It is Thursday the 16th of November, and PCW is back again. I am currently in Latin America, presently in São Paulo before flying to Asuncion in Paraguay, a country I have never previously visited. Then I am off to Santiago, Chile.
São Paulo is a huge city and metropolis here in Brazil and, shall we say, an economic engine. I spent some time in the Port of Santos as well as the nearby beaches at Guaruja. You can find a few pictures from the trip near São Paulo here.
I also understand from meeting many locals, including (of course) mainly business people, that as usual, the picture that the European media seems to always paint as to who are the ‘goodies’ and who are the ‘baddies’ is not always right (meaning Lula is good and Bolsonaro was bad). In reality, it seems to be a mix, and no one is totally clean from corruption or other undue influence. As we are now used to, many a journalist in the west is colored mainly to the left, and prefers to stick to the “right opinion”. Thus, they can hardly see anything from 2 sides. The endless conflict in Israel and Gaza seems to be a case in point regarding biased media coverage.
I started to read a book called The Strange Death of Europe.
It gives at least ONE alternative view on the current situation in Europe and what we as a continent are facing mainly due to political correctness, biased media, and a system of demonizing leaders in countries such as Poland, Hungary, etc. in case they dare to object to the bureaucrats of the EU, their gravy train, and their insulated mentality of not caring to actually understand what is bothering many in the street. I dare say that the island of Lampedusa is a case in point and that nothing in 10 years has changed in the corridors of the EU as we are constantly overwhelmed, caught by surprise and even unable to return criminal elements and people who got their asylum application rejected. What do we have foreign ministers and a load of embassies for? What is Frontex? Is it a parking lot for jobless bureaucrats?
On the shipping front, the word here in Latin America is also that the market—at least for some areas of the container trade—has tanked, meaning the rates are at the bottom and without any foreseeable chance of recovery. It is not yet a slaughterhouse like on the main East/West trades but not far from it. There is simply too much tonnage for too little cargo, and many owners seem to have had an exaggerated belief that the COVID19 happy days would continue…. Those days have now gone forever I would say, and things have come back to before Covid days. Customer service still remains sluggish according to many forwarders I have met here in Brazil, so nothing new on that front. As I commented in the last PCW about customer service, overall it is a struggle and apparently not an area where anyone (or at least only a few) are willing to spend money.
Speaking of the editorial in PCW Week 44, I received a huge amount of feedback from worldwide, so it seems that it was spot-on…
Meantime on the PCW shipping front, we’ve got the following interesting interviews in this week’s issue:
1. Erhardt Projects Middle East is a Spanish-owned project freight forwarder involved in all kinds of logistics, and here we talk to their MD of operations in the Middle East.
2. AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG is a Swiss-based freight forwarder with global presence; here we talk to their office in Houston.
3. LIVO Logistics is in Poland; we also speak to a relative newcomer on the market but still with a service-minded attitude and seemingly successful already.
We, of course, provide you with shipping news, trade intelligence, featured video and picture of the week including wise words. Don’t forget to download our Project Cargo Weekly APP to your smartphone. During my visit here in Brazil, I told everyone I met to do so. Most were surprised that we have such an APP, so thus I repeat it again for you readers!
Will be in touch week 48 (or rather the 30th of November) again. Our last issue of the year will be 14th of December with a special XMAS issue concluding the year 2023 on the 21st of December!
With best regards,
Bo H. Drewsen
Erhardt Projects Middle East
Andy Hall, Managing Director at Erhardt Projects Middle East, Abu Dhabi, UAE speaks with Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG – Houston, Texas
Mr. Colin Bagwell
COO – Industrial Project Logistics
For starters, who are AsstrA? Is the name an abbreviation? Who is behind it, and in which countries are currently active?
AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG is a global logistics company, headquartered out of Zurich which is where our CEO is located. We are a global Company with a network of offices, and over 1500 employees.
Our Company name is an abbreviation of the words: activity, stability, staff, transport, reputation and alliance. These are the principals on which our business is based. As mentioned, we have a global network of 43 owned offices in some 30 countries in Europe, CIS, Asia, and the United States. In November of this year, we will launch the opening of our latest office which will open in the United Arab Emirates to place the AsstrA flag firmly in the Middle East region.
LIVO Logistics – Poland
Rob Miszka Country Manager at LIVO Logistics speaks with Bo H. Drewsen, Editor in Chief at PCW
A Message from VOLANS Maritime – Panama Canal Situation
The Panama Canal situation is severe. Here the latest from one of the reliable shipowners regularly using the Panama Canal, it also includes an official statement from the Canal Authority.
As you might well know, the current drought situation that Panama is facing (exacerbated by a severe El Niño weather system) has heavily reduced the daily transit at the Canal which until now caused heavy delays in the different vessel categories. The daily transit quantity will be further reduced over the following months and will worsen the situation. Right now the ACP has stopped the possibility of prebooking the transit passage, which gives big uncertainty of the vessel’s transit schedule. The late arrival of this year’s rainy season and lack of precipitation in the Canal watershed has obliged the Canal to drastically reduce the transit capacity (between 40%-50% of full capacity).
Panama Canal restrictions: enough capacity for containerships but not gas carriers
Latest on the Panama Canal situation here from Seatrade Maritime. Lack of water is a serious matter, particularly for shipping and not least life…
As Panama continues to grapple with the worst drought in 73 years Panama Canal Authority (ACP) plans to reduce the number of booking slots to just 18 from 1 February 2024, of which five will be for Neo-Panamaxes.
Breakbulk Americas 2023 Smashes Event Record
I had originally planned to attend Breakbulk Americas but due to family illness I had to fly back from Latin America to Denmark, however it was by all accounts a resounding success as you can see here from the press album received from the organisers.
See you at Breakbulk Middle East in Dubai mid FEB, 2024 !
Breakbulk Americas 2023 has been hailed a success after a record 5,665 project cargo and breakbulk professionals from across the supply chain came together for the three-day event at The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. You can catch up on the event highlights here.
Ocean carriers are driving the rates race to the bottom – ‘they’re all at it’
Race to the bottom indeed for the main liner shipowners. Interesting report here from Loadstar – I would give the best ever customer service now to whomever would be booking with me if I was a liner owner…and I would keep the level even the times are improving…for now however I think many forwarders and shippers recall the lack of same during corona days…
Carriers are themselves driving the rates ‘race to the bottom’ they warned would lead to a “dire situation” in 2024 – Maersk singled out as one of the worst offenders.
Powerchip to build foundry in Japan’s Miyagi
Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp (力積電) plans to build an ￥800 billion (US$5.3 billion) factory in northeast Japan with financing from investment group SBI Holdings Inc and the Japanese government, the latest boost to the nation’s bid to expand its chip manufacturing base.
China’s Trina Solar plans expansion in Vietnam
Chinese solar panel maker Trina Solar is planning to invest an additional $420 million in Vietnam’s northern province of Thai Nguyen, raising its total investment in the country to nearly $900 million, the provincial government said on Sunday.
EV parts supplier to build plant in Dublin, Georgia
Korea-based Hwashin will invest more than $176 million in a new manufacturing facility in Dublin crafting chassis components for electric vehicles, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Tuesday. The plant will create more than 460 jobs.
Solar Steel signs a new 37 MW solar tracker supply contract in Colombia
Gonvarri Solar Steel, a leader in the supply of solar trackers and fixed structures for the photovoltaic solar sector, is proud to announce the signing of a new supply contract for 37 MW of trackers in Colombia.
A Large CMA CGM Vessel Anchored off of Guaruja Beach Waiting to Berth
Visiting São Paulo in Brazil and just 5-6 km away from the great port of Santos some very nice beaches are available – kept scrupulously clean. It is a marvel to behold, especially for this shipping man in need of exercise with the great view of ships on the horizon – as this video clip shows.
I had a very nice meeting with Mr. Erik Jensby network manager of BIMCO at their beautiful hq in Copenhagen. BIMCO is a well known organisation to many but perhaps what is not known is that their website features a range of vip information useful to you and available even you are not an official member. Check it out – www.bimco.org