and believe we are now in a more established league media-wise, meaning that receivers actually might like to read it. It is virtually ad-free and will provide the reader with solid intel and wise observations from the undersigned 🙂
Every day, I try to walk briskly about 10,000 steps or so. This amounts to between 5-7km a day. Being of the older generation, I only recently found the value of podcasts that I listen to whilst walking. I must share a couple of links to podcasts that I found very informative and relate to what PCW and I am all about – shipping. The first one is about the origin of containerisation. The second one is about the easy target that seafarers represent when blame for mishaps has to be assigned. I must say that in my opinion, this podcast says it all, and it is evident that what we see is that blame only goes to a certain level and the “higher ups” wash their hands. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Yes, it certainly does, and it always seems that the buck stops before it reaches either the big bucks or the upper levels who are often involved often the poor conditions, mismanagement, and so on. Naturally there should be blame to go around commensurate with your responsibility but taking a wider view when assigning blame is important at least. That is the position of PCW.
Whilst we are on the plight of the seafarers, especially in COVID-19 times, there are also sunny stories out there. Recently, one German shipowner managed to repatriate a large number of crew back to their home country through consistent efforts. See more.
Being unable to plan any formal holiday 2020, and this year being a gap year in my wife-approved allowance of container ship cruise trip once every two years, I just booked myself, daughter and a colleague onboard the CMA CGM Volga from Singapore via Suez Canal, Black Sea Ports to Piraeus in June 2021. I certainly hope that the virus has subsided by then and that our trip is on. I do believe that having something to look forward to—whatever it is—keeps us going…a bit like trying to reach the rainbow although knowing that you won’t ever reach it, but the trip there is awesome! This is a tribute indeed to CMA CGM Travellers club in Marseille who facilitate trips onboard modern container ships worldwide.
On the political front, not much has happened except that a former Trump staff member, Mr. Bolton published a book mainly about his former employer, but as the saying goes: “If you point a finger at someone, at least 3 fingers point to yourself.” At least that is what I learned during a stint in AA some years ago. One might say that if he hadn’t had that job that he writes about, most wouldn’t have been interested in buying his book, so perhaps it’s a good idea if he shares some of the royalties paid …. 🙂 But it is America, and everything is possible, and “the Hollywood show must go on” is everywhere, particularly in US politics.
We have interesting interviews in store for you today. We start off in my native country, famous for Vikings, pornography (at least in the 60’s), wind turbines, and shipping. The country is Denmark, and we have a talk with Alpha Project & Logistics which, although headquartered in Denmark, has most of its business in Africa and other parts of the world, showing that location is not always important for where you conduct business.
We then travel to the country of the Aztecs, which shares a long border with the US, has great food and beautiful women, and that country is Mexico. Talking to FTGV Transport, they tell us more about their capabilities in logistics in a country with both Pacific and Gulf costs and inland obstacles for delivery.
Lastly we speak to a company in a country where they finally are learning to speak English, menus in other than their native language may now be found, and is a fantastic country in many ways for both tourism and trade, and we are talking about France. Listening to Michel Hurel Transport, we learn more about their capabilities both in France and the UK but also in North Africa where the giant and oil and gas rich country of Algeria plays a vital role.
In this final issue before the summer break, we also have for you an interesting interview with LOGISYN in the US. Logisyn is a company specialised in the buying and selling of logistics companies. Age creeps up on all of us and sooner or later. If you wish to either expand or retire, you may need the services of a company like Logisyn in order to find a suitable match worldwide. Although you are selling up, you would still want your legacy to be preserved in some ways, right?
We finally bother you with shipping news, trade intel, wise words and featured picture and videos of the week.
Finally, may I remind you to look out for the LINK to download the 2019 PCW yearbook which we will email you on the 2nd of July. If for some reason you do not receive the email please email me at: email@example.com.
I wish you a very happy month of July, and I shall return formally to your inbox again on the 6th of August.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
ALPHA Projects & Logistics – Copenhagen, Denmark
Mr. Peer Rommelhoff
I understand from the market that you are active in Africa. Is there a specific reason for that, and how do you find it working actively in the African market which many say is the “final frontier” to be developed?
We believe that in years to come, the region will be developed, and therefore, reliable and skillful manpower with great experience and knowledge will be required.
We put a lot of effort into the education of our local manpower, and we have made our own two-year, ALPHA education program for trainees. This is all part of developing our presence in the region with a huge respect of the people and culture.
We have chosen Botswana and Namibia as we see Walvis Bay as a good alternative for transshipping cargo to Durban. We see a lot of uncertainty in the delivery time via Durban due to congestion in the port and heavy delays by rail.
FTGV Transport Logistics Cargo S.A. DE C.V – Mexico
Mr. Cesar Santiago Orozco
Owner and CEO
Can you tell us about the history and ownership of FTGV in Mexico?
The company was created in 2012 by my wife, Yadira Galindo, and myself, so it is a family company. We started as freight forwarders, but we have also developed some other trade branches such as project cargo, show business cargo, fairs and exhibitions,, fine arts,, food and beverages, and sport events. We have offices in main ports and borders of the country like Veracruz, Altamira, Manzanillo, Ensenada, Cancun, and Nuevo Laredo.
Michel Hurel Transport Group – France
Mr. Alec Maurey McKeon
Knowing the french propensity for not speaking English may I ask if you speak French? I understand that your company is active in both France and Algeria, how did this come about?
Only when no one is looking… more seriously I am Franco-Irish, so I speak both languages. Funny enough, close to all employees in the UK have to speak French due to the nature of our historical clients.
With regards to Algeria, there was a gap in the market in the UK for freight forwarders specialised in moving cargo to and from North Africa so we used this opportunity to export the French know how in this region. Our first major project was in 1999 with Hess Corporation in Hassi Messaoud and operations grew from there.
LOGISYN – Chicago, USA
Mr. Mikael Olesen
What does LOGISYN do?
Logisyn is a boutique M&A advisory services firm for the logistics industry. We have developed a proven process based on decades of experience. From the preparation, buyer/seller search and negotiations, to the due diligence phases, we allow our clients to focus on their core business while we run the process for them. Our secret sauce is our industry reputation, references, buyer and seller network, and industry knowledge. We believe in a personal, hands-on approach, and since we all come from the industry, our clients won’t have to teach us Logistics 101.
ALS and Norsea Join Forces in Wind Logistics
Another announcement in the very soon to be if not already very competitive renewable energy sector. It is indeed a booming industry both on and offshore and with green, sustainable and other such words being spewed left, right and center no wonder that logistics companies scramble to offer these services too. Here the latest in 2 reputable names joining forces.
Abnormal Load Services – ALS is proud to announce that, together with Norsea (part of the Wilhelmsen Group), the company is investing further in the onshore and offshore renewables sector by launching a new logistics company Elevon whose sole focus is to support the wind industry.
Intermarine Marks 30 Years – Cargoes Keep Moving
Intermarine is baaaack and now marks its 30 years in operation. Houston based and with a long history of successful trade in particular in the Americas trade. Thanks a lot to Leah Cook of Intermarine’s press office.
Intermarine is celebrating 30 years as a trusted breakbulk carrier. The company continues to build on its legacy by providing reliability and consistency in trade lanes from the US Gulf to ports throughout the Caribbean and South America. In addition to their regular weekly sailings, Intermarine has recently completed a shipment of 28 pieces/2100CBM of earth moving equipment from Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, to Kingston, Jamaica, on the M/V Constant; and an additional shipment on the M/V Color of 20 units/1170CBM of rolling stock from St. Croix, U.S., Virgin Islands, to Houston’s Industrial Terminals.
Moving Forward: Fednav’s New Organizational Structure
Another interesting newsletter from FEDNAV the shipowner heavily involved in Great Lakes Trade North America and even other worldwide trades including parts of the Arctic since being based in Canada. An interesting company I would say.
As part of their first major restructuring in decades, Fednav recently announced that a newly created Marine Department, led by Executive Vice-President Tina Revsbech, will unite the Chartering and Operations teams with their counterparts in the Shipowning, Technical, and Arctic units. Together, they will focus on improved commercial efficiency to provide the best possible service to customers.
UK MCA Detains Five Cruise Ships Over Crew Welfare Concerns
It is the position of PCW that the seafarers around the world that really do enable us to trade with each other big time need much more attention and much better treatment overall. It ranges from salaries, exchange of crews, more internet access whilst onboard and above all, a bump up in the status and attention from authorities and owners worldwide. We who buy services from shipowners should ask about how they treat their crew and start to become more involved generally. It starts with you if you are a customer! Below another example of apparent ill-treatment – how many times we must see this?
On Thursday, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) detained the cruise ship Astoria at the port of Tilbury pending an inspection. After boarding, the MCA issued detentions to the Astoria and four other vessels in the operator’s fleet – the Astor, Colombus, Vasco da Gama and Marco Polo.
According to Indian politician Kshitiji Hitentra Thakur, MLA, about 600 Indian seafarers are stranded aboard the Magellan, Columbus, Vasco de Gama, Astor, Astoria and Marco Polo in the UK. Their repatriation arrangements have allegedly been frustrated by shifting Indian government policy regarding their permission to return, and they have remained on board for nearly 90 days.
Petrofac Bags Multi-Million Dollar Bahrain Deal
Petrofac revealed Tuesday that its Engineering & Production Services (EPS) division has been awarded a “multi-million dollar” engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract by Tatweer Petroleum for an upstream gas project in Bahrain.
JA Solar Inks Distribution Deal with Mexico’s Exel Solar
China’s JA Solar Technology Co Ltd will market its photovoltaic (PV) products in Mexico through local distributor Exel Solar.
The Chinese PV equipment maker said today it has recently signed a partnership agreement with Exel Solar, under which the parties will aim to strengthen their cooperation in providing more high-quality solar modules to the Mexican consumers.
Tunisia to Build Construction and Demolition Waste Recovery Unit in Gabes
The government of the Republic of Tunisia is set to construct the first construction and demolition waste recovery unit in the Governorate of Gabès, south-eastern region of the North African country.
Doosan Infracore Wins Orders for ADTs from Saudi Arabia, Poland
Doosan Infracore announced on 13th that it had signed a deal to supply its articulated dump trucks (ADTs) to Saudi Arabia and Poland.
Onboard the CMA CGM Georgia Close to Rodondo Island
Last year I had the pleasure of taking a trip onboard CMA CGM Georgia from Singapore to Melbourne. Here is a short video filmed not far from Rodondo Island near Melbourne, a day ahead of arriving alongside. I just booked my next trip onboard CMA CGM Volga from Singapore to Piraeus via the Suez Canal and Black Sea Ports for the end of June, 2021 (god and virus willing).
The Huawei P30 Pro phone has great zoom, see here a vessel on the horizon with and without zoom. Taken at Sliema Malta.