It is Thursday the 24th of September, and the last one before October, and that also means 3 months to go before Christmas.
Where did the time go? It certainly passed by very quickly, and somehow I got the feeling that I just finished one editorial and now need to make another one. Age and kilos both are creeping up on me, I am afraid.
Well, this past week has seen me taking a road trip some 450 km north of Stockholm to a place called Harnosand. The last time I was there was more than 20 years ago when I was shipping out containers with graphite electrodes from Hagraf to China. This time, I attended the discharge of wind turbine towers loaded in Esbjerg onboard a Spliethoff vessel, and since the port was located downtown, I wanted to see it firsthand. Driving in autumn here in the north and seeing the colours changing is a sight to behold, and perhaps you are similar to me—you sometimes just need space on your own, irrespective of the reason behind it. I have shared with my experience in this album that provides you with all the pictures and videos taken.
Every week, or rather every day, I am fighting with my kids to try and reduce their screen time. Perhaps you have a similar experience. We are constantly online, and make no mistake, I am no better. I have had a book by my reading chair that I now had to vacuum clean because still, after 3 months, I haven’t got around to reading more than 40 pages. Email/YouTube/social media instant gratification has taken over, and the first thing my son asks every morning is: “Can I borrow your iPad? May I watch Slenderman on your phone?” I then ask him: “Slenderman? Who is that?” Apparently, it’s some scary figure that kids are attracted to, and although I, or rather we, try our best to reduce the screen time, there is also influence from others in school.
It won’t be long, I think, before we must have IT AND INTERNET education, focusing on the overuse and abuse of it. Also, the rubbish that is available online is horrendous, and I think many parents are simply not awake to that fact. Sounds familiar to you? But I must also admit that it’s the nicest babysitter to turn on or use as bait once in a while, but overall, something needs correcting in our society, not least because of cases where children drowned at the beach because parents were too “busy” checking their email and social media to pay attention to their loved ones. To this we can add traffic accidents and what not into the equation. Cigarettes come with a health warning; perhaps the internet should too…
On the political front, nothing much has happened, so I won’t bother you with any comments this week, except to say that the Brexit showdown is imminent, and there is now less than a month to the date when Boris Johnson said he wanted a final deal/clarity in the UK/EU divorce. Let’s see… Normally, divorces go on for a long time, and it all comes down to money, pride and political posturing. If the UK could transform itself into a gigantic Singapore but in Europe, now that would be something!
Shipping-wise, we start off in the Middle Kingdom, and although it isn’t a kingdom, it’s kind of with a president “almost for life” now installed, and the country is China. We arrive in Shanghai, a place which I visited for first time in 1986 and where I have many great (and hopefully more yet to come) wonderful memories from. The LS Cargo Shanghai office is the offspring of a German, project freight forwarding company with a solid reputation in the market, and they tell us about their work as a local office in Asia and what they can do in China.
Then, we dig into our archives and revisit first a country in North Africa famous for beaches, food and history but also now for boat refugees leaving the country, and it is Tunisia where we hear from CMC in Tunis what they can do for projects and shipping agency-related business in their country.
We finally go to the south of the African continent to a country with wonderful scenery, food, wine and great safari, and that is South Africa. It ain’t over until the fat lady sings as you will notice from the logo of FATS the project freight forwarder that we are talking to. They are Durban-based and are capable not only locally but also for transshipment via Durban and other ports deeper into the African continent.
We let you off this week with shipping news, trade intel, wise words and, of course our featured video and picture from the north part of Sweden—this week taken and filmed by the undersigned, so hope the quality is still found to be agreeable to you.
Wishing you well and hope you are keeping safe.
I remain until next week…
Bo H. Drewsen
LS Cargo Logistics – Shanghai, China
Mr. René Marte
Vice General Manager
First of all René tell our readers about yourself. Who are you? What is your background in logistics, and for how long have you worked in China for LS Cargo?
I started my apprenticeship directly after school in 2006 with LS Cargo. Since my hometown is Bremen, the chances of not doing shipping or logistics were very rare.
On the other side, I was very much interested in Global Project Logistics and wanted to learn more about the variety and options logistics can offer.
After I had finished my apprenticeship in combination with a Diploma of Economics, I wanted to develop some international work experience abroad. In 2013, LS Cargo gave me the opportunity to join my colleague in Shanghai. At that time, we had a JV with our local partner. In the beginning of 2016, LS Cargo Logistics China was established, and I decided to stay in China, becoming a part of the newly-founded company and enjoying the possibility of developing the Chinese market with and for the LS Cargo group.
FATS (Forwarding African Transport Services) – Durban, South Africa
Ms. Caron Harris
First of all Caron – your logo is certainly distinct and reminds me that things ain’t over til’ the fat lady sings. Tell us the story about your logo and how/why you decided on using this?
Haha, I have never considered our beloved lady that way and I assure you I won’t be singing for you. Actually, when FATS was founded in 1992 by myself and my sister we were two ladies entering a male-dominated industry and we needed a logo that would define us as ladies in the industry. Everybody knows that there is no greater caregiver in life than a mother. So ultimately our logo sets out to invoke the following ideas:
First, we are a female lead organisation.
Second, she’s carrying a container (your cargo) and, as a mother would, she will look after and care for your cargo as only a mother can.
Third, she is a fat (large) lady to tie up with our company name, FATS, and because as we always had the intention of being a dominant force within our industry.
Compagnie Maritime de Consignation (CMC) – Tunisia
Mr. Noureddine Mannai
What year was your company established? Tell us about CMC’s current staff level, main business activities and current ownership.
CMC is a family company founded in 1993. Our head office is located in Tunis (Capital of Tunisia), in the area of the port of Rades which is the main port of the country.
As a shipping Agent, CMC is the representative agent of the Hong Kong-based carrier OOCL. CMC also deals with a multitude of Mediterranean tramping companies (Bulk and Conventional cargo).
Over time CMC developed logistic activity to and from Europe (France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium) in response to market demands. The logistics activity has been helped along by the relocation of many factories from Europe to Tunisia and Morocco. Companies migrate to this area for the low cost of skilled labour.
Global Groups Collaborate on Container Safety Improvements
A grand cooperation scheme has started now to improve container safety overall. So VIP reading for those of you involved in shipping, in my opinion.
On behalf of Container Owners Association, Global Shippers Forum, ICHCA International, TT Club, World Shipping Council 1600 BST Monday 14 September 2020
Five international freight transport and cargo handling organisations are collaborating on the production of new guidance on packing standards for freight containers and other cargo transport units. The Container Owners Association, the Global Shippers Forum, the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association, the TT Club and the World Shipping Council are co-operating on a range of activities to further the adoption and implementation of crucial safety practices throughout the global supply chain.
Maersk First to Cancel GRI and Cut Transpacific Rates as China Wades in
Well, it does seem that Chinese and American authorities can cooperate on something nowadays besides the never-ending argument about Wechat, Tik Tok, Huawei and what not. Both FMC and Chinese authorities are now working together to put a damper on the ever-increasing freight rates across the Pacific.
Last week, Zest Shipping Media reported that Chinese authorities planned to interfere in pricing and capacity management on the transpacific as rates soared to record highs.
Cosco/OOCL also cancelled its September 15 GRI plan, he added, and “other carriers are expected to follow Maersk”.
Mr Zhou said the rate cuts were in response to decisions made at a conference for Chinese authorities, on Friday, to limit capacity management and high rates, in an attempt “to further stabilise foreign trade and maintain the stability of the international container liner markets such as China and the United States”.
Abnormal Load Services Turns 40
ALS is a capable, project logistics company, and as the name implies, they are indeed specialised in abnormal loads. Congratulating them on their 40 years of being in business, we here share with our readers their latest update.
In view of current uncertainty ALS wanted to share some good news with you as 2020 sees ALS celebrate 40 years in business. To mark the occasion ALS decided to set the team a personal challenge. Colleagues have been pushing themselves to take up running, cycling and other physical and mental challenges where the number 40 generally appears in the activity.
Japanese Firms Given Green Light to Build Power Plant in Yangon
Pandemic aside, there is hope for shipping, and whilst even many airlines (through their freighter fleet and shipping lines through cutting a bit of capacity and working together) are earning heaps at the moment, there still seems to be shipping business coming in the future. This news is not directly shipping news but it will mean more project shipping in the near future if this investment takes off between Japan and Myanmar.
Myanmar and Japan have signed an agreement to build a 1250-megawatt liquefied natural gas power plant worth up to US$2 billion in Yangon’s Thilawa Special Economic Zone.
The Ministry of Electricity and Energy on July 24 granted a Notice to Proceed to Marubeni, Sumitomo Corp and Mitsui & Co to build the plant under a joint venture with a Myanmar consortium consisting of local conglomerate Eden Group and the government.
Nordex Secures Wind Turbine Supply Contract for 312MW Project in Spain
Nordex has secured an order to supply an unspecified 312MW wind farm in Texas, as the US’ preference for 4MW-plus turbines grows stronger.
Alpla Building Plant to Recycle HDPE in Mexico
Austria-based Alpla Group says it is in the process of building a plant in Toluca, Mexico, for recycling HDPE (high-density polyethylene) plastic. As designed, the plant will be able to produce 15,000 metric tons of recycled-content HDPE made from post-consumer materials, says the family-owned company.
Alpla says it investing about 15 million euros ($17.8 million) in a facility that will employ 65 people and operate as a 100-percent subsidiary of Alpla.
Vestas to Supply Turbines for Guajira I Wind Park in Colombia
Vestas will supply ten V100-2.0MW turbines for a 20MW wind farm being developed by infrastructure firm Elecnor and energy company Isagen – its first turbine order in Colombia.
Redditch Manufacturer Invests in Two New Stamping Presses
Metal contact specialist Samuel Taylor Limited (STL) is set to invest around £100,000 in two new Chin Fong OCP45 stamping presses.
Windturbine Towers Being Discharged in Harnosand, Sweden
Staying in the Port of Harnosand, this week’s video depicts the discharging of wind turbine towers on the Swedish East Coast. Delta Terminals was used here in the beautiful city of Harnosand, 450 km north of Stockholm, the capital. www.deltaterminal.se
Was in the Port of Harnosand some 450 km north of Stockholm to witness a Spliethoff vessel discharging towers for wind turbines. Alongside the vessel were also some impressive expandable trailers operated by the well-known Finnish company, SILVASTI. www.silvasti.com