Week #22 – 2024

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In this edition: Port of Neom, Saudi Arabia | PBL, Santos, Brazil | Akon-DonLuis, Equatorial Guinea >>>

Week #22 | 30th May, 2024

Dear Readers,

Bo H. DrewsenIt is Thursday the 30th of May, and we are back again with our “normal” Project Cargo Weekly which includes interviews, news and so on.

 It has been a remarkable month for me. Without repeating too much, I dare say that the trip I had onboard a freighter as passenger from Portugal to Japan was one of the best trips I have ever had.  In last week’s PCW, we published the final short version chapter of the trip. In case you missed it, you can find it here. Freighter Voyage onboard ABB Vanessa Part 3(3)

I also joined the Breakbulk Europe show in Rotterdam. The first event was a houseboat party in Rotterdam on the 21st of May prior to the formal opening. After that I visited the Expo and met around 95 people in less than 8 hrs, all of whom were involved or had an interest in project cargo and shipping. A great event indeed, although by no means cheap to attend. Some taxi drivers are crooked in their prices, and hotels are jacking up the prices big time. Still, if you divide the cost by the number of people you meet, it is well worth it.  Of course the real calculation should, in fact, be dividing the cost by the number of people you NEVER met before. Saying hello to old friends is good but it doesn’t expand your business, however comfortable that is. Here are a few pictures that I took during Breakbulk including our houseboat party.

I also joined the Breakbulk-arranged port harbour tour. While it was nice, I felt it was a bit too short and “cheap” (so to speak). With the number of people onboard, it could have been expanded a bit to take in more of the port itself, although Rotterdam can’t be totally covered within even a few days.  Yet, my overall verdict is that it was a great expo, and we are back again in May 2025 for sure.

I left Europe via Japan, Hong Kong, etc. on the 14th of March, returning to Sweden only on May 23rd.  It was indeed a pleasure to be reminded of the wonderful nature that exists in Scandinavia … when the weather is good that is.  Waiting for a RORO vessel to come around the bend, I visited a nature reserve some 40 minutes drive from downtown Stockholm. To experience the peace, quiet and tranquility there was food for thought indeed.  See the video here and listen to the peace and quiet.. it’s “deafening”.

As you may know (even though you likely may not since most don’t follow it), there is an election coming soon for the EU parliament.  I think that the people are mostly busy with the fact that the parliamentarians themselves are fighting to stay on the democratic “gravy train”. Whilst many struggle with paying their bills due to rising costs there is no such problem if you are an EU politician (see here for European Parliament Salaries and Pensions).

Plus, you need to add the allowances which amount to around EUR 5,000 a month. Not a bad pay for partaking in a democracy that hopefully is working for the benefit of all.  The rule book certainly hasn’t decreased since the EU was established, so in that sense, their productivity cannot be seen as poor…☺

Still as Churchill said in a 1947 House of Commons “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” Come to think of it,  they just don’t make politicians like Churchill any longer…

Right! Back to business, and we start off with the following interviews after a travel edition gap:

1. Port of Neom, Saudi Arabia
2. PBL, Santos, Brazil
3. Akon-DonLuis, Equatorial Guinea (re-publish)

We naturally provide you with shipping news, trade intel, wise words and the featured video and photo of the week.

Please note that we will publish 2 more issues: the 13th and 27th of June. Then, we are taking the July summer break, reverting again on August 8th.

With best regards,

Yours sincerely,
Bo H. Drewsen

ANL AGM 2024

Port of NEOM


Interview with

Mr. Sean Kelly
Sea Mobility Managing Director


What is NEOM, and can you elaborate for our readers a little about the basic idea behind the NEOM “project”? What is Oxagon?

Located in northwest Saudi Arabia, NEOM is more than a project. It is an entire region that is being developed infrastructurally to be an accelerator of human progress; as a blueprint for sustainable development.

Oxagon is NEOM’s reimagined industrial city. It is a radical new model for future manufacturing centers, based on NEOM’s philosophy of redefining the way humans live and work in the future.  Advanced and clean industries will thrive in Oxagon as it brings together state-of-the-art approaches of Industry 4.0, the Circular Economy, and Talent Development to enable factories of the future for the products of the future – all in a sustainable way.

PBL – Santos Brazil

PBL Featured Image

Interview with

Mr. Philipe Costa de Lima


First of all, can you tell our readers about the history of PBL?  When was the company established, who owns it, and where have you got your headquarters? 

The company has been in business since 1987. The name PBL is my father’s name: Pericles Bastos De Lima. He’s the owner, and I am a minor partner. Our headquarters are now in Santos – São Paulo. My father founded the company with only one customer at that time – a big hospital here. Since then, we have been working hard to expand.

Akon-Donluis – Equatorial Guinea


Interview with

Mrs. Heather Woodcock-Destemberg
Vice-President of Sales and Marketing


First of all Heather, can you tell our readers a bit about your career?  How come you ended up in logistics, and for how many years have you been active in this field?

I was working as a consultant on an Exxonmobil project in N’Djamena, Chad, in Central Africa training new recruits from the country in English. Eventually things progressed for me differently and I was given the opportunity to join the Operations Department and started to get involved in different parts of Logistics.  I started in “people logistics” (airlines, etc.) and eventually worked my way from Chad to Equatorial Guinea. It was there that I really got involved in inbound/outbound shipment processes for American Oil & Gas operators dealing with Customs Clearance activities and other parts of the Supply Chain business activities.  

FIATA banner
PCW-Shipping News

Shipper fury as spot rates soar – and box lines ignore contracts

Editor’s Note:
And the circus goes again. Cargo enough, rates soar and arrogance as well. Crisis in the Red Sea or elsewhere and advantage is taken immediately by some.

The sense of genuine anger amongst North European shippers and freight forwarders was palpable this week as they struggled to digest rapidly escalating spot freight rates.

The ascent steepened over recent weeks, with Drewry’s WCI Shanghai-Rotterdam leg rising 20% week-on-week to finish at $4,999 per 40ft.

News from the High North

Editor’s Note:
News from the High North, interesting for many especially in the prevailing war situation between Russia and Ukraine.

High North News Week 22 2024

Logistics Trade Bodies Unite in Calls for Industry Action on New EU Import Declarations

Editor’s Note:
EU can always be trusted when it comes to adding new rules and regulations to it’s already bloated bureaucracy. Latest here from the Real World (not Brussels) trying to combat it.

Global and European trade associations representing shippers, forwarders and vessel operators have issued an urgent alert to all businesses involved in the movement of goods into or via the European Union, Norway, Switzerland or Northern Ireland, by sea, road or rail to be ready for the new Import Control System (ICS2) that will start to be introduced from June this year.

New Weekly RoRo Link Between Poland And Sweden

Editor’s Note:
A new “green link” between Stockholm Gateway, Port of Sodertalje and Gdynia, Poland has been inaugurated. See a short video here of the roro vessel linking up thrice a week.

New Weekly RoRo Link Between Poland And Sweden

Further the port tells us:

Lakeway Link is a newly established Swedish flagged RoRo carrier, with service between Gdynia and port of Södertälje three times a week. The purpose with this service is to move trucks and trailers from road to sea in order to create sustainable transport solutions. Port of Södertälje holds a unique location with its proximity to infrastructure and the Greater Stockholm region (one of the most expansive regions in the Nordic’s).


MTR Group expands factory in MG to enter the large power plant market in 2025

The MTR Group, distributor and manufacturer of equipment for ground-based plants for Distributed Generation, is investing R$30 million to purchase land in the Industrial District, in Juiz de Fora (MG) and another R$20 million in equipment and infrastructure for a new factory focused on the solar market that plans to hire 400 new employees.

European developer reaches financial close on 10 MW of solar in Tunisia

European renewables developer Qair will build a 10 MW solar plant in western Tunisia with a €3.9 million ($4.2 million) loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as to up to €1 million in concessional funding from Finland.

Acciona Energía will develop a 63.35 MW plant in the Dominican Republic

The Spanish energy company Acciona Energía has announced that, in collaboration with Grupo País -in a 51-49% participation ratio, respectively-, it will develop the 63.35 MW Pedro Corto photovoltaic project in the Dominican Republic, to be located in the province of San Juan de la Maguana.

Turkey’s Yeo to invest $65m in a solar power plant with storage in Zambia

As part of a partnership with local company GEI Power, Turkey’s Yeo is to invest $65 million in the construction of a photovoltaic solar power plant equipped with an electricity storage system in Zambia.

PCW-Featured Video

Freighter Voyage Onboard ABB Vanessa from Sines, Portugal to Soma, Japan

Editor’s Note:
Yours truly was onboard the carrying vessel here as passenger and filmed this whilst the loading took place in Sines, Portugal. Fantastic to have been a part of!

Freighter Voyage Onboard ABB Vanessa from Sines, Portugal to Soma, Japan
PCW-Featured Photo

Editor’s Note:
The PCW houseboat party in connection with Breakbulk Europe is now just about legendary. Here is the latest group picture of the party and although in cramped conditions it makes for excellent close-up and personal networking!

PCW Week 22 2024 Featured Photo
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