Tuesday’s Maritime News

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


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Pictures by Chris Hoare / www.aerialphotosetc.co.za

Construction work along Durban’s Maydon Wharf is continuing beyond the completion of several berths at both ends of the famous ‘wharf’. The picture here shows progress with berths 3 and 4 in which a new quay wall is being built to enable deeper draught alongside as well as improved quayside facilities for loading and discharge equipment. A total of six berths are undergoing reconstruction, of which four are already operational – berths 1 and 2 and 12 and 13. At the beginning of March the status of berths 3 and 4 shown here was as follows:
Berth 3 – Civil Works 40%, Dredging 26%, and Scour Protection 0%
Berth 4 – Civil Works 34.5%, Dredging 29%, Scour Protection 0%

Picture is by Chris Hoare / www.aerialphotosetc.co.za

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South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma says more innovative ways need to be developed to use oceans sustainably for food, transport, trade and other activities.

He addressed the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Business Summit in Jakarta, in Indonesia, yesterday (Monday 6 March).

The summit brings together business leaders, communities and governments of the region to share ideas and exchange views on how to grow and develop economies sustainably, as well as to network.

The summit is held under the theme “IORA: Building Partnerships for Sustainable and Equitable Economic Growth”.

“As business leaders explore various opportunities, fundamentally, we must ensure profitable use of what binds us together as members of the IORA, the Indian Ocean.

“The ocean is a valuable resource and holds great potential to become the key driver of the Indian Ocean Rim economies. The ocean has historically been a powerful vehicle for global trade and commerce. It has also always been a significant source of food and energy,” said the President.

The leaders of the IORA have adopted the Blue or Ocean Economy as a top priority for generating employment and ensuring sustainability in business and economic models.

South Africa has also decided to actively promote economic development from the oceans since 2014.

“We launched a programme called Operation Phakisa Ocean Economy, bringing together business, labour, academia and government to intensively work together to develop a national programme to further develop and expand the country’s ocean economy,” Zuma said.

It is estimated that the Blue Economy in South Africa could contribute around US$13 billion to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and create a million jobs by 2033.

The priority sectors identified within this programme are marine manufacturing and marine transport, aquaculture, oil and gas exploration, marine protection and governance.

To date, the President said, the overall progress of South Africa’s Ocean Economy drive includes unlocking investments amounting to more than R7 billion in the Ocean Economy.

“This has created close to seven thousand jobs in various sectors.”

He said the Operation Phakisa Ocean Economy strategy is well aligned to the priorities of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

“We look forward to exploring further and deeper cooperation in these areas. There is a need for us to not only optimise and develop country ocean economy strategies. We must also appreciate the need for regional initiatives within our sub-regions of the Indian Ocean Rim Association.”

The Blue Economy

The African Union has declared 2015 to 2025 as the Decade of the African Seas and Oceans. The strategic context of this initiative is the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy, aimed at improving maritime conditions and benefits for the respective countries.

The President said African maritime strategy is based on the realisation that the continent can generate enormous wealth from Africa’s seas and oceans.

“We can ensure job creation, food security and enhanced dignity for all our citizens and future generations.

“Going forward, we call for increased and more strategic cooperation between member states and our dialogue partners to find efficient and more innovative ways of sharing knowledge, expertise and capacity building in the Blue Economy priority areas.

“This includes areas such as seaport and shipping, offshore oil, gas and mineral exploration, fisheries and aquaculture, as well as marine renewable energy.”

Challenges such as the difficulty in accessing funding, poor access to markets, a limited pool of skills, poor access to quality inputs, fragmented research and development and limited infrastructure should be addressed in order to ensure success as member countries.

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MSC Regulus: Ships from Asia could soon be arriving with increased cargo – Drewry. Picture : Trevor Jones

According to Drewry’s Container Insight Weekly, a strengthening rand has provided hope to ailing Southern Africa imports from Asia.

The shipping consultancy thinks that as demand improves thanks to a stronger rand, there could be a small recovery in 2017 with southbound spot rates rising to a 26-month peak.

This after five straight quarters with year-on-year declines.

Drewry reports that containerised imports from Asia to Southern Africa slumped by 7.8% in 2016 to their lowest volume since 2012, but the IMF expects South Africa’s GDP to rise faster in the next five years after increasing by just 0.3% in 2016. Figures from the Container Trade Statistics (CTS) show that 2016’s annual sum of 731,000 TEU was the weakest annual return in four years and was about 9% off the peak of 807,000 TEU recorded in 2013, according to Drewry.

It says that an improving economy in South Africa and the strengthened rand are expected to encourage further imports into the region.

Currently there are 10 weekly services connecting Asia with Southern Africa, although three of those do not serve the southbound market.

Drewry identified the trend for shipping lines to add Southern Africa wayport calls to existing or developing services that link Asia with West Africa, which it says is likely to continue as carriers turn services into multi-trade operations. Some of these involve ships with a capacity as large as 9,200 TEU and with MSC, following its use of Lome as its West African hub, even larger ships of up to 12,000 to 13,000 TEU capacity.

“We expect this trend will persist as carriers prefer to turn services into multi-trade operations rather than starting dedicated loops because of increased vessel sizes, cascading pressure and the desire to attain greater economies of scale,” Drewry said.

The latest outlook for South African GDP is 0.8% in 2016 and 1.6% in 2017, before rising to approximately 2% in 2018-20. In addition, the rand has started to strengthen against the US dollar after depreciating by about 15% on average in 2016. The average exchange rate for February was 13.19 rand to the dollar, compared to a 2016 peak of 16.35 to the dollar in January of last year.

Yesterday the exchange rate had strengthened even further to 12.999 to the dollar.

In summing up Drewry said: “Growth will probably return to the southbound trade in 2017, but it is unlikely to be too extravagant.”

Representative Shanghai to Durban spot rates as published by Drewry’s Container Freight Rate Insight have gone from a series-low (started end-2009) of USD 840/40ft in June 2016 to reach a 26-month high of USD 2,250/40ft in January 2017.

Drewry said that “to ensure the current momentum in spot rates is maintained carriers should continue to resist adding too much capacity.”

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‘K’ Line’s Hawaian Highway

South Africa’s Competition Commission has referred the Japanese car carrier company, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (‘K’ Line) for prosecution to the Competition Tribunal for colluding on a tender for transportation of Toyota vehicles.

‘K’ Line, a Japanese shipping line operating in South Africa, is accused of price fixing, market division and collusive tendering involving the transportation of Toyota vehicles from South Africa to Europe, North Africa (Mediterranean Coast) and the Caribbean Islands via Europe, West Africa, East Africa and Red Sea (Latin America) by sea.

This follows an investigation by the Commission which found that K-Line, Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd (“MOL”), Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd (“NYK”) and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (“WWL”) fixed prices, divided markets and tendered collusively in respect of shipment of Toyota vehicles from South Africa to Europe, North Africa, (Mediterranean Coast) and the Caribbean Islands via Europe, West Africa, East Africa and Red Sea (Latin America).

This conduct contravenes section 4(1)(b)(i),(ii) & (iii) of the Competition Act 89 of 1998, as amended (“the Act”).

The Commission’s investigation found that from at least 2002 to 2013 K-Line, MOL, NYK and WWL colluded on a tender issued by Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) to transport Toyota vehicles from South Africa to abroad by sea. The Commission also found that K-Line, MOL, NYK and WWL agreed on the number of vessels that they were to operate on the South Africa to Europe routes at agreed intervals or frequencies. Furthermore, the Commission found that K-Line, MOL, NYK and WWL agreed on the freight rates that they were to charge TSAM for the shipment of Toyota vehicles.

In 2015, NYK and WWL admitted to colluding on this tender and settled with the Commission. NYK, also a Japanese company, paid an administrative penalty of R103,977,927 and WWL, a Norwegian company, paid an administrative penalty of R95,695,529. MOL, another Japanese company, was not fined as it was first to approach the Commission and cooperated.

The Commission said that MOL, NYK and WWL will cooperate with prosecuting K-Line.

The Commission says it is seeking an order from the Tribunal declaring that K-Line, MOL, NYK and WWL contravened section 4(1)(b)(i),(ii) & (iii) of the Act as well as an order declaring K-Line to be liable for payment of an administrative penalty equal to 10% of its annual turnover.

“South Africa is a strategic hub for the trade of goods in and out of the Southern African region. Any cartel by shipping liners in this region results in inflated prices for cargo transportation. Cartels of this nature increase the costs of trading in the region and render the region uncompetitive in the world markets. Such cartels have the effect of significantly derailing the economic growth of the region,” the Commissioner of the Competition Commission Tembinkosi Bonakele said yesterday.

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The Western Indian Ocean’s sixth cyclone of the 2017 summer is bearing down on the northern reaches of Madagascar and is expected to go ashore there during the day today (Tuesday 7 March).

Enowa was yesterday rated as a Category 2 cyclone and was about 400 miles east of the Madagascan north coast.

Because the storm was moving into a favourable environment including low wind shear, or little change of direction and speed that allows thunderstorms to remain tightly clustered near the centre of circulation. Warm sea-surface temperatures that will feed the cyclone, and winds spreading apart near the tops of thunderstorms, helping the low-pressure centre to intensify, allow the cyclone to strengthen to that of a major hurricane with winds in excess of 111 mph, which Enowa was expected to attain yesterday afternoon or evening.

The bad news for northern Madagascar is that a strengthening area of high pressure aloft to the southeast of the storm should steer this intensifying tropical cyclone towards the northeast coast of Madagascar by today.

Warnings are being issued of storm surge, damaging winds and dangerous surf, along with downed trees, structural damage to homes and power outages. The cyclone will also bring heavy rainfall and much of the east coast is going to bear the brunt of it with up to 500mm of rain forecast for some areas.

As a result warnings are being issued of flash floods and mud and rock slides. These may reach as far south as the island’s capital, Antananarivo (population estimated around 1.4 million).

It is anticipated the Cyclone Enowa will curve southward over the island, with mountainous areas receiving heavy rain.

The last cyclone to hit the island was Hellen on 31 March 2014. Only two hurricane-strength tropical cyclones have made landfall on Madagascar’s east coast this decade: Giovanna on 13 February 2012, and Bingiza on 14 February 2011, according to NOAA’s Best Track database. source: Hurricane News

Projected path of cyclone

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BBC Caribbean. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

Eight seafarers who were taken hostage from the general cargo vessel BBC CARIBBEAN a month ago, have been released by their Nigerian pirate captors and have been taken to a place of safety.

According to the owner of the ship, Briese Schiffahrts, the seven Russians and one Ukrainian seamen were released on Friday night (3 March). No details were given whether a ransom was paid, although it can be assumed it was.

They were apparently taken straight to a safe place where they received immediate medical attention after spending 26 days as hostages. They are confirmed as being in good health and are now on their way home.

BBC Caribbean was attacked by 10 armed pirates operating in three speedboats. At the time the ship was sailing between Douala in Cameroon and Tema in Ghana and was about 120 n.miles west-southwest of Bonny Island. Although the alarm was raised once the pirates had left the ship, it appears that the owner/operators did not notify the Nigerian authorities – the Nigerian Navy was however alerted by the IMB and sent a patrol ship to investigate but was unable to locate the BBC Caribbean, which had continued sailing.

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MV Albatross at Port of Cork’s Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth. Photo reproduced by kind permission of Aidan Fleming (Port of Cork)©

Three new, ship-to-shore container cranes manufactured in Ireland by Liebherr and assembled in Cork Harbour are scheduled for delivery to Crowley Puerto Rico Services’ Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan* later this month (March).

These cranes which are currently on board the Overseas Heavy Transport (OHT) vessel ALBATROSS (illustrated), transferred from Cork Dockyard to the Port of Cork’s Deepwater berth in Ringaskiddy in order that the heavy lift vessel could be ballasted before departure for San Juan.

Each crane has a capacity of 65 tonnes and measures approximately 65 metres in height, with an outreach of 40 metres.

Ringaskiddy Deepwater Berth is capable of handling vessels of this size and providing a fast and efficient turnaround of such vessels. Before Albatross sails she will share the berth with the weekly Maersk container service from Central America, bringing the overall length of both vessels alongside to 414 metres.

Speaking of the Port of Cork’s capabilities as a Tier 1 Port of National Significance and a naturally deep water port, Commercial Manager Captain Michael McCarthy said: “The Port of Cork is delighted to partner with Liebherr Cranes in selecting our Ringaskiddy Deepwater port to export their cranes to world markets.

“We have had an excellent relationship with Liebherr since the early 1990s when we commissioned two cranes for our facility in Ringaskiddy. Since then we have grown our relationship with the company and all our port cranes are manufactured by Liebherr.

“It is great to see Liebherr recognising our exporting capability as a deep water port.”

While in Ringaskiddy the OHT vessel, which was originally designed as an oil tanker and converted to a crane carrier, will take on a large volume of water ballast in her lower ballast tanks to counteract the weight of the cranes on deck. Each crane weighs approximately 900 tonnes. However, the weight is evenly distributed on the main deck of the vessel. The cranes are then secured firmly (by being welded) to the deck of the vessel and as such they form a single composite unit.

According to John Hourihan Jr, Crowley’s senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico Services, the electric-powered cranes will be used to load and discharge containerised cargo being carried aboard Crowley’s two new liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered, Commitment Class Con-Ro ships.

Hourihan said: “With these state-of-the-art cranes now erected, we are taking another step toward the transformation of our terminal into the most modern and efficient port facility on the island of Puerto Rico. We eagerly await their arrival here.”

* The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the NE Caribbean is an outlying territory of the USA. San Juan is the capital and largest city.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Royal IHC (IHC) has been awarded a contract for the design, construction and delivery of the 44,180kW self-propelled cutter suction dredger (CSD) SPARTACUS, for DEME in Belgium.

The newly built CSD will be 164 metres long. The concept and basic design for this mega cutter was done in close cooperation with DEME, Vuyk Engineering Rotterdam (a 100% subsidiary of IHC) and IHC.

Several innovations and LNG-powered
Spartacus will be the world’s first LNG-powered (liquefied natural gas) CSD and follows the order for the first LNG-powered trailing suction hopper dredgers (TSHDs) MINERVA and SCHELDT RIVER, and ‘LNG-ready’ BONNY RIVER, that are currently under construction at IHC’s shipyards. The four main diesel engines can run on LNG, MDO and HFO, and the two auxiliary engines have dual-fuel technology.

The application of LNG to power TSHDs has proven to be a very complex puzzle. In close cooperation with DEME, the two organisations have managed to fit all the pieces together. The Spartacus will benefit from this joint effort and forward-thinking and represents a new milestone in the industry. This environmentally-friendly CSD will also have other innovations on board, such as a waste heat recovery system that converts heat from the exhaust gasses to electrical energy.

The dredge control is arranged for a one-man operation. The vessel will have a heavy-duty cutter ladder and can reach a dredging depth of 45m.

Most complex cutter ever built
“We can state that this CSD is the largest and most complex that IHC has ever built,” says IHC’s CEO Dave Vander Heyde. “The combination of power, size and innovations makes it a true challenge to build. We are proud and honoured that DEME has again placed their trust in us. We also want to thank them for giving us the opportunity to build the world’s first LNG-powered cutter suction dredger. We are pleased to note that IHC’s strategy, which focuses on developing and producing high added value equipment, and integrated vessels is starting to pay off. Being able to manage all the gigantic forces of this CSD with our high tech equipment and systems perfectly supports this.”

The Spartacus will also reinforce DEME’s commitment to green initiatives. “This cutter suction dredger is going to be an important benchmark for the industry and a huge step toward limiting the environmental impact of our vessels,” says DEME’s Head of Construction and Conversion Jan Gabriel.

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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.

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

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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

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.


MSC Algeciras. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

By now this 300 metre long, 48 metre wide container ship is a regular caller here in South Africa. MSC ALGECIRAS (111,000-dwt, built 2013) flies the Hong Kong flag of registry and has a container capacity of 9,400 TEU. The ship can operate at a top speed of 22.6 knots. These pictures are by Ian Shiffman


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