Week #37 – 2021

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In this edition: Ace 54 Africa Project Management | Hillebrand Kenya Limited | Afrilog South Africa >>>

Week #37 | 16th September 2021

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 16th of September, week 37 and since it is Thursday, it also means that PCW are back again.

This past week has seen me staying here at home in Stockholm, and as I have done over the years since perhaps the change of the millennium, I have been working from home wherever that has been and otherwise working whilst on the road.

I am embarking today on another grand tour of Finland going east, then north and across the Bay of Bothnia again, and then south to the West Coast to attend a COSCO vessel in the port of Uddevalla before returning to the “dragon” at home that still needs explanations about why trips are necessary.

Perhaps, as a wise man once said, “Traveling is living” or “Life is a journey, travel it well”. (I think the latter was an airline commercial.)

Speaking of airlines, it seems that the US is facing an unprecedented rise in unruly passengers, and with tempers flying high, there seems to be little or no patience around. An overall level aggression seems to be rising generally. See this video clip or this one.

But, of course, as normally is the case, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Let’s not forget that the vast majority of flights which are pleasant, comfortable, and a wonderful experience overall.

But then again, Americans have always been loud. I have always been able to hear them in hotel lobbies all over the world arguing about their bonus points or asking for the supervisor….Heard it before ??

I have just booked my next overseas flight to Qatar and Dubai in November. Qatar Airways is an airline that I really like to fly with from a customer service perspective—food and drinks and ambience onboard. Cathay Pacific is another favourite, but it has been, alas, too long since I was in Asia. Yes, it does seem that the Middle East/Turkey and Asia is host to the most service-minded of the airlines around and from where us in the “old world” could learn a lot.

Here in Europe, there are currently arguments going on between Poland and Lithuania (both EU members) and Belarus, the one man state squeezed in close to Russia where it is alleged that immigrants are now stuck at the border once again. Belarus, no doubt, is letting them pass through in order to “punish the EU” for sanctions and the EU, as usual, with their impotent border agency Frontex has still NOT been able to get their borders protected properly.

I recall 2015 when the politically-correct Macron and Merkel chastised Victor Orban of Hungary for erecting a fence. What is happening now is that Poland, Greece, Spain, and other sensible nations are scrambling to do exactly that. Yet, it would be a gigantic loss of face for the 2M (Not Maersk/MSC) but Macron/Merkel to admit that they were wrong. That, in fact, the EU crisis in immigration, and disintegration, and the leaving of the UK from the union was to a great extent caused by this inability to take hard and necessary decisions.

Sweden, where I reside for now, is now # 1 in gun shootings in Europe, and if you look at this map compiled by the Swedish Television, you will find a scary reminder that nowhere is safe and that the Pippi Long-stocking country is in parts no more!

Stockholm Sweden Map of Shootings

For those who don’t read Swedish it says: ”Since 2018, 1272 shootings, 450 wounded and 168 dead.” I leave it to you to speculate on why this increase in violence since 2015 began gradually.

On the business front, I have this week chosen to focus on the African continent. I am reminding you of 3 excellent interviews that we have had recently with companies located in different parts of Africa. First off, we speak to ACE 54, a company owned by Philippe and Rhonda Somers. Philippe has many years of experience from living in Gabon, so we meet an expert who actually lived in the continent he is talking about.

After that, we visit the country of Kenya and talk to Hillebrand and their Austrian representative who I know from Dubai where we first met. He tells an interesting story (similar to that of Philippe) about the continent.
We finally visit a country currently in turmoil and in the hands of ANC mismanagement, and it is of course South Africa. Afrilog tells us a compelling story and shows their capability.

We finish off this week’s newsletter with shipping news, trade intel, featured video and photo, and finally wise words.

Until next week, I remain,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen
Editor in Chief

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Video Interview:
ACE 54 Africa Project Management

Ace 54 PCW Interview

Philippe Somers, CEO of ACE 54 Project Management was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor of Project Cargo Weekly.

Hillebrand Kenya Limited – Nairobi, Kenya

Hillebrand Kenya Limited Interview Graphic

Interview with

Mr. Christian Fazekas
Regional Manager East Africa


First of all, Christian, tell us a bit about your own logistics career leading up to your stationing now in Kenya.

My journey in Logistics started 33 years ago in Austria and did a stopover at the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City 2002. It continued to the Middle East (Dubai) for 10 years where I had already been in charge of East Africa for a few years. Due to the fact that my wife is Kenyan and Hillebrand needed some groundwork to do in East Africa, it was a good mix for both parties. We service 13 countries in East Africa, and apart from alcohol, we have quite a unique product with our self-produced Flexitanks which can carry up to 24,000 liters of bulk liquid in a standard 20’ Container.

Afrilog – Germiston, Gauteng, South Africa

Afrilog Ft Image

Interview with

Basil L.S. Pietersen
Executive Director

Basil L.S. Pietersen

First of all, could you elaborate a bit on the history of Afrilog, its ownership, and your main line of business currently?

One cannot talk about Afrilog without making reference to the parent company, namely CSTT Afrique De L’Quest, commonly known as CSTT-AO. What started out as a Senegalese customs clearing business in 1949 has, under the leadership of its Chairman and Owner, Mr Mamadou Lamine Gueye, developed into what is today referred to as a supply chain business. That said, I must hasten to mention that a number of legal entities emerged from within CSTT AO while some were acquired.

The need to establish business across borders necessitated the need for a “universal /African” name which would be accepted across the African Continent. Afrilog was therefore born in the year 2000. Shortly thereafter, Afrilog South Africa was registered. Again, this was as a result of the demands and challenges placed upon the company by both our clients and the marketplace. The main reason for the establishment of Afrilog SA was to fulfil the Supply Chain Management requirements for our clients and by so doing, streamlining operations and reducing inventory cost while simultaneously improving service levels. The many years of operational experience across the “Group” companies enabled Afrilog to design supply chains. As a Group, our vision is to build long-term, sustainable supply chain solutions, incorporating ongoing improvements.

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PCW-Shipping News

Euroseas Reveals Staggering Daily Charter Rate for Panamax Containership

Editor’s Note:
The numbers are starting to look like winning payouts in a casino in Macau or Las Vegas. Read here the latest about the almost ridiculous charter rates now prevailing in the ever so hot shipping market

Athens-based Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESEA) say it has entered into a new record-setting time charter contract for its 2009-built panamax capacity MV Synergy Oakland for a mind-boggling amount per day rate.

The minimum two-month (60 day) contract is expected to commence in the second half of October when the 4,250 TEU capacity vessel is redelivered from its current charter. The charter also includes options to extend to up to 85 days.

Pique Season: Can the FMC Rein In the Steamship Lines?

Editor’s Note:
An interesting newsletter here from CargoTrans that I link to you in its entirety. Tells you the current market in shipping that even took the shipowners by surprise. Latest though is that CMA CGM advised they will NOT increase their spot rates until February, that is a good move. Let’s see….

If it feels like there’s a freight rate hike every few minutes, you’re not off base. COVID has exposed the stranglehold the three main ocean carrier alliances have over the global shipping industry. With terminal shutdowns, blank sailings and supply chain bottlenecks at every level, the ocean carrier premiums keep getting more premium.

CMA CGM Makes the Decision to Stop All Spot Rate Increases 

Editor’s Note:
As mentioned in the previous shipping news. here below the official confirmation from CMA CGM on spot rate increase STOP.

Since the beginning of 2021, container shipping spot freight rates have continued to rise due to port congestion and the major imbalance between demand and maritime container transport effective capacity.

Although these market-driven rate increases are expected to continue in the coming months, the Group has decided to put any further increases in spot freight rates on hold for all services operated under its brands (CMA CGM, CNC, Containerships, Mercosul, ANL, APL).

This decision applies to spot rates1 and is effective immediately until February 1, 2022.

Cost of Shipping Cars By Sea at a 13-Year High

Editor’s Note:
Your price of a new car is also likely to go up. Shipping of cars is no exception to the rule that rate increases are plentiful and staggering.

Vessels that carry autos and industrial machinery fetched their highest rates since 2008 in August, according to Clarksons Research Services. Stretched global supply chains and a worldwide recovery in car sales during 2021 have contributed to a surge in rates, according to Torbjorn Wist, chief financial officer at Oslo-listed car carrier Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA.

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The British Aminex Receives a Two-year Extension of its Ruvuma PSA Gas License

Despite the significant natural gas resources available to Tanzania, the country is struggling to meet the growing local demand. Companies like Aminex, are expected to help change that with the activities in the Ruvuma basin.

In Tanzania, Aminex announced through ARA Petroleum Tanzania (APT) that it has obtained from the Tanzanian government a two-year extension of the term of the Ruvuma PSA license. Thanks to this extension, APT will be able to continue its development activities in the region.

SANRAL Awards Contract for Huguenot Tunnel project

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) has awarded Engineering and infrastructure consultancy firm SMEC South Africa contract to provide consulting engineering services for the commissioning of the Huguenot Tunnel project.

The Huguenot Tunnel project, located on the N1 freeway (Section 1) approximately 60km north-east of Cape Town in the Western Cape Province is a toll tunnel that passes through the Du Teusclof mountain range that separates Pal and Worcester.

ADNOC, Fertiglobe Partner to Sell Blue Ammonia to Japan

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) partnered with Fertiglobe to sell the first shipment of UAE’s blue ammonia to the Japanese Itochu company, ADNOC announced in a statement.

The action comes as a part of the efforts exerted to boost cooperation between Japan and the UAE, as well as the development of new UAE-Japan blue ammonia supply chains.

Egypt in Discussions with Chevron over Expansion

According to a press statement from the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Egypt is eyeing American supermajor Chevron for additional expansion into its oil and gas arena, specifically in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

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PCW-Featured Video

A Video Introduction to PCW

Editor’s Note:
It is time for a bit of self promotion. Although we only allow 4 banner ads in each online newsletter so you will be seen, that doesn’t mean that we are not keen to attract new advertisers to PCW. Hope you will enjoy this video we have made about Project Cargo Weekly.

A Video Introduction to PCW
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
Visited the Port of Södertālje near Stockholm recently, and in port I spotted a Con-Ro vessel from Holmen. On the weather deck, some Den Hartogh tank containers were loaded. Nice day and good to be out and about in port whenever possible. Seeing is believing!

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