It is Thursday the 12th of August, 2021 and we are back again here at Project Cargo Weekly.
I do hope that you have missed reading our weekly newsletter, and I shall do my utmost this week (and also in the future) to provide you with quality input which is worthwhile to read.
I spent the summer mainly in Stockholm, Sweden where I reside, but I did manage to visit both Malta and Dubai for both private and business reasons. More about this first ever overseas trip since March 2020 further below in my travel report.
Speaking of Sweden—where I have lived happily now since moving from China in 2012—something is about to happen in the country that seems to belittle the general reputation of a country that it is peaceful, safe, and tranquil. Yes, it is indeed still one of the best welfare states in the world. Everyone gets a chance. There are systems in place to take care of you if you’ve got a handicap. There is free healthcare, free schooling, and overall, a well-functioning civil service, rule of law and respect for the authorities.
However, that last item is increasingly lacking in parts of the country. With a population of 10 (soon close to 11) million people compared with Germany’s roughly 83 million population and in a country 26% bigger than Germany geographically, our crime statistics stand out and horrifyingly so. See this from Wikipedia. The fact that it is not even completely updated to date makes it even worse.
No one speaks about the elephant in the room, particularly not in Sweden where the mainstream media will call you a racist without hesitation (or worse) if you pinpoint some obvious problems in our society. Immigration without integration is always a recipe for disaster anywhere, and when I—being an immigrant myself (me from Denmark, wife from China) speak to other immigrants, even they also lament the development during the last few years in Sweden. In 2021 we are already up to 70 gun shooting episodes with about 25 shot dead and 41 wounded. These incidents are mostly gang-related in particular suburbs, but it is spilling over into other parts of the country. Just 3 weeks ago, two children out playing in the yard were hit by bullets fired during a conflict between what the Swedish media call “different groups”.
A country—whether democratic or dictatorship—has one major task: to guarantee safety for its citizens and to eradicate and lock up criminal elements that disrupt everyday lives. It seems the trend is here to stay, and the snowball running and growing can now no longer be reversed.
The signs are clear here and in other parts of Europe of an inability to take harder measures, protect the borders, integrate our new citizens properly and proactively, set demands, etc. Looking at the world, the EU is, as always, a toothless tiger run by rules and conventions dating back to the 1950’s when the world was different than it is now. That is also why a dictator in Belarus or Turkey can use the threat of opening their borders towards the EU because they know that the EU has no backbone whatsoever!
The COVID-19 situation is also here to stay it seems. What started out as a pandemic that originally was under control in parts of Asia has now shown itself to be “out of control again” with strains and apparent incompetence in several countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and even in the US—where pride in having vaccinated this or that many has given way to new waves of infections across many states.
The COVID-19 situation also has wreaked havoc on the supply chain, making some if not all shipowners very wealthy in no time due to lack of space and containers and pent up demand and other producers, factories, etc. in dire straits because freight rates have increased by as much as 1000% in less than a year. Planning is, in some ways, now impossible, since you simply don’t know from which direction the wind is blowing. All in all, this pandemic is a wake up call for the world, and perhaps also a reminder to us all to slow down, travel less, and be happy where we are.
Yet, how can we when so many countries depend on the world’s largest trade: tourism! It saddens this editor to see and hear first-hand accounts from people in Thailand, for example, who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own but simply because no tourists can now visit. For millions around the world, here is no “safety net” to fall back on whilst the tiny few enjoy 7 minutes of fame in space at the same time. Inequality has shown its ugly face now without makeup, and I believe there will be a reckoning at some point when governments no longer can keep their printing presses hot with freshly-made denominations.
Right: my observations for this week have come to an end. Time to return to business, and as they say in Hollywood, “The show must go on.”
Today, we start off with an interview with a Swedish trucking company using special trailers not only in Scandinavia but also in other parts of Europe. We then remind you of an interview we had with a company in South Africa (in support of this country in recent turmoil), and finally, I leave you with a small travel report from Malta and Dubai, richly illustrated by pictures. Hopefully, they can cheer up those of you who have been or are confined or stuck at home.
Naturally, we are getting into our stride again in the coming weeks, and we also today provide you with shipping news, trade intel, featured video and picture plus wise words.
Welcome back I say and until next week I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Editor in Chief
Westdijk Sweden AB – Gothenburg, Sweden
Mr. Roger Arvidsson
First of all, could you tell our readers about the history and current ownership of Westdijk? Why the name Westdijk?
That’s a Netherlands family name [last name]. The name of the guy who started this firm many years ago was Nico Westdijk, but it’s owner today is Tom Sijpkes. It is he who has made the Westdijk Group what it is today, with branch offices in Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Poland. Each of these are independent, juridical companies owned by Tom Sijpkes, and there is a managing direction in each country.
C. Steinweg Group – Africa
Michelle Tinkhof, Managing Director at C. Steinweg Bridge (Pty) Ltd and Gerald Povey, Director- Projects, Mining & Energy at C. Steinweg Group were interviewed by PCW.
Travel Report – July, 2021
As mentioned in my editorial, I am happy to say that I did manage to do a bit of traveling during the several weeks off for summer break in PCW. First of all, I visited the island of Malta for 4 days and then spent 9 days in Dubai. Malta is a nice island, located centrally in the Mediterranean.
WSC Statement on the Framework for the to-be-introduced “Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021”
It has escaped no one that rates for both container and breakbulk are through the roof. Rumblings are abound that the market needs some kind of regulation as rates within a year going from USD1600 for a 1×40 from Shanghai to Gothenburg to USD16,000 or more…(example only) are not acceptable. Below is a statement from the World Shipping Council which is run by the major shipping lines. Also below is a reflection on the thoughts by the US Congress to impose rules.
A bill is expected to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that seeks to amend the U.S. Shipping Act as a means of attempting to address supply chain congestion resulting from the confluence of record U.S. consumer and business import demand, coupled with disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. While text of the legislation is not yet available, a “Framework” outlining the legislation has been shared with members of the media. The legislation is based upon a flawed “Discussion Draft” that was a wholesale incorporation of unworkable, unnecessary and duplicative proposals—some of which contain serious due process of law concerns—that was suggested by certain shippers and agricultural exporter interests.
Order Placed for Two of the World’s Largest Wind Turbine Installation Vessels
Wind turbine development again!
Copenhagen-based wind turbine installation vessel provided Cadeler has placed an order at COSCO for two of the world’s largest WTIVs.
The two vessels will be constructed at COSCO Shipping Heavy Industry’s shipyard Qidong, China for delivery in the third quarter of 2024 and first quarter of 2025, respectively.
AntwerpXL returns live and in-person this year!
We pray and cross our fingers that Antwerp XL is REALLY on as planned, so that we can get out and meet people. What better place than Antwerp, Belgium—the cradle of breakbulk expos and the best French food…
AntwerpXL, the first dedicated meet of the global breakbulk and project cargo community in over two years, will return 7-9 December 2021 at the Antwerp Expo, Belgium.
The Problem of Supply-Chain Vulnerability
A Danish compatriot of mine living for decades “down under” sent me this article that he wrote for the national logistics newspaper in Australia. I think you might find it interesting.
Vulnerability in Australia’s supply chain are causing significant impact on the movement of goods into and out of Australia, writes IFCBAA CEO Paul Damkjaer
Australia faces several areas of significant supply-chain vulnerability in the movement of goods to and from our country. The International Forwarders and Customs Brokers Association of Australia has outlined these in our recent submission to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into vulnerable supply chains.
Italian Solar Inverter Manufacturer FIMER Obtains VPC Certification to Launch Award-Winning PVS-175 in Taiwan
Following its acquisition of the ABB solar inverter business in 2020, FIMER is deepening its footprint in Taiwan with the expansion of its local product offering. As of June 2021, the Italian solar inverter manufacturer has obtained the Voluntary Product Certification (VPC) to launch its award-winning three-phase string inverter PVS-175 in-market.
Vicat Confirms Interest In Egyptian Cement Market
Tamer Magdy, the country manager for Sinai Cement, says that parent company Vicat is keen to continuing to invest in the local market.
He noted that noted that the France-based building materials producer is a long-term investor with confidence in the Egyptian economy and that it has no plans to leave, according to the Daily News Egypt newspaper.
Renesola, Emeren to Co-Develop Solar Projects in Italy
ReneSola Ltd, also known as ReneSola Power, has joined forces
with London-based Emeren to co-develop solar projects in Italy, with a
target of reaching 110 MW of shovel-ready schemes by 2022.
TES Announces Plans To Build Battery Recycling Facility In Port Of Rotterdam
TES, a Singapore-based provider of information technology life cycle services, has agreed to a deal that secures the future of a 10,000-square-meter (approximately 110,000-square-feet) recycling facility in the Port of Rotterdam.
A Quick Look at the Dredging and Other Activities in Port of Raahe, Finland
Staying in the Port of Raahe, Finland you can see that they are dredging the port and are incredibly busy not only with renewable energy projects coming endlessly, but also with the new nuclear power plant that is being built nearby by Rosatom. All told, it will involve huge project cargo deliveries through this not so well known Finnish port.
Green revolution—or as some might call it the green religion—is here to stay. Seen in the Port of Raahe this week, two gas-powered ships alongside. Quite a nice sight!