It is Thursday the 8th of September, 2022 and we are here at your inbox again.
I am writing this editorial from the great port city of Hamburg. It is one of my favourite places in the world for shipping, eating, relaxing and enjoying.
From Aarhus, Denmark where I boarded the train, it is quite convenient to get to Hamburg. Taking the train at 09:39 am gets you into Hamburg HBf (Central Station) at 02:04 pm.
My parents reminded me that I was only 12 years old (in 1975) when I took the train on my own to visit a friend in Gottingen (a university city near Hannover). Then we discussed if we ever could have imagined in 2022 to send a 12-year-old on his/her own on a train trip like that. Back then there was no mobile phone, but my parents trusted me and had the balls to send out their son on his own changing trains in Hamburg.
Yes, times have changed for the better in many ways, but from a safety perspective and overall feeling of “togetherness”, I think we are more apart now than ever. Not a day goes by in Europe right now when the upcoming energy crisis is not discussed. The Russians claim that repairs on the Nordstream 1 is a reason for the current disruption. We all know that it is just an excuse to put pressure on Europe to ease Europe’s own sanctions in connection with the Russia / Ukraine war.
What do leaders in general (particularly in countries run by totalitarian rulers) care about their own population? If they cared so much, they would not need massive bank accounts in dubious jurisdictions, and they wouldn’t have sent their own children to schools and universities in the UK and the US to live lavish lives. Instead, they would have rid their countries of nepotism, corruption, and they would have developed a fairer distribution of income. They would have ensured that inequality would be eradicated as much as possible.
I have also spoken to a few Chinese friends, asking their opinions about the Taiwan / US intermezzo with visiting politicians from the US “supporting” Taiwan. The common claim from my Chinese friends was that the US is all about selling more arms. Right or wrong, there is no doubt that the weapons industry is huge and that it has enormous clout in politics whether the system is totalitarian or more democratic (meaning that we can in fact vote for different rulers).
One instance comes to mind as I was chatting with my father last night enjoying yet another Tullamore Dew (spending as much time as I can with him as his health is faltering). He told me about an incident years ago when he was captain on a ship loading ammo in Spain for the Iran side of the Iran Iraq war. Behind him was a larger, Greek vessel loading ammo as well but for an Iraqi port. BOTH ships were loading on behalf of the same SWISS trader! It seems to me that if we open up these bank accounts completely and get a truly transparent system in place (particularly in Switzerland, UK, and UK territories), we could see the truth more clearly in what seems to be a murky world of business, politics and greed – all mixed up in a dangerous cocktail. I suppose there’s nothing new in all of that and the only constant factor remains: normal people pay the bill, as always!
Today, we have got only one interview in store for you. It is with an actual BCO (Beneficial Cargo Owner). It is one of the major project cargo shippers in Scandinavia called VALMET. They make tissue machines, and you will see a very interesting comment from the interviewee that once you have started to use tissue paper, you won’t ever stop – so they indeed have got their market segment right 😁.
This is the first time PCW has actually interviewed a shipper directly, and if this pans out well, we will continue with this, having a mix of shippers, freight forwarders, shipowners, surveyors and so on… all of whom are in the same boat when it comes to shipping and project cargo transportation.
There is (or rather should be) room for everybody. Yet, trying to corner the market using massive profits mainly derived due to the pandemic freight rates and not because of clever business models etc. should also worry those who are in favour of the free market. Shippers and forwarders alike book at their own peril with shipowners who want to control, buy and exert influence on it all. Once these shipowners are asked to pay reasonable taxes on their income, they immediately send out the well-groomed bean counters to speak to the media about the “unfairness”.
The entrepreneurs who started the businesses originally are different from bean counters although both are needed. Someone must have ideas, skill, and persistence to start up something before you can make the EXCEL spreadsheet… if you understand what I mean.
See this short video I shot showing a close-up look at what it looks like to transport the Yankee cylinders worldwide.
We, of course, finish with shipping news, trade intel, featured video, photo and wise words.
We would like to remind you already that due to excessive travel in Asia & Australia in October, Project Cargo Weekly will take a well deserved “jetlag and business break” during weeks 41-42. In other words from the 13th to the 20th of October, 2022. Don’t forget to meet Project Cargo Weekly at our booth A2 at AntwerpXL 5-7 October. Also be reminded to download our APP so that you “never walk alone” as the theme from Liverpool FC goes…
Bo H. Drewsen
(Tissue Machinery Unit)
Mr. Peter Berggren
General Manager, Logistics
The product that you make at your Karlstad unit involves some very heavy and expensive pieces right? What can you tell us about a typical export project and what it involves in terms of volume/weight etc.?
We make tissue machines. An average project (depending on type of machine) is about 150 shipping units (40’OT containers or 13.6m trailers) and about 10-20% of the scope is considered high and/or heavy. The biggest piece is our Yankee dryer which is a Rotating Pressure Vessel to dry the tissue in the paper making process. The Yankee weight depends, of course, on the size of the machine, but it can be up to 7m in diameter and weighing in at 170-200mt.
Container shipping Profits Will Drop by 80% in 2023/24: HSBC Report
Profits are hefty for most shipowners now and that is indeed well deserved after years of “starvation” however all good things must come to an end. There certainly was no delay in becoming even more arrogant due to being fully booked at exorbitant rates if what I hear from the market is right. A correction, as they say in the financial industry, is timely…
After two years of unprecedented rises container freight rates were seen as having peaked with a downcycle in 2023 – 2024 driven by overcapacity. However, Parash Jain, Head of Shipping & Ports & Asia Transport Research for HSBC does not believe the sector will return to losses, which have so often characterised it over the last two decades pre-pandemic.
European Energy Outlook Darkens as Nord Stream 1 Shuts
With reference to the editorial about energy supply here is the latest from Seatrade on that very subject.
Major markets including France, Germany, Italy and the UK showed dramatic increases over August and prices are set to continue climbing in the weeks ahead. Average August spot prices in Italy’s market set a new record by breaking through the $500 per MWh barrier for the first time, climbing to an average of $547 over the month.
Mapping Airways: The World’s Flight Paths and Airports
Flying is incredible – see this fantastic interactive map that I found. Shipping people also need to fly to meet each other, the world cannot be run by zoom or teams.
There are up to 8,755 commercial flights in the air at any given time of day. These flights transport thousands of people (and millions of dollars worth of goods) around the world.
But where are these people and goods headed? This map from Adam Symington uses historical data from OpenFlights to visualize the world’s flight paths. The graphic shows a comprehensive data set encompassing 67,663 different routes that connect 10,000 different airports across the globe.
The Long-Awaited Return of TOC Americas
An interesting expo by TOC in South America, perhaps worthwhile attending.
The essential event for the port and container supply chain community across the Americas region returns to Peru, bringing the industry back together in-person once again from 18 – 20 October at TOC Americas 2022.
Australian Firm Prepares To Build Brazil’s First Southern Phosphate Mine
The Brazilian arm of Australia’s Aguia Resources Limited hopes to complete building the first phosphate mine in Southern Brazil by late 2023, Aguia Fertilizantes Chief Executive Fernando Tallarico told Reuters on Wednesday.
The company expects to get the installation license required to start work around October, he said. Construction will take about one year, and an operating license is needed to begin production, he added.
Energinet, Gasunie to Collaborate on German-Danish Hydrogen Infrastructure
In a bid to accelerate cross-border hydrogen infrastructure between Denmark and Germany, Energinet and Gasunie Deutschland have today (September 1) announced a signed agreement to cooperate on preliminary work.
Under the signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), the companies will coordinate grid developed based on results from pre-feasibility studies and latest market developments. Additionally, Energinet and Gasunie will analyse and outline the decision gates on the way to final investment decisions.
Malaysian Firm Reservoir Link Signs 200MW MOU with ‘US Iron Flow Energy Storage’ Company
Malaysia-based Reservoir Link has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an unnamed US-based ‘Iron Flow Long Duration Energy Storage provider’.
Meanwhile, iron flow battery provider ESS Inc has told Energy-Storage.news it is ‘actively exploring’ opportunities in Reservoir Link’s markets.
Alkegen to Expand Micro-Fine Glass Fiber Capacity
Alkegen, one of the largest specialty materials platforms in the world that provides high performance materials used in advanced applications including filtration media, battery technologies, high temperature insulation and fire protection, announced expansion efforts aimed at increasing its total micro-fine glass fiber (MFGF) manufacturing capacity by 30%.
Departing Port Botany / Sydney onboard CMA CGM Georgia Headed for Melbourne
Here is some footage showing the departure from Port Botany/Sydney onboard CMA CGM Georgia with final destination Melbourne. What can beat being onboard a cargo ship in this kind of weather? The answer is nothing (at least for me).
Whilst onboard mv CMA CGM Georgia from Singapore to Melbourne where I disembarked (pre-COVID) I took this shot of the Melbourne skyline. Happy to visit the “lucky country” in October again when my schedule includes Perth, Sydney and Lord Howe Island.