It is Thursday the 4th of February and a new month has begun.
During the last week, I have been thinking a lot about the plight of the people of Hong Kong. I visited this beautiful spot in 1986 as part of a trip to China. In those days, it was impossible to fly direct from Europe to China, so we flew Lufthansa into Hong Kong and then further on with CAAC (abbreviation back then for China Aviation Always Cancelled but later on Air China, of course.
I was also in Hong Kong during the handover from British rule to Chinese rule in 1997. I recall vividly getting the last room available in what was then the Regent Hotel with a fantastic view towards Victoria harbour and the handover ceremony and fireworks. Under the basic law, the 2 “systems” were supposed to work alongside each other for 50 years—a vision put forward by the great leader of the time, Deng Xiaoping who was a visionary quite different from the leadership now.
With the new security law of Hong Kong, it seems that a grey area has been established making it up to the authorities to judge “who has transgressed” and who can be put into custody with or without trial. Some Hong Kongers of course didn’t make matters better by trashing, looting, and destroying public property, and now certainly there is a price to be paid. Democracy is like a salami. It can be taken away either fast or in slices which is what seems to be happening.
A truly great place in the world, and NO, Singapore does not come close whether its geographical position, beauty of the harbour, or work ethic of the population, so no competition there. In a perfect world, China’s leaders would understand what a golden egg they do have in Hong Kong, certainly thanks a lot to its hard working people. There is an article here in the SCMP that you may like to read about the subject because it will, for sure, have an influence on the issue of Taiwan as well—what’s happening in Hong Kong ultimately.
On another note, there seems to be an interest in deep seabed mining. See here. In fact, this was mentioned recently in an online interview by Mr. Steffen Pedersen (a friend of mine and partner lawyer at Penningtons Law, Singapore) that it would become big business. China will, no doubt, empty the oceans not only of fish (together with Taiwan) but also of minerals in order to satisfy strategic ambitions. We can only hope that the environment will NOT be destroyed as so much of the environment of China has been in the last few decades and that the word SUSTAINABILITY can be translated into Mandarin. See interview here with Steffen.
Finally, before turning to the shipping side of things, I have basically NOT said a word about the transition of power in the US. I do believe that the world is now in a better place with a new president. I am sure Biden can be the major difference between a Trump that was not only a sore loser but also erratic and an Obama that although speaking like music to one’s ears never accomplished much. I hope that Biden can make that difference, heal the wounds, and take the natural leadership role that the world does need from the US. For now, there must be enough on his plate and his to-do list making no one envious.
On the shipping front today, we start off with a visit to a very beautiful country located in the Middle East and that country is Oman. We talk to the owner of RA LOGISTICS who is making a living running a logistics firm full speed forward. We then have 2 video interviews in store for you, starting off with talking to the VP of Marketing at the PORT OF SODERTALJE / Gateway to Stockholm, and then finally, we talk to a nice Finnish lady representing the heavy haulier VILLE SILVASTI TRANSPORT in Finland.
So once again, make yourself the proverbial coffee, and sit back, relax and enjoy the interviews – or so I hope. With shipping news, trade intelligence and wise words, including featured video and picture of the week, we have fulfilled our newsletter this week. One last thing that I would like to remind you about is our Project Cargo Weekly mobile APP that can be downloaded for free on the App store and Google play. With the app, you will have articles, interviews and also videos in your hand to see/listen to and enjoy at any time. Do download it!
Until next week, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
RA Logistics – Muscat, Oman
Mr. Colin McKinlay
First of all, Colin, what nationality are you, and what led you into a career in shipping ending up now in Oman? Also could you enlighten our readers about the history and ownership of RA Logistics?
I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and having spent many years working with the multinationals that included regular overseas travel, I always had a desire to be based overseas. I was offered the role as Country Manager Oman for CEVA Logistics and the rest is history.
CEVA first traded in Oman as Circle Freight International some 30 years earlier which became EGL – Eagle Global Logistics and then CEVA Logistics. I was promoted to Regional Director UAE, Qatar and Oman and maintained my Country Manager role alongside – and the 6-day working week – Saturday to Thursday which was essentially 7 working with the ROW on a Friday.
We launched RA Logistics back in 2014 with my Omani Sponsor / partner and maintained silent partner agreement status with Logistics as one of the group companies stand alone business units.
In the past month, this has all changed, and Resource Allocation Logistics LLC has its own Independent Company Registration. I am a 50% shareholder with my wife and Omani partner retaining the other 50%
Port of Södertälje interviewed by PCW
Per Fredman, VP Sales and Marketing, member of the management team at Port of Södertälje interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at Project Cargo Weekly. www.soeport.se
Silvasti interviewed by PCW
Silvasti is a major Nordic provider of heavy and oversized transports. In this video Bo Drewsen of PCW interviews Virve (Gustafsson) Hyytiäinen, Sales Manager at Silvasti. www.silvasti.com
AAL Commits Long-Term to EU-ME/IN-Asia Monthly Liner Service
AAL has taken over the route generally known by carriers such as Rickmers Line and Chipolbrok, now it would seem that, longterm, AAL indeed is the horse to bet on for regular and reliable liner services from Europe to Asia via the Middle East.
AAL Shipping (AAL) is marking the one-year anniversary of its ‘Europe – Middle East / India – Asia Monthly Liner Service’ with a long-term commitment to employing six ‘mega size’ (30,000+ DWT) heavy lift multipurpose vessels on the operation. The decision comes amid growing popularity for the service amongst large and small shippers from across Europe and the Middle East, able to parcel their project heavy lift, breakbulk, steel and general cargoes on AAL’s large tonnage vessels. Shipper demand has been amplified by the reliability of the scheduled monthly frequency provided by the 12-month-old service for forward planning operations, which has been a great success despite its launch coinciding with one of the most challenging periods for the global shipping community.
Hapag-Lloyd Offering Block Train Connections in Ukraine
Hapag-Lloyd is like most other container carriers doing very well relating to profitability. Hapag also seem very freight forwarder friendly in the market and seem overall to have a modern and proactive profile on the internet having recently intensified their ways of getting noticed in the global market.
The trains complement the current domestic service from the port city of Odessa to the main Ukrainian industrial locations of Kharkiv (UAHRK), Dnipro (UADNK) and Kiev (UAIEV).
China Builds Digital Silk Road in Pakistan to Africa and Europe
China keeps on developing both their physical and now also their digital Silk Road via traditional allies such as Pakistan. But it is the view of this editor that there is almost always a catch if you do business with China because their view is much much more longterm than that of their partners. So expect their thoughts to have been planned in detail for 20, if not 50, years ahead!
China is set to lay the final stretch of a cross-border fiber optic cable in Pakistan that will create the Digital Silk Road, serving the geostrategic interests of both countries. It will connect to a submarine cable in the Arabian Sea to service countries participating in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Europe.
NYK Continues Drive to Develop Businesses for Offshore Wind Sector
Offshore wind not only in Taiwan but also now in Japan is developing big time. Many are in the game and even the local Japanese household name NYK is getting into this business.
Japan’s NYK is continuing its efforts to enter into the growing offshore energy business to realize the opportunities created as Japan’s government takes efforts to support the development of offshore wind projects.
Nordex Secures Turbine Contract from WPD for Finland Wind Farm
Nordex has secured a contract from German wind and solar developer WPD to supply wind turbines for the 188MW ‘Karhunnevankangas’ project in Finland.
Group Including Hyundai, KBR Expresses Interest in Ecuador Refinery Deal
A consortium including Hyundai Engineering Co Ltd and KBR Inc has expressed interest in a contract to renovate Ecuador’s 110,000-barrel per day (bpd) Esmeraldas refinery, Energy Minister Rene Ortiz and the
companies said on Tuesday.
Japanese Firms Plan Investment in Morocco Car Parts Sector
Japanese wire harness makers Yazaki and Sumitomo are planning to build new factories in Morocco, costing a combined $103 million, to supply the automotive sector, the Moroccan industry ministry said on Tuesday.
Albania’s KESH to Build 5.1 MW Solar Power Plant at Qyrsaqi Dam in Vau i Dejës
State-owned KESH intends to build a 5.1 MW solar power plant at one of the three dams at the reservoir of its Vau i Dejës hydropower plant. The company earlier revealed it would install a 12.9 MW floating photovoltaic unit at the same lake.
Shipping in Downtown Stockholm, Sweden
Editor’s Note:Stockholm/Hammarby Sjostad which used to be a port area many years ago is now a residential area mainly for well-to-do families with children in the Swedish capital. It is a beautiful area of the city and with an abundance of water around and access to the Baltic Sea via the gigantic archipelago means it is indeed a place also for “shipping people” to take up residence.
Editor’s Note:Taking the seaplane from Aarhus to Copenhagen downtown to downtown takes only 45 minn and is a great way to move fast. Picture here taken of the Port of Aarhus container terminal with one of the giant Asia loaders for Maersk Line alongside. I became a trainee in 1980 in Aarhus, at that time the largest container vessels were some 3100 teu which today amounts to a mere Baltic feeder….