It is Thursday the 17th of February, and I am pleased to tell you that we are back, older and stronger than before.
Why I am saying that is because yesterday, on February 16, I turned 59. So, this will then be my last year in the “roaring fifties”. I wonder what is ahead for the sixties, so to speak. Certainly though, my age (although it’s just a number) is creeping up there. As a result, many thoughts start to come to mind such as:
- Have I prepared for the inevitable?
- Has my will been made so that no lawyers benefit from my not having prepared this in advance?
- Are my insurance policies and health plans up-to-date?
So I am spending a bit of time on that, but as a wise man said: “There is only so much you can prepare in advance.” I have some experience in the field now since I helped out a bit in the beginning when my brother left this world at the end of 2020. It is for all intents and purposes an eye opener. My advice to anyone not yet having done their “home work” on the matter of what happens when you depart: do it when there is time and you are still coherent to do so.
Money has a way of making people change their attitudes. Frankly, it doesn’t matter whether it’s close family, relations and friends, or business partners: many change their attitudes and unless you prepare in advance some stringent requirements in writing according to your wishes, the greedy or cunning ones may turn out to be “winners”, for lack of a better word.
Today, I am on my first, shall we say, “outside Scandinavia trip” for quite a long time. I am visiting Marseille and Malta for a couple of days each.
Malta is a nice place both to live and study in. Being part of the EU but with a location smack in the middle of the MED, it means that for shipping, logistics, and transportation (including flights to and from) it has an unparalleled location. They do observe some of the English “ways and means” such as left-hand side driving and lots of junk food available. Luckily, however, there is also a good portion of local and Italian-inspired food and wine both homemade and imported from the nearby island of Sicily among others. So do take a look at visitmalta.com if you have a chance. I Iived in Malta from 2003-2006 and still to this day keep a condo on the island which I reside in when it is not rented out.
Malta is also “famous” for close links to Libya for historical reasons. If i should compare it somehow location-wise it would be to greater parts of Africa what Singapore is to southeast Asia. The container port is efficient and has a huge turnover. I entered and departed from there many times when on board containerships as a passenger. Here are a few select pictures of Malta from various places on the island.
By the way, speaking of islands, there is an event taking place in Dubai next week. The island state of Mauritius is promoting themselves as a logistics hub—this time in the Indian Ocean. With access particularly to the east and south part of Africa, and with Malta close to the North of Africa, you may consider having an office in both island heavens! More about the event here.
Right now returning to the shipping field, we have today some interesting interviews, as usual I might add, for you to listen to and read. We start off in the wonderful city of Hong Kong which is the current headquarters of A.R.T. LOGISTICS GROUP, specialising in railway transport to/from Asia and CIS, including Russia and also parts of Europe. Their owner tells us more, so well worth listening to.
After that we return to Sweden which is becoming quite a hub, not only for online games but also software development, and the company CARGO-PLANNER in the Swedish city of Malmo tells us about a program they developed for shippers and forwarders alike to increase space utilisation. Do listen to this as it might well come in very handy for you.
Finally, we return to the African continent and republish an interview we had with POLYTRA (now part of the Fracht Group), and they remind us about their long-standing experience in this great area of the world.
We, of course, provide you with shipping news, trade intel, featured picture and video of the week, and our usual wise words. Before signing off and continuing my journey in the South of Europe, I remind you about both our recently published Yearbook and our PCW App.
Wishing you well and until next week, I remain
Bo H. Drewsen
A.R.T. Logistics Group
Tatiana Serova, Commercial Director at A.R.T. Logistics Group was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW.
Erik Törnblom, CEO and Managing Director at Cargo-Planner.com was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW.
Polytra Group – Part of the Fracht Group
Mr. Amaury Luyckx
Tell us about the origins of Polytra. When did the company start its business and what’s been its focus in logistics since its inception? I understand that you are part of the Fracht Group, so could you please elaborate on that overall?
Polytra NV was founded in 1974 by Maurice Velge as a spin-off of the 150-year-old shipping agent, Grisar & Velge. Since its inception, we have been focusing on three important departments of expertise: Project logistics, Africa logistics and integrated solutions (such as 4PL and freight management).
After more than forty-five years, we went looking for a player that would be able to offer us a continuously prosperous future. We wanted someone with a name and reputation worthy of Polytra that would allow us to continue our growth and develop our global footprint with the same values for our own people and our clients. Polytra found these qualities in the reputable Swiss freight forwarder, Fracht AG, and sold the company in 2018.
Heavy Caspian – 31st March 2022
Project Cargo Weekly will be sending a representative to this event which will take place in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The Caspian and CIS regions have much potential for project cargo and some quite interesting multi-modal pathways to get in and out of the region depending on the season. Russia’s Volga-Don Canal which connects the Caspian to the Mediterranean via the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov freezes over in the winter, forcing many to turn to road and rail from either the east via Kazakhstan or the west via Poti, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Or via Iran.
You are kindly invited to the 8th international conference HEAVY CASPIAN to be held on March 31, 2022 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Venue: Ramada by Wyndham Tashkent. This conference is focused on oversized and heavy cargoes transportation in the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia countries.
2019 Conference gathered more than 130 delegates from Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Georgia, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey and UAE.
Conference topics in 2022:
– Best practices of delivering over dimensioned loads to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, comparison of transport routes;
– Potential of Kazakh ports in accommodation of project cargoes;
– Operation of the Trans-Caspian corridor for project loads.
Conference languages: Russian, English (simultaneous translation)
Liner Shipping Defines the Six Critical Pathways to Zero Carbon Shipping
We cannot escape the green anywhere and the focus on zero emissions etc etc, so also in todays news from the World Shipping Council which is an association of the main shippinglines of the world. The buzzword also among them is green and trying to develop zero emission vessels plying the worlds oceans. Green is good but there is always a cost, as long as we are ready….
Transitioning global shipping from a carbon dependent industry into one that operates without greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a massive task. Container and roro carriers are already investing in the development of zero GHG technologies and are committed to enabling the industry’s transition to zero, but clear global regulations are needed. The World Shipping Council (WSC) has identified six regulatory and economic pathways, all of which are critical for the nations of the UN International Maritime Organisation to address for a successful maritime energy transition.
Breakbulk & Project Cargo in New Orleans 25-27 April 2022
The Big Easy (aka New Orleans) is perhaps not as well known as Houston for handling breakbulk cargo, but certainly it is there. There is an interesting conference taking place towards the end of April. You may brush up on your jazz at the same time.
Softening Spot Rates Could Mean ‘Days Are Numbered’ for Ad-Hoc Carriers
If this article in Loadstar is accurate, then we can perhaps see light at the end of the tunnel regarding paying exorbitant fees for transportation on the high seas. Let us see where we end up….
Maersk said this week it anticipated container spot rates would fall back in the second half of the year, justifying its strategy to secure 70% of its volume under long-term contracts.
Spot rates are already showing signs of softening, post Chinese New Year, on the Asia-North Europe tradelane, and the return to some form of normalisation in H2 would threaten the sustainability of the new challenger carriers on the route.
Bosch Mexico Announces Expansion in Queretaro Plant
Bosch Mexico will expand the capacity of its Queretaro plant, dedicated to the manufacture of automotive technology. The plan includes installing new high-tech production lines and a warehouse on around 12,000 square meters.
Boom Supersonic Picks North Carolina to Build and Test Ultra-Fast Planes
The Greensboro-based plant, which is expected to employ 1,750 workers by the end of the decade, is the latest example of a new aviation manufacturing facility being built in the region. In the last 11 years, Boeing and Airbus have established new final assembly plants in North Charleston, S.C., and Mobile, Ala., respectively.
Altus Power and Heliene Partner to Boost U.S. Solar Module Manufacturing
Solar company Altus Power Inc. and module manufacturer Heliene Inc. signed a three-year agreement under which Altus Power will be able to buy up to 250 MW of solar modules from Heliene for use in solar generation projects across the U.S.
Drillmec SpA, Telangana Gov’t Ink Pact to Set-up Global Manufacturing Facility in Hyderabad
Drillmec SpA, a global leader in oil-drilling rigs manufacturing, has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana, for the establishment of Drillmec International Hub for manufacturing oil rigs and ancillary equipment in Telangana. Drillmec SpA and the State department will float a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to set up an equipment manufacturing unit.
Mauritius Ports Authority
As noted in the editorial, the country of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean is promoting itself as a logistics hub. Might be worthwhile for you to take a look at what they can offer. Here is a short video introducing the country—and above all the port—which has developed further since this video.
An impressive sight with the mv Biglift Barentsz arriving in http://www.smalandshamnar.com/ Port of Oskarshamn on the East Coast of Sweden with blades for an on-going project there.