Thursday’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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Morston. Picture: Keith Betts

The LPG tanker MORSTON (54,901-dwt) sails into Durban harbour earlier this month. Built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea in 2013, the vessel is owned by Petredec Services Asia, which is based in Singapore. The tanker is managed by Anglo Eastern Shipmanagement, also of Singapore and perhaps not surprisingly, the tanker flies the flag of Singapore. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Cape Town Container Terminal is one of the few shining lights among other container ports. Picture: TNPA

Statistics for the calendar year 2016, which are available courtesy TNPA, reveal that the eight ports under the control of the TNPA took a step backwards last year when they collectively handled 283 million tonnes of cargo, as compared with a total of just under 297 million tonnes of cargo for 2015.

That’s a 4.71% decrease on the year before, whereas in 2015 the eight ports increased their total volumes by 5.3% as against the year 2014. This is just another sign that South Africa is not yet out of the doldrums – if anything it appears to have sailed further into these quieter waters, which is bound to lead to repercussions when it comes to decisions being made regarding planned new developments.

In our figures given below you will be able to compare each port’s progress over a three year period.

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Offshore S92 Sikorsky helicopter based at Takoradi


A gas oil storage facility at the Ghanaian port of Takoradi will go into service supplying marine gas oil to upstream vessels and FPSOs that will dock at the port of Takoradi.

That’s according to Ghana Oil Company (GOIL) which is financing the construction of the 13.5 million litre storage tank farm through its own internally generated funds.

Costing US$15 million, the three-tank farm is fitted with motorised valves and automatic control systems for dispatching the products to the vessels.

GOIL says the construction of the tank farm facility at the port of Takoradi is intended to help supply marine gas oil to upstream vessels and FPSOs that will dock at the Takoradi port. It is capable of supporting the entire Ghanaian oil and gas industry. The US$15 million facility is financed solely by GOIL through its own internally generated funds. The three-tank farm storage facility meets…

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The expansion of BRICS, known as “BRICS Plus”, could become a new model of integration in the global economy, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) Yaroslav Lissovolik said on Sunday.

“Integration proceeded previously as a rule on a regional basis, and BRICS offers a system of diversified integration that provides for a consistent movement towards rapprochement on different continents and in..

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APL Austria in Durban for repairs. Picture: Trevor Jones

Cargo owners may have to contribute to expenses incurred by ship owners if the vessel carrying their cargo experiences a maritime casualty such as a fire, grounding, or calling at a port of refuge in heavy weather. These costs are in addition to any losses and damages suffered as a result of damage to cargo.

An example of cargo owners being called on to contribute to costs incurred by a ship owner is the mv APL Austria, a Liberian flagged container ship which caught fire off the Eastern Cape in February 2017. The vessel entered the Port of Ngqura at Port Elizabeth and the ship owners’ representatives and local firefighting units spent several days putting out the fire. The ship owners had to undertake substantial repairs to the vessel and the carriers had to tranship the cargo to Cape Town and to other destinations in West Africa. The cargo owners and their insurers suffered damage to their cargo, delays and claims for general average contributions.

General average and salvage
If a ship owner incurs extraordinary expenditure in efforts to preserve maritime property or to continue the voyage and deliver the cargo to the intended destination, some of these costs may be recoverable from the other interests involved. According to this principle of general average, the other interests (including cargo interests, the ship itself and its owners’ hull and machinery insurers and the charterers) will contribute to general average on a proportional basis.

Following the fire on board the mv APL Austria, the ship owner declared general average and appointed average adjusters who will, in due course, have to determine which expenses will be allowable under general average and what each interest’s contribution will be.

A general average adjustment, which sets out the allowable expenses and each contribution, can take up to 10 years to finalise. For this reason, ship owners will routinely demand security from the cargo owner in the form of an average bond together with a cash deposit or, if the cargo is insured, an average guarantee from the cargo insurer. Once the general average has been adjusted, payment of the contribution is demanded from cargo owners and the other parties involved.

The average adjusters of the mv APL Austria have set the cash deposit at 28% of the invoice value of the cargo. The cash deposit is usually a reasonable indication of the level of the general average contribution that the owners will seek from each insured cargo interest. This means that if cargo worth R1m was safely delivered to its final destination, the cargo owner (or his insurer) will have to pay up to R280 000 to the ship owners as the cargo interest’s general average contribution. If the cargo was partially damaged, the cargo owner would have to pay 28% of the value of the cargo delivered and if the cargo was a total loss, then the cargo owner will not have to contribute to general average.

Insured versus uninsured cargo
Loss or damage reasonably attributable to fire or explosion is a peril insured against under The Institute Cargo Clauses A, B and C (the ICC Clauses) which are the standard marine insurance terms covering almost all marine cargo.

To recover loss or damage from the cargo insurer under the cargo owner’s insurance policy, the fire or explosion must be a proximate cause of the loss. The fire must be sufficiently related (factually and legally) to the loss. For example, if a ship suffers an engine room fire, enters a port of refuge, runs aground and sinks because of bad weather, the courts will consider whether the fire or the bad weather was the proximate cause of the loss of the cargo or the damage to the ship.

In addition to covering any loss or damage to the cargo itself, most marine insurance policies also cover the cargo owners’ liability to the ship owner for general average and liability for salvage charges.

Many of the owners of cargo on board the mv APL Austria faced financial losses and commercial penalties because their cargo had not been delivered timeously. Most marine insurance policies exclude a cargo insurer’s liability for consequential losses (such as currency fluctuations, commercial penalties and loss in value) and losses caused by a delay in the cargo reaching its destination. Such losses are also generally not recoverable from the ship owner or other potentially liable parties.

If, as a result of a peril insured (such as fire), the voyage is cancelled, the cargo insurer will usually reimburse the cargo owner for any charges properly and reasonably incurred in forwarding the cargo to its destination. If the voyage cannot be completed because of an excluded peril (such as the insolvency of the ship owner), forwarding charges are not covered. However, in the case of the mv APL Austria, most cargo owners held carriers’ bills of lading meaning that the carriers were obligated to deliver the cargo to its destination notwithstanding that the ship owner had terminated the voyage in Port Elizabeth.

Why should owners of insured cargo put up a general average bond?
A question asked by a number of the owners of insured cargo on board the mv APL Austria was why they had to put up general average bonds when they had insurance covering their general average liability to the ship owner.

The reason is that the cargo owner holds the bill of lading which is evidence of the contract of carriage with the carrier. The contract of carriage gives rise to the cargo owner’s obligation to pay general average once it has been declared by the ship owner. The ship owner cannot demand payment from the cargo insurer because the insurer is neither the owner of the cargo nor the holder of the bill of lading.

The cargo will not be released until payment is either guaranteed or secured by way of a cash deposit. A bond is signed by the cargo owner stating that in exchange for release of the cargo, they undertake to pay the general average contribution. Cargo insurers then sign a guarantee (which is provided at the same time as the bond to the average adjustors) in terms of which they undertake to pay the general average contribution.

In practice, it is unheard of for cargo owners who have proper marine insurance to have to pay general average in cash because the cargo insurers guarantee that payment and have always paid it.

Recovery actions against potentially liable parties and defending claims for general average
In cases of fires on board vessels, cargo owners (or their insurers) must show a lack of due diligence on the part of the ship owner to make the ship seaworthy and safe to receive, carry and discharge the cargo. However, the ship owner is not liable for an act or omission by the crew unless the cargo owner can show a lack of due diligence attributable to the ship owner in making the ship unseaworthy. In the case of fires at sea, this would include a lack of adequate fire-fighting systems or a lack of training or procedural guidance from the owners or carriers to the crew.

Fires at sea pose a significant risk to ships, cargo and crew members. Cargo owners and insurers need to be aware that maritime casualties, such as the fire on board the mv APL Austria, expose them to the risk of large general average contributions. Cargo owners need to properly insure their cargo. If they don’t, they risk damage to their cargo which they cannot recover from the ship owner and large claims for general average and salvage expenses.

Carol Holness
Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright

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Four new rubber tyre gantry cranes (RTGs) have been installed at the Ivory Coast Port of Abidjan, Bolloré Transport & Logistics has reported.

The four RTGs went into service last week, thus increasing the operational capacity of Abidjan’s container terminal. These new…

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Stena Immortal, delivered in September 2016. Mariners of the world have come to expect enhanced safety of navigation delivered by e-navigation services. Picture:

IALA Project Manager for EfficienSea2
Director of Research
General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom & Ireland

EfficienSea2 is an EU funded Horizon 2020 project led by the Danish Maritime Authority, with 32 partners, including the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA). The purpose of the project is to enhance safety of navigation and increase efficiency at sea, by developing e-navigation services, the Maritime Cloud and communication systems, in particular the VHF Data Exchange System (VDES).

The outcomes of this project could have direct effects on the future services provided by the GLAs and other lighthouse authorities. In particular, VDES has a number of applications to Aids to Navigation (AtoN), in terms of communications between AtoN, provision of virtual AtoN and broadcasting integrity warnings and corrections for radio-navigation services.

Although not partners in the project, the GLAs are cooperating with it in several areas and are monitoring its progress closely, attending relevant conferences and meetings.

e-Navigation Communications Strategy
The e-Navigation concept will increase the efficiency, safety and security of voyage planning and information in the maritime sector. e-Navigation is dependent on applications which provide mariners with the data they need in a more secure and efficient manner. These applications require communication technologies that can provide the necessary capacity for bidirectional ship-ship, ship-shore, and ship-satellite communication.

The vision for digital communications in the maritime environment is:
Secure, effective, seamless communications to support maritime applications.

To achieve the vision, four core strategic challenges have been identified:

1. Providing communication options to address operational requirements

2. Ensuring existing and developing digital maritime communications technologies that interact effectively and seamlessly

3. Evaluating the suitability of different technologies to address the requirements

4. Implementing infrastructure to support digital maritime communications.

It is planned to promote such a strategy through the work of the IALA ENAV Committee.

Aids to navigation providers will need the best e-navigation services to ensure efficiency. Picture: Almarin (

VHF Data Exchange System
The VHF Data Exchange System (VDES) is a new communications system the development of which is being coordinated by IALA in consultation with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It could be a key supporting element of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) e-Navigation initiative.

A VHF channel usage measurement trial was conducted by the General Lighthouse Authorities of the United Kingdom and Ireland (GLAs) and the Institute for Telecommunications Research (ITR) at the University of South Australia, which examined radio propagation conditions for all channels intended for use in ship-to-shore and shore-to-ship VDES communications. A comprehensive series of sea trials were conducted over five days, near Harwich. Five operational scenarios were examined, spanning four of the six IMO Maritime Service Portfolio area categories. System components and deployment were consistent with real world maritime use.

The channel model is being further developed using the results of these trials and data available from satellite AIS

A number of potential navigation applications of VDES have been identified, which illustrate how it could be used to support the introduction of e-navigation.

Maritime Cloud

Efficiensea2: The Maritime Cloud

In preparation for a workshop on the Maritime Cloud, some consideration has been given to the business model on which it could be based.

The Maritime Cloud (MC) is a communication framework that enables efficient, secure, reliable and seamless electronic information exchange among all authorized maritime stakeholders across available communication systems.

The Core Components of the MC are:

1. Identity Registry
2. Service Registry
3. Maritime Messaging Service
4. Operational description

All these core components will be Open Source. In fact all MC components should be open source to ensure international compatibility.

The Identity Registry
For secure and reliable identity information, this provides a single login to all services, using identity information provided by trusted stakeholders.

The Service Registry
For registering, discovering and using all relevant e-navigation and e-Maritime services, commercial and non-commercial, authorised and non-authorised, for free and against payment. This can be seen as a sophisticated yellow pages phone book or the equivalent of an App Store.

The Maritime Messaging Service
An information broker that intelligently exchanges information between communication systems connected to the cloud, taking into account the current geographical position and communication links available to the recipient.

The MC Maritime Messaging Service (M3S) is a service that could be registered as part of the MC Service Registry and provided by one or more third party Service Providers.

Operational description
Service Providers and Service Consumers will register on the MC. The registration will enable the Service Provider (SP) and Service Consumer (SC) to make use of the MC with their own unique and trusted identity.

The SP could include any entity (international, regional and national authorities, ports and commercial organisations) that has a service to offer. The SC could include any entity (SP and / or vessel) that wishes to consume a service offered on the MC.

Registered SPs would be able to list their services on the MC.

SCs would be able to browse the list of available services, select the required / desired service and then, depending on how the service is offered, consume it.

Registered SCs will be able to consume offered services. Registered SPs will be able to discover SCs and use this in the development and offering of services.

In summary, IALA is playing an active role in the EU funded EfficienSea2 Project, with a team of consultants working closely with the IALA e-navigation Committee to develop e-navigation services, technology and documentation for the VHF Data Exchange System and to promote and develop the Maritime Cloud. Recognising the potential influence of the project on their future services, the GLA are monitoring progress closely.

Forwarded by Paul Ridgway

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A video of the sinking of the TITANIC for those who have enough spare time on their hands this weekend. WARNING. You require 2 hours 41 minutes to watch all of this – a real-time animated recreation made as a promo for an upcoming video game.

“This is a complete animation; not a short animation that was slowed down to match real time. This is also highly accurate, though we have already documented improvements we plan to make for the final game. The animation includes text frequently appearing with what is happening on board the ship. This includes visuals of various interior rooms flooding, lifeboats launching, rockets firing, and the Californian on the horizon.”

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By Craig Eason

On 25 April in Hamburg, I am going to spend the day interviewing and talking to 13 key names that can shed light on how our maritime industry can, will and should evolve to remain at its best when it comes to enabling global trade, writes Craig Eason of Fathom News.

This involves talking to the head of Internet of Things for Microsoft, the Chief Digital Officer at Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and a former test pilot who now works for Airbus and has a lot to say about the interface between technology and safety, and the relationship with safety.

This is the…

You can find out more about the one-day event next Tuesday – CLICK HERE

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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.


The container ship JACOB RICKMERS (24,069-dwt) seen approaching Port Everglades in Florida, USA earlier this month, accompanied by the harbour tug VICKI M McALLISTER. The ship was built in 2006 at the Jiangsu Yangzijiang Shipyard in Jiangyin, China. She flies the Portuguese flag and is managed by Rickmers Reederei of Hamburg, Germany. This picture is by Tony de Freitas



The cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea.
– Isak Dinesen


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