It is Thursday the 5th of May, 2022 and I am writing to you from Houston, TX, USA.
I actually landed in the U.S. last Thursday and had the pleasure of visiting New York City first. New York has a pulse that is seldom seen in any other city around the world. Traffic starts early, ends late; people are rushing; but whatever you want in terms of food, sightseeing, shopping, rich and poor neighborhoods — this city has it all. Add to that a great location with access to the Atlantic, so besides being a fantastic city, it is also a great port with lots of history immigration-wise. For a few years now, my son has been working in Manhattan, so I had the pleasure of having him to guide me along. We had a very memorable and fantastic steak dinner at Gallaghers. I can recommend that place, but skip the appetisers because portions are huge, as are they indeed in most places of the US. I happily share here a bunch of pictures that I took during my Circle Line sightseeing trip around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. With Queen Mary II alongside in the Red Hook Terminal Brooklyn, it did make the boat ride perfect.
I had my first meeting on Friday, the day after I landed (my arrival was delayed with BA to JFK). The meeting was with Professor Matt Malisiewicz of the Maritime College of New York at Fort Schuyler. Thanks to Project Cargo Weekly, of which he is a fan, he contacted me on LinkedIn. So, during this visit to NYC, Professor Malisiewicz was kind enough to give me a personal tour of their grand maritime college where future cadets are trained. See below for more info and pictures from this fantastic visit.
After enjoying the weekend in the Big Apple (and counting how many USD were left after…), I flew early Monday afternoon from JFK to Houston. JETBLUE (the airline I used) was quite service minded, and it seemed to me that the JFK Airport has improved quite a lot over the years. It is now more up to modern day standards, but as with around the world, when people are lining up for the security check, all available lanes are still never opened. Like I said though, that is a universal problem. Only Singapore seems to be able to efficiently manage security checks: efficient and fast check- in and arrival procedures.
Arriving in Houston from NYC is like arriving in a gigantic quiet village (at least downtown). Equally amazing is Houston’s size (get a real feel for the size from the images in this article), and I doubt you can avoid less than 45 minutes in traffic due to the distances between meetings. Luckily though, with proper planning, I managed to have about 4 meetings per day until today, Thursday.
I had a chance to try the local food here in Houston and with a southern US taste to it, i.e., spicy and Cajun-style, this city is really also a place where you might not lose weight easily… and as for living without a car – forget it.
I also had the pleasure of visiting the Port Houston Authority yesterday and meeting with Mr. Ty Reasonover who is their Sr. Trade Development Manager (Eastern U.S./European Trade) (porthouston.com). He was kind enough to personally show us one of their breakbulk terminals and the view from the roof of their building. I met Ty years ago in Shanghai and later on at breakbulk in Shanghai, and now he is here. Together with the CLC Projects and Cross Ocean service provider member Atlas Heavy Transport – Mr Anders Pedersen (atlas-heavy.com), we enjoyed a good couple of hours in port. See pictures from the port tour and a few billboards from around the highway system.
One thing I recalled from years ago when visiting the US is that the ambulance or accident chasers (i.e., lawyers promising to help you gain benefit from an injury) are still going strong with billboards in many places. It is a system pretty much unheard of in Europe and seems like a system out of whack as no one should benefit from anyone’s injury. Ultimately in a circular economy, the insurance company rate increases will simply be passed on right back to the consumers. But overall, visiting the US again has been a pleasure so far. There is a drive to move, good service in the restaurants, and generally, transportation as far as I can see works pretty well. Of course, what you see in a few days having meetings and running in/out of restaurants and hotels probably doesn’t show you the whole picture.
There will be more on the Houston trip in next week’s PCW. For now, I would like though to turn to what we’ve got in store in PCW Week 18:
Starting off in New York, we have a chat with Professor Matt Maliesiewicz, so carefully check out “Interview” 1 and enjoy the pictures, history of the college and how we got to meet simply thanks to PCW and then the LinkedIn connection and then the actual visit. Power of networking indeed.
We then re-publish an interview we had with Atlas Heavy here in Houston. Their looking after me this whole week does make me want to remind you about their capabilities in heavy haul transport here in the US—an area that is prone to huge cost surprises from many less reliable vendors.
Finally, we re-publish another interview from the US, this time with Allround Forwarding in Cleveland who tells us what they can do to/from and via the Midwest in this huge country.
I believe you understand the fact that due to running a lean ship in PCW, personal interviews are sometimes not possible to conduct afresh, especially when travelling. Still quality doesn’t disappear overnight, which is why we feel that you will be well served by the two interviews from the archives this week.
We provide you with our usual course of shipping news, trade intel and wise words.
So, from this, shall we say 100% USA-focused newsletter,
Until next week, we remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
State University of New York Maritime College
A Chat With
Professor Matt Malisiewicz
Lecturer + Researcher
Where is this one of a kind school for Maritime Officers?
The New York Maritime Academy (also known as SUNY Maritime College) is a nautical school like no other. Nestled on a beautiful campus right on New York City’s waterfront in the storied Bronx borough, surrounded by water, and overlooking the Manhattan skyline, it has quite a character that dates back to 1874.
What makes it so uniquely different?
It is not its modern ship simulators, nor its tech-enabled classrooms, or even its excellent faculty that makes the NY Maritime College one of a kind. What makes it so unique and strategically equipped for the future is its diversity and caliber of students; with their multinational perspectives, unique backgrounds, and a myriad of strengths that mirrors the vibrant diversity of the city which it calls home, New York.
ATLAS Heavy Transport
Frank Scheibner, President & CEO at ATLAS Heavy Transport LLC & ATLAS Heavy Projects LLC was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
Allround Forwarding Midwest – Cleveland, Ohio, Usa
Mr. Janko Wille
First off, Janko when did you start the company Allround, and tell us why Cleveland for those who are not familiar with its location in the US Midwest?
As a German native, I started my career in the US in 2010 when I was sent over to run the newly-acquired US branch for a mid-sized German freight forwarder. I had taken the position in Cleveland, Ohio and put down roots after a few years in the Midwest. Allround Forwarding Co. in New York City was my customer at the time, and after a management change at my current position, Allround’s owner, Hatto Dachgruber offered me an opportunity to jump ships and join the Allround team. So, I decided to move to the Big Apple, but whenever my wife and I came back to the Midwest for work or visiting friends, it felt like coming home again. Ultimately, we decided to move back to Ohio where I had opened the Cleveland office for Allround in the meanwhile. For sure not a hotspot to be honest, but here is where I got my first impressions of the United States and the place I now call home.
Suez Canal Records Highest Monthly Revenue In April
There can be no doubt that the Suez Canal is a serious contender for the top spot in the economy for Egypt as being the major earner even when competing with the Pyramids…
Egypt’s Suez Canal recorded its highest monthly revenue to date in April, reaping $629 million in ship transit fees, the authority managing the waterway said on Sunday, as traffic rebounded from the impact of the pandemic.
The monthly revenue in April was 13.6% higher than a year ago, canal authority chairman Osama Rabie said in a statement.
Finland Will Decide to Apply for NATO Membership on May 12
The Arctic today is now more interesting than ever particularly because if predictions are right BOTH Finland and Sweden will be joining NATO and this decision is certainly a result of the Russian “special operation” in Ukraine…so what no-one accomplished before seems to become real.
Finland will decide to apply for NATO membership on May 12, Finnish newspaper Iltalehti reported late on Sunday, citing anonymous government sources.
The decision to join will come in two steps on that day, with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto first announcing his approval for the Nordic neighbor of Russia to join the Western defense alliance, followed by parliamentary groups giving their approval for the application, the paper reported.
Shipping is the lifeblood of trade and so are the seafarers I think we had better (re shipowners and ship managers) ensure that the seafarers are kept happy and that every effort is done to look after them well. They are NOT to be taken for granted and if this report is a status of current situation then it needs remedy! More here from Seatrade Maritime News.
The index, published by the Mission to Seafarers, fell to 5.85 from 6.41 as seafarers were hit by the continued impact of COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and contractual concerns.
The report said that seafarers were already reeling from the tightening of COVID-19 restrictions as the Omicron variant spread, as seen in previous Seafarer Happiness Index reports, and were then further impacted by the war in Ukraine.
European Road Freight Rates Index Up 4.3 Points in Q1, Hitting a New Record High
Trucking is also an integral part of overall shipping. Read here about the latest. One thing we can be sure of is COSTS ARE RISING… unstoppable it seems.
The Upply Ti IRU European road freight rates index for Europe hit an all-time high in Q1 2022 as rising cost pressures, supply and capacity disruptions, regulatory change and war in Ukraine created a potent mix of rate drivers. The Benchmark index rate rose by 4.3 points over the previous quarter, while it increased 7.5 points over the first quarter of 2021.
Xlinks Solar & Wind Power Project Updates, Morocco
The design and construction of the ship that is expected to lay the cables during the implementation of the Xlinks Solar & Wind Power Project are ongoing. Alan Mathers, head of UK cable producer XLCC, said in a statement that their ship will be the most advanced, efficient, and environmentally friendly cable ship in the world at the time of delivery.
Paladin Energy Raises Funds to Restart Uranium Mine
In addition to restarting the Larger Heinrich mine, PDN said it is now well funded to undertake further uranium marketing initiatives.
“The Equity Raise was an important catalyst for the Company as it provides sufficient capital to restart the globally significant Langer Heinrich Mine, as well as provide capital, which will allows us to continue to advance our uranium marketing and exploration activities,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Purdy said.
Britishvolt & VKTR Sign MoU to Secure Battery Supply Chain in Indonesia
Budding British battery cell manufacturer Britishvolt has agreed to set up a joint venture with VKTR, part of the Indonesian conglomerate Bakrie & Brothers. A memorandum of understanding initially provides for the construction of a nickel sulphate plant in Indonesia.
Metso Outotec Wins Order for a Compact-size Iron Ore Pellet Plant in India
The compact, three-meter-wide travelling grate pellet plant will be installed in Nagarnagar, Chhattisgarh, in central India. The plant, which will produce 2 mtpy of high-quality iron ore pellets is expected to go into production in 2024.
Exiting the Suez Canal Southbound Entering the Red Sea Enroute to Khor Fakkan
Exiting the Suez Canal towards the Red Sea onboard mv CC Christophe Colomb some years ago. A wonderful trip and I hope that COVID-19 will soon be so eradicated that shipowners like CMA CGM start to accept passengers again, and I will book a ticket!
State University of New York Maritime College training ship mv Empire State here alongside just below the Throgs Neck Bridge, New York. The vessel will be visiting both Portugal and Ireland soon (so I heard) for a training mission. Certainly a vessel up to the task of training cadets in seafaring and what it entails.