It is Thursday the 7th of April, 2022 and we are here again.
Hard to believe that 3 months have already passed, and 1/4 of the year is no more. But it’s a topic I have mentioned before. Time runs quickly, and it runs ever more quickly the older you get.
I have just sent out invites for my 60th birthday which happens on February 16, 2023 on the island of Malta. It’s a bit early and perhaps premature to send out invites. On the other hand, I have found that many make plans quite a long time in advance — particularly now that Corona restrictions are easing, there is a pent-up demand to travel.
I certainly belong to this category and am slated for departure for Australia and Kuwait tomorrow (April 8). So Corona permitting, I am departing on Qatar Airways via Doha to Perth.
I will also be present at the Breakbulk Expo in Rotterdam during the 17-19th of May. If anyone wishes to meet me personally, then please make a note that I will be “hanging around” the Hoegh Autoliners booth no. B24-C25 Hall 2 on both the 18th and 19th of May between 11am and 12 noon.Other than attending the event as the Editor of PCW I am also representing www.clcprojects.com and www.cross-ocean.com. It will be my pleasure to meet anyone for a face-to-face talk.
It is bound to be a sought-after event, and there really seems that many companies feel under a lot of pressure to send their representatives to this first physical event after about 2 years of lockdown. Chinese visitors, however, will be noticeably absent due to the overly stringent policies in China where they have been trying (so far in vain) to contain the Omikron variant—a variant that we here in Europe now practically no longer classify as a dangerous disease. Let us see when this will end and our thoughts go out to the “locked down” people, particularly in the great shipping city of Shanghai: You will be missed!
On the home front, I am happy to announce that I signed a full agreement with the local dragon (aka Chinese wife at home) to book my next trip on board a freighter. Corona and restrictions permitting, I shall be onboard one of the breakbulk vessels of M.A.C.S (https://www.macship.com/) from Hamburg to Cape Town during the 4th week of July. Given that I am allowed by the dragon to take such a trip every 2 years, I will enjoy it to the full. I miss being onboard with books, solitude, and a 360 degree view of the ocean. Why don’t you check out https://www.cross-ocean.com/ocean-voyages/ where I do offer such trips to anyone. I must admit though that the major customer for the company has been myself….but what is not to like? Keeping a safe social distance is certainly possible on a freighter as opposed to a giant cruise liner stuffed with passengers—and indeed to my mind, that is NOT a holiday!
I shall refrain this week from commenting on politics and the ongoing war in Ukraine. We are already overwhelmed by emotion and news input from all media outlets, so there is no need for me to elaborate further on this sorry state of affairs.
Businesswise, we have some interesting interviews in store for you today. We start off in the country of samba, steaks, Iguazu and Amazonas, and that is, of course, the great “continent” of Brazil – BRASIL PROJECTS is a well established and experienced reliable project freight forwarder able to deal with the intricacies of transport in this vast country, not to mention their very complicated customs procedures.
We then visit a place where I used to live for a few years, i.e., Malta, and we speak to a family-owned company called THOMAS SMITH which offers shipping agency and project freight forwarding also in transit via Malta.
We finally visit one of my favourite countries with some of the most beautiful women in the world (editor’s opinion): Poland. EAS International in Poland tells us what they can do, not only for sea freight but also for airfreight solutions in and out of the huge European country to whom we owe a big debt of gratitude for taking good care of Ukrainian refugees in the last couple of months.
We naturally, and as usual, provide you with a range of shipping news, trade intel from the corporate world, and last but not least featured video/picture of the week and wise words. Don’t forget to ensure that you download the PCW App here for free or read our 2021 Yearbook here.
Until next week when I shall be writing to you from the Port of Fremantle, Western Australia, soaking up the sun and no doubt a couple of pints of VB mate…!
Until next week, we remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Brasil Projects – São Paulo, Brazil
Thomas Weitmann, MD & Majority Shareholder at Brasil Projects was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
Thomas Smith – Malta
Ramon Azzopardi, Business Development and Project Manager at Thomas Smith was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW.
EAS International – Warsaw, Poland
Ms. Jolanta Schmidt
Sea Freight Operations Manager
The history of EAS, Jolanta. What can you tell us about it? Who owns the company?
EAS International is a family-owned company, established in 1988 as EMERGENCY AIRFREIGHT SYSTEM INTERNATIONAL SAS in Paris, France. So for more than 30 years, EAS has been a time-critical, logistics specialist. We provide a full scope of forwarding services – airfreight, seafreight, and road and rail freight. We also offer Customs brokerage services.
EAS International belongs to Herport Group, which is a representative logistics operator, offering a full range of services in the field of customs clearance and transport in all countries of the world, whatever the type of freight. The CEO of EAS is Mr. Olivier Hennequin. In Poland, our Managing Director and Board Member is Mr. Adam Komorowski located in Warsaw, and Mr. Marco Muggianu is located in Paris.
We are strong in airfreight services: we offer services not only for standard shipments, but also on-board courier, express shipments.
As far as ocean freight is concerned, EAS International offers comprehensive seafreight shipping services via a worldwide network for FCL and LCL shipments, break bulk, project logistics, dangerous wastes logistics, and specific hazardous goods transportation.
We also offer road freight within Europe and rail service on the New Silk Route.
Sanctions, Isolation Could Doom Russia’s Ambitious Arctic Goals
Latest news from “Arctic Today” interesting read particularly in view of Russia’s near pariah status now…
Although the Russia Arctic has been a top priority for that nation’s government in recent years, the region is now set to face serious economic setbacks following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Several new oil and gas projects, mines and infrastructure initiatives recently under development could now come to a grinding halt.
China’s Focus on Southeast Asia: A New Link to Vietnam
Expansion of the route from China to Vietnam by rail and likely further on to Singapore later once Cambodia / Malaysia gets connected to the route… interesting.
The first train departed on Saturday, leaving the Guoyuan Port in Chongqing with 43 containers of engines, tires, printing paper and other cargo, all locally produced. The total value of the cargo was more than 3.9 million US dollars.
Vietnam connection to China:
It is not the first rail freight link between China and Vietnam. In fact, a lot of rail freight traffic runs between the countries as part of the longer journey to or from Europe. This cargo is collected in for example Zhengzhou or Suzhou before it continues on the New Silk Road.
Update: Shanghai Lockdown to Set Shipping and Supply Chain on Edge
China continues with its zero COVID policy irrespective of the consequences. Latest here from Seatrade Magazine on the effects on Shanghai.
The u-turn on a Shanghai lockdown was announced on Sunday followed record 3,450 asymptomatic Covid-19 cases and 50 symptomatic cases, numbers that seem small compared to most countries.
The city of 26 million will be locked down in two phases for mass testing with the Pudong financial district and areas east of the Huangpu river from 28 March – 1 April, and the second phase west of the Huangpu river for five days from Friday.
2 Years of the Pandemic – What We Thought Then & What We Know Now
This statistics newsletter is very interesting and tells us today what we learnt during 2 years of pandemic. Enjoy the reading.
Today marks two years since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic. On that day, the world registered 7,728 new cases – the largest share of which were in Italy, while the U.S. recorded just 365, bringing the cumulative total there to 1,147. China’s official total by this stage was more than 80,000 but the rate of daily new cases had slowed significantly compared to the new hotspots of Italy, Iran, Spain and France. In this bulletin we’re taking a look back at how Statista covered the emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020, before taking a look at our most recent charts on the pandemic.
Tesla to Ramp-up Production with Planned U.S. Battery Plant
Panasonic plans to build a U.S. factory to supply Tesla with lithium-ion batteries, Japanese national broadcaster NHK reported, seeking to ramp up production to meet anticipated demand for electric vehicles.
The Japanese electronics conglomerate is looking at sites in Oklahoma and Kansas to build the plant, NHK reported, citing a person it didn’t identify source.
China & Turkey to Build World’s Largest Rooftop Solar Power Plant
Chinese tech giant Huawei and Turkish steel manufacturer Tosyali Holding co-launched a project on Friday to build the world’s largest rooftop solar power plant in Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Osmaniye.
The two companies will build a “solar photovoltaic system” at Tosyali’s plant in Osmaniye, combing Huawei’s smart solar inverters with the tech expertise of SolarAPEX, Turkish leading solar power installer.
Agreement Signed for Development of 1st Methanol Production Facility in UAE
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, and Proman, one of the world’s largest methanol producers, and a leading fertilizer producer globally have signed an agreement to develop the 1st Methanol production facility in UAE.
The terms of the agreement describe that Proman and Abu Dhabi Chemicals Derivatives Company RSC Ltd. (“TAZIZ”), a joint venture between Abu-Dhabi-based investment and holding company, ADQ, and ADNOC will build the natural gas to methanol facility at the TAZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais.
Sugar Miller Plans to Construct New Factory in Siaya
A local firm is seeking the approval of the environmental watchdog to construct a new sugar factory in Siaya County. Seal Sugar Mill says it is looking for a green light from the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) to build the factory in Alego Usonga sub county, which is suitable for sugar cane production.
It will be the first major agricultural project five years after American-owned rice farm Dominion closed shop in Siaya nine months after its American founder, Calvin Burgess, accused the area’s leaders of extortion.
mv Pacific Fortitude in Hutchison Port of Stockholm / Norvik
mv Pacific Fortitude in Hutchison Port of Stockholm / Norvik last week discharging cable drums from Asia. Filmed by a human not by a drone, from high-up on the giant STS crane that was engaged in discharge operations.
An incredible view from one of the giant STS cranes in Hutchison Port of Stockholm / Norvik last week.