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Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 24 May 2022

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW:  BRONAGH J  &  ALPHA FALCAO

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The week’s mastheads:

Monday: Port of Durban Container Terminal night
Tuesday: Port of Durban Multi-Purpose Terminal (Point)
Wednesday: Port of Durban Island View Liquid Bulk Ttreminal
Thursday: Port of Durban, Maydon Wharf
Friday: Port of Cape Town Elliott Basin
Saturday: Port of Cape Town dry dock
Sunday: Port of Cape Town Tanker Basin
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FIRST VIEW:   BRONAGH J  & ALPHA FALCAO

Bronagh J Picture by Trevor Jones in Africa Ports & Ships
Bronagh J.  Picture by Trevor Jones
Alpha Facao. Picture by Trevor Jones in Africa Ports & Ships
Alpha Falcão. Picture by Trevor Jones

The standard array of cargo-working callers to the port of Durban has thrown up relatively little of interest in the last several weeks, so it is fortunate that a couple of non-standard visitors have provided some leavening in this staple fare.

Perhaps the most unusual vessel, and also one that was featured in this column* back in 2017 at the time of her only previous Durban visit, was the bulk-handling transhipment vessel Bronagh J  (IMO: 9413133)  (2007 / 5,337 dwt)My photograph shows this “object” on the way into Durban, under tow by the diminutive Palau-registered tug Alpha Falcão (IMO: 9512953).

The tug was reported on Marinetraffic.com to be on a voyage from Mombasa to Durban, but presumably she picked up her tow en route off the Mozambican coast, where Bronagh J operates as a transhipment or transfer vessel to shuttle titanium group minerals (ilmenite, rutile and zircon) from the Kenmare Moma mine. The transfer takes place from a loading jetty on the coast near the mine precinct to bulk carriers that lie some 4-5 nautical miles offshore.

Bronagh J was purpose-built in Singapore for this operation, and the dome-shaped silos that are visible in my photograph must be storage silos for the minerals, with the loading gantries used for the actual transhipment. The vessel is self-propelled for the jetty-bulker shuttle (although she did not use her own propulsion capability for the Moma-Durban voyage), with a designated carrying capacity of just over 5,000 tons. That equates to a very large number of shore-to-ship cycles, as the Kenmare mining website reflects annual exports of something in excess of 800,000 tons. It is not clear whether a second transfer vessel is also employed, but if so, she is yet to be seen in these waters.

The vessel is currently lying at the Bayhead off the Sandock yard, but she must presumably be destined for dry-docking for her five-year survey and refurbishment. In comparison with historic activity levels, our repair facilities are now quite under-utilised, the Prince Edward graving dock tragically so, but it’s good to see that Durban still serves as a repair focus for specialist vessels employed elsewhere in the southern Indian Ocean. Bronagh J will presumably look a great deal smarter when she leaves port after the ship repairers are done with her.

Story and pictures by Trevor Jones.

Acknowledgements to Trevor Jones and to Bluff Signal*, the publication of the World Ship Society, Port Natal Branch.

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Kenya: Developing a National Maritime Security Risk Register – IMO support

Supporting Kenya to develop National Maritime Security Risk Register.  Picture: IMO in Africa Ports & Ships
Supporting Kenya to develop National Maritime Security Risk Register. Picture: IMO

Identifying emerging threats to maritime security is key in developing the right tools to ensure sound maritime security governance.

To address this, thirty participants from several Kenyan Government ministries and agencies with responsibility for maritime security policy and operational implementation took part in a five-day IMO-sponsored workshop from 9 to 13 May.

They assisted the Kenyan Government in the development of its National Maritime Security Risk Register.

It is understood that the finalised National Maritime Security Risk Register will assess the threat, impact, and vulnerability criteria of all security threats to Kenyan national maritime security interests. This will enable the National Maritime Security Committee to formulate and coordinate new work programmes to mitigate these risks.

Furthermore, the scheme will also drive the development of the strategic objectives in the Kenyan National Maritime Security Strategy, which will set out Kenya’s vision for how it will safeguard its maritime domain for the next twenty years.

Securing and safeguarding the growth of the country’s blue economy is critical for development and economic growth. This forum followed an earlier workshop on the Development of the National Maritime Security Strategy held this year on 7 and 8 March, which shared good practice on the establishment of an effective National Maritime Security Committee structure and the development of a National Maritime Security Strategy.

EU-funding

This multi-agency workshop of 9 to 13 May was an excellent example of the whole of government approach to maritime security. The workshop is part of the EU-funded project on Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and The Indian Ocean, which IMO is delivering with implementing partners Interpol and UNODC.

Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent to Africa Ports & Ships
Edited by Paul Ridgway

London

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DR Congo shipping line opens offices at Dar es Salaam & Mombasa

The DRC, Tanzania and Kenya, featured in Africa Ports & Ships
The DRC, Tanzania and Kenya

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which apart from a narrow access to the Atlantic Ocean, is basically landlocked and with poor roads and limited rail connectivity. The eastern half of the country is economically divided from the capital, Kinshasa, and tends to look eastwards towards the Indian Ocean and the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, or to the ports of South Africa far to the south, for shipping purposes.

The country’s state-owned shipping company, Lignes Maritimes Congolaises (LMC), has recently secured facilities and offices the ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam and is seeking to develop additional trade via the Indian ocean ports. LMC has been in existence since 2014.

According to DRC officials from Kinshasa, yard space has already been secured in Mombasa and at Dar es Salaam.

Operations at these ports involving the LMC are expected to accelerate from June this year.

The announcement comes a little more than a month after the DRC became the latest member of the East Africa Community (EAC) trading bloc.

Eastern DRC connections

The DRC is connected to Dar es Salaam by the cape gauge (3ft 6ins/1067mm) Tazara railway (DRC-Zambia-Tanzania), the metre gauge Tanzania railway between Dar es Salaam and Kigomo and from thence across Lake Tanganyika by ferry to the DRC side.

A standard gauge railway (SGR) connects Kenya’s Mombasa port with Naivasha, in the area west of Nairobi, from where a metre gauge railway connects with Lake Victoria and to the Uganda border, from where the metre gauge Uganda railway connects to Kampala. At this point road transport connects Uganda with the eastern DRC.

Both Kenya and Tanzania are constructing standard gauge railways to improve connections with inland destinations, including the DRC, although the Kenyan SGR is stymied from continuing by lack of finance .

In each of these countries considerable volumes of traffic are carried by road.

It is reported that LMC will be opening offices in both Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.

The company will most likely focus on facilitating trade via the respective East African ports and chartering space with shipping lines that carry cargo to and from the DRC.

It will also manage the storage and security of cargo destined to or from the DRC.

In the meantime, Tanzania is continuing with the expansion and improvement of its lake ports, including Kigoma, the largest port on Lake Tanganyika, as well as on Kasanga, the second largest. These two ports are on the eastern side of the lake, facing the DRC which lies on the opposite western side of Africa’s long and narrow lake.

The port of Dar es Salaam currently handles 1.8 million tonnes of cargo annually from the DRC, including bulk copper, while exports to the DRC were valued at a little over US$ 207 million.

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WHARF TALK: THREE CONFEDERATE RAIDERS AT THE CAPE IN 1863

CSS Alabama 1863 sailing from Table Bay by Thomas Bowler, in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Alabama 1863 sailing from Table Bay by Thomas Bowler

Story by Jay Gates

“Daar kom die Tuscaloosa” is not the opening line of the well known Cape folk song, and neither is “Daar kom die Georgia”. What is well known is “Daar kom die Alabama”, but in fact at the same time in August 1863 there were not just one, but there were actually three Confederate States Naval vessels in South African waters off the Western Cape coast, and who anchored in the same port within three days of each other.

Yet hardly anyone has ever heard of the other two Confederate raiders, nor the fact that between them, they used Cape harbours on no less than seven occasions in eight months, and not just the one visit, by the one vessel, that evoked the famous song.

The famous Confederate States Ship (CSS) Alabama, under the command of Captain Raphael Semmes, of the Confederate States Navy (CSN), started life in 1862 as a clandestine new build, from the famous Laird Shipyard, in Birkenhead on the River Mersey. She sailed under the false name of ‘Enrica’ to Terceira in the Azores, where her real, and deadly, purpose was revealed.

From Terceira, the newly commissioned Sloop-of-War ‘CSS Alabama’ sailed on the first of her seven expeditionary raiding voyages into the Eastern Atlantic. It was her fourth expeditionary raiding voyage, known as the South Atlantic Expeditionary Raid, that brought her to South African shores. She arrived off Saldanha Bay on 29th July 1863 to complete her raiding voyage.

It was on this raiding voyage that, on 20th June 1863 she intercepted the 350 ton, Yankee Barque, ‘Conrad’ off the coast of Brazil, which was en-route from Buenos Aires to New York, with a cargo of wool and skins. As she was a good sailor, Captain Semmes decided to utilise her as a tender for the ‘CSS Alabama’, and he commissioned her into the Confederate States Navy as the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’, named after a city in the state of Alabama.

CSS Alabama Captain Raphael Semmes CSN, in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Alabama Captain Raphael Semmes CSN

He transferred his 4th Lieutenant, John Low, as her Commander, as well as 15 of the crew of ‘CSS Alabama’, together with two 12 pounder, rifled, brass cannons, and a plentiful supply of rifles, pistols and ammunition. The new ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’ was loaded with enough stores for a three month cruise, and tasked with proceeding on a raiding voyage of her own, with the orders to rendezvous with ‘CSS Alabama’ at the Cape of Good Hope.

When ‘CSS Alabama’ was in Saldanha Bay, she suffered a tragic accident that resulted in the death of her 3rd Engineering Officer, Lieutenant Simeon Cummings. Buried in a plot on the farm ‘Kliprug’ in Saldanha Bay, he was the only Confederate serviceman, from the American Civil War, to have been laid to rest in South Africa. His headstone was paid for by a group of Royal Navy Officers, based in Simonstown.

It was not until 131 years later, in May 1994, that the mortal remains of Lieutenant Simeon Cummings were exhumed, and returned to the United States. He was laid to rest in Columbia, in the state of Tennessee. Only a few of his shipmates witnessed his burial in South Africa, but over 5,000 were present when he was reinterred back in his beloved Southern States.

At the beginning of August 1863, ‘CSS Alabama’ sailed from Saldanha Bay and headed for Cape Town. The population of the city had become so enthralled by her raiding success that thousands of people climbed Signal Hill, lined Green Point seafront, and climbed onto the roofs of buildings in Cape Town itself to witness her arrival.

As she neared Cape Town, on 5th August 1863, she came upon the Boston Barque ‘Sea Bride’, and in front of a crowd of thousands of witnesses, she took ‘Sea Bride’ as a prize. There were arguments about whether, or not, he was within the three mile territorial waters of the Cape, when he made his capture. Captain Semmes left his prize out to sea, and entered Table Bay, for the first of his four visits to Cape ports.

CSS Alabama Raphael Semnes 1863 Cape Town in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Alabama Raphael Semnes 1863 Cape Town

Interestingly, for those who wonder, there is a very good reason as to why a three mile territorial limit was in place around the world at this time. It is down to the range of a cannonball, fired from a cannon, mounted on a coastal fort. It was considered that a cannonball only had a maximum range of three miles, and therefore, anything it could hit was considered territorial waters, and anything beyond that range was considered to be international waters.

His stay off Cape Town only lasted three days, and on 8th August, Captain Semmes sailed ‘CSS Alabama’ around to False Bay, and anchored off Simonstown on 10th August. He remained there, taking on coal and supplies for six days and sailed on 15th August for the high seas, and the start of his fifth raiding voyage, known as the South African Expeditionary Raid.

This first stay at the Cape was a very social one for the Officers and Crew of the ‘CSS Alabama’, and it was on her stop at Simonstown that some of the famous photographs were taken of Captain Semmes. The photographer was Arthur Green, a commercial photographer based in Cape Town. The ships log of ‘CSS Alabama’ on 12th August 1863 states “Photographers and Visitors on board.”

At the same time, the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’ arrived in Simonstown on 8th August, and remained at anchor next to ‘CSS Alabama’ until 14th August, when Captain Semmes ordered Lieutenant Low to take his vessel and escort ‘Sea Bride’ to Angra Pequena, now known as Lüderitz in Namibia, where a sale had been agreed. From there he was to head for Brazil to seek out more Yankee prizes, and return to the Cape of Good Hope by year end.

CSS Alabama Singapore December 1863 in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Alabama Singapore December 1863

With the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’ sailing from Simonstown on 14th August, and ‘CSS Alabama’ sailing from Simonstown on 15th August, it was the very next day that the third Confederate raider arrived in Simonstown. On 16th August 1863, the ‘CSS Georgia’, under the command of Lieutenant William Maury CSN, arrived in False Bay, from a raiding voyage off the coast of Brazil. A fairly new ship to the Confederate Navy, ‘CSS Georgia’ had only been in commissions since April 1863, and had previously been operating as a British merchant steamer.

Despite the British Government taking a Neutral stance in the American Civil War, they frequently allowed both Northern and Southern belligerent warships to utilise Cape Town for much longer than the 24 hours allowed under international law.

After taking on coal and supplies over the course of almost a fortnight, ‘CSS Georgia’ sailed from Simonstown on 29th August, and sailed north for Tenerife in the Canary Islands. She captured nine ships on her raiding voyage, but this was to be her last cruise, as she herself was later captured by the USS Niagara.

Arriving back in Simonstown on 16th September for coal supplies and provisions, ‘CSS Alabama’ was now aware that a powerful Northern warship, the USS Vanderbilt, had arrived in Cape Town and was searching her out. Captain Semmes made the decision to leave the rich pickings of Cape waters, and on 24th September 1863 he sailed from False Bay, heading for the Far East on his sixth raiding voyage, known as the Indian Ocean Expeditionary Raid.

It was now the turn of the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’ to return from her raiding voyage, and on 26th December 1863 she arrived back from Brazil and anchored off Simonstown. Since her last visit, the views of the British Government had changed, and instead of being welcomed, as all of the Confederate Naval vessels had previously, she was detained.

CSS Georgia 1863 in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Georgia 1863

The vessel was accused of breaking Neutrality Laws, and a naval force from the Simonstown based, Royal Navy vessel ‘HMS Narcissus’ took over the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’. Lieutenant Low had no choice but to pay off his crew, and they all sailed back to the United Kingdom. The second of the Cape Confederate raiders was now also out of the battle.

This left ‘CSS Alabama’ still out at sea capturing Northern vessels. After a voyage in the Java Sea, and in the Sunda Strait, where she had used the facilities of the British Colonial Straits Settlement at Singapore, she left on her seventh and last raiding voyage, which ultimately brought her back to the Cape.

On 20th March 1864, ‘CSS Alabama’ arrived in Table Bay for the last time. She was in need of a refit, after being at sea continuously for over 200 days, and having never visited a Southern Confederate port. After her final coaling and provision storing at Cape Town, on 25th March she sailed from Cape Town and headed north for Cherbourg in France, and a last attempt at raiding.

There is still a piece of ‘CSS Alabama’ in the Cape. It is a Confederate Navy Battle Ensign, measuring 170cm x 290cms, and is at the Iziko Museum in Cape Town. This ensign is believed to have been made aboard by her British crew, sometime between the two visits to Cape Town of ‘CSS Alabama. This ensign was given to William Anderson, whose ship chandler company made repairs on ‘CSS Alabama’, shortly before she made her fateful return voyage to Cherbourg.

CSS Georgia Lieutenant William Maury CSN in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Georgia Lieutenant William Maury CSN

A second Confederate Naval Ensign, known as ‘The Stainless Banner’, and of South African origin, was made, and then presented to ‘CSS Alabama’ on one of her two port visits to Cape Town. Today, that ensign resides in the Tennessee State Museum, in the USA.

Her arrival at Cherbourg was to be her final fling. Waiting for her was the ‘USS Kearsarge’, and she sailed out of harbour for her final battle on 19th June 1864. She was outgunned by the ‘USS Kearsarge’ and she succumbed with the loss of 19 of her crew, and 21 further wounded. She sank, but Captain Semmes was picked up by a British vessel nearby and was taken back to Southampton.

Raphael Semmes survived the American Civil War, was promoted to Rear Admiral in the CSN, and died in 1867 at home in Mobile in the state of Alabama. He was aged 68, but did not die of old age, but of food poisoning!

Very little is known about the ‘CSS Tuscaloosa’, but the details of ‘CSS Alabama’ are well known, with a length of 220 feet, and a displacement tonnage of 1,050 tons. She had two horizontal steam engines, producing 300 bhp each, driving a single screw propeller for a service speed of 13 knots. She also had an auxiliary sailing barque rig on three masts.

CSS Tuscaloosa Lt. John Low seated with Officers in Africa Ports & Ships
CSS Tuscaloosa Lt. John Low seated with Officers

Her normal operating crew was 145 persons, including 28 Officers, and for her main armament, she carried six 32 pounder guns, one 68 pounder gun, and one 110 pounder rifled gun.

The ‘CSS Georgia’ was 212 feet in length, and had a displacement tonnage of 600 tons. She was also steam engine powered, and had an auxiliary sail rig, of a Brig, set on two masts. Her main armament was two 24 pounder guns, one 32 pounder gun, and two 100 pounder guns.

A period of South African maritime history that a lot of folk think is well known, but actually very few know the full story. It was the year of the American Confederacy, which touched the Cape, not once, but seven times, and not with one famous vessel, but three.

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CGA calls for urgent update on interventions at the ports

Delays and problems at the Durban Container Terminal highlighted in Africa Ports & Ships
Delays and problems at the Durban Container Terminal highlighted

On Thursday, 19 May the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) issued the following statement by CGA CEO Justin Chadwick and intended for publication

Statement by CGA CEO Justin Chadwick

CGA calls on Minister Gordhan to provide an urgent update on interventions at the ports

“Tomorrow [20 May 2022], Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan will be delivering his department’s 2022/2023 budget speech in Parliament. The Citrus Growers’ Association (CGA) hopes that Minister Gordhan will use this opportunity to provide an urgent update on government’s plans to address the ongoing challenges at South African ports over the short and longer term.

This follows an Indaba held by CGA in Pretoria last week, which was attended by citrus growers from across the country. The meeting focused on the many serious challenges currently facing the sector, which threaten the longer term sustainability and profitability of the industry and, in turn, the 130,000 jobs it sustains and R30 billion in export revenue it brings in annually.

The main challenges raised by growers were the significant increases in a number of input costs, including fuel, fertiliser and electricity prices. However, their biggest concern was the surge in freight costs over the past year, which has seen some shipping lines hiking their prices by as much as 150%. At these levels, it now costs between 2 and 2.5 times as much to ship the fruit, as it does to produce it over the course of an entire year. It was therefore agreed at the Indaba, that the CGA would investigate the feasibility of collaborating with other fruit sectors to take control of their shipping in order to guarantee some price stability in the future.

Justin Chadwick of the CGA in Africa Ports & Ships
Justin Chadwick of the CGA

The other serious challenge raised was the ongoing operational issues at the country’s ports as a result of aging and out of service equipment and staff shortages. The perennial productivity problems at Durban port, which handles 60% of the country’s citrus exports, was further compounded by the recent rain and flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. Despite the impressive efforts by Transnet and the eThekwini municipality to ensure the damage to port access roads and the port itself was repaired in record time, it still interrupted the start of the season with many growers having to delay their harvesting and packing of fruit.

The citrus industry is expected to export 170 million cartons this season, which will result in billions more Rands in revenue for the country and more jobs being sustained. However, if current issues at the ports continue to hamper citrus reaching key markets, it will have a severe impact on fruit quality and grower sustainability.

It is therefore critical that Minister Gordhan provides a progress update on the short-term interventions, announced by President Ramaphosa in his SONA in February, which Transnet was planning to implement including: procuring additional equipment and implementing new systems to reduce congestion at the ports.

It is also crucial that he provides an update on the Request for Qualification (RFQ) published by Transnet earlier this year with regard to introducing Private Sector Participation (PSP) in the Durban Port Container Terminal Pier 2 and Ngqura Container Terminal. Critical to the success of this process is for it to include realistic ownership provisions for private operators. We would also appreciate an update on the planned R100 billion infrastructure development project at Durban port that was announced last year.

The CGA remains committed to working with government and stakeholders across the value chain to address issues affecting the ports. In this regard, it has established a Logistics Response Committee that identify risks in the logistics chain, including problems at the ports, and then develop plans to tackle the highest priority items. We will continue working with all role players so our industry is able to export quality fruit across the globe during the current season and remain a key contributor to the economy and jobs.”

By Justin Chadwick.

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ICS and Suez accord

Pictures: Suez Canal Authority © in Africa Ports & Ships
Pictures: Suez Canal Authority ©

The London-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) representing 80% of world’s merchant fleet and the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) have signed a landmark agreement to enhance cooperation.

It was announced on 11 May from Ismailia, Egypt, that the International Chamber of Shipping and Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority (SCA) had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering key issues impacting international ship owners and operations of the Suez Canal.

This yearlong commitment, signed during a meeting at the SCA HQ, will increase information sharing and negotiations on the movement of global trade through the Canal. It will open communication on long-term strategies for toll pricing, environmental protection, and decarbonisation.

In-depth collaboration

It is understood that the MOU represents a formalisation of dialogue between ICS and SCA. The organisations hope it will lead to in-depth collaboration on operational and structural policies of the Canal, the safety and security of transiting vessels, and enhancing pilotage, towing and repair services.

The agreement follows a period of close co-operation between the two organisations, who have been in regular contact over the Covid-19 pandemic, and during the grounding of Ever Given in 2021.

COP27 banner in Africa Ports & Ships

COP 27* this November

Egypt is increasingly positioning itself as a key figure in the shipping sector’s decarbonisation, and the country will host COP27 this November. A maritime delegation led by ICS is scheduled to return to Egypt for the UN climate summit to continue meaningful dialogue on shipping’s transition to net-zero.

Admiral Osama Mounier Mohamed Rabie, Chairman and Managing Director of SCA, remarked: “We adopt an ambitious vision to reinforce the pivotal role of the Suez Canal Authority amid the international community of maritime navigation, and the benefit of our clients is our major priority.”

Esben Poulsson, Chairman of the ICS, said that ICS has enjoyed a close liaison with the Suez Canal Authority for almost a century. “We thank the Authority for its hospitality and look forward to building on our cemented relationship.

“The maritime industry is at an inflection point as we earnestly begin our transition to a renewable future. The conversations we have had this week leave me with great confidence that Egypt will be one of the leaders of industry’s green transition, leaning on its position at the heart of the maritime world.”

This was the first in-person meeting between ICS and the SCA since July 2015.

The previous visit focused on the widening of the southern canal, and an overview of the dual canal construction system, which has since been completed.

* For more SEE HERE

Paul Ruidgeway, London Correspondent Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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Malawi grants licence to African Railway Company to import fuels from the port of Nacala

Coal, which is hauled up from Moatize in Tete province, and transits through Malawi to the Nacala line, constitutes the main traffic on the almost 1000-km railway. But general freight on the Nacala section and on te line into Malawi is a developing traffic that will now grow further as fuel is carried by Afrian Rail Company to Malawi., in Africa Ports & Ships
Coal, which is hauled up from Moatize in Tete province, and transits through Malawi to the Nacala line, constitutes the main traffic on the almost 1000-km railway. But general freight on the Nacala section and on the line in Malawi itself,  is a developing traffic with potential that will now grow further as fuel is carried by Afrian Rail Company to Malawi.

The port of Nacala may shortly may shortly become a regular port-of-call for the increasing fleet of product tankers arriving on the southern African coast.

That’s according to a news broadcast by Radio Mocambique which said a license has been granted for fuel to be imported into Malawi via the northern Mozambique port of Nacala.

The license with an initial duration of six months has been issued to African Rail Corporation Limited to handle the transportation of the fuel from the port to Malawi.

The extent of the Nacala railway network including Malawi in Africa Ports & Ships
The extent of the Nacala railway network including Malawi

The short six-month period is to allow the Malawi Ministry of Transport to assess the effectiveness of African Rail Corporation in its operations.

If satisfied a contract with a longer period may be granted.

The company will operate along the Nacala-Blantyre-Lilongwe rail route and later, on the by-then reopened Beira-Blantyre-Lilongwe line involving the Sena Railway.

The use of the Nacala-Malawi railway for the importing of fuel and of general freight is expected to help reduce transport costs, improve efficiency on the logistics sector, help create jobs and to provide welcome competition in the transport sector, said Malawi’s transport minister, Jacob Hara.

The granting of this latest contract comes a month after the presidents of Mozambique, Felipe Nyusi, and Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, signed a number of trade agreements and cemented the good relationship between the two countries.

It was a relatively few years ago, under different governments of the two countries, that relationships soured considerably, including the turning down by Mozambique of a proposal to reopen the waterway involving the Zambezi and Shire rivers as a means for Malawi to transport goods to and from the Indian Ocean.

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Bashir Jamoh hopes to remain NIMASA as Director-General

Bashir Jamoa, Director-General of NIMASA in Africa Ports & Ships
Bashir Jamoa, Director-General of NIMASA

Director-general of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, hopes to remain in office after all.

Jamoh had indicated he was intending to stand for Governor of Kaduna State in the 2023 general election, which meant that he had to resign his position with NIMASA by 16 May this year. This was in terms of an instruction issued by Nigeria’s President Buhari.

That was in accordance with the provision of Section 84(12) of the new Electoral Act which bars political appointees from voting or being voted for at party primaries.

See related report on this topic  HERE in Africa Ports & Ships 

Earlier this year Jamoh said he loved the maritime industry. “I have a great passion for it and I can work in it for the rest of my life, but my people want me to serve them at the state level, I will not fail them, it would be unfair to do that so I will avail them of my services at the state.

NIMASA Banner in Africa Ports & Ships
NIMASA Banner

“If they also want me to serve them at the federal level, I will also not disappoint them; I will go and serve them. So, it is not only about what I want for myself but what my people want me to do for them,” he said.

Now he has reversed that decision, despite having spent a lot of effort and money of seeking support for himself as a candidate for the governorship.

However, it is not clear what his position now is, as it is reported that some civil society groups maintain that all political appointees who have purchased party nomination forms must be compelled to resign their appointments irrespective of the decision to continue with their political pursuits or not.

President Buhari will now have to decide what to do with political appointees who change their minds on this issue.

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Good news for the South African citrus industry: EC withdraws Cold Treatment requirement

citrus in Africa Ports & Ships

It was good news for the South African citrus industry when the European Commission last week withdrew its requirement for cold treatment for oranges arriving from countries where codling moth is present.

The proposal for the application of cold treatment in transit for oranges from the affected countries was introduced within the framework of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF) on 1 February this year.

South Africa and Zimbabwe would be the parties specifically affected.

The regulation change had been backed by a scientific report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and was publicly presented in March and April at the EU and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

This past week the European Commission withdrew the cold treatment requirement proposals.

In March the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA) launched a campaign urging industry stakeholders to lodge objections to the proposed legislation.

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Added 23 May 2022

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Shipping costs costing E Cape citrus industry dearly

The lovely Sundays River Valley. Picture: SRCC
The lovely Sundays River Valley of the Eastern Cape. Picture: SRCC

Hannes de Waal, CEO of the Sundays River Valley Citrus Company (SRCC) and chairperson of the Citrus Growers Association, says the citrus industry in the Sundays River Valley region has had tremendous growth, with further growth to come.

However, he said, shipping costs far outstrip production costs on Eastern Cape citrus farms.

“Shipping costs are taking us out. Shipping costs are two and a half times our production cost at the moment. There’s a very big problem in this industry with shipping costs. The second big problem is input costs: fertilisers and so forth have jumped through the roof.”

According to de Waal, between 40% and 60% of South African citrus producers cannot break even under current conditions. “That’s my estimate, and the reason for that is shipping costs.”

Last year they trucked 12% to 15% of their fruit to the port of Durban, where usually it would’ve been less than 3%.

This year, given the current shipping rotation, the expectation is that they’ll be forced to put 10% to 15% of their crop on the road to KwaZulu-Natal again.

“We hope that it’ll change over time. It’s simply not cost effective especially for the big producers,” he said, adding that if they were to increase their cost structure through a higher wage bill, they could well be hastening the end of their business.

The Sundays River Valley region has recently ended a two-week illegal strike over wages, during which several weeks of harvesting and packing were lost. R100m of fruit due to be exported was lost together with more than R70 million worth of damage to property, infrastructure and packhouses.

Intimidation kept citrus workers away, and two workers died.

de Waal said that workers never asked whether they supported the illegal strike and are relieved to be back at work again. However, the region is no more susceptible to labour action than elsewhere in SA.
“We acknowledge that South Africa has profound socio-economic problems and we’re the only large industry here, so we’re the obvious target.”

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Air cargo: Air France-KLM and CMA CGM accord

Air France KLM CMA CGM air cargo. in Africa Ports & Ships
Air France KLM CMA CGM air cargo

Major long term strategic partnership

It was announced from Paris and Marseille on 18 May that Air France-KLM Group and the CMA CGM Group had signed a long-term strategic partnership in the air cargo market.

It is understood that this exclusive partnership will see both parties combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services in order to build an even more competitive offer thanks to the unrivalled knowhow and global footprint of Air France-KLM and CMA CGM.

A ten-year exclusive strategic commercial partnership

CMA CGM and Air France-KLM share a strong ambition to invest and grow sustainably in the air freight business.

This agreement will have an initial duration of ten years. Air France-KLM and CMA CGM will join and exclusively operate the full-freighter aircraft capacity of the respective airlines consisting initially of a fleet of ten full-freighter aircraft, and an additional combined twelve aircraft on order:

* Four full-freighter aircraft at CMA CGM Air Cargo (with outstanding orders for an additional eight aircraft, two of which may be operated by Air France-KLM in the future).

* Six full-freighter aircraft at Air France-KLM Group based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport and Airport Schiphol (with outstanding orders for an additional four aircraft).

.This new commercial partnership also covers Air France-KLM’s belly aircraft capacity, including over 160 long-haul aircraft.

The partnership will leverage both partners’ respective global sales teams, presenting one voice to the customer. The strategic commercial partnership is expected to generate significant revenue including the joint design of the full freighter networks and enhanced products and services mix opportunities.

It will help meet customers’ ever-increasing need for more integrated and resilient supply chains and will leverage Air France-KLM’s vast existing franchise, experience and capabilities in air freight, backed by a global cargo network. CMA CGM will mobilize its large commercial network and global logistics platform and will complete this offer with innovative logistics and multimodal solutions, particularly in sea and land transport.

CMA CGM Group to become a reference shareholder of Air France-KLM Group

As part of this long-term exclusive partnership, CMA CGM will reinforce its commitment in the air freight industry by becoming a new reference shareholder in Air France-KLM. CMA CGM has the firm intention to take up to 9% of Air France-KLM’s ex-post share capital, for a period consistent with the implementation of the strategic commercial partnership.

Of this partnership Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group commented: “I am very pleased with this strategic partnership with Air France-KLM. It allows us to significantly accelerate the development of our air division, CMA CGM Air Cargo, which was created just over a year ago, and to position our two companies among the world’s leading players in air freight.

“This partnership is fully in line with CMA CGM’s strategy and its ambition to become a leader in integrated logistics, for the benefit of its customers. Through our stake in the company, Air France-KLM will be able to count on us to support its future development.”

About CMA CGM

The CMA CGM Group, a global leader in sea, land, air and logistics solutions, is present in 160 countries through its network of more than 400 offices and 750 warehouses. With its subsidiary CEVA Logistics, a world leader in logistics, which transports 400,000 tons of air freight and 2.8 million tons of land freight each year, and its air freight division CMA CGM Air Cargo, the CGM Group is continually innovating to offer its customers a complete and increasingly efficient range of new shipping, land, air and logistics provisions.

Paul Ruidgeway, London Correspondent Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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