It is week 40, Thursday the 1st of October and we are here again.
I am composing this editorial onboard the fast train from Stockholm to Gothenburg whilst listening to the US presidential election debate between Trump and Biden. The moderator tried his best to keep the combatants from interrupting each other, but now I know what my childrens’ preschool teacher says when dealing with a bunch of kids on a daily basis: “Whatever they pay me, it ain’t enough.” Irrespective of whom you believe in for president, basic education tells you not to interrupt when someone else is speaking. Let us hope that the voters get it right on November 4th for all of us. Let us hope that being loudest is not equal with being the winner. Regrettably, that is often so in both business and especially in politics.
I had a nice trip to Copenhagen last week. Also here I took the fast train from Stockholm and after 5 1/2 hours, I arrived downtown. Irrespective of COVID-19, taking the train and being able to work onboard certainly beats taking the short flights, which combined with waiting, security and being in time at the airport, amounts to about the same time.
I had lunch with an ex BBC Chartering friend of mine in the Tivoli Gardens, a place called Groeften (direct translation “the ditch”). It’s a typical, Danish, lunch restaurant with open sandwiches, aquavits and excellent beer, so yes, since I haven’t visited Tivoli Gardens for more than 15 years, it was a pleasure.
Being now 57 and with my friend being a bit older, we share the fact that both of us have apartments to enjoy in the wintertime at www.scandinavianvillage.net. It’s a place in Thailand where retirees, mainly of Scandinavian origin, have bought residences to enjoy during the long dark winter months. COVID-19, of course, has put a damper on these winter trips there at the moment, but…it meant that we could then meet in Copenhagen.
Later on, I had the pleasure of meeting with shipping friends ex Rickmers Line, Thorco Shipping, Nordana. We all shared jokes, happiness and washing it down with Tuborg Classic beers. Only thing was that each time we had to get a refill, we needed to put the face mask on to collect it – customer service at the table was apparently not possible at the hotel, but let’s face it, even in the best of times, non-COVID customer service is really NOT what some Copenhagen restaurants are famous for. Life is good generally for us here, but it also means that many people are not “hungry” if you know what I mean, and they sometimes don’t go the extra mile because why should they? After all, the state looks after you!
On the day of my departure from Denmark, I was invited to attend a video session introducing the network that I chair www.clcprojects.com by the owner of Alpha Projects https://alphapnl.com/. The session took place by the Queens Residence and now I know when looking at the footage WHY I am in heavylift shipping :-)… see here.
On the shipping front, it would seem that most of the containership owners currently are finally earning a hefty return on their gigantic investments in tonnage. They have also become much better at working in teams or alliances, standing firm to stick to rate increases, keeping space at a premium, etc. So in this regard, it would seem that some of them finally will be able to pay off their debts.
The freight forwarders nowadays perhaps need to learn to stand together. It is beyond a doubt now, so that some containership owners, after years of trying without success, finally wish to GO ASHORE. In other words, providing door to door services, project cargo services, including pre and on-carriage. Time will show IF they will be successful this time around, but checking with a few shipping sources, it is clear that shipowners, both container and breakbulk, are less patient towards the forwarders now and may be quicker than before to speak to the customers directly. Project freight forwarders do need to adjust and ensure NOT to waste the shipowners time, constantly benchmarking but rather establishing close dialogues with shipowners who support them back.
We have this week some interesting interviews in store for you. We start off in a country populated by a very strong-willed people; they beat the French, the Chinese and the Americans; they have got some great food, but you also need to check them businesswise as the smiles are not necessarily an indication of them liking you. The country is VIETNAM, and the project freight forwarder, FLS tell us their story and show us some impressive project cargo movements which they handled.
We then visit the South American continent and visit a country famous for the Galapagos Islands, friendly people, and superior food, including lots of bananas, and we are talking about ECUADOR. TRADINTER, a versatile shipping agent and freight forwarder, tells us their story.
We then proceed to a country known for a long-time, political mess, some of the best steaks around, the pampas and the LA Recoleta. The country is ARGENTINA, and we speak to NETZ, a local project freight forwarder active there having success by all accounts.
We then provide you with shipping news, trade intel, featured project, video and wise words and with those words we remain until next week…
Bo H. Drewsen
FLS Projects – Vietnam
Mr. Christopher Schnieders
Please elaborate on the history of FLS in Vietnam and FLS overall as I believe your headquarters is outside Vietnam? Who are the owners of FLS?
In late 2010, Torbjoern Larisch approached me. We were friends from the time he was living in Vietnam, before he pursued his career with FLS and moved to Thailand. We sat together on a rainy Saturday afternoon in HCMC, and over some beers, he asked me if I would be interested in opening FLS Vietnam, and the rest is basically history.
FLS was founded by Martin Haeberli in 1993. Thirteen years ago, Martin was looking for a successor of his very well-established business in Thailand. He took Torbjoern on board in order to progressively step back from the daily activities, ensuring to leave his business in good hands. In 2016, Torbjoern completed a management buyout of the FLS Management together with four other individuals, including myself. Torbjoern as the CEO is the majority shareholder of the FLS Group which is now officially headquartered in Singapore. Martin remains our Chairman until today and still advises the senior management of the company.
In 2011 FLS Vietnam was the 2nd office for FLS and the first expansion overseas. Today, we have offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia as well Taiwan, Australia and USA. In addition, some further regional expansions are in the pipeline.
Tradinter – Guayaquil, Ecuador
Ms. Gabriela Vásquez
Projects & Sales
Could you elaborate on the history of Tradinter in Ecuador? Who are the owners?
My father, ENRIQUE VASQUEZ, founded Tradinter “TRANSPORTE Y REPRESENTACIONES INTERNACIONALES S.A” Shipping Agency in 1992. He had plenty of experience at that time after working at TRANSNAVE, the Ecuadorian flag shipping line for over 15 years. Tradinter started representing shipping lines with regular services to Ecuador. As the time passed, other port services and logistics-related companies came to join what we now call the Tradinter Group.
Netz Global – Argentina
Mr. Francisco Rugilo
Tell us about NETZ Global and its history? How did you come by that name? Who are the owners of the company?
Netz Global was founded at the end of 2013. After spending 18 uninterrupted years working for large multinationals in the world of freight forwarding: Emery, DHL Danzas, Eagle and UTi, there came a time when I thought that it would be best to stop being an employee in earnings and partner in losses… Ha ha!… That was the moment I decided to get out of the corporate world and put my experience to the test. I founded the company together with a great friend and colleague from the industry.
The name came up on a trip to Austria. I was looking for a name for the company. I looked at the word “Netz” on the map of the Austrian subway stations, and I said, “That’s the name I want.” Remembering Bax Global, I reinforced my choice with Global, creating Netz Global. It would be the name of my new adventure.
During the last months of 2015 and in mid-2016, the former partners of the company withdrew, and Claudio Polito (great logistics professional and friend) joined the team. Claudio is co-owner and brand new Chief Operating Officer of Netz Global. I knew Claudio in the years when I was a salesperson at Emery Worldwide, and Claudio was a foreign trade manager at Emerson Process Management. A great team was formed to continue the journey.
Latest ICC Releases and a Promotion on Incoterms® 2020 Wallcharts
The first time I saw Incoterms on a wallchart was in 1998 on the island of Lombok where I met with a representative of Newmont Mining Co, who were active in Sumbawa, but most of the time lived in Lombok during their holidays. I thought it was a great giveaway, adding the company logo back then when Martin Bencher was just one year old. Anyway fast forward to today and the latest newsletter from ICC. Including suggestions to buy the wallchart/pocket guides might be handy for your customers.
Malta Freeport Completes 9,000 Container Moves on a Single Ship
PCW is generally not a publication filled with neither ads nor statistics, however some statistics deserve to be mentioned. Impressive productivity here in Malta was recorded recently. They really have come a long way from the Dom Mintoff days of socialism on the island. Now, we just need Australian port workers to wake up to the 20th century, and perhaps some of the French in Le Havre and Spanish in Barcelona can take heed, too.
Malta Freeport Terminals said on Monday it had made 9,000 container moves on a single ship, the CMA CGM Calcutta – a remarkable 147 moves per hour – making it the second biggest ever operation on a single vessel in Malta.
CMA CGM Group Latest to Suffer Cyber Attack
In the wonderful world of solving all problems, doing all banking, getting divorced and finding love online, there is always another side of the coin: Internet down, virus, hacking and what not. I think we will see more and major disasters because we completely rely on online systems for whatever we do – also in shipping. Here, the latest on the recent hacker attack aimed at CMA CGM – a couple of years ago it was Maersk that was targeted with huge costs as a consequence.
The maritime industry has once again come under attack from cybercriminals with shipping giant CMA CGM Group announcing that it was the target of the latest intrusion to its systems. According to a statement from the company, external access to its IT applications was suspended this morning as it sought to address a cyber-attack impacting peripheral servers.
Silk Road Redux: Greece Courts China Money in Crisis Revival Bid
Editor’s Note:China’s Silk Road project is involving a huge expansion into Central Asia, Europe and Africa. The takeover of terminals, ports and the investment in other kinds of infrastructure is going on with what is typically a very long-term plan by China. Smart in many ways but also more and more seen with apprehension due to the catch. But then again, is there always a catch no matter whether China or the US “helps” you? Latest here from Asia Insight from Nikkei, an interesting article to read.
Greece and China, proud inheritors of ancient civilizations, are finding their modern day geopolitical and economic stars in increasing alignment. The former, still reeling from years of economic crisis and the tough love policies of its European neighbors, needs foreign investment. The latter, meanwhile, is keen to expand its global influence through a massive infrastructure initiative and sees fertile fields in the land of Aristotle.
Wilton Recovery Eyes Us Expansion
The Teesside company has patented a process that allows a material normally destined for landfill to be reused in the manufacturing process.
Wilton Recovery is weeks away from completing construction of its plant on the Wilton International site. The Wilton International plant will create an initial five jobs and is predicted to achieve a £500,000 turnover in its first year.
New OjiFS Packaging Facility Breaks Ground
In November last year, Oji Fibre Solutions (OjiFS) announced we would be investing over $100m to develop a new fit-for-purpose corrugated cardboard packaging facility in Christchurch. All the behind the scenes work is done and we are delighted to now be ‘breaking ground’ and entering the building construction phase.
China-Based Daye North America Locates Operations & Distribution Hub in North Charleston, South Carolina
Daye North America’s new facility, expected to be completed by November 1, 2020, will increase the company’s capacity to meet growing demand for its lawnmowers and power equipment and serve local, regional and national retailers.
Polyplastics to Build New Cyclic Olefin Copolymer Production Plant in Germany
The Polyplastics Group (Tokyo) has announced plans to construct a cyclic olefin copolymer (COC) production facility in Leuna, Germany to meet the growing global demand for its Topas COC polymers. The new plant, to be operated by local Polyplastics subsidiary TOPAS Advanced Polymers GmbH, will have a capacity of 20,000 tons per year, more than doubling the company’s current output. The facility will be operational by mid-2023.
1,300-tonne LNG Tank Hoisted On-board the “Sajir”
Although this is not a “project to be shipped in itself” it is impressive nonetheless to view a 1300 ton LNG tank being hoisted onboard the UASC/HAPAG vessel “Sajir”. LNG seems to be in “fashion” now with the mv “Jacques Saade” of CMA CGM recently being launched i Shanghai a LNG powered giant of 23000 teu capacity.
When an LNG tank weighing 1,300 tonnes was hoisted into the “Sajir” by a floating crane last weekend, it marked another milestone in the conversion of the 15,000 TEU Hapag-Lloyd ship. Over the previous three weeks, the ship’s hold had been prepared for the installation.
The tank will now be welded to the hold in the weeks ahead. While this is happening, the main engine and the auxiliary diesel engines will be converted to dual-fuel operation for liquefied natural gas (LNG) and low-sulphur fuel oil.
The process of retrofitting the “Sajir” for LNG propulsion began on 2 September in the HuaRun DaDong Dockyard in Shanghai. Hapag-Lloyd is accordingly the first shipping company in the world to convert a container ship of this size to LNG. Plans call for the “Sajir” to complete its conversion phase and initial test voyages in early 2021 before being redeployed in the Asia-North Europe trade lane.
The approximately USD 35 million conversion of the “Sajir” is a key element of Hapag-Lloyd’s sustainability strategy. Using LNG has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by 15 to 30 percent and sulphur dioxide and particulate matter emissions by more than 90 percent.
“With this unique pilot project, we hope to learn for the future and to pave the way for large ships to be retrofitted to use this promising alternative fuel. However, our long-term goal continues to be CO2-neutral shipping operations using synthetic natural gas (SNG),” said Richard von Berlepsch, Managing Director Fleet at Hapag-Lloyd AG.
Top 10 Largest Ports in Africa 2020
A nice compilation here of the 20 largest ports in Africa.
A great day in wonderful Copenhagen last Monday where I had the chance to meet Danish friends with a long history in breakbulk shipping. From left to right: Mr. Nikolaj Gryndal – ex Thorco Shipping Mr. Michael Nielsen – ex Rickmers Line, UAE now ICTSI, Middle East Mr. Soren Larsen – ex Nordana Shipping now WeShip Your editor Mr. Carsten Nielsen – ex Triship Mr. Lars Rasmussen – ex Nordana/NPC now WeShip Enjoying a cold Tuborg Classic with a view in Copenhagen can never and will never be replaced in quality by any online meeting.