Thursday/Friday’s Maritime News


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Caledonian Sky. Picture: Alan Calvert

The Nassau-registered small cruise ship CALEDONIAN SKY seen easing her way into her berth at Lyttelton, New Zealand earlier in February. Built in 1991 her most recent refurbishment took place in 2012. The ship’s well-appointed public areas include a single-sitting dining room, a large lounge with piano, elegant bar, enclosed panoramic viewing deck, sun deck, library, and small gym. All suites have an ocean view and feature a sitting room, en suite bathroom, flat screen television, spacious wardrobes, and dressing table. The Caledonian Sky carries a fleet of Zodiacs, available for accessing remote shorelines and islands and is equipped to offer scuba diving. She was last refurbished in 2012. Caledonian Sky is operated by Seattle-based Zegrahm Expeditions. This picture is by Alan Calvert

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A delegation from Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd, the shareholders of the US$1.5 billion Tema port expansion project in Ghana, have paid a courtesy call on President Akufo-Addo to congratulate him on his election to the high office of President.

The delegation, which was led by Cyrille Bolloré, Chairman of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, indicated that the shareholders of the project have been buoyed up by the vision and determination of President Akufo-Addo to ensure that the private sector regains its pride of place in Ghana’s economic setup.

Bolloré, thus, applauded President Akufo-Addo “for taking Ghana into a new era of business development,” Cyrille Bolloré said.

He told the President that Bolloré Ports, a subsidiary of Bolloré Transport & Logistics, is the number one port infrastructure operator in Africa and is also the leading container terminal management company on the continent.

Together with APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd, he indicated that the financing required to execute the Tema Port Expansion Project had been secured, and the project is currently ongoing.

He noted that the expansion of the Tema port will improve Ghana’s trade competitiveness, facilitate trade growth and improve revenue mobilisation. The project, he added, will allow Tema Port to accommodate some of the world’s largest container ships, and improve cargo handling services and capacity.

Upon its completion, Cyrille Bolloré added that the project will enhance the position of the Tema Port as the leading maritime hub in the region.

Tema’s port expansion

Mohammed Samara, CEO of Meridian Port Services, the executing contractors of the project, told the President that the port expansion project falls within the GPHA Master Plan for the development of Tema Port, under the Concession Agreement that was granted in 2004.

In addition to the expansion project, Mohammed Samara indicated that, together with Bolloré Transport and Logistics and APM Terminals, a project to upgrade the Accra-Tema Motorway into a six-lane, modern highway along with improved, connecting arterial roads, would be undertaken. This project, he added, will be financed solely with funds from the shareholders.

President Akufo-Addo thanked the group for their visit and stated that the major preoccupation of his government is the creation of a good business climate for businesses to thrive.

He was, thus, pleased that companies like Bolloré Transport & Logistics, APM Terminals and Meridian Port Services Ltd have thought of Ghana as the place to do business and invest.

With the port expansion project having commenced in the last few months of the tenure of the previous government, President Akufo-Addo assured that his government, having convinced itself of its viability and immense benefits for the economy, will not abrogate the contract.

“If we can convince more and more companies like yours to invest in our country, then we can thrive as a nation. Be assured that the presence of a new government does not mean the abrogation of genuine contracts entered into by the previous government. You have my support to proceed,” he added.

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Mozambican police have recovered 20 tonnes of wheat stolen from a goods train in the area of Messica, in the central province of Manica.

Speaking to reporters in Manica town on Monday, the spokesperson for the provincial police command, Elsidia Filipe, said the train had been carrying a cargo of wheat from the port of Beira to Zimbabwe. When the train stopped in Messica, a gang of thieves started looting the wagons. Filipe said their intention was to sell the wheat on the informal market.

Five members of the gang were caught red-handed as they moved the sacks of wheat from the wagons to waiting cars. The police seized four of these vehicles.

Filipe said it was thanks to a tip-off from the local population that the theft was interrupted and the criminals arrested.

This was by no means the first such theft: Filipe said local people had seen trains stopping in the Messica area, and unloading goods several times, both in broad daylight and at night.

“We were informed of the theft and so we went there,” said Filipe. “When we arrived, we found them loading the product onto the vehicles.”

“It’s not the first time”, she added. “They change zones and they steal various goods carried by the trains going from Beira to Zimbabwe. This is a criminal network that operates throughout the Beira Corridor”.

The five thieves attempted to bribe the commander of the Messica police post, offering him 60,000 meticais (about 875 US dollars) in exchange for their freedom. He rejected the bribe, but seized the money as evidence. The five men will thus face charges of theft and of attempted bribery.

Although not mentioned by Filipe, it seems clear that regular looting of Zimbabwe bound trains is only possible with the connivance of railway staff. Source: AIM

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Bulk Limpopo. Picture: Keith Betts

In yesterday’s Maritime News (1 March) we reported the arrival of the Mozambique dredger MACUTI in Durban harbour, towed to the South African port for permanent repairs, after being in a collision with a container ship and then running aground.

That story can be found HERE

The tug involved in towing the dredger was AMSOL’s SAVÉ RIVER, which was built at Damen Cape Town shipyard in 2012 and has been engaged as one of the duty tugs involved with the transfer of coal to large bulkers at anchor outside the port of Beira.

The naming of Savé River. Picture: AMSOL

Savé River is named for a Mozambican river, pronounced ‘Sah-veh’ and previously known as the Sabi, and has gone off charter and is now berthed at Southern African Shipyards in Bayhead.

Another vessel involved at the port of Beira, and also in Durban is a slightly unusual bulker named BULK LIMPOPO. The 53,700-ton ship is referred to as a self-discharging bulker and together with her sister vessel, BULK ZAMBEZI, they have been engaged in the transhipment of coal from the coal terminal in Beira port, to the waiting Capesize bulkers out in deep water.

The coal arrives in Beira by rail along the Sena Railway from the mine at Moatize in Tete province. The Port of Beira’s draught restrictions, however, limit the size of ships that can enter and Vale Moçambique, the Brazilian mining company operating at Moatize has gone to the trouble of engaging two of these 53,000-ton ships to load coal from the port coal terminal and transfer it to waiting Capesize bulkers outside port.

This was working quite successfully until trouble flared along the Sena Railway during 2016, with elements of what is believed to be the opposition Renamo fighters ambushing several trains. This has resulted in reduced amounts of coal reaching Beira, a factor influenced also by the low price of coal generally. Vale has an alternative route to the sea, along the northern Nacala rail corridor to the port of Nacala, and with less coal arriving in Beira there is no need at present for two of these self-discharging ships to be in service at Beira.

Bulk Limpopo has just completed a spell in the Durban dry dock undergoing her maintenance survey and repair, undertaken by Messrs Dormac Marine, and was yesterday engaged in sea trials, after which it is understood she will return to Beira and go on laybye. The tug Savé River also faces redeployment by her operators AMSOL (formerly Smit Amandla Marine).

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The Chief Executive Officer of the Namibian Port Authority, Bisey Uirab has hailed the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority for leading the way into port development in the West African sub region.

He said the initiative by the port authority to expand both the Tema and Takoradi ports to receive larger vessels, is commendable.

Uirab said this when a Namibian delegation led by the Namibian Ambassador to Ghana visited GPHA to see how best the two port authorities can work together.

The delegation was given an overview of the port and later sent on a tour to the bulk jetty terminal, the meridian port services terminal and finally the Tema port expansion site where they were briefed by the MPS project team.

They finally visited the International Maritime Hospital.

Uirab said he was impressed with the spate of development at the Tema Port and the kind of equipment being used to offer efficient service to clients.

“It is impressive, I have seen a lot of modern equipment been deployed here, I have seen the expansion initiative ongoing and I can only say good luck to the people of Ghana. It is good to see that Ghana is one of the oldest independent countries and they are also leading their way into port management and making sure the direction between water and land is facilitated through our port,” he said. Source GPHA

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Maputo ferry Bagamoyo

The BAGAMOYO ferry boat linking the city of Maputo with the municipal district of KaTembe has been out of action since Monday morning (27 February), limiting vehicle crossings between the two points.

According to an employee from Transmarítima, the company that manages the vessel, the breakdown occurred early on Monday morning after the vessel had made a round trip.

The Mozambique newspaper Notícias reports that on Tuesday the vehicle crossing was being made by the MPFUMO, a vessel that falls short of responding completely to users’ requirements, resulting in long lines of vehicles waiting to cross the bay.

The Bagamoyo has been in operation since 1972 and has broken down frequently over the past two years. It regularly operates with only one of its two engines in service, which does not allow full utilisation of its 208-passenger capacity. Source: Notícias

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The African Union Commission (AUC) is hosting the 5th Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum (CFTA-NF) from 27 February to 4 March 2017, reports tralac.

The meeting was preceded by an Orientation workshop (27-28 February 2017) to provide the CFTA negotiators with the results of the requested studies on the modalities in previous deliberations.

This will accordingly equip the negotiators to consider and finalise the draft modalities for Negotiations on both Tariff and Services. The workshop will lead to the CFTA-NF whose agenda includes considerations of the Modalities.

The meeting is being attended by Senior Trade Officials from Member States and Trade Experts from the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other members of the Continental Task Force such as UNECA, UNCTAD and AfDB.

To meet the Agenda 2063’s aspirations such as: “A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” and “An Africa, whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children”, the establishment of CFTA by the indicative date of 2017 is imperative.

In her opening remarks, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mrs Fatima Haram Acyl expressed her appreciation for the commitment and dedication that Member States have demonstrated for the process of establishing the Continental Free Trade Area.

She indicated that the CFTA presents significant welfare gains, output and employment expansion, and intra-African trade growth in the long-run. She highlighted the fact that substantive progress has been made to ensure that the CFTA is made a reality by end of 2017.

“I am very confident that the end of 2017 will usher Africa into a new era where our traditional borders will become less important as a result of establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area,” she emphasised.

The Commissioner recalled that in the last four meetings of the CFTA Negotiating Forum, negotiators have been able to adopt the Rules of Procedure (RoP) as well as Definitions of the CFTA negotiations guiding principles that were subsequently approved by the African Union Ministers for Trade in May 2016.

She also recalled the establishment of the Seven (7) Technical Working Groups (TWGs) and the first meeting of all the Technical Working Groups (TWGs) that took place in Kigali, from 6 to 17 February 2017.

Commissioner Acyl reminded participants that the Commission has developed a preliminary draft of CFTA Model Text on both trade in goods and trade in services as directed by the Heads of State in July 2016. According to her, the draft text has been validated by the RECs and members of the Continental Task Force on the CFTA in January 2017 and sent to Member States and RECs for national and regional consultations.

“For the CFTA to be successful, it is very important to recall that ownership is very critical. We are trying our best to engage stakeholders in this process including the Private Sector and other Non-State Actors where possible. However, we always encourage and urge Member States and Regional Economic Communities to undertake regional and national consultations of those stakeholders as regularly as possible,” she stated.

She concluded by recognising the critical role that Regional Economic Communities and Technical Partners as well as members of the Continental Task Force have played in providing technical assistance to the CFTA process. She appreciated the role played by UNECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa) and UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) in providing technical and analytical studies that have contributed to achievements registered so far.

Mr Sayed El Bous, Egypt’s Chief Trade Negotiator and Chairperson of the Meeting, expressed his gratitude and congratulations to the Commissioner as she is now leaving the Commission after years of commitment and dedication to the CFTA. He appreciated the Department of Trade and Industry for convening the 5th CFTA Negotiating Forum and by providing working documents ahead of schedule.

He recalled the objectives of the meeting and urged participants to come up with concrete proposals and outcomes in order to move the agenda forward and meet the deadline of the CFTA completion by the indicative date of 2017.

The 5th Meeting of the Continental Free Trade Area Negotiating Forum kicked off from 1 until 4 March 2017 and will be adopting the modalities that will guide the negotiations in Tariff liberalisation and Trade in Services liberalisation following a two-day Capacity Building Workshop for Negotiators. source: tralac

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Video clip from the German Port of Hamburg : Hamburg creates space for container giants – Last pile removed

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Cyclone Dineo’s position on 15 February 2017

More than 550,000 people were affected by Cyclone Dineo which struck the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane on 15 February.

Government spokesperson and Deputy Health Minister Mouzinho Saide told a media briefing on Tuesday following the weekly Cabinet meeting that the known death toll from the cyclone remained unchanged at seven, while 96 people were injured, 16 of them seriously.

According to the report given to the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), Dineo destroyed 33,712 houses and damaged a further 71,526, while 1,692 classrooms were destroyed, and 72 health units were also affected.

He pledged that through the country’s relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), government would continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people affected and to the most vulnerable groups.

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Leading German fruit terminal opts for additional Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbour Crane

Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbor Cranes continue to be in great demand for fruit handling applications at terminals around the world. At the end of 2016, HHLA Frucht- und Kühl-Zentrum, a company of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) and the terminal operator SEA-invest, put a diesel-electric Konecranes Gottwald Model 4 Mobile Harbour Crane into operation at their multi-purpose terminal in Hamburg.

The crane’s main job at the O’Swaldkai multi-purpose terminal in Hamburg is to serve reefer vessels that transport bananas. The G HMK 4406 unloads the delicate fruit on pallets from the ship’s hold and unloads reefer containers that arrive as deck cargo. With a maximum lifting capacity of 100 t and an outreach of up to 46 m, it can also handle heavy cargo and project cargo.

Axel Hoeckrich, Managing Director of HHLA Frucht- und Kühl-Zentrum GmbH, said: “With this new mobile harbour crane, we can efficiently unload the growing number of containers that are now being transported aboard fruit vessels. It has replaced an old ship-to-shore crane.

“Furthermore, it can also unload fruit pallets, and its versatility increases our ability to develop new business activities. With this state-of-the-art crane, we are strengthening the fruit port of Hamburg, which is already the most important site for fruit handling and trade in Germany.”

HHLA has trusted mobile harbour crane technology from Konecranes for fruit handling since 2003. At that time, two small HMK 90 E cranes of Generation 4 went to Hamburg where they are still in operation. Like them, the new crane can be moved quickly on the quayside.

“All of the cranes also have high working speeds, giving high productivity and, particularly when handling fruit pallets, help us to keep the cold chain intact,” explains Hans-Juergen Schneider, Regional Sales Manager, Konecranes, Port Solutions. The G HMK 4406’s maximum lifting speed is 90 m/min.

The benefits of Konecranes Gottwald Mobile Harbour Cranes and the resulting competitive advantages have recently impressed several other operators of fruit terminals. As a result, two additional machines started work in a fruit terminal in the UK in October 2016. These machines are Model 2 cranes in the G HMK 2204 two-rope variant, predominantly intended for unloading fruit pallets arriving at two berths. PRESS RELEASE

German Federal Government supports USPA to complete construction of container terminal in Odessa port

State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure Mr Rainer Bomba visits the construction site of “Container Terminal Odessa” (owned by Hamburg Port Consulting) at the Quarantine Mole in Odessa seaport. During the visit, Mr Bomba discussed construction progress with the Head of Ukrainian Seaports Authority (USPA) Mr Raivis Veckagans.

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is considering the possibility of providing guarantees of the Federal Government on funding these works by KfW bank (German State Bank).

“Despite delays in construction terms the container terminal is a priority project for USPA. After approval of the financial plan we will continue construction works on building the breakwater. We do our best to solve the issue and we appreciate Hamburg Port Consulting investment group as a flagship investor in Odessa port”, Raivis Veckagans said.

“We are serious about investing in the project. As a Federal Government we are ready to assist in attracting KfW loan and carry out technical expertise of the project design. We are pleased by constructive dialogue with the Ukrainian side” Mr Bomba said during the meeting.

The estimated capital investment for the completion of the breakwater and dredging of the port waters totals 40 million Euros. USPA press-office

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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

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Breede. Picture: Trevor Jones

Unicorn Shipping’s oil products tanker BREEDE (16,922-dwt, built 2009) arrives in the port of Durban yesterday on her way to a berth at Island View. Although very much a ship belonging to a South African company, headquartered in Durban, she flies the flag of Singapore. Breede, which is named for a navigable river in the southern Cape, was built at the Sanfu Ship Engineering shipyard in Taizhou Jiangsu, China. This picture was taken by Trevor Jones


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