It is Thursday the 20th of August, and we are back again.
Although Sweden is in a kind of lockdown, the restrictions on movement around the country are virtually non-existent, so I try to get out of the “office” a bit whenever it is possible. Last week I visited the port city of Gävle which is located some 175 km (109 miles) north of the capital of Stockholm. Gavle, along with other ports on the northern part of the Swedish east coast such as Umeaa, Pieteaa, Luleaa, Sundsvall, and Harnosand, are all awash with breakbulk ships coming with wind turbines and related equipment at least foreseen until 2022 or 2023 which should be the peak. All the suppliers are involved, i.e., Vestas, Nordex, Siemens, and GE.When I visited the port of Gavle and one of the reputable local shipping agencies there, TSA, they were expecting at least 15 breakbulk vessels with project cargo to arrive in the next few months. The quantities are huge, and the investments are creating thousands of jobs all along the coastline in the name of “green energy”.
The next vessel from COSCO, mv Tian Hui, will be in Gavle early September, and certainly I shall be in port to take a few pictures. Nothing beats getting away from the wife and out to see real shipping outside a computer screen. As for the wife, I am sure she feels equally pleased having me out of the way!
Perhaps you have the same experience as I have: the further you get away from the bigger cities and the nations’ capitals, the nicer the people are, and they seem more relaxed, attentive, and overall more positive to deal with.
Last time I visited Gavle was in 1999 or 2000 I think when I worked for the COSCO agency—then called Penta Shipping. We had a team of Chinese engineers dismantling a complete steel plant from SSAB which was shipped to Wuxi Iron and Steel in China. Later on, we shipped a similar plant from Luleaa to Handan Iron & Steel. Those were the days when a 2nd hand plant in Sweden could be decommissioned, dismantled, and then shipped to China, basically there working as a “new plant”.
As you all know by now, “green” is the buzzword for most of us, and everything is excusable as long as we claim that it is for the good of the environment. One thought comes to my mind though—what about the time when the wind turbines are no longer working, how can we dispose of them? When the batteries for the influx of electrical cars are done with, how can we dispose of them and so on? I only hope that there is a reasonable and open debate about it. Just because you dress yourself in a green coloured shirt and shout out all the “right opinions” that doesn’t mean you have the monopoly on wisdom.
A clean environment starts at home, and we are here with the Baltic Sea close to us where the major pollutants are being spewed into the ocean from Russia in particular but also the former Soviet Republics of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Perhaps we might spend a bit of our energy to clean up that first before spending millions of taxpayer dollars in subsidizing the green wave of energy. We may also in our “developed” world learn to clean up after ourselves after a night out in the town. On many a Monday after the weekends here in Stockholm, it does look awful in the streets and near the suns-seeker spots with rubbish, empty beer cans, plastic, and whatnot. I recently saw on LinkedIn a photo from the greenest capital of all, Copenhagen....see here, so you can get an idea what it could look like. So, if you want a clean environment, start at home, and if you want clean energy do go for it but have a back-up plan and a basket of energy sources available as there is usually a catch, and let’s avoid always telling other countries how to live their lives!
On the COVID-19 front, it is still wreaking havoc and so-called “safe places” are now again unsafe, so it is the opinion of this editor that we had better hunker down and expect to do so for the long haul until the vaccine is here. I put my faith in the medical profession who now are put to the test to develop, test, and roll out a vaccine that really works, so we can get back into gear.
The virus has also given us time for contemplation, and at least for us in the so-called developed world, we may reflect on the lifestyle we had before. I do feel sad for many, though, who through no fault of their own, have problems making ends meet or see their business go under (or at least be severely hampered).
A friend of mine lives in Melbourne, a city of 5 million that is now in a severe lockdown mode. I met him last year when I arrived there by CMA CGM Georgia as a passenger from Singapore (check out the video here). My friend runs a container positioning business, and his business is also suffering from this pandemic along with millions of others, of course. His company, Silverback is interesting by the way, and you may read more about it here.
Shipping-wise, we have got 3 nice interviews in store for you today. We start off in the “lucky country”, aka Australia, and speak to a company called VISA which, besides having a valid visa, have expanded into many other places around the globe. Then we speak to a local, project freight forwarder active in a beautiful country known for wonderful coast lines, golden sand, and friendly people, and that country is Oman. We interview Aqua Air Logistics which has a proud Indian background. Finally, we visit China and the province of Anhui, and we talk to a company called Greenroad—a company that has expanded its reach into the interior of China and Central Asia but also provides overseas project cargo services.
Certainly, as usual, we provide you with shipping news, trade intelligence, and featured pictures, videos, etc. and we conclude our newsletter with wise words.
Until next Thursday, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
VISA Global Logistics (VGL) – Australia
Ms. Krystel Cochico
First of all, please tell us about the history of VISA Global. Where is your company headquartered and who are the owners?
VISA Global Logistics (VGL) began its journey in 1982 in Sydney, Australia. This remains our global head office. VGL provides a complete, end-to-end, supply chain and logistics service that entails global freight forwarding, customs brokerage, 3PL warehousing, and transport and distribution. For the past 38 years, we have grown to provide the most comprehensive service coverage in Australia whilst also expanding to operate our own offices in Belgium, China, Germany, India, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South East Asia, Spain, Turkey, and the USA. To-date, we have 67 offices globally.
Our mission at VGL is to be the one-stop-shop for our clients for all their logistics needs, backed by outstanding customer service. In line with this, VGL offers several customer-centric, value-adding services such as 24/7 support, real time shipment tracking, and an unparalleled level of supply chain reporting.
Aqua Global Logistics – Oman
Mr. Prathap & Mr. Dharani
General Manager / Country Manager
Let’s start off with the usual question about the virus. How is the situation currently on the ground in Oman and for the logistics business to and from Oman?
Optimism is the way forward, and we are optimistic with the situation returning to normalcy. More than 90 percent of the people in Oman who had tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered, a figure that is 30 percent higher than the global recovery rate.
The Oman Logistics Sector has passed a significant milestone during this pandemic crisis with the introduction of e-Delivery and e-Cargo release orders.
In addition, Oman has many attributes. It is a logistics hub due to its strategic position. Its economy is resilient. The country enjoys great connectivity. The infrastructure is world-class, and its advanced energy projects are already playing an important part in expanding business globally.
Shanghai Greenroad International Logistics – China
Mrs. Anny Xu
Please tell us first of all about the history of Greenroad. When was the company established? Who owns it? What is your headcount?
GREENROAD was established in 1998. The name originates from the Chinese word 绿色通道, which means our business development road will have no obstacles and will go well in the future. In the initial entrepreneurial period, there were three partners: two friends and our director. Mrs Anny. They were mainly engaged in business development and operation. However, Mrs. Anny is the majority shareholder inGreenroad as her brother has a smaller number of shares. Later, the two friends left Greenroad in another development direction.
Our business started with the China Humanitarian Aid project and as anNDS booking agent. Mrs Anny is a legendary woman in the logistics industry. She has taken business trips on her own to many countries which were in difficult situations (high rates of poverty, disease, robbery, and war risk) in order to develop business by herself. These countries include Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Mali, Niger,Togo, and Cote d’ivoire.
As the business developed, we opened our first, overseas branch company, Greenroad Maliat in 2009. Then, we established the second, third, and subsequent companies covering Africa, South Asia, and the world. Now, we have at least 45 overseas branch companies and representative offices, and staff have increased to 456. Greenroad is the No 1 company which has a rich overseas network and stepped out of China earliest in the private enterprise logistics industry.
TT Talk News
It would seem prudent to publish now a link to this excellent newsletter from TT Club about dangerous goods, handling, storage and shipping of same in particular of the recent event in the port of Beirut which seem to have passed noone by. Indeed playing with fire, attributing wrong information about cargo contents and even weights etc should be severely dealt with and customers or forwarders who perpetrate such acts should be punished and shunned.
Weather Hampers Wakashio Recovery While Panama Defends Registry
Bulker in paradise we named the mv Wakashio that ran aground at the reefs of Mauritius. It has now turned out to be a bulker from hell as it has split in two and spilt lots of heavy fuel polluting the beautiful shore lines of the islands. I saw one report mentioning that they had sailed too close to land in order to get wifi/mobile signal and if that is true then it is indeed a scary thought. Not long ago we had a similar incident in the Baltic Sea with the Kline roro mv Makassar Bridge running aground as apparently they wanted to get close enough for a mobile signal enabling anyone to call home etc. If both instances reported are true then we may indeed say that we have become slaves of the internet and of our mobile phones!
As expected, deteriorating weather conditions in Mauritius have begun to hamper the efforts at the site of the bulk carrier Wakashio which has now broken in two. Rough seas have also been dispersing the oil while the strong surf has sent parts of the barriers deployed to catch the oil up on to the shore itself. At the same time, Panama spoke out about the accident defending its registry of the Wakashio.
Chipolbrok – Increased Presence in Scandinavian and the Baltic Region
Chipolbrok the longstanding Chinese-Polish joint venture in shipping that was established during the good old days of socialist brotherhood and camaraderie is still going strong and is with their base in Gdynia, Poland upping their interest in loading cargoes to the Baltic not least because of the huge investment in green technology such as wind turbines etc mainly coming from China that takes place at the eastern Swedish seaboard all along the cost.
Here the latest including some nice shots of their vessel recently in Gdynia
Construction of an Ecological City Begins in Yagma, Burkina Faso
Construction of a human settlement dubbed Yagma Bioclimatic City modeled on the self-sustaining resilient structure and function of natural ecosystems (eco-city or ecocity) has commenced in Yagma, a village in the Zam Department of Ganzourgou Province in central Burkina Faso.
Capstone Turbine Secures Consecutive 200-Kilowatt Orders for a Wastewater Treatment Plant & Recreational Waterpark in Poland
Capstone Turbine Corporation announced that it received two consecutive orders that include a C200S for a wastewater treatment facility and a C200R for a recreational waterpark in Poland. ASPAMET, Capstone’s exclusive distributor in Poland (www.aspamet.pl), secured the orders, which are expected to be commissioned in early 2021.
Samsung Biologics Plots $2B ‘Super Plant’ as COVID-19 Sends Sales Through the Roof
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shockwaves across the pharmaceutical industry with some drugmakers booking major losses in recent months. But the crisis hasn’t been a bad thing for everyone: South Korea’s Samsung Biologics, for instance, is swimming in new orders, and it’s planning to build a long-awaited facility to celebrate.
OJI Announces New Corrugated Container Plant in Malaysia
Japan’s paper company Oji announced on August 4 that it has decided to establish a new corrugated container plant in Johor, Malaysia.
This new plant is expected to start its operations in January 2022 with a planned production capacity of 7 million square meters each month. The planned land size is approximately 42,000 square meters, an approximate investment of JPY 4 billion.
OOCL Vessel Passing Under Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong
And staying in Hong Kong here a short video taken from the 32nd floor of a Park Island condo towards the Tsing Ma Bridge with an OOCL vessel passing underneath en-route to one of the nearby Chinese container ports such as Shekou or Nansha perhaps. Enjoy!
Yes, I know that Hong Kong has been, or is, in a storm right now, not only with mainland China exerting more control but, also the pandemic etc. Still nobody can argue with the fact that the skyline towards the island of Hong Kong stands out as one of the most impressive in the World – at least to this editor. It remains my favourite world city, lets see when I can visit again!