It is Thursday the 20th of April and we are back again with our “normal” issue of Project Cargo Weekly.
As you know, I have been on a fantastic trip from Leixoes to Durban using an MPP freighter called mv Bright Sky where I booked the owner’s cabin. Enough said about the trip, but as a reminder, I have repeated the link to the Travel Edition Vol. 2 further below.
Flying back from Durban to Stockholm was, shall we say, kind of depressing, because you do form a bond with the crew onboard since you are ‘linkedin’ (so to speak) for the time that you are onboard. Friendships are created, and saying goodbye is always difficult in life. On the other hand, when one door closes another one opens. Returning to one’s kids at home after 6 weeks is, of course, always wonderful… at least for the first few days ? until the hardship of domestic logistics, noise, school, activities, etc. take over, and the trip onboard gets parked in the back of your mind.
The temperature difference was massive—from plus 24 ℃ to minus 4 ℃ (75 to 25 ℉) and of course, I ended up with a major stomach flu having forgotten how cold the wind actually can be in Sweden even though the sun is shining and the sky is bright ?.
Anyway, no free lunch in this world, and I need to get back in gear, get to work, and develop the newsletter and networks of which I am the so-called chairman.
Being a chairman or a board member by name more than by action seems to be the order of the day in many companies. There are many scandals in large companies where apparently incompetent or hapless board members claim they know nothing about this or that which happened in their often stock-listed enterprise. Many would recall Danske Bank, aka the laundromat bank, and an icon in Denmark apparently NOT knowing what happened in terms of money laundering in their Estonian branch. (Read more about The Danske Bank money laundering scandal).
In my personal view, IF you are a board member, you better have the position because of merit and not because of relationship to other board members or major shareholders. But relationships and nepotism are seen in many parts of our society, not least in our political system. Strange isn’t it how fast retired politicians suddenly get an “advisory” position in the industry that they used to regulate when being in government…. Still as Mao Tse Tung once famously remarked: “In the cleanest water lives no fish”.
Here in Sweden, the news is full of sustainable, green, and not a day goes by without commentators strutting their stuff and grandstanding about being more green than the next person. Germany just closed down their last nuclear power plants, whilst France keeps on. All is fine with me as long as we are not depending on any countries that use their abundant supply of energy as a weapon, and here in Europe, we have been as naive as ever.
There is our immigration crisis with people trying their luck to get a better life crossing the Mediterranean. We need to fully understand that the consequences are usually to find either death in the ocean or nothing on arrival by way of work, unless it is underpaid and slave-like conditions such as the farms of southern Italy.
We are officially humanitarian and no one wants to touch this infected matter with a pole in order not to be called racist, politically incorrect or worse. Why don’t we make clear that there is NO chance for immigrants without a visa to enter Europe, and then we could establish proper camps in the north of Africa where applications could be made? Australia has done it, and like it or not, they have saved lives because people smugglers can no longer convince desperate people that they can transport them to Europe without repercussions. See the video ▶️ NO WAY. YOU WILL NOT MAKE AUSTRALIA HOME from the Australian Government years ago.
What did the EU do? Yes, in Lampedusa almost 20 years ago, Barroso and Malmstrom were wringing their hands after yet another rickety boat had gone down with many fatalities and they proclaimed ….never again…well, so much for that statement. They are now enjoying their pension from the EU whilst the problems continue unabated particularly for the countries in Southern Europe, and ultimately for everyone else. (see here).
There is enough money in the world to deal with problems. The major headache is distribution of wealth, and as I called for before, we have a minimum salary. So why don’t we have a maximum salary? Or a maximum wealth cap: anything beyond must be distributed…perhaps that’s an idea!
Now turning back to the shipping issues at hand…
What I can comment on is that the rates have tumbled, and with a massive influx of new and huge container tonnage, it seems to me that arrogance is ready to fall, particularly for some of the owners that have had their noses high up. I heard the same story in Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa when I spoke to our network members there (www.clcprojects.com) (www.cross-ocean.com). At least some port authorities and local entities are not impressed by might, and might is not always right. A wise man said: ”When the shipowner calls you up or even invites you to lunch, then you know they are hungry again.” I suppose we are still not there when a proper lunch can be digested on-line – and thank God for that!
In today’s issue we have got some very interesting interviews for you:
1. Aprile in Italy, part of the privately owned Savino Del Bene, tells an interesting story and Emanuela Ventre whom I have known for almost 2 decades is still going strong.
2. The Romeu Group in Mexico, part of TIBA, also provides an interesting insight into the huge market of Mexico that is now booming as production is moving out of China in order to be closer to the US and also to avoid future “Covid closures without warning”.
3. Agile Shipping, a relative newcomer in Egypt, tells us about their story and why they started a new and service-minded company in this great country.
4. Project Cargo Weekly Travel Edition 2 (of 2): I repeat for you the link where you will find beautiful pictures, videos, etc., so do consider taking such a trip in future!
We provide you, of course, with shipping or related news, trade intelligence, wise words and featured video, and Project Cargo picture of the week.
Until our next issue on May 4th, I remain,
Bo H. Drewsen
Aprile – Project Forwarding Division
Emanuela Ventre, Project Cargo Division Director at Aprile SpA was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
Romeu Group – Shipping Agency Division
Interview with Mikel Donges, Manager, Mexico & Latin America at Romeu Group Shipping Agency Division was interviewed by Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
Agile Shipping – Alexandria, Egypt
Mr. Ahmed Mokbel Gamaleldin
First of all Ahmed, please tell our readers about your background in shipping leading up to your partnership and establishment of AGILE Shipping.
I have almost 18 years of experience in the Shipping & Logistics field, formerly Managing Director for Agility Egypt for Shipping & Freight.
Core competences: Industrial Projects / Oil & Gas Logistics / Supply Chain / Freight forwarding / Container Shipping Line.
Re-visiting the Latest Travel Report
View the latest travel report (part 2 of 2) here.
Finland Joins NATO in Historic shift, Russia Threatens ‘counter-measures’
With a view to the current Russia/Ukraine situation and the overall situation of Russia in the world also concerning transportation etc., it may be a good idea to read ARCTIC today which is an interesting and informative newsletter where you may find useful intel. Finland is now a NATO member, Sweden likely next.
Finland’s accession, ending seven decades of military non-alignment, roughly doubles the length of the border the North Atlantic Treaty Organization shares with Russia and bolsters its eastern flank as the war in Ukraine grinds on with no resolution in sight.
Finland’s flag – a blue cross on a white background – was hoisted alongside those of the alliance’s 30 other members as a military band played in bright spring sunshine.
Latest News from the International Road Transport Union (IRU)
IRU is the international road organisation lots of cargo is still transported by road which remains often the most direct and efficient way.
Iraq joins TIR to boost trade and economic development. Straddling several key trade routes, Iraq has become the 78th country to accede to TIR, as more Middle East firms than ever use the system to streamline supply chains.
FMC Checking Ocean Carrier & MTO Compliance with Recent Ruling on Per Diem Charges
FMC in the US is a powerful government organisation. Although it is bureaucratic it still serves a purpose, particularly in regulating shipowners demurrage and delivery charges etc. During corona many shippers have complained about excessive charges and thus someone is finally taking action. You can see more direct from the FMC website but this news is one example.
The Federal Maritime Commission is actively seeking information to confirm that ocean carriers and marine terminal operators are complying with the law following a precedential decision it issued addressing when per diem detention charges can be billed.
In a December Order in TCW Inc. v. Evergreen Shipping Agency (Am.) Corp. & Evergreen Line Joint Service Agreement (Docket No. 1996(I)), the Commission held that the charging of per-diem when a port was closed and equipment could not be returned was unjust and unreasonable.
XL Anchor – the AntwerpXL Newsletter
Antwerp XL is an important expo taking place in Antwerp in November this year. They regularly send out a newsletter that you might find interesting.
Today’s newsletter has a particular focus on our XL Industry Trends Report and securing your space at AntwerpXL 2023. More features include Grimaldi’s expansion in Amsterdam, Mammoet ’s record-breaking heavy-lift, a special spotlight on our sponsor Varamar and much more.
TotalEnergies to Ask ACWA Power to Sign-up with 1-GW Iraqi Solar Project
TotalEnergies announced an agreement with the Iraqi government on the shareholding structure for the approximately USD-10-billion (EUR 9.18 bn) Gas Growth Integrated Project (GGIP). Under the terms, TotalEnergies will certainly hold 45%, Basrah Oil Company will certainly take 30% and also QatarEnergy will certainly own 25% of GGIP.
Qcells Lands Largest Community Solar Order In US History
On April 6, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the state of Georgia to announce that South Korean solar cell manufacturer Qcells and Virginia-based Summit Ridge Energy plan to deploy 1.2 gigawatts of community solar power in the United States — enough clean energy to power 140,000 homes and businesses. The project will require the manufacture of 2.5 million solar panels — the largest community solar order in US history.
Qair to Build Seychelles’ First Floating Solar Power Plant
French renewable power developer Qair has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Seychelles authorities for the construction of a floating solar power plant in the country. The 5.8 MWp future renewable energy system is the first floating solar project in Seychelles. The agreement for the floating solar plant was signed between Seychelles’ Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) and Qair, abroad the renewable energy and hydrogen powered-vessel Energy Observer. The vessel is an experimental project, serving as a laboratory for finding innovative and successful solutions in favor of energy transition.
Lindner Shredder Producing RDF in Mexico
Austria-based Lindner Recyclingtech says a shredding system it has sold to construction materials producer Cemex is helping it convert tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) and commercial waste into refuse-derived fuel (RDF).
The shredder is producing RDF for Cemex subsidiary Regenera Mexico. That firm, according to Lindner, has diverted more than 4.9 million metric tons of municipal, industrial and commercial waste from landfills since 2012.
Watching the Sun Set from onboard mv Bright Sky
Being a passenger onboard a freighter is a fantastic experience. With a 360 degree view of the ocean watching the sunset is unbeatable. Here is some footage from my recent trip on www.macship.com vessel mv Bright Sky
An impressive project here handled by Asstra in Poland, an 827-tonne wash tower shipped from Spain to Gdansk. Read more…