It is Thursday the 11th of February.
It is also the celebration of the Lunar New Year meaning that most, if not all, of the Chinese people are celebrating. Normally, this is the biggest movement of people in the world. Millions of workers, mainly from the bigger cities, are returning to their hometowns in the countryside.
It is a very important event for the Chinese and as many are away from their families and only have this one chance in a year to return, it certainly comes as a huge disappointment that the Chinese government has “recommended” that people NOT to travel this year. And I do believe that a Chinese “recommendation” is different from what we in the west believe the word “recommendation” actually means.
The Chinese leaders will be seen on television. Local leaders will hand out presents to the needy (there are a few millions left), and the media will be filled with great words about the Chinese nation—and certainly the country has a lot to be proud of. As with all nations in the world who are proud, they also have a lot to answer for one might say.
One cannot, however, avoid being impressed. In my case more so, when thinking back to 1986 when I first visited to now, 35 years later. I reflect on the incredible development of the Chinese nation and that they are taking their rightful place among the great nations of the world is unavoidable.
Let us all hope that the increased economic clout will go hand in hand with an expansion of human rights and freedoms that in other countries are taken for granted and that respect for the environment will take a much bigger place in the mind of the Chinese leadership. Food safety, water/air and ground pollution in China are notorious by world standards still to this day but with the New Year of the OX starting tomorrow, let us be filled with hope.
On the shipping front we do have a great newsletter in store for you all today.
First and foremost, we publish a link to the PROJECT CARGO WEEKLY YEARBOOK 2020 which is a compilation of the best interviews from each of the issues we had during the year of 2020. Since it’s an online yearbook, the beauty of that is that you can easily share part or all of the contents with others. Videos and other links referred to can be clicked and viewed, and in my own humble opinion, there is a wealth of information in the yearbook that should come in handy for anyone interested in shipping. Hope you will enjoy reading it!
In addition to the yearbook, we then have the pleasure of publishing an interview with the French shipowner CMA CGM and the head of their OOG and special cargo department, Mr. Stephane Berninet located in Marseille. Finally, with a focus on handover, we hand the microphone to Mr. Samir Ferguen, MD of the Danish branch of Universal Africa Line (UAL) in Copenhagen, Denmark.
I feel confident that you will learn a lot from listening to both interviews with these two reputable shipowners, and hopefully, you and your colleagues will gain new knowhow for use in the future. Don’t forget to check the website www.projectcargo-weekly.com for a listing of all online interviews we have had so far!
We finally let you off the hook with shipping news, trade intelligence, featured video and photo of the week, and last but not least, wise words that one may take note of and adhere to.
Wishing you all a very good week ahead and until next week, I remain
Bo H. Drewsen
CMA CGM Head of Project Cargo Division
Interviewee: Mr. Stéphane Berninet – Head of CMA CGM Project Cargo Division.
CMA CGM website: www.cma-cgm.com
Interviewee: Mr. Samir Ferguen, Managing Director at UAL Chartering.
UAL Chartering website: www.ualchartering.com
Martin Bencher Group Expands in the Netherlands
As a former partner in Martin Bencher from its inception in 1997 I am pleased to see that the company is still going strong now with the opening of an office in the Netherlands. The country has a lot to offer in shipping, project cargo and renewables and they also have special cookies 😁
Martin Bencher Group has always been active in conducting business in the Netherlands, including direct dealings with clients, transshipment activity, dealing with crane operators, and dealing with globally acknowledged shipowners. We are pleased to announce that we are now opening a fully operational office in the Netherlands, so we can continue to serve existing as well as new clients with innovative and competitive logistic solutions.
COSCO Faces Backlash as it Moves to Tighten Grip on Greek Port
Well, as with most Chinese investments there is always catch. An interesting article here about the Port of Piraeus, mainly, but also about investments in other European ports infrastructure. As long as the EU is unable to speak with one voice towards the likes of China and Russia don’t expect them to be winners in any contest. If European ports are open to Chinese carriers, so must Chinese ports be to European carriers, also for cabotage and internal shipments.
COSCO, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Piraeus since first responding to an appeal for support from Greece in 2008 amid the global financial crisis, is now working to bring cruise ships and trains to the port and expand its offerings there into shipbuilding and repairs.
But rising disquiet in Greece and the wider EU over COSCO’s methods and strategies could hold back the group’s ambitions of taking Piraeus further up the ranks of Europe’s busiest ports from its fourth place finish in 2019.
Increased Exports at Stockholm Norvik Port
Port of Stockholm/Norvik is gradually establishing its foothold in the Baltic. With excellent port conditions and the increased efficiency as a result of the addition of new giant STS cranes they could take a hub role in the Baltic.
“Stockholm Norvik Port exports have been very successful despite the exceptionally turbulent situation for the container market globally. The Stockholm Norvik Port provides us with superb capabilities to handle exports efficiently in a region that has historically been very import-focussed,” states Daniel Hermansson, Managing Director of Holship Sverige AB.
Vaccine-ready -70°C Reefer Containers Available from CakeBoxx Technologies
Vaccine-ready reefer containers, especially bearing in mind that the anti-corona product from Pfizer-Biontech needs -70 degrees Celsius, sounds like the right product at the right time.
The ISO 20ft standard form factor special reefer container uses a Thermo King Deep Freezer unit and is designed for the ultra-low internal temperatures down to -70°C required for the transportation and storage of various medical vaccines. Notably this includes some of the high-profile vaccines developed to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus, that are currently in heavy demand.
New deal to expand Nyaruguru tea project
The Government of Rwanda, Unilever Tea Rwanda and The Wood Foundation Africa (TWFA) has signed an agreement for a second phase of the Nyaruguru tea project which will include an additional 3,000 hectares of smallholder catchment area and tea processing factory.
JA Solar Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for Its 3.5GW High-Power Module Project in Vietnam
The establishment of the Vietnam module production base is an important step for the acceleration of JA Solar’s global development strategy and will boost its overseas integrated production capacity. JA Solar is utilizing 700 million yuan as well as existing land in Vietnam to build a 3.5GW high-power module production line and supporting facilities. After the project is put into production, it will increase the overseas production capacity of JA Solar’s modules, better meet the needs of customers in the North American market, and enhance JA’s competitiveness and profitability.
MC Signs Rolling Stock Contracts with Myanma Railways
Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) is pleased to announce that it has signed two contracts with Myanmar’s state-run railway, Myanma Railways to deliver it new units of rolling stock. The first is for 66 cars that will be used in the Yangon Circular Railway (YCR) Project, and the second is for 180 cars that will be used in the Yangon-Mandalay Railway (YM) Project.
IOOC Orders Five Offshore Iran Platforms
Construction of five new offshore platforms is under way at workshops in Khorramshahr, according to news service Shana. All are for oil fields in the Persian Gulf operated by Iranian Offshore Oil Co. Platforms A20 and A21 are for the Abuzar field, FY-A and FZ-A for Forouzan, and the wellhead platform for Resalat.
Socotra, Yemen in 4K Ultra HD
A light moment is needed in todays PCW as it’s heavy with information, video interviews, yearbook and what not. The island of Socotra which most ships pass by when entering or exiting the Arabian Sea near Yemen is really a place that should be visited although perhaps not now during the war but sometime in future. An amazing nature as this video shows clearly
A fantastic picture taken when I was onboard mv CMA CGM Andromeda in the Indian Ocean 2017. You simply got to sail on the high seas to understand the scenery out there – yes days may be boring as they are ashore but more often than not the nature changes and no one day is ever the same. Judge for yourself NO photoshop or other enhancements used!