It is Thursday the 23rd of September, Week 38, and we are here, hopefully, in your inbox.
I had another great trip, combining two ferry rides with a lot of driving. I visited Turku, Helsinki, Kotka, Jyvaskyla, Kokkola, Vaasa, and then across the Bay of Bothnia to Umeå, Köpmanholmen, and finally Stockholm. In the featured picture of the week further down, you can see a few pictures from my travels. However, I do wish to share a video from the brand new LNG-operated ferry mv Aurora Bothnia coming straight from the yard at Rauma, Finland. See this video of mv Aurora Bothnia arriving and departing Vaasa. In the video you can also see a lot of heavy machinery from the Finnish producer Wärtsila ready for export on the pier!
What a pleasant experience—not least because I had the pleasure of Mr. Marko Stampehl of BBC Chartering joining me. We know each other from before, and he also has roots in Finland. For more about BBC Chartering take a look here: www.bbc-chartering.com
Driving in Finland is nice, and whoever makes the speed cameras must have good business as they are everywhere — even in the countryside! At the Port of Kotka I met with Steveco (https://www.steveco.fi), a huge port and stevedoring company in Finland. The port visit was impressive as was my visit to the Port of Kokkola courtesy of Rauanheimo — part of KWH Logistics (https://www.rauanheimo.com) — which is being used a lot for Russian bulk transit goods such as iron ore and other metals and minerals they can dig out of the ground there.
Speaking of Russia, I believe that the president won the election again (surprise, surprise) and as with the president of Belarus and the leader of North Korea, I doubt that there ever was a question of the end-result after “voting”. Finland has the longest border of any EU country with Russia and they, if any, know whether or not they can be trusted. I discussed at length with some of the people that I met in Finland their relationship to normal Russians, and it does seem that there is a middle class now who are able to buy summer houses in Finland and who are anything BUT the oligarchs and wealthy Russians that roam the streets and property market of London, Cyprus and Nice. I travelled through Russia several times by rail. Seeing the real country outside the big cities is certainly an experience. Here you can talk about a whole population that has taken a beating for centuries at the mercy of whoever was the ruler in the Kremlin. Still, it is 2021, and perhaps there is a light shining even there — at least they have been able for some years to travel abroad without the NKVD, KGB or FSB following their every move.
In the European sphere politically there has been a big argument about the botched attempt by France to sell their submarine technology to Australia after the latter decided to follow the US and UK into making a grand alliance in the Pacific in order to counter the Chinese influence. The EU, of course, backs the French position which is hardly surprising since the way of working in Brussels is by default “done the French way” — meaning the huge expensive bureaucracy and related inflated costs of everything done.
Germany is going to the polls, and stability is key for this country, but this editor hopes that some of the scandals — including the VW Dieselgate and the lack of high quality internet across the country (to mention a few) — can be rectified and fast. This is after all 2021, and hopefully, a leader with more vision and boldness in dealing with current problems can be found.
On the shipping front, we’ve got some interesting interviews in store for you today, as usual I might add…
We start off in the state of “Hang Em High”, the soap opera Dallas, and we are of course talking about the US and the state of Texas. Project One Logistics tells a compelling story about what they can do on the local, domestic, and international scales.
We then visit the Kvarken Port of Umeå in the North of Sweden, and the managers of the port tell us everything you need to know about logistics north of the Baltic using the Port of Umeå as a gateway.
We finally visit a landlocked country where Mozart used to roam and which used to be a hub for all spy novels, i.e., Vienna, Austria, and we talk here to a company called Panta Rhei involved in transportation using the Donau/Danube river.
We, of course, provide you with shipping news, trade intel, featured picture of the week, video of the week and wise words. Finally, DON’T forget to take a look at our new PCW Media Kit Video. By only allowing 4, repeat 4 banner ads in each issue of PCW, you don’t drown in ads and you do get noticed!
Until next week, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Project One Logistics – Houston, Texas, USA
Ms. Anne Schaeddel
Owner & Managing Director
Can you tell us a little about the history, background, and ownership of Project One.
I founded Project One over 2 years ago, and I am the Owner & Managing Director of the company. My idea is to focus on the customer and their project needs with tailor-made supply chains. I have been working in logistics basically my whole life and have experience from the ship owner side as well as freight forwarding. Our area gives so many opportunities, and I love to put the entire project together – turnkey or door to door.
Port of Umeå / Kvarken Ports
Patrik Rudolfsson, Harbour Master på Kvarken Ports Ltd
Christer Nederstedt, Sales and Marketing Manager på Kvarken Ports Ltd
Interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at Project Cargo Weekly
Panta Rhei – Vienna, Austria
Do you accept break bulk pieces on your barges?
Our vessels have steel floors making them suitable for heavy lift and break bulk pieces. Self-propelled vessels can carry ~5 mt/m2 on the tank top and barges are able to carry ~8 mt/m2. We have the ability to move items up to 400mt and maximum dimensions of 80 x 10 x 6m.
From Asia to Frihamnen Port – New Cargo Volumes Via Ports of Stockholm
Yes, it is certainly NOT a daily occurrence to have a geared heavylift vessel coming to the Port of Stockholm downtown. Normally, only ferries are there, and the container terminal has been relocated to Norvik, but a Thorco ship under the TSA Shipping Agency was in port last week. More here from Ports of Stockholm.
On 16th September, 400 tonnes of Thorco Projects cargo arrived at Frihamnen Port in Stockholm. The cargo originated in Masan in Korea and its final destination was in southern Stockholm. Transporting cargo long distances by sea to as close to its final destination as possible has major environmental benefits.
“It’s incredibly advantageous to transport these types of loads by sea, as close to their final destination as possible. This substantially reduces emissions and relieves congestion on both the road and railway networks,” says Nicklas Ebersson, Marketing Manager Cargo, at Ports of Stockholm.
Sea Asia Global Forum 2021
Shipping has indeed gone from doom and gloom to happiness, and recently, a major conference was held, discussing the future of supply chain and the related worldwide headaches that now reach us all.
The shipping and commodities markets have gone from doom and gloom to a huge upswing in just 18 months leaving the question as to what lies ahead. Leading executives taking part in the Sea Asia Global Forum grappled with these changes in a wide-ranging discussion.
IIF Global Debt Monitor: Reassessing the Pandemic Impact
Although not directly involving shipping, this newsletter from IIF concerning the global debt situation may indeed reach us all at some point. There are already rumblings about the Chinese construction giant Evergrande Group defaulting on their loan interest payments, and if so, we are talking about a massive bailout of billions of USD… so stocks worldwide may soon be affected, if not already. Look at the scary debt numbers below!!
Global debt soared to a new record in Q2 2021. Following a slight decline in Q1 2021, the global debt pile increased by some $4.8 trillion in Q2 2021. At a fresh all-time high of $296 trillion, global debt is now more than $36 trillion above the pre-pandemic level. However, the global debt-to-GDP ratio declined for the first time since the onset of the pandemic.
LA & Long Beach Ports Extend Gate Hours to Curb Congestion
Yes, about time that rules are relaxed or abolished in order to come to grips with the enormous backlog of ships waiting outside USWC ports, notably Los Angeles/Long Beach. 60 ships waiting that also cannot return to Asia creates a huge bottleneck, one that will be hard to come to grips with for quite some time.
The main US marine gateway complex is pulling out all the stops in an effort to reduce congestion that is suffocating import flows. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are extending gate hours during nights and weekends. Los Angeles is expanding gate hours on weekends, while Long Beach is keeping gates open between 2am and 7am.
Uzbekistan Inaugurates First Utility-Scale Solar Plant
A 100MW solar plant, the first utility-scale solar project in Uzbekistan has been inaugurated.
The Nur Navoi project is also Uzbekistan’s first successfully financed independent power producer (IPP) solar plant. Saudi-based energy firm Masdar partnered with Mubadala Investment to develop the project as part of efforts to ensure energy security in Uzebekistan and to expand the country’s renewable energy portfolio.
MCA Group’s Mega Solar Project Under Construction in Biópio
MCA Group’s mega solar project is under construction in Biópio, Angola. This is one of the 7 locations chosen to receive this MCA Solar project.
Severstal Supplied About 16 Thousand Tons of Large Diameter Pipes with Epoxy Coating for the Construction of Arctic LNG 2
PAO Severstal, one of the world’s largest vertically integrated steel and mining companies, has completed the supply of large diameter pipes (LDP) in the amount of 15.8 thousand tons for the implementation of the Arctic LNG 2 project by Novatek with epoxy coating a new type.
Prospect Resources Seeks Partners to Finance Construction of Arcadia Lithium Mine
In recent months, Firefinch and IronRidge have entered into agreements with international partners to develop their lithium projects, respectively in Mali and Ghana. With the current craze for this metal, Prospect shouldn’t have a hard time following suit.
Departing the Port of Stockholm on mv Amorella of Viking Line
Departing the Port of Stockholm on mv Amorella of Viking Line to sail to Finland is wonderful, especially now when it gets darker earlier. See here some footage that I took last week when passing a giant passenger vessel mv AIDA enroute out from Stockholm downtown. Glad to see that cruise traffic is getting ignited again.
Had another road trip to Finland/Sweden last week that took me to Turku, Helsinki, Kotka, Jyvaskyla, Kokkola, Kallajoki, Vaasa, a ferry across to Umeå, Harnösand, and then Stockholm. Took a lot of pictures, and you will find a nice collection of them here.