It is Week 41, Thursday the 8th of October, and we are here again. Frankly speaking, it’s become tiresome to speak about COVID-19 more or less all the time; however, since it impacts all of us worldwide, we have little choice but to mention it also this week.
President Trump found out that he had contracted it, and he has, in no uncertain terms, told us all that he learnt a lot from it, and he keeps on being optimistic. Normally, I am a right wing leaning person, but I don’t fall out of the window [go overboard], as I feel that Trump has proven himself to do, especially in light of the recent spectacle of a debate between himself and Biden. We do need to stand together in the world, and the US, in particular, needs to heal its own rifts. I am afraid that the way Trump acts plays into the hands of other dictators being able to show their countrymen what kind of “democracy” mess other countries are facing and inadvertently asking the question: …”Is this really what you want?” I am almost inclined now to call the EU and Johnson in the UK “cuddly and level-headed” by comparison….
I visited Gothenburg last week; they claim to be on the right side of Sweden although it’s the west coast, whilst we in the capital feel that we indeed are on the right side to the east. I had a very well-organised day, leaving by the 8 am train and returning the next morning. My schedule was: on the train for 3hr 20min, including one online Zoom meeting with 10 different countries; then a lunch meeting with a shipping agency; 3 more meetings at the coffeeshop of the lunch place, interrupted by another online Zoom meeting with another 10 different countries; and finally dinner with a good friend of mine—the manager of COSCO Shipping Lines, Sweden.
We shared many memories, in particular since we originally shared an apartment in 1986 when we both moved to Stockholm. Later on, I left the COSCO agency business in 1995, but he stuck with it and could tell a lot about the size of COSCO overall and how it’s developed. By all accounts, their growth appears impressive, and it seems that COSCO’s management now also has entered into the 21st century with more focus on capability and less on who knows who. No doubt, taking over OOCL has sharpened COSCO’s edge in this century too in light of IT and related development.
As I reported the week earlier, any Zoom meeting cannot beat meeting face to face, and I certainly learnt that red wine does leave a mark, in particular if downing several bottles of it. But hey, I am sure you know it—when the going is good who switches to fizzy water? Returning the next day with the train at 08:11, being a bit lightheaded but happy, I managed to intake a gallon of coffee and check out the rest room facilities onboard the train.
Resting up after my homecoming, I was sharp the next day morning for a visit to the port of Sodertalje, south of Stockholm where the Western Bulker vessel mv Interlink Dignity had arrived with a full load of prefab housing modules from Penang, Malaysia. Apparently, it had been a voyage from hell since one of the crew members died from a heart attack and another broke his leg, plus they encountered severe weather enroute near Algeria and again in the North Sea. Their next destination was to be Luleaa to finish discharging, then Riga to load for Angola. I spoke a bit with the Chinese crew, and since it was October 2nd, I wished them Happy National Day in China (Oct 1st) which the captain from Henan and his mate from Liaoning appreciated. Long hours and long days for these seafarers, and still it seems that we are unable in the world to ensure their repatriation timely, with still thousands of seafarers “stranded” onboard due to corona. The world would quickly feel the pain if they all went on strike—perhaps that is what’s needed for “main street” and politicians to recognize their value to us all! Here is a video that I took when in port early morning watching the arrival.
Speaking of the seafarers it’s important that they have a good local agent in port with TSA handling the Western Bulk vessel efficiently. Similarly, a couple of friends of mine who started Weship, a shipping agency active in Thailand & Denmark, recently looked after another couple of breakbulk vessels in the Kingdom of Thailand, primarily Chipolbrok which is well know for breakbulk liner service since 1950. View photos here.
On the shipping front, we start by visiting a country famous for “Peace in our time”, ” The Empire”, “Fawlty Towers”, and the origin of industrialization, and it is, of course, the United Kingdom. We speak to EASYFAIRS, a London based organiser of events also for the project shipping industry. They are among others handling the AntwerpXL Expo that should have taken place already but due to COVID-19, online arrangements are done instead. Interesting to hear about what they do and how they assist in promoting shipping people to get closer.
We then pay a visit to a couple of countries that we have visited before. First out is a country known for rich or rather spendthrift rulers, now becoming more rigid in all ways imaginable but still a great place to visit, and the country is BRUNEI. JASRA Logistics in Brunei tells us about their capabilities in logistics there also for the OOG sector and oil & gas.
We then head northwest to the “Jewel in the Crown”, land of colours and the extreme, and the land where many foreigners “find themselves”, in particular in GOA, and the country is INDIA. GPL is a local project freight forwarder with a long history and proud traditions, and it is one very capable such entity in India that I can vouch for. We finish off with our “usual suspects”: shipping news, trade intelligence, featured picture, video and wise words.
Until next week, we remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
AntwerpXL & Easyfairs UK & Global
Mr. Mark Rimmer
Our readers are mainly into shipping and project cargo movements. I understand that you are in charge of the Antwerp XL Expo. Tell us about the history of Antwerp as a breakbulk expo venue, the establishment of Antwerp XL which happened not too long ago, and finally elaborate on the situation regarding expos in these COVID-19 times?
For sure. One of the main reasons I joined Easyfairs was to launch AntwerpXL. Having managed the Breakbulk series of events for ITE (now Hyve), I was already immersed in the world of breakbulk, and at the time, the Breakbulk Europe event had run at Antwerp Expo for over a decade (with the city & port being synonymous with breakbulk cargo). I think everyone expected the event to return to Antwerp after Antwerp Expo had undergone it’s renovation work, so it was a surprise that ITE decided not to come back. That decision left a huge hole, and now with a fantastically refurbished venue, it was natural that that hole be filled with a fresh, new, niche-specialised event!
As for running events under Covid… well, saying it’s been difficult would be an understatement, but it’s been hard for everyone right?! AntwerpXL is run out of our UK & global office in London,and I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn to say that the UK government has definitely left us wanting and waiting as a people and as an industry. That said, I’m incredibly proud of Sophie and the wider team who have continued to try to connect and support our industry at an incredibly difficult time.
Jasra Logistics Sdn Bhd – Brunei
Mr. Mitchell Leong
Tell us a bit about some of the projects that you have handled in/out of Brunei.
Brunei’s main industry is oil & gas, and with the downturn in this industry, not many projects are in the pipeline. Luckily two major infrastructure projects are being carried out, refinery island managed and constructed by Hengyi Industries (China) and a bridge linking 2 districts of Brunei called the Temburong Bridge project, managed and constructed by Daelim Industries (Korea).
With the great networking within CLC projects, Shin Jo Logitech, Korea appointed Jasra as their local handling partner in Brunei for the Temburnong Bridge Project. Our scope is to supply local handling services including: port clearance, transportation and lifting at the client’s site.
Global Projekt Logistique Private Limited – India
Mr. Supratim Majumdar
Tell our readers about what you are particularly good at in freight forwarding. We all know that many freight forwarders often claim to be good at everything but in your own words tell us where you feel you have a particularly solid experience?
We are a young team of dedicated shipping professionals who live and breathe the shipping business. While giving importance to networking and professional service, integrity and transparency are at the core of our approach to always get the job done no matter the challenges.
Our performance is based on a deep understanding of industrial products and workflows, thinking out of the box to solutions, with knowledge, skills and the fresh approach of a young enterprise.
The team is comprised of professionals who have over the years gained expertise in handling Indian EPC projects to Africa, South East Asia and Europe (the Balkans). We also have experience with commodity forwarding (pharma & industrial products) on a door to door basis. In ODCs and heavy lifts, we specialize in handling Trafos, Boilers, Pressure Vessels and also ODC shipments on charter flights.
SAL acquires major stake in Intermarine and expands its business in the Americas
Big news of the week is that SAL bought a chunk of Intermarine – And the legend from BBC Chartering, Mr. Svend Andersen is back in gear as CEO. It would sound like a hand fitting a glove as SAL does need a stronger footprint in the Americas, particularly in Central and South America, whilst Intermarine, no doubt, could do with a bit of a cash infusion. SAL has a good name in project cargo, and by coincidence, I took a picture of one of their vessels during the day/night a couple of years ago from my condo in Kota Kinabalu. Awesome !
A great new venture is ready to set sail. SAL Heavy Lift and Intermarine, two of the most recognized names in the heavy lift shipping arena, are coming together to create a yet unrivaled shipping setup within the Americas and for cross-Atlantic trade. Operating as an independent brand within the SAL Heavy Lift Group, Intermarine will tie its Americas liner service to SAL’s global heavy lift trade and in combination bring to market the most comprehensive maritime breakbulk and heavy lift solution in the Americas.
The China-Laos Railway: a way out of poverty or a white elephant in waiting?
Although not directly shipping news, what happens inland ALSO impacts shipping overall. When I lived in Kunming close to the Laotian border some years ago, there was a lot of talk about the railway connecting between Kunming and SINGAPORE!! Looking at the map, it is entirely feasible, especially with Chinese finance. Here, the latest on the China-Laos portion of it, and yes, no doubt, infrastructure means economic development 100%
Critics of the Belt and Road Initiative rail link through Laos from China point to its devastating environmental impact and potential economic ruin for an already fragile economy. Others hope it can take Laos from landlocked to ‘land-linked’.
UNITED MARGUISA LINES – New actor in the project cargo industry with a focus on Africa lines
And the amalgamation and cooperation goes on in the shipping field, this time between Marguisa, strong in Africa, and United Heavy Lift, Germany. Sounds like yet another instance of a hand fitting a glove combining strengths.
In continuation of the joint sailing agreement (JSA) between Marguisa and United Heavy Lift, we are proud to announce the establishment of United Marguisa Lines ApS (UML), the operating company for our joint services to the African continent.
Toyota, Nissan ask U.K. to Cover Tariffs if no FTA Made with EU
The normally well-informed Nikkei Asian Review here reports that apparently 2 major Japanese car makers are demanding compensation if the UK and EU cannot find common ground, i.e. a Free Trade Deal. This situation surrounding the UK’s Brexit will surely impact shipping. It is this editor’s hope that the UK will turn itself into a giant Singapore. In some ways, it is already a major tax haven for multinationals and nationals with sums to hide, so expanding it into a maritime hub like Singapore should be entirely possible. The jury is still out as to what will happen between the UK and EU. Being a bureaucrat these days means certainly enough work exists, no matter whether there are problems or not.
Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have asked the British government to cover the cost of extra tariffs if the country is unable to reach a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union by the end of the year, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
The major automakers, both operating plants in Britain, fear the European Union will impose a 10 percent tax on automobile imports if the country’s transition period from the bloc ends without a free trade agreement.
Cavitation Technologies, Inc. Received Purchase Orders for Nano Reactor Systems in South America
Cavitation Technologies, Inc. announced that it received several new purchase orders from Desmet Ballestra Group, a strategic partner and licensee of Cavitation Technologies, Inc.’s vegetable oil refining technology since 2010.
Lubambe Copper Advancing New Zambian Copper Mine
Zambian miner Lubambe Copper Mine has completed an advanced concept study, revealing a new world-class copper resource and outlining the development of a new mine.
Alloyed and NTT Data Xam Technologies Collaborate to Build New Additive Manufacturing Business
Data Xam Technologies (XAM) of Japan and Alloyed, the trading name of OxMet Technologies of Oxford, UK, has announced the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding pursuant to which the two companies will collaborate to an build additive manufacturing business in Japan.
Siemens Gamesa to Supply 8 Wind Farms in Pakistan
Siemens Gamesa, s a global leader in the wind power industry, has secured a series of orders for eight new wind farms in Pakistan during the company’s 2020 fiscal year, totaling 410 MW.
Leaving Jeddah Port by Night
Departing Jeddah in the night is pretty awesome. Jeddah has a very distinct harbour master’s tower guarding the exit/entrance to the port. It is this editor’s hope that Saudi Arabia will be easier to visit as a tourist in the near future, at least there are signs that the Kingdom is intent on letting its tourism industry blossom along with its shipping industry. Lots of modern and versatile ports are available in Saudi Arabia, not to mention incredible sights for tourists.
I was lucky enough to have been invited to see the arrival of a Western Bulker vessel arriving in the Port of Sodertalje near Stockholm. Here is an album of the shots taken on Friday the 2nd of October from a vessel loaded with project cargo from Malaysia.
Thanks to the port agent www.tsaagency.se