Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return


News continues below



One of Mediterranean Shipping Company’s (MSC) older and smaller capacity container ships, MSC REBECCA (42,954-dwt, built 1998) sails from Durban harbour after working cargo at one of the ports’s several container terminals. The 227-metre long MSC Rebecca has a container capacity of 2,320 TEU and was built at the Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy industries Co Ltd, in South Korea. Her hull number was 1195. This picture is by Keith Betts

News continues below


NIWA Lokoja port 480px
Lokoja inland port facilities

The Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has announced that it is approaching the final concessioning of the Onitsha, Lokoja, Baro and Oguta river ports.

Reporting in This Day NIWA’s managing director Boss Mustapha confirmed that the certificate of compliance from the Infrastructure Concession Regulation Commission had been received allowing the concessions to go ahead.

He said that the concession would enable private sector management for the river ports which would trigger improved utilisation of the inland waterways as far as transportation and easier conveyance of goods was concerned.

His tour of the waterway operations was aimed at exposing the various actions now necessary.

Mustapha said he was impressed with the cargo handling equipment and other facilities at the Onitsha River Port, and promised to accelerate the process of concessioning this port.

However, he was disappointed with the slow pace of preparing the Oguta River port site but said he would involve the National Assembly and Imo State government in supporting the process of completing the port.

He was delighted with the NIWA facilities at Warri Dockyard, which he said was enough to sustain the authority financially if properly managed.

The question of inadequate manpower and obsolete equipment at the port however would be addressed. Mustapha added that some operations at the Dockyard may be leased to the private sector.

He also visited two jetties in Yenegoa, Bayelsa State, and promised the people of the state that the two jetties would be put into use very soon.

News continues below


San Pedro, ships most of Ivory Coast's cocoa 00

San Pedro handles most of Ivory Coast’s cocoa exports

The Belgian Port of Antwerp, which in 2016 was expected to finish having handled a record volume of more than 214 million tonnes of cargo, that included a 4.2% increase in container volumes to 10,056,603 TEU,, has agreed to invest into the expansion of Ivory Coast port of San Pedro, after having previously agreed with the port to collaborate on expansion plans over the next few years.

A Belgian group, Sea-Invest is to begin construction of a logistics platform under the name of San Pedro Logistique and is expected to commence early in 2018.

According to the port of Antwerp, the overall project price is set at EUR 5.5 million, of which 35% will be financed by Port of Antwerp International (PAI), the consultancy and investment subsidiary of Antwerp Port Authority.

The logistics platform is expected to be operational around the middle of next year.

This follows a collaboration agreement signed between the ports of San Pedro and Antwerp which was signed in 2011, since when San Pedro’s total cargo volume has increased to 4.9 million tonnes annually.

Both ports have now signed a new five-year Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement specifies that, apart from supplying the necessary technical expertise for the development, APEC, the training centre for the port of Antwerp will also hold two training seminars per year for San Pedro port personnel.

* See related story at Antwerp port to assist expansion at San Pedro

News continues below


Wild Coast claims another victim

Sticky Fingers off Bashee 480

The yacht after being abandoned. Picture by NSRI East London

South Africa’s Wild Coast lived up to its reputation at the weekend with the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) undertaking a dramatic rescue of two yachtsmen from a sinking yacht in 7-metre waves.

The drama unfolded on Saturday at 01h30 when the two men on board the Durban yacht Sticky Fingers sent out a VHF radio request for assistance, which was picked up by Telkom Maritime Radio Services. The message was from the 30 foot yacht with two crew on board, Craig Rosen, 53, from Durban and Johan Joubert, 44, from Mossel Bay, who were delivering the yacht from Durban to Mossel Bay for the owner.

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) placed the East London NSRI station on alert, advising that the yachtsmen were reporting heavy weather, depleted fuel reserves and were under sail, safe, but requesting a tow.

After plotting their position to be some 80 nautical miles North-East of East London, TNPA East London requested of the yachtsmen that they remain under sail and that the matter would be re-evaluated at sunrise.

The yacht’s position was monitored throughout the remaining hours of the night by East London Port Control and Telkom Maritime Radio Services, while the East London NSRI remained on alert and prepared to launch at any time.

Yachtsman Craig Rosen said later that at that stage they were already tired out, having run out of fuel approximately offshore of Port Edward and had sailed comfortably in 2-metre swells and a 15-knot North-Easterly wind to where they believed they were not far from East London and then turned round and sailed with the wind which had changed to a Southerly, picking up to 30-knots and a sea swell of up to 7-metres, which forced them to remain awake and to sail through the rough seas.

They headed towards Bashee River Mouth on the Transkei coast, hoping to find calmer seas and just offshore of Bashee Point for only a few minutes they found flat, calm water before the swell picked up again to 7-metres with a 15-knot wind.

Sunrise, Saturday 28 January 2016
At sunrise and with sea conditions deteriorating, TNPA East London Port Control requested the NSRI East London duty crew to launch and to go to the assistance of the yacht.

The NSRI East London sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto, crewed by coxswain Ian Reid and crew Kevin Pirzenphal, Wynand Roets and Declan Winn, was launched at 09h30, with support from the NSRI base control room, who prepared for a long day ahead.

After coordinates provided by the crew of Sticky Fingers appeared not to correspond with where the NSRI thought that they may be, the Eastern Cape Government Health EMS despatched an EMS rescue helicopter from Mthatha and following a search the helicopter crew found the yacht off-shore of Bashee on the Transkei Coast with the sea rescue craft one hour away from their position.

The NSRI craft rendezvoused with the yacht at around 13h30 in heavy weather, a 7-metre swell and strong winds. A towline was rigged and everyone expected to be back at East London by around 01h00 Sunday.

The two yachtsmen meanwhile remained at the helm of their yacht, exhausted but riding out the tow effort in what was now 5-metre swells that were breaking over the yacht. Some 40 miles into the tow effort and by this stage offshore of the Great Kei River Mouth, they reported that the cabin hatch kept banging open and shut. Johan Joubert went forward to secure the hatch and found that the cabin had filled with water.

When bailing proved fruitless, they summoned the sea rescue craft to report that their yacht was sinking.

After taking everything into account to try to save the yacht, and faced with heavy swells and the yacht already half under water and heavy laden from water intake, the NSRI coxwain Ian Reid made the difficult decision to request the crew of Sticky Fingers to abandon ship.

With no time to collect personal possessions, and the yacht now floundering and lying low in the water and at risk of being capsized by swells which were breaking over the yacht, the two yachtsmen were taken aboard the NSRI rescue craft where they were treated for exhaustion and for early stages of hypothermia. Craig Rosen has suffered a sprained ankle which was strapped.

They were taken below and, wrapped in thermal blankets, they slept.

Spirit of Lotto remained with the yacht for some time until a large wave, estimated to be between 9 and 10 metres, swept over the yacht, leaving Sticky Fingers lying three quarters deep in water and with the bow completely submerged. At this stage, suspecting that the yacht was about to sink, the sea rescue craft departed the scene for East London.

An EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) had been activated by the yachtsmen and positioned in the cabin for Maritime Authorities to track the yacht if she remains semi-submerged and continues to drift.

The sea rescue craft arrived at the East London NSRI station at 23h30 where they were met by the NSRI shore crew and an EC Government Health EMS ambulance.

Paramedics assessed the two men and despite the sprained ankle to Rosen’s right ankle they were declared fit and they stayed at the NSRI base overnight and after expressing their commendations to the NSRI crew for their rescue and what a fantastic job they did in trying to save the yacht and for their safe rescue, the two men departed later on Sunday morning to fly home.

The owner meanwhile will evaluate his options but at this stage (yesterday) a salvage effort was not being considered.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) will track the EPIRB and broadcast Maritime Safety messages warning ships in the area of the semi-submerged yacht although the yacht was expected to have sunk completely.

News continues below


Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation (YGAPC)

Turkey Aden 1 480px

Around the world there are few ports that are very special natural harbours. Of these Aden is one and it lies directly on major international shipping routes thus occupying a truly strategic position in the Middle East.

Without doubt Aden Port has massive potential for further expansion of its facilities because of the size of the harbour and the fact that there is no need for breakwater protection or maintenance dredging when the facilities have been built, it is reported.

On 19 January a delegation (illustrated) sent by the Turkish Government paid a visit to the Port of Aden to assess the critical needs of the Port after months of turmoil which saw rebels opposing forces loyal to the government and resulting in high casualties, a breakdown in essential services and a humanitarian crisis.

Chairman of YGAPC Mohammed Alawi Omzarbah met the Turkish delegation and expressed his thanks and appreciation for their support to the Port of Aden, part of a plan by Turkey for the legitimate government of Yemen.

It is understood that the Executive Chairman, Deputy Engineer Abdulrab Jaber Al-Khulaqi briefed the delegation during the field visit to all port facilities with a detailed explanation of the damage suffered by the port and its infrastructure and the emergency needs that would enable it to provide basic services to its customers.

For his part the head of the Turkish delegation emphasised the commitment of the Turkish government to provide the necessary support for the Port to enable it to carry on its activities as the gateway of Yemen to the world.

At the beginning of the year Chairman Mohammad Alawi Omzarbah clarified in a statement that there are efforts to normalise customs tariffs in all Yemen sea ports to help in activating shipping traffic and maritime trade. At the same time it is anticipated that this would energise the economy and development in the Republic of Yemen, particularly in the Port of Aden.

Trade in the Port of Aden was severely hampered during the months of unrest. In the month of November 2016 only nine container vessels (inward + outward) were handled totalling about 24,000 TEU. In the eleven months to end November a total of 105 vessels were handled totalling 245,478 boxes. Statistics here do not include dhow traffic, Ro-Ro, livestock, bulk or dry cargo vessels.

Paul Ridgway

News continues below


Rob Davies[1]

dti minister Rob Davies

South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has called on export companies to sign up to participate in the World Food Warsaw trade fair in Poland.

“The dti invites companies to apply for participation in the World Food Warsaw trade fair in Poland. Companies that would like to participate should submit their applications on or before 6 February 2017,” said the department on Friday.

The trade fair, which will take place from 11 to 13 April 2017, is targeted at South African exporters and potential exporters of products from the agro-food and beverage sectors.

Participating companies will be assisted through the dti’s Export Marketing and Investment Assistance (EMIA) Individual Scheme, which will cover costs for the return economy class airfare and the exhibition costs.

South Africa’s participation in the fair is part of the department’s objective to diversify and create market access for South African products in new high growth markets.

“Since joining the European Union (EU), Poland has been one of EU’s best performers. The Gross Domestic Product doubled in the past decade.

“Under the recently implemented Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), the EU has partially removed customs duties on 98.7% of imports coming from South Africa and this is beneficial to our exporters,” said dti Minister Rob Davies.

Minister Davies added that Poland’s growing market of over 38.5 million consumers is expanding its tastes nationwide, so new products, flavours and varieties are in high demand across the country.

According to Davies, this presents an opportunity for the South African exporters. He urged exporters to capitalise on the opportunities presented within the current South African Development Community (SADC)-EPA environment.

News continues below


Rolls-Royce admits to bribery committed across the world

MTU 20 V 4000 R63 L 470
Rolls-Royce is supplying a number of MTU series 4000 engines to the Chinese manufacturer of Transnet Freight Rail’s new locomotives.

Rolls-Royce plc has been fined a total of US$800 million on charges of bribery after the conclusion of investigations by the US Department of Justice and the UK and Brazilian authorities.

Of this amount, Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay the US nearly $170 million while the balance will be paid to the other two countries.

This follows a long-running scheme involving the bribing of government officials in the three countries in exchange for government contracts. The company admitted to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) between 2000 and 2013. Using third parties Roll-Royce paid foreign officials in various countries more than $35 million in bribes, in exchange for confidential information and the subsequent awarding of contracts to Rolls-Royce, RRESI and affiliated entities.

Rolls-Royce admitted to paying bribes of $11 million in Thailand to officials at Thai state-owned and state-controlled oil and gas companies that awarded approximately seven contracts to Rolls-Royce during the same time period.

In Brazil, Rolls-Royce used intermediaries to pay approximately $9.3 million in bribes to bribe foreign officials at a state-owned petroleum corporation that awarded multiple contracts to Rolls-Royce during the same time period.

Other admissions included the bribing of officials in Kazakhstan ($5.4 million), and some $7.8 million in bribes to foreign officials at the state-owned and state-controlled Azerbaijan oil company, again to have multiple contracts awarded to Rolls-Royce. The company paid bribes to Iraqi officials after they expressed concern over turbines supplied by Rolls-Royce. The bribes were for the officials to accept the turbines and not blacklist the company.

Here in Africa, Rolls-Royce paid $2.4 through a third party to officials at a state-owned and controlled oil company, which then awarded three contracts to Rolls-Royce. Bribery involving Nigeria was also reported.

Rolls-Royce entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in connection with a criminal information, filed on 20 December 2016, in the Southern District of Ohio and unsealed last week, charging the company with conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. In terms of the DPA, Rolls-Royce agreed to pay a criminal penalty of over $195 million, subject to a credit agreed upon. The company has also agreed to continue to cooperate fully with the department’s ongoing investigation, including its investigation of individuals.

In related proceedings, Rolls-Royce also settled with the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Brazilian Ministerio Publico Federal (MPF).

The British charges involved bribery paid by Rolls Royce in China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Russia and Thailand, around the years 1989 and 2013, with Rolls-Royce agreeing to pay almost $605 million.

In terms of a leniency agreement with Brazil’s MPF, Rolls Royce was fined $25.5 million and credited the same amount against the total fine in the USA, leaving a total amount to pay in the USA of just under $170 million and a total amount of penalties of more than $800 million.

News continues below


Request a Rate Card


Port Louis 470

Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

News continues below



QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section, but this is also available in a dedicated Cruise News section. This section will include various stories and news not covered in the general news so if you have an interest in this sector don’t forget to check regularly on our CRUISE NEWS page.

This you will find here in CRUISE NEWS & REVIEWS

Naval News
SA Navy 480

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which also have their own dedicated section, although some stories may be duplicated in the general news section.

Find the Naval Review section HERE

Remember to use your backspace key to return to this page.


MSC ARIANE 29 January 2017 2 480

In contrast to the photograph at the top of this page, showing the 2,300-TEU MSC REBECCA, is this view of one of her much bigger sisters, the 152,700-dwt, 366-metre long MSC ARIANE (built 2012) which has a container capacity at 14 tons of 9,400-TEU.

Deployed on the Far East-West Africa service via Durban, which she calls at in both directions as Cape Town cannot handle such long ships, MSC Ariane is but one of a group of vessels of between 9,000 and 13,000 TEU that have been cascaded in our direction. Her turning point in West Africa is the port of Lome, which acts as MSC’s main hub for transhipping cargo in that region as well as being one of the few ports able to take such large ships.

Even though she and her bigger sisters, all of between 335 and 366 metres in length are able to navigate easily in Durban harbour, they remain unable to arrive fully loaded because of draught limitations. MSC Ariane was built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd yard in South Korea as hull number 4199.

This picture is by Trevor Jones


For a Rate Card please contact us at

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome. Email to

Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.
Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.P O BOX 809, CAPE TOWN, 8000, SOUTH AFRICA 



South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services is now listed on this site. Please check if your company is included. To sign up for a free listing contact or register online