Week #37 – 2020

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In this edition: Ahlers – Antwerp, Belgium | Sintek Logistics – Istanbul, Turkey | Idea Shipping and Global Forwarding – Casablanca, Morocco >>>

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Week #37 | 10th September 2020

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 10th of September, and PCW is back.

This year, 2020 is 5 years since Angela Merkel stated “wir schaffen dass”, and by this she meant that it was no problem to handle up towards a million refugees arriving into Europe, mainly from Syria. Yet, it created one of the biggest problems for Europe in modern times, and it is still, to this day, one of the major elephants in the room that most in the politically correct segment don’t want to talk about, especially with regard to the problems with integration and jobs—not to mention related problems arising  due to the lack of these. In Denmark, some 22% of the refugee women and some 46% of the men are now employed.  

It is the position of PCW that we should always help when people are in distress, but we should also be realistic about what we can handle. The EU was unable to take any hard or long-term decisions such as enforcing border control and putting in place proper arrangements for applying work and residence visas outside the EU. Instead, a deal was made with Turkey, costing the taxpayers billions of Euros, and still, to this day, the borders are NOT controlled. It’s a drop in the ocean so to speak, here recently portrayed by the mv Maersk Etienne picking up refugees from the sea but now being unable to disembark them anywhere in Europe. See more.

So much for European solidarity to the shipping community. The only time the EU is able to stand together is when member states agree to enlarge their budget and the costs of the EU administration. But assisting the tiny state of Malta—already overpopulated and coming to the proper aid of Italy and Greece with refugee camps filled to capacity, that is beyond the EU, and instead of taking tough decisions from the start and risking a bit of criticism from the “correct media”, the snowball just keeps on getting bigger, and it won’t go away. Australia had a similar problem before, but they don’t now. See more.

Speaking of Malta, in general, it is one of my favourite countries. I lived there for three years and still have a condo there since 2003. One of my daughters even attended school on the island. The location of the country is superb—ALSO for shipping which you can see in today’s featured video but with proximity to Sicily. The food, both local and Italian, is excellent, and the people are very friendly. Here are a few pictures that I took during a recent pre-Corona trip to the island.

This week (I am currently in Sweden), I managed to get out of the house. I revisited the port city of Gavle some 200 km north of Stockholm and was there on Monday the 7th to attend the discharging of wind turbine equipment coming from China to Sweden with COSCO Shipping’s vessel mv Tian Hui using the Northern Sea Route north of Russia, meaning a transit time of only 28 days Yangzhou to Gavle! Here is a link to pictures and video that I took on Monday, and with fantastic weather as a background, it was a memorable day indeed, made possible by COSCO Shipping Sweden and their local agents TSA Shipping Agency, Gavle.

On the interview front this week, we’ve got a few interesting ones in store for you. We start off in a small country known for a capital with bureaucracy in the extreme (Brussels) but also a place known for the best local and French food available and the country is Belgium. We interview a company with a very long and distinguished history called Ahlers. They are versatile and active in all kinds of logistics.   

We then proceed to a country with a world famous city, strategically located between Europe and Asia, and the city is Istanbul, and the country is Turkey. Turkey has become very active in recent years, not least in Central Asia and Africa and to see evidence of that, just follow the development of Turkish Airlines. We speak to Sintek, a local logistics services provider able to help you there and beyond.  

Finally, (from the archives) we travel to a place where “Play it again, Sam” was mentioned in a Bogart movie once, and to the older readers of PCW, you will know that I am referring to Casablanca, Morocco—a beautiful country also in the Med which is well worth a visit and also shipping wise with the Port of Tangiers (among others) as a hub, we talk to IDEA Maroc who not only are project forwarders but also shipowners running services from N. Europe down to North Africa. 

We, of course, provide you with relevant shipping news, trade intel and featured projects, pictures and video of the week.

Until next week, we remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen
bo.drewsen@projectcargo-weekly.com

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PCW-Interviews

Ahlers – Antwerp, Belgium

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Interview with

Mr. Jeroen De Ryck
Business Unit Director, Projects & Machinery

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What are the main segments of business that Ahlers are involved in today?

With the appointment of Stefan Van Doorslaer as CEO (2019), we redesigned our organization to be even more customer-centric. Besides having the right mindset, we decided to reorganize our internal organization around our customers, moving away from a country towards a business unit organization. The integrated business approach allows for the business unit teams to be fully focused, to serve and support our customers through a close collaboration between the different Ahlers offices worldwide. 

We consider ourselves to be a niche-player, with a clear focus on complex markets such as Russia, Central Asia, and Ukraine, with most cargo originating from Asia where we also have a strong presence. Our services are centered around these 4 business units:

  • Projects & Machinery Logistics
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Solutions
  • Secured Transport of High Value and Theft-sensitive Goods
  • Trade Facilitation and After Sales Services.

Sintek Logistics – Istanbul, Turkey

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Interview with

Mr. Erim Mehmet Eren
Project Logistics Manager

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Could you tell us about the history and ownership of Sintek Logistics?

At the very beginning of this year, Sintek Logistics established a subsidiary of the Sintek Group founded in 2005.  Our main company, Sintek has proven itself with regard to  engineering and consulting services and project development issues, including facilities that were commissioned and had turnkey installations abroad. Domestically, Sintek is in sectors that have an important, tangible role in our developing country with its knowledge, experience, and qualified staff and has an enviable reputation and reliability in the sector.

Now, we have stepped forward and gathered as Sintek Logistics under a subsidiary of the Sintek Group. We are a dedicated professional team with years of experience in the freight forwarding field that are able to develop the integrated logistical solutions that will ensure the satisfaction of our customers and partners.

Idea Shipping and Global Forwarding – Casablanca, Morocco

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Interview with

Mr. Reda Benjelloun
Managing Director

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I understand that you started a regular shipping line between the North Continent and Morocco known as Camabe Line? What can you tell us about this new line regarding ports of call and types of tonnage? Also, what kinds of cargo do you mainly carry in the market?

You’re right about Camabe Line. I started our new short sea liner service from Antwerp to Casablanca, but it is mainly for cargo from the north of the Continent to North Africa. This partnership was created with the Dutch Group, Vertom. It is a breakbulk liner service working with all types of cargo including project, steel, timber etc.

Here is a detailed presentation of the service sent to all our customers.

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PCW-Shipping News

Watch: Captain Makes Desperate Appeal Following Four-week Standoff

Editor’s Note:
It is the position of this newspaper that for some 15 years, the EU has shown that it is incapable of doing something about enforcing border control in the MED. Pretending that there is no problem doesn’t mean there isn’t any. It was about 10 years ago already that Mr. Barroso and Ms. Malmstrom of the EU were wringing their hands on the island of Lampedusa about the refugee crisis and promising to put an end to the tragedies on the MED. Why can’t Europe put in place firm and ironclad agreements enabling would-be refugees a safe haven from where they can apply for asylum, visa, etc. from their origin countries? Surely the EU has enough strength to do that and even more so, enforce through naval forces a presence so that inevitable tragedies on the MED are avoided. The NGO’s have a big responsibility here as well, offering people “smuggling” refugees a sailing schedule as long as they JUST place the refugees outside (mainly the Libyan coast line) to be picked up. Perhaps it makes the NGO’s feel good, and their soundbite can always be heard in the newspapers…”look how human we are”… Dealing with the problems afterwards are, of course, not a concern of the NGO’s (short for “no gooders”).

Another example of the EU being unable to take any kind of decision—let alone a tough one!

It would have been nice and a strong signal to those “people smugglers” to see a EU representative do like Australia did a couple of years ago: Watch the video

The captain of an oil tanker stranded just outside Maltese waters has urgently appealed for 27 migrants they had rescued at the beginning of August to be brought to shore.

Footage sent to Times of Malta reveals the difficult conditions aboard the tanker, confirming reports by the ship’s owners which were published last week. The video shows people aboard having to make do with temporary shelters made of canvas, makeshift dressing rooms and beds made of repurposed, thick ropes and cardboard boxes. Cramped compartments within the vessel have been turned into haphazard sleeping quarters whilst clothes and towels hang off railings or pipes.

A Unique and Sustainable Transport Partnership – Inland Water Ways in the Stockholm Region

Editor’s Note:
The Stockholm region in Sweden is now getting heated concerning competition in vying for shipowners to call just at their port. With Sodertalje & Stockholm Norvik both offering inland choices to shipowners, it remains to be seen who will be most successful. It is the hope of this newsletter that cooperation like we have seen between Copenhagen/Malmo ports in the South will happen here, too, for the benefit of all. Sodertalje & Stockholm are stronger together.

Ports of Stockholm’s all-new freight port, Stockholm Norvik Port, opened in May in a location that offers new opportunities for efficient and sustainable transportation in the expanding Stockholm and Mälardalen region. At the same time, the Mälarhamnar ports are conducting substantial expansion projects that will enable them to handle larger freight volumes. The development project designed to establish inland shipping, is being conducted by Mälarhamnar, Ports of Stockholm, and Hutchison Ports Stockholm in collaboration with Wallenius Marine.

African Ports Need to Learn the Lessons of Beirut

Editor’s Note:
It has escaped no one that Beirut, Lebanon was recently the scene of a major disaster, either caused by incompetence, corruption, neglect or all of the above. It is a timely reminder for other ports to run a double check on how their own DG cargoes are stored and what procedures, if any, are in place. Here ia an interesting article about Africa’s ports on this very subject.

The disastrous explosion in Beirut on 4 August 2020, which was reported to have taken at least 135 lives at the time of writing, was fueled by 2,750 tonnes of the highly reactive chemical ammonium nitrate that had been held in the port for nearly seven years. As such, the disaster puts a spotlight on the global trade in hazardous materials and the importance of port security. It also contains some important warnings for African ports.

“HMM HAMBURG” Makes Its First Call in Hamburg

Editor’s Note:
And HMM continues to receive huge container new buildings this time the HMM Hamburg arriving at Hamburg. See the latest on this here from the port of Hamburg, a vital North European import/export and transhipment port. One has to be continually impressed about the size and about the fact that a giant like that can actually float!

With the first call of the “HMM HAMBURG”, another ship of the so-called “Megamax-24 class” headed for the port of Hamburg last night. The “HMM HAMBURG” is one of 12 new container ships of the South Korean liner shipping company HMM (formerly Hyundai Merchant Marine) that are being delivered since April. The mega-carrier is expected to berth at HHLA Container Terminal Burchardkai until September 3rd, 2020.

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Trade-Intelligence

Finland’s Paulig Investing in New Belgium Plant for Tex Mex Products

Helsinki-based Paulig said the new plant is being built next to existing facilities on a site in the Belgian city of Roeselare, in West Flanders province, and will produce tortillas. Manufacturing is expected to start in the spring of 2022.

Capstone Sells Two Turbines in Slovenia

Capstone Turbine Corp. received an order for two of its natural gas-fueled C200 microturbines from a textiles and home furnishings manufacturer in Slovenia.

Blink Charging Receives Over $1.0 Million Follow-On Order From InterEnergy for EV Charging Equipment for Deployment in the Dominican Republic

Blink Charging Co., a leading owner, operator, and provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging equipment and services, announced that it has received a follow-on order from InterEnergy for 150 fast-charging stations, including its IQ 200 and DCFC units, to be deployed in the Dominican Republic. This order, valued at over $1.0 million, is in addition to the Company’s previously announced $1.2 million purchase order for 200 charging stations with InterEnergy. With these orders, InterEnergy has purchased 350 Blink Level 2, DCFC, and residential charging stations.

Featured Project Shipment

SAL & Total Movements Execute a Successful Voyage in Challenging Times

Editor’s Note:
SAL has a great name for project cargo shipping and above all, engineering in connection to it. Here are the details of a recent project they shipped from India to the Middle East. Photo courtesy of Sai Maritime – Rukhsana Vohra: rukhsana@saiship.comwww.saimaritime.com

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Malta Freeport Terminals 2020

Editor’s Note:
Malta is a great island in the Mediterranean. Although they recently got a dent in their reputation due to corruption and the assassination of a journalist, still the island is nice, the people are friendly, and the shipping location is unbeatable for transshipment in the Med. Here is a great video provided by Freeport, Marsaxlokk, Malta. For further information speak to caroline.borg@maltafreeport.com.mt

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Editor’s Note:
A new kind of RoRo shipping was observed here in Stockholm last week. Whilst taking a power walk, I managed to take a few shots of this hilarious way for a local telecom company to advertise their products. They most certainly got my attention!

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