It is Thursday again, the 10th of February, and PCW is back.
The past week for me has been rather uneventful here in Stockholm, Sweden except for a quick trip to visit the Port of Oskarshamn. There, I saw the discharge of tower sections from a Spliethoff MPP vessel. View the photo album here. You can also see a bit of footage from my 24 hr trip in the featured video of the week.
Last week also saw the conclusion of the breakbulk expo in Dubai—a huge success by all accounts, judging from the reports I got. Also, the one day event that I was supposed to chair but was unable to due to a COVID19 infection turned out ok. It reminded me, believe it or not, that the shipping world can exist even without me present….it is always an eye opener to be reminded that you are not as indispensable as you might think. If I ever was in doubt, I could, of course, just have asked one of my ex-wives ?.
Having recovered from COVID19, I am now contemplating a few trips in the near future which will include a visit to CMA CGM in Marseille and to Malta next week as it seems that flights and restrictions are easing up overall.
I had an interview with a company based in Hong Kong today. Taking into consideration the zero tolerance against COVID policy that is being enforced in both Hong Kong as in China itself with obvious tragic side effects too, it does mean that we in Europe are still able to call ourselves “lucky”. One of the consequences of this zero tolerance situation has resulted in the loss of life even in shipping which seems to be the fallout. Read more about the recent fatal incident.
Yet, this happens when apparatchiks [editor’s note: historical term for a member of a specific Communist party] anywhere blindly are obeying rules. What happened to common sense? This incident also reminds me of a quote from the statesman Winston Churchill in which he said: “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried”. So yes, the alternative is after all NOT something to wish for if there ever was any doubt.
Several of the shipowners have released their 2021 results, and indeed, the results have been staggering. What remains to be seen is for how long the party is going to last both for the container as well as the MPP sector. Here in PCW, we do remember the many years past when things were far from rosy and shippers could shop around. So, the tide has indeed turned a complete180 degrees now in the owners’ favour. Hopefully, things could settle somewhere in the middle allowing both common sense and less arrogance, etc. to prevail.
This week shipping wise in PCW, we have quite a few interesting interviews in store for you. We start off in the land of Toblerone, watches, and the headquarters of the scandal ridden FIFA, and we are here talking about Switzerland. Fracht AG is a reputable project freight forwarder with offices in many countries worldwide, and their representative tells us about their capabilities also in the African continent after a recent purchase.
We then visit one of the largest countries in the world, famous among other things for maple syrup and ice-hockey to name a few, and we are talking about Canada. ITN Logistics is an international project freight forwarder headquartered in Canada, and they tell us an interesting story about what they can do in North America.
Finally, we return to Scandinavia to revisit an international Finnish trucking company with considerable strength in their field, both in Scandinavia and in Russia. Who if not the Finns know the Russians best? Silvasti tells us more!
We finalise this week’s newsletter with shipping news, trade intel, and featured video and picture of the week as well as wise words. We also remind you all to download the free of charge PCW mobile app in which you can find all the interviews we have had with shipping people from around the world.
Finally if/when you are bored and need peace and quiet to read, we suggest that you peruse the PCW year book which you will find here.
Until next week, we remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Fracht AG – Basel, Switzerland
Mr Dominik Keller, Head Global Development / Director – Member of the Global Executive Board of Fracht Group was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW.
ITN Logistics – Canada
Paul Lobas, Director at ITN Logistics was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
Silvasti Oy Ltd. – Finland
Mr. Hannu Vuorinen
Vice President, Heavy Business
Can you please tell us about the history of Silvasti and who the company’s owner is?
Our company was founded in the 1970s by Jukka Silvasti. At the end of the decade, we began projects in Kostamus, Soviet Union. In the 1980s, hauling iron rails for the Kostamus railway continued being a major deal for Silvasti and the company kept growing larger. By the end of the decade, we had grown into…
The Mission to Seafarers Launch Adventure Race Japan to Support Emerging Ports Strategy
PCW supports the Mission to Seafarers as well. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the seafarers worldwide. Below latest on some companies that, by organizing events, support the mission as well.
The Mission to Seafarers has launched a new adventure race challenge event in Japan, taking place in early 2023. All sponsors and participants of this exciting race will support the Mission’s Emerging Port Strategy 2022-26, a five year plan to develop existing operations in Asia specifically, but also globally.
The Adventure Race Japan will take place on the Izu Peninsula, Japan, regarded as a place of outstanding natural beauty and a designated UNESCO Global Geopark. The event will see teams of three take on endurance challenges including trail races, team building challenges, and a water-based element.
European Shippers Council Newsletter
European Shippers Council ESC’s latest newsletter is interesting. It is important for both shipowners and freight forwarders to know their actual clients and what they are looking into. Thus important to read their own newsletter to know more.
Transporting chemicals requires strict and complex rules. In January, the first chemical train arrived in Europe from China. The companies would like to make it a regular service.
The inland waterway transport promises to play a big role in multimodality. For this, the development and maintenance of infrastructure and new technologies require investments.
In January, the Commission has launched consultations on the greening and digitalisation of the whole mobility ecosystem. This covers automotive, waterborne, and rail supply industries. In its working document, the EC defines main scenarios.
Shipping delay problems in the maritime sector may continue this year. The European Commission keeps getting questions about the unreliable situation on the maritime market. The Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER) has been designed to bring lower prices and better quality of service to consumers. But quite the opposite is happening.
The European Parliament discussed several trade issues with the European Commission. These also included China’s blockade on imports from Lithuania.
As for the current situation in the freight transport sector, the European Parliament requested a study that provides an overview of the after Covid-19 situation and outlines recommendations.
Double Celebration in China: 50,000th Train Leaves to Europe
Although not directly shipping, rail-freight is still a complement to the logistics chain. Thus, it is interesting to see the latest statistics on the railway freight out of Asia to Europe.
Right before China transitioned into the New Year according to its calendar, it saw another reason to celebrate. On 29 January the 50,000th China-Europe train embarked on its journey towards the west.
According to Xinhua News Agency, the departure of train X8086/5 from Chengdu Chengxiang station marked the magic number of 50,000 trains since the beginning. This beginning was around ten years ago, when the first China-Europe trains pioneered across the continents. In the year 2011, a marginal 17 trains were counted on the New Silk Road.
Posidonia 2022 Confirmation of Details
PCW is happy to hear that Posidonia is back again and is now hopefully another sign that the Corona crisis is over…hopefully soon. We NEED to meet outside our computers and soon!
Posidonia Exhibitions SA, the organisers of the international shipping exhibition Posidonia 2022 and EXTROVERT |Business Communications, the official Press office for the Exhibition, welcome you to Posidonia 2022, which will take place on 6 – 10 June 2022 at the Metropolitan Expo Center in Athens, Greece.
FREYR Battery and Aleees to Pursue LFP Cathode Manufacturing Joint Venture
FREYR Battery, a developer of clean, next-generation battery cell production capacity, and Aleees, a producer of lithium iron phosphate (“LFP”) cathode materials for batteries, have signed a Head of Terms agreement to pursue a Joint Venture (“JV”) with the ambition to establish an LFP cathode plant in the Nordic region. The joint venture partners will seek to commence production in 2024, coinciding with the anticipated ramp-up of operations from FREYR’s first Gigafactory in Mo i Rana, Norway.
6.8KT Steel Wire Ropes Used in Braila Suspension Bridge in Romania
Italian infrastructure firm Webuild announced that the complex installation of the two supporting cables between the two towers of Romania’s Braila Bridge has been accomplished on the second longest suspension bridge on continental Europe that is gradually taking shape thanks to a joint-venture led by Webuild. In less than four months more than 150 technicians and specialized workers installed the two cables, consisting of approximately 18,000 intertwined steel wires weighing a combined 6,775 tonnes and stretching for a combined 38,000 kilometers. This new milestone brings the project to 59% completion.
Fred Olsen Submits Plan for 112MW Scottish Onshore
Lethen wind farm would also feature 10MW of energy storage and an energy efficiency programme
Fred Olsen Renewables has submitted plans to the Scottish government for the 112MW Lethen wind farm in the Highlands of Scotland, after a near year-long community consultation.
The 17-turbine project would be located 10km north-west of Grantown-on-Spey and has been revised a number of times in response to feedback.
New Alliance to Undertake 1-GW Wind Project in Laos, other ASEAN Projects
A gigawatt-scale extension of a wind farm in Lao PDR is one of the developments planned by a new tripartite alliance aiming to bring renewable energy solutions to end-users in the ASEAN region. Keppel Infrastructure Holdings Pte Ltd, a unit of Singapore’s Keppel Corp Ltd, announced on Wednesday it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thai renewables developer Impact Electrons Siam Co Ltd (IES) and Chinese greentech company Envision Group to work together to provide low-carbon electricity, storage and intermittency management solutions in the region.
Port of Oskarshamn – Wind Turbine Tower Sections being Discharged
Paid a visit to the Port of Oskarshamn, East Coast of Sweden on Monday and was present when mv Saimaagracht of Spliethoff was alongside discharging one of many tower sections for the booming wind power industry in Sweden. This will continue all over Sweden during 2022. More information about the port you may find here: http://smalandshamnar.com
mv Tian You of COSCO Shipping in the morning mist here at Port of Sōdertālje, Sweden. What is nicer than this kind of view on a cold morning with the sun rising before your eyes?