It is Thursday the 3rd of September, and we have fewer than 4 months until 2021.
Although time passes slower now when we cannot really travel, still we somehow adapt, and then the time starts to pass quickly again. I have finally gotten “used to” having Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, WhatsApp and other kinds of online conferences. I’ve also learnt to put on my headset and lock the door to my office, so that the kids don’t rush in to greet you in the middle of a speech.
Besides being editor of this newsletter, I am also chairing a couple of networks of project freight forwarders— www.clcprojects.com & www.cross-ocean.com. All told, with 240 members in 130 countries, it will take a while before I have been able to speak to them all online. We were meant to have physical conferences, but as you all know, that is perhaps practically an impossibility until Q2 2021.
A friend of mine from Singapore just arrived there from Denmark on the once a week SQ flight. He told me that 35 passengers were on board and that he is now in a 14-day quarantine in the Lion City before being able to go to his home. You really must have very strong reasons to fly anywhere if you can accept 14 days of solitary confinement before being able to mingle.
Another contact of mine living in Thailand shared this story recently published in a Thai newspaper about the predicament and bureaucracy (due to COVID-19) a Dutch gentleman with a Thai wife had to go through in order to get home. The Dutch won’t normally sit in business class anyhow as they won’t spend the money for it, but still nowadays, there isn’t any difference whether you are in the back or in the front.
For me, a big part of traveling has always been the whole impression of the trip—the buzz, the food & drink, meeting people, and getting an adrenaline kick. Now, that is certainly gone.
I was on a call with a friend of mine living in Borneo. He runs a local travel agency there, and he was forced to cut 50% (soon to be 80%) of his staff. These employees with no other means of income or any governmental support are left (with their families) to their own devices…so yes there ARE heartaches out there now.
And with everyone wearing face masks, who can spot the bankrobber now?
Still, the situation is being worked on. I heard on the Swedish news last night that hopefully, a vaccine will be available early 2021, but it remains to be seen.
On the political front, not much is happening. Trump and Biden are exchanging words, and most of those I have talked to are commenting to me about how the US doesn’t seem capable of finding better candidates in a country of 300+ million than what is on offer for this year’s presidential election.
The US seems hellbent on isolating China where possible and throws its weight around like another juggernaut, arresting ships carrying oil between two sovereign nations. Albeit it is Iran and Venezuela (so not really friends of mine), the average people living in those countries are nice and have no conflicts with anyone, so did anyone ever stop to think about whether sanctions actually work?
The US is also worried about Huawei and that it can be used for intelligence-gathering whilst at the same time, the NSA has been doing this for years—even spying on their own allies with GCHQ in the UK (as the ever-willing follower to the US). Why be so worried about what China may find out when you are doing the same to the rest of us? China certainly needs standing up to, and they are by no means cleaner than others, but in one of his few wise words, Mao Tse Tung once remarked “in the cleanest water lives no fish”. Indeed, the “great helmsman” was right…this time. Going to church and broadcasting it to the rest of the world still won’t make up for double standards!
On the shipping front this week, we start off with an interesting interview with a container and breakbulk port operator. The company, ICTSI—headquartered in Manila— is making its presence felt worldwide. In specific places in Africa and the Middle East, they are developing rapidly. We talk to their representative in the Middle East.
We then return to Scandinavia, the place of the Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen, and the country is Denmark. We have an interesting interview with a shipowner and chartering company called UAL. They are also active in the Africa trade, and their office is headed by a guy with a wide experience in breakbulk shipping.
We finally end up in Sweden and interview one of the more active shipping agents and tanker ship owners called TSA who are extremely busy handling ships currently, not least with renewable equipment counting in the thousands of freight tons scheduled to arrive during the next 2-3 years into Sweden from overseas.
We round off this week’s newsletter with shipping news, trade intel, featured picture and video, and wise words not to forget.
Wishing you well, keep yourselves safe and until next week I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
ICTSI – Dubai, UAE
Mr. Michael Nielsen
To begin with, Michael could you elaborate a bit to our readers about your career in shipping leading up to your current position representing ICTSI—one of the most well-known port and terminal operators worldwide?
I have primarily worked for vessel operators / shipowners throughout my career. I started in the container segment and slowly moved more and more into the break bulk / project / heavy lift segments. I have been lucky enough to have worked in Singapore, Japan, Mauritius, and for the last 8 years in the UAE.
In my current role with ICTSI, I will make use of my operator experience and my network to add some additional focus and further develop the non-containerized cargo we handle through our ports. We recently announced one, new, multipurpose port concession secured in West Africa (more details below), and we hope to be able to announce another couple of new initiatives in the region before the end of the year. These will be in addition to some of the existing terminals already handling break bulk / project cargo on a regular basis.
UAL Chartering – Copenhagen, Denmark
Mr. Samir Ferguen
First of all Samir, please let our readers get to know you. Who are you, and what is your background in shipping & chartering leading up to your current posting in Copenhagen?
I have been working within the project, chartering, and heavy-lift industry since 2008. I started my career as a trainee with Scan-Trans in Denmark at the age of 21. At that time, the industry was still surfing the wave of high economic reward, which quickly changed at the end of my 2-year stay at the office in Denmark, but nonetheless, Scan-Trans was one of the best places to be as a trainee. I was lucky to be offered a chartering position in Houston. I continued my training and worked there from 2010 to 2011. Thereafter, I relocated to the Asian HQ, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where I took part of the chartering team from 2011-2015. During this period, Scan-Trans merged with Intermarine.
Towards the end of 2014, with my son being one and a half years old at the time and my daughter on the way, we decided to go back to Denmark. I had a short period with Nordana in Denmark, before going back to Intermarine, which later on became Zeamarine.
At Zeamarine/Intermarine, we had a very good position worldwide, and we managed to create a very strong position within the Europe/Africa trade. This is not something I can take full credit for. My long-time friend and colleague, Morten Moeller had a huge part in developing this from scratch.
Since we started the dialog with UAL earlier this year, and after having met with the fantastic team in Rotterdam, it quickly became clear that this was the ideal partnership for us to continue developing the trade.
TSA Agency Sweden AB – Gavle, Sweden
Mr. Marcus Larsson
Senior Port Agent and Project Specialist
First of all Marcus, could you explain to us a little about the history of TSA Agency? The name implies that you are a shipping agency, but if I understand correctly, you are also shipowners? Who are the owners of TSA?
TSA Agency Sweden was established in 1992 by a group of experienced brokers in order to provide professional, international, shipbroking services in the Swedish market. We are a local actor with global experience and can manage all of your routine (or not so routine) tasks, for all kinds of vessels, wet and dry, from coasters to VLCC’s, for all Swedish ports. We will ensure that essential supplies, crew transfers, customs documentation, and declarations are forwarded and arranged with the relevant port authorities in a timely and efficient manner, that customs duties and dues are paid and discharged correctly, or that whatever unusual situation which may arise is handled in the best possible fashion.
TSA is the commercial leg for the Swedish ship owner, Tarbit Shipping AB and Tarbit Tankers BV with 13 Bitumen tankers and 3 product tankers. TSA Tanker Shipping is a specialist in tanker transportation services covering chartering and operation of bitumen, pitch, coal-tar, vegetable oil as well as chemical and petroleum products all over the world.
Djibouti Shipping Company
Djibouti located at the Horn of Africa is the gateway to Ethiopia generally and a major transhipment point due to its perfect location. A new shipping line has just started offering services into Somalia and Somaliland a place famous before for pirates but that seems to have abated now compared to before. Sooner or later though trade must pick up so perhaps it is good timing for Djibouti Shipping Company. PCW will revert with a more detailed interview in the coming week.
U.S. Restricts Exports to 24 Firms Over S. China Sea Island-Building
The US is currently judge/jury/executioner in the world of trade. How can they sanction Chinese companies for doing business in the South China Sea? How can they “arrest” oil tankers plying between Iran and Venezuela and although both countries leaderships are no friends of mine still, who are the modern day pirates now? DSV and BBC, including Goldwind also were claimed for a project to Cuba recently, it seems the US dusted off a law from 1930’s. The calls about democracy and in the name of freedom surely do sound hollow nowadays coming from the US. Hope in November there may be light!
The United States has imposed export restrictions on 24 major Chinese companies for their role in the construction of China’s island bases in the South China Sea.
The firms include some of the biggest names in China’s maritime sector, including China Communications Construction Company’s dredging division and a telecommunications research lab belonging to China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC), now part of Chinese state shipbuilding giant CSSC. The vast majority of business divisions within CCCC and CSSC are not covered.
EFG Scandinavia Orders Third Giant Crane to Sweden
And the renewable industry keeps on-going here in Sweden. Latest press release here from EMS-Fehn-Group in Germany being active up here in the North!
Norwegian heavy lift and crane solutions specialist EFG Scandinavia defes the Covid-19 slump and gears up in Sweden. The member of the German EMS-FehnGroup will contribute to yet another wind farm project in the Markbygden area. Accordingly, EFG Scandinavia will now have three gigantic cranes of the CC3800 type up north.
Kawasaki Kisen To Sail Wing-Towed Ships To Cut Fuel
An interesting article here from Nikkei Asia Review about the coming implementation of taking advantage of wind power when at sea. It has been seen before I think it was the now defunct Beluga that once showcased this way of saving fuel costs. Let us see where it leads.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha will install automated kites to help pull its large bulk carriers, starting with one vessel by late 2021, under plans announced Friday by the Japanese shipping company.
The kite rig is expected to reduce fuel costs by about 20% and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 5,200 tons per ship per year.
Kandi May Open A Manufacturing Factory In North America
Kandi’s K27 and K23 EVs introduction in the U.S. might not be the only surprise of the year from the Chinese company, as there is a possibility to build a new EV plant in North America.
Kandi Technologies announced that it is actively exploring the topic of opening a manufacturing base in North America for both on-road and off-road electric vehicles.
Suez to Equip World’s Largest MABR Wastewater-Treatment System in Canada
Suez Water Technologies announced that the Region of Waterloo (Canada) has selected SUEZ’s ZeeLung technology to equip what will be the largest Membrane Aerated Biofilm Reactor (MABR) system in the world at the Hespeler Wastewater Treatment Plant, in Ontario. The innovative technology will support the regional government’s objectives to deliver better water quality while improving nutrient removal, reducing energy and maximizing the treatment capacity and performance from existing assets.
Serbia’s Tel-Kabl Breaks Ground for 1.5 M Euro Factory
Serbian cables and wirings maker Tel-Kabl started the construction of a 1.5 million euro ($1.8 million) factory in Zajecar, in eastern Serbia, its owner Dejan Jankovic said.
The new factory will have a footprint of 5,000 square metres and a workforce of 50 to 60 employees, Jankovic said in a video file posted on the YouTube channel of Zajecar-based broadcaster Radio Magnum on Friday.
Siemens to Help Uprade 105 Substations in Nigeria
The Nigerian government, its German counterpart, and Siemens AG have agreed upon a deal involving the upgrading of 105 power substations, the construction of 70 new ones, and the manufacture of 35 new power transformers.
United Heavy Lift a relatively new player in the heavylift market is making its presence felt not just in the transportation of parts for the ever booming renewable energy industry but also in other segments. Here a video of their latest project cargo arriving in Rotterdam.
For further info contact: email@example.com
For fleet details and further information visit: www.unitedshippinggroup.de
Rookery South Energy Recovery Facility Performed by Collett & Sons
I lived in the UK from 1995 to 1996 and I was always amazed about how much talk that there was but how little was actually done particularly in their politics. Doing instead of talking though seems to be the mantra of Collett & sons; they are indeed moving project cargo around and doing it big time. Here a recent example of an oversized project in the UK performed by Collect & Sons. There is also a link to a video with some more details about the project itself. Finally may I add that nothing beats the UK countryside when its green!