Wednesday’s Maritime News

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


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HS Rossini. Picture: Ken Malcolm

Under leaden grey skies, the containership HS ROSSINI (46,020-dwt, built 2012) crosses into Durban Harbour and an appointment at one of the container terminals. The Maltese-flagged ship is owned and managed by Hansa Shipping of Hamburg, Germany, and was built in China at the Shenfei Shipbuilding yard in Rongcheng. The 228-metre long, 32m wide HS Rossini has also operated on the African coast under the name NILEDUTCH LEOPARD from April 2012 until May 2014. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Quadrant House, Grindrod’s Durban headquarters. Picture: Terry Hutson

South Africa’s Competition Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the proposed large merger where Grindrod Holdings South Africa (Pty) Ltd (Grindrod Holdings) intends to acquire additional interest in RBT Grindrod Terminals (Pty) Ltd (RBT Terminals) is approved. The approval is given without conditions.

Grindrod Holdings provides freight and logistics services that include the transportation of bulk dry commodities, bulk liquid commodities, containerised cargo and vehicles utilising road, rail, sea and air. The activities of the Grindrod Group include the coal export operations of Grindrod Holdings.

RBT Grindrod Terminals owns export operations at Richards Bay which include the Navitrade Terminal business. It also owns the coal storage capacity at the Kusasa Terminal warehouse.

The Commission says it is of the view that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in the provision of coal export facilities. In addition, no public interest concerns arise as a result of the proposed merger.

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Thermopylae. Picture: Trevor Jones

The Competition Commission has approved, also without conditions, the intermediate merger whereby Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA intends to acquire Wallroll AB.

Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA, a Norwegian company, is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. It is controlled by Wilh Wilhelmsen Holdings (WWH). Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA is active within shipping, transportation and logistics for vehicles, trucks, roll-on/roll-off cargo and high and heavy cargo. Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA’s shipping segment includes ship owning, chartering, transportation and consultancy services. The company’s shipping services in South Africa are conducted through Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) and EUKOR Car Carriers Inc (EUKOR).

Wallroll is a Swedish company and is wholly owned and controlled by Wallenius Lines AB (WL). WL is wholly owned and controlled by Rederi AB Soya (Soya). Wallroll is a holding company that indirectly holds controlling interests in the following firms: WWL (South African joint venture with Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA), Tellus, EUKOR (South African joint venture with Wilh Wilhelmsen ASA) and ARC Group. Although the Acquiring Group and Target Group currently exercise joint control over the affected entities, in South Africa the merging parties are only active through WWL and EUKOR.

In arriving at its finding, the Commission says that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition in any market. In addition, it considers the proposed transaction as unlikely to raise any public interest concerns.

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Pretoria – President Jacob Zuma has called on the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) to invest more in the ocean economy.

He said this will unlock the potential of the oceans and create jobs, generate investment, develop infrastructure and protect the ocean space.

“Given that we have the ocean as a strategic resource, it is only natural that we should invest in the ocean economy. It will help us to diversify our economies from heavy reliance on mineral production and consumption,” President Zuma said yesterday (Tuesday).

The President was speaking at the IORA leaders’ two-day summit being held in Bali, Indonesia, which is attended by over 20 countries bordering the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean possesses a variety of natural resources that are vital for safe trade and environmental stability. Half of the world’s trade travels through this region.

The IORA’s vast coastline also holds two thirds of the world’s oil reserves, carries half of the world’s container ships and one third of the bulk cargo traffic.

The region also produces goods and services worth over US$1 trillion, with intra-trade amounting to some $777 billion. President Zuma said this is highly significant hence, the group should harness the benefits.

“Gender empowerment is a key priority for the [IORA]. We must therefore ensure that our programmes and interactions also empower women, especially through the fledgling small and medium ocean economy enterprises.”

He said supporting the ocean economy is in line with that of the African Union.

The AU has declared 2015 to 2025 as the Decade of African Seas and Oceans, and the blue economy is now officially referred to as the new frontier of Africa’s Renaissance.

It is an essential part of Africa’s 50-year industrialisation and development plan, Agenda 2063.

In South Africa, government has also embraced the Ocean Economy because it has the potential to contribute more than $13 billion to the economy, and create approximately one million jobs by 2033. –

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Storm systems over the southern Indian Ocean. Image: JTWC

It is proving quite a problem to obtain accurate up-to-the-minute reports on the Tropical Cyclone named ENOWA which has come ashore on north-eastern Madagascar (see yesterday’s News).

This is often the case as reporting from either Madagascar or Mozambique is generally poor although it has improved of late in the latter country. But when cyclones devastate these countries very little attention is given by the outside world and the news generators when compared to what happens, say, when a hurricane roars towards the Caribbean and US east coast. It’s all about a lack of people on the ground to report, but also a lack of general interest in the areas among the ‘western’ world.

What we can report however is that the latest tropical storm, Cyclone Enowa, which approached from across the Indian Ocean, tracked westward yesterday at 9 knots, with satellite imagery measuring a 20 nautical mile round eye to the storm.

Cyclone Enowa then went ashore at 08h00 UTC (GMT) at position 14.6N 50.2E, which is halfway between Sambava (14.3S 50.2E) and Antalaha (14.9S 50.2E).

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) in Hawaii reported the storm as having sustained winds of 125 knots at landfall, gusting to 150 knots. The storm is expected to rapidly weaken as it drives inland over the mountainous regions of Madagascar, but will also turn southward and move down a large extent of the island, losing strength as it goes but shedding large amounts of rain and causing much wind damage to buildings, trees and other structures.

Maximum wave height at sea and near the coast is expected to be 11 metres.

A second ‘area of convection’ marked in the picture above as 97S, is identified as having wind speeds estimated at 25 to 30 knots and a minimum sea level pressure estimated to be near 1000 MB. The disturbance was situated approximately 515 nautical miles southeast of Diego Garcia and is tracking westward while continuing to consolidate.

JTWC says the potential for the development of a ‘significant tropical cyclone’ within the next 24 hours has been upgraded to High.

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North-South Transport Corridor

Iran and Azerbaijan are reported to have agreed terms for completing their own respective sections of railway in order to make possible a freight rail and sea route or corridor from Europe to South Asia.

The reports emanating from the Iranian news agency IRNA suggest that the agreement follows recent talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev.

It said that the two Asian countries have agreed to connect their rail networks on a trial basis.

The corridor will be known as the North-South International Transport Corridor. The intention is to link northern Europe to South Asia by using the railways of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia.

Also agreed is a shipping service between Iran’s Gulf port of Bandar Abbas and India’s Mumbai to further extend the potential of the venture.

Azerbaijan Railways operates on a rail gauge of 1520mm, which matches the Russian broad gauge (having once been a part of the Soviet Railway network) and is wider than that of Europe’s standard gauge (1435mm). The country has a rail network of 2,918km, of which 1272km is electrified. Its rail infrastructure and equipment is considered to be modern and generally quite efficient.

Iran Railways on the other hand uses the European standard gauge of 1435mm, thus necessitating a break in gauge on both the European side and that with Iran.

The International North–South Transport Corridor is actually not a new concept and goes back to at least 2002 as far as talks between the three government railways are concerned. Several years ago a test was conducted along two possible routes which showed that transport costs could be reduced by as much as US$2,500 per 15 tons of cargo.

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Maersk Londrina. Picture: Shipspotting

TOC Europe 2017 to discuss ‘getting ahead in the global economy’

The global economy is in the midst of a decade-long slow growth environment. World GDP is predicted to increase 2.8% in 2017, making this potentially the sixth consecutive year of sub-3% growth. As international shipping association BIMCO and other industry analysts have observed, maritime trade may not even benefit from what little growth there is. Any global GDP upturn will be driven mostly by service sectors, leaving the GDP-to-trade multiplier languishing in the doldrums.

After the game-changing political events of 2016, protectionist, populism and anti-globalisation sentiments are bringing significant new headwinds to international trade. Indeed, the foundations upon which today’s transnational supply chains have been built are now open to question. As Olaf Merk of the OECD’s* International Transport Forum notes, “the outsourcing model that the world has come to know may have reached its limit” and so will no longer be underpinning cargo growth, particularly in container trades.

While multinational corporations account for only 2% of the world’s jobs, they manage the supply chains that account for over 50% of world trade. Yet staggering though this might sound, the share of trade accounted for by cross-border supply chains has actually stagnated since 2007. Add in today’s e-commerce driven ‘on-demand’ economy and emerging trends such as 3D printing, automation, digitisation, reshoring and OBOR, and the assumptions on which maritime container transport demand were founded over the past few decades look increasingly precarious.

For the container shipping industry, history may judge 2016 as a tipping point. Beside the shock collapse last September of Hanjin Shipping, the year saw the merger of COSCO and China Shipping, and the news that Japan’s big three carriers will come together. CMA bought APL, Hapag-Lloyd acquired UASC and Maersk bought Hamburg-Sud. Maersk also announced plans to knit its shipping, terminal and forwarding businesses into a digitally-driven global container logistics powerhouse.

Alongside the march of the mega-vessel, this huge ongoing rationalisation has major ramifications for shippers, ports and terminals and other supply chain stakeholders. Not least of these is the brand new shipping alliance ecosystem that will now take shape in the first half of 2017.

Ports and terminals worldwide face escalating risks from the perfect storm of slower global growth, larger ships and ocean carrier consolidation. Investment in infrastructure, equipment and automation is costly and, in many cases, slow-moving. How can they protect themselves from revenue squeeze, obsolescence and the risk of being cut out of fast-changing carrier networks? Can a fixed port be a responsive business?

Some analysts, including Drewry, argue that port and terminal consolidation is now inevitable to cope with the new realities of container shipping. Others add that ports and terminals must look to the hinterland and tie themselves much more strongly into multimodal cargo logistics networks, building new relations and revenue streams with shippers, 3PLs and other landside supply chain members. Certainly, the challenges of handling peak off-takes from mega-ships have already brought shippers and terminals together to a far greater extent than previously. Digitisation and automation are set to play a vital role in securing new revenue, cost savings and greater efficiencies.

Is the port and terminal business model set for some fundamental change? Indeed, does the same apply across the whole container supply chain? Recent news that both Maersk Line and CMA CGM have signed deals with China’s online giant Alibaba presages interesting times ahead for business relationships, roles and revenue in the new digital global container trade economy. Add in the announcement that CMA CGM and COSCO will leverage the Ocean Alliance to “reinforce their strategic cooperation on port operations and investments”, plus strong moves by terminal operator groups including DP World into logistics, and the traditional demarcation lines between shipper, logistics provider, carrier and port start to get very blurred.

And that’s before even considering the plethora of new disruptive digital players out to reshape “business as usual.” That includes a raft of new ‘click and collect’ ocean freight booking platforms, and Uber-like truck capacity management initiatives from non-conventional players such as Amazon, which is increasingly focused on logistics and transport.

Moving from Uber to OBOR, the Eurasia trade landscape is starting to transform itself by land and sea, with investment pouring into new transport infrastructure, including coastal and inland ports. The re-emergence of Iran onto the trade stage adds a further dimension. How will these new trade corridors and clusters reshape the status quo and how can investors, operators and technology suppliers take advantage?

This landscape forms the backdrop to TOC Europe 2017 (see our EVENTS DIARY for details). Having witnessed countless upheavals in its 40-plus years, three core content components at this year’s event will bring industry executives up to speed on how maritime logistics and container supply chain operations can face up and adapt to the challenges ahead.

* OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

About TOC Worldwide
For 40 years, TOC Worldwide has provided the market-leading conference and exhibition forums for the global port and terminal industries and their customers. With a change of name to TOC Container Supply Chain, the TOC event portfolio is now evolving fast to attract a wider audience of container supply chain professionals.

Taking place each year in the world’s four key shipping hubs – Europe, Middle East, Americas and Asia – each TOC is now a complete container supply chain event for its region, bringing together cargo owners, logistics providers, carriers, ports, terminals and other key members of the container supply chain to learn, debate, network and foster new business solutions.

TOC Europe is being staged between 27 and 29 June 2017 at RAI Amsterdam in The Netherlands

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Singapore, 7 March 2017: Sea Asia 2017, the region’s anchor maritime exhibition and leading forum for analysis and debate on key issues facing the industry, is gearing up to host more than 16,000 people from over 80 countries this 25-27 April in Singapore.

Taking place as part of the 12th Singapore Maritime Week (22-28 April), it will be graced and opened by Singapore’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

Chairman of the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), Mr Andreas Sohmen-Pao, said this edition of Sea Asia will provide a platform for maritime leaders from around the world to address trends and challenges.

“The maritime industry has always played a vital role in Singapore’s economy. This sector is here to stay, and by attracting companies and talent, we will continue to build on the strong platform that has been established over the past decade,” said Mr Sohmen-Pao.

According to statistics released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Singapore remained the world’s top bunkering port in 2016. Total cargo tonnage and vessel arrival tonnage also increased by 3.0 and 6.3 percent respectively in 2016 compared to 2015.

Mr Sohmen-Pao added, “Sea Asia 2017 provides a golden opportunity for executives to interact with each other, to discover new opportunities, and to collaborate to find solutions to the industry’s challenges. We are delighted to have many new national pavilions join us this year.”

This year’s edition of Sea Asia will feature 10 national pavilions – four of which are new to Sea Asia. These are the Japan, South Korea, Denmark and Greece pavilions. Over 300 exhibitors from across different sectors around the world will also be showcasing their latest and innovative maritime products and solutions.

Notably, the Sea Asia conference will see six shipping industry leaders debate for and against the motion at the inaugural Parliamentary Debate. The leaders will each share their thoughts on the motion, ‘This House believes that the best days of the private independent shipowner are over’.

Seatrade Chairman, Mr Chris Hayman, said current developments in the industry today, such as the challenging offshore and marine sector and the implications of smart shipping, will also form significant parts of discussions at Sea Asia 2017.

“These trends are impacting the industry in more ways than one. The move towards smart shipping and data analytics, for example, provides opportunities for industry players to potentially cut costs and enhance productivity. At the same time, there is a need to think about the talent and skills needed in this area.

“Sea Asia 2017 will provide that critical and established platform for industry leaders from around the world to come together and share their thoughts on the current developments and how the industry can navigate challenges together moving forward,” said Mr Hayman.

Other topics that will be discussed at the Sea Asia 2017 conference include the importance of technical change and innovation for the industry, the future of freight markets, and the opportunity for ship finance against a challenging market environment and more demanding regulatory framework.

Mr Hayman said, “We are excited to welcome maritime leaders from the world and to hear their insights on some of the more prominent issues that the industry is facing today. With the new features and format introduced for this year’s edition of Sea Asia, we look forward to more engaging and fruitful discussions on how we can all work together to propel the industry further.”
Sea Asia 2017 will be held in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands®, Singapore from 25 – 27 April 2017 (see our EVENTS DIARY).

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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.


Eco Revolution. Picture: Trevor Jones

The oil and chemical products tanker ECO REVOLUTION (39,208-dwt, built 2016) heads down the entrance channel into Durban Harbour before taking a berth at the Island View tanker berth 9. Accompanying Eco Revolution is the harbour tug LOTHENI. The 184-metre long vessel was built in Vietnam and is flagged in the Marshall Islands. She is owned by Monaco interests and managed by Central Mare of Cyprus. The ship is on a three year + one charter to BP Shipping in the UK. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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