Wednesday’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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FIRST VIEW: BOURBON TRIESTE

BOURBON TRIESTE
Bourbon Trieste. Picture: Keith Betts

The offshore multi-purpose subsea support vessel BOURBON TRIESTE heads into port at Durban during April, to take bunkers and supplies. The vessel is 79 metres in length and 18m wide and has a gross tonnage of 4,290t. Bourbon Trieste is equipped with accommodation for 70 persons and operates at a service speed of 10 knots, with a maximum speed of 13 knots. She was built in 207 at the De Hoop shipyard in The Netherlands and is flagged in Luxembourg. This Picture is by Keith Betts

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DURBAN HANDLES 191,412 CRUISE PASSENGERS IN 2016/17 SEASON

MSC Sinfonia
MSC Sinfonia off Portuguese Island, Mozambique, one of the most popular of all cruises from Durban

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) says that the Port of Durban has handled “another successful cruise season” for the 2016/17 period.

This follows the recent departure of the MSC Cruises ship MSC SINFONIA which departed for a number of cruises out of Cape Town before returning to the Mediterranean for the South African winter.

MSC Sinfonia will return to South Africa and Durban in particular in November this year.

The recent cruise season which started in November 2016 and ended about a week ago, saw a total of 191,412 passengers taking part.

This however was a slight decline from the 2015/16 season which saw the participation of 204,158 passengers.

TNPA’s port manager for the Port of Durban, Moshe Motlohi, said that despite the decline in number of passengers, the cruise season remained one of the most popular and growing tourist attractions.

“We believe that our cruise strategy to offer a new and modern cruise terminal will not only make the City of eThekwini (Durban) a popular holiday destination, but will also give the Port of Durban a major face lift,” said Motlohi.

Tender submissions for the development of a new passenger terminal in the Port of Durban closed in February 2017.

About 56 international cruise liners called at the Port of Durban this season, with MSC Sinfonia frequenting the passenger terminal most often.

Other luxury cruise liners which visited the Port of Durban this season included Europa, Artania, Warrior Spirit, Seven Seas Navigator, Silver Cloud, Nautica, Astor and Amadea.

In 2015, in a joint-exercise with MSC, TNPA took a decision to upgrade the current terminal, known as N-Shed, with new features including signage, immigration counters, baggage scanners, conveyor belts and balustrades among other features.

MSC Sinfonia, which had been lengthened to accommodate the growing number of passengers, marked the beginning of the cruise season (in November 2016) with the arrival of 2,600 European and South African passengers who sailed with her from Venice in Italy.

These positioning cruises have become increasingly popular.

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UGANDA’S GULU LOGISTICS HUB TO TARGET SOUTH SUDAN & DRC

[2:27]  Short videoclip of first train between Mombasa and Gulu in 20 years
The Ugandan government has secured the funding necessary to build a logistics hub at the Gulu Railway Station, which will provide access to and target trade with South Sudan through Alegu and with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) through West Nile.

Both neighbouring countries are Uganda’s largest export markets, reports The Monitor.

The new hub is to be…

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CHINA’S MUCH TALKED ABOUT SILK ROAD, WHAT IS IT ABOUT?


[1:36]

The World Economic Forum, which kicks off here in South Africa from today, has released the short video (above) on China’s new silk route, commonly referred to as ‘One Belt One Road’ (OBOR).

Ever since the somewhat mysterious project was first announced in 2013, there has been much speculation about the real significance of an undertaking to reopen ancient trade routes between China and Europe.

In their own impressive style, and with the minimum of fanfare, this phenomenon has begun to unfold with trains now running from China some 18,000 kilometres across Asia and into Europe. Recently the first train to arrive in London delivered a cargo of containers – not a large consignment as container trains go but highly symbolic none the less. Shortly afterwards the train departed on the return journey, shaving a reported two weeks off the time it takes for a ship to carry containerised cargo between China and Europe.

Some of that time taken by rail is absorbed by having to cater for several changes of gauge, which necessitates removing every container from the arriving train and reloading onto another for the next stage of the journey.

Meanwhile, every week a similar exercise is being carried out with trains running regular weekly services from China to Spain. Other services to other parts of Europe are likely to follow quite rapidly.

The question arises as to what consequences will the Silk Road, or ‘One Road, One Belt’ (OBOR) as it is also known, have for sending containers by sea? Given the vast quantities of boxes that container ships are now carrying, with the 20,000 TEU mark having been surpassed, one is inclined to say that shipping need not feel threatened. But for certain types of cargo, the saving of two weeks along with the reduction in the cost of cargo compared to that sent by air, can make quite a difference, and perhaps this is where the train service will make its mark.

Olaf Merk, Administrator Ports and Shipping International Transport Forum, stated in his China’s One Belt One Road technical paper that OBOR is unique in two ways as it will bring more choice and more Chinese control of global supply chains. Merk said: “It will have important consequences for the whole world, including for Europe and it requires critical policy choices.

“The global transport model has, for a long time, been very clear: air is fast but expensive, sea is slow but cheap.

“So, only high value added and highly time sensitive goods are transported by air, the rest by sea.

“There were always some options in between, such as rail and combined airsea transport, but these options were fairly marginal for goods transport between continents. The OBOR initiative will change this model radically. Rail will become a real option for long-range freight transport.”

It has also been suggested that other considerations are at play, involving politics and Chinese influence, with China offering to upgrade the rail services in some of the countries through which the Silk Road trains will pass. Could this include having a special ‘same gauge’ railway built to avoid all those time-consuming change of gauges? A look at how China has set about building or refurbishing rail networks in Africa, and how this has improved Chinese influence on the continent, carries its own message.

There are those who think that China is repositioning itself tactically in the global economy. They point out that relationships with the ASEAN region, Central Asia and European countries stand to improve significantly if China directs more of its capital into developing infrastructure overseas.

There are also suggestions that with the railway running through regions where the Chinese have not necessarily been very welcome, and that includes parts of China itself, the prosperity that springs up alongside an operating railway may begin to have a positive improving effect on attitudes.

All these points and others are discussed in a couple of lengthier videos that you are invited to also watch, courtesy YouTube.

The first is CHINA WATCH with Peter Lee and is 21 minutes, 40 seconds long.


[21:40]

The next video (below), lasting 24 minutes, 55 seconds is courtesy of Aljazeera and is entitled ‘Inside Story – Will the Silk Road be a Success?’ Well worth seeing!


[24:55]

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MAERSK EXPECTS 27 NEWBUILDS TO JOIN FLEET THIS YEAR & NEXT

Madrid Maersk
Madrid Maersk

With the deployment last week of Maersk’s latest container ship, the 20,568-TEU MADRID MAERSK (27 April), the first of the 11 second generation Triple-E ships, she also becomes the first of 27 new container ships that Maersk Line ordered in 2015 to enter service.

Madrid Maersk has been deployed on Maersk Line’s Asia – Europe 2M Alliance service network and on 27 April she called at Tianjin in China to begin loading cargo. This was the first port on her maiden voyage.

Maersk Line will continue to take delivery of the vessels until the end of 2018 and they will replace older and less efficient tonnage. They are also the first delivery of own new-buildings since July 2015.

When the 11 second generation Triple-Es were ordered that year, at a cost of US$1.8 billion, the world was told they would have a container capacity of 19,630 TEU. By surpassing this figure, Madrid Maersk (and her following sisterships) will become, for a short while, the largest container ships in service. OOCL has however an even larger capacity ship due shortly.

Maersk Line’s remaining order book consists of ten 2nd generation Triple-E vessels, nine 15,226 TEU and seven 3,596 TEU container vessels. The order book corresponds to 11% of Maersk Line’s current fleet – a relatively small order book when compared to the industry’s order book of around 15%.

The nine H-class 15,226 TEU ships on order will be 46 metres shorter than the existing Emma (E-class) ships and according to Maersk will have ‘operational versatility’ by being capable of serving smaller ports on north-south trades.

A second order of H-class ships has been postponed by six months.

The seven 3,596 TEU ships are ice-class Baltic feeder ships, designed in view of expected volume growth in the trade and to meet the emission control regulations of the region.

Maersk says that to stay competitive and achieve lowest cost, Maersk Line will continue to manage its fleet capacity tightly. “For example, Maersk Line has a relatively high number of vessels on short term charters. This gives Maersk Line the flexibility to adjust fleet capacity when new vessels come on-stream. Maersk Line is also recycling old and more inefficient vessels. In the first quarter of 2017, Maersk Line recycled seven Panamax vessels.”

According to chief operating officer, Soren Toft, “Our strategy is to grow in line with our main competitors, and we do that through a combination of buying new and used ships and chartering vessels.

“These new vessels help modernise our fleet, significantly improve our operational efficiency and will help us achieve our growth ambitions, regardless of short-term economic cycles.”

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APPROVAL FOR MAERSK AND HAMBURG SÜD SALE & PURCHASE AGREEMENT

Cap San Nicolas
Cap San Nicolas in South China Sea. Picture: Hamburg Süd

The agreement between Danish Maesrk Line and Hamburg Süd whereby Maersk Line would acquire the German container shipping line, has received approval from the boards of Maersk Line and the Oetker Group, owner of Hamburg Süd.

The acquisition remains subject to regulatory approvals.

Maersk Line will acquire Hamburg Süd for EUR 3.7 billion (US$4 billion) on a cash and debt-free basis. Maersk Line will finance the acquisition through a syndicated loan facility.

“Today, we have taken…

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NAVAL: CTF 150 CHANGE OF COMMAND

CTF CMF Banner

In mid-April Canada handed over to France at a CTF150 Change of Command Ceremony. The French Navy (Marine Nationale), supported by the Royal Navy assumed command of Combined Task Force (CTF) 150 of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) after conducting a handover ceremony with the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN).

Rear-Admiral Olivier Lebas of the French Navy assumed command of CTF150 from Commodore Haydn Edmundson of the Royal Canadian Navy on 13 April 2017 in a ceremony held at Naval Support Activity in Manama, Bahrain.

CTF150 has been combating terrorism by…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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PRESS RELEASES

Send your Press Releases here info@africaports.co.za and marked PRESS RELEASE. Provided they are considered appropriate to our readers we will either turn them into a story, or publish them here.

ARDENT CELEBRATES SECOND YEAR, LOOKS AHEAD

San Juan Harbour and Caribbean Fantasy
San Juan Harbour, Puerto Rico, 26 August 2016 – Salvage and wreck removal company, Ardent responds to the high-profile Caribbean Fantasy fire. Photo: US Coast Guard
Bay of Campeche, Mexico
Bay of Campeche, 15 November 2016 – Ardent concluded the industry’s largest wreck removal project in the Gulf of Mexico in 2016.

Salvage and wreck removal company, Ardent, celebrates its second birthday with the passing of 1 May 2017.

Ardent has maintained a zero lost time incident record since its inception.

“Despite the initial focus on implementing the merger and challenging market conditions Ardent has…

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GENERAL NEWS REPORTS – UPDATED THROUGH THE DAY

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EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT


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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CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


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.

PICS OF THE DAY : QUEEN ELIZABETH

Queen Elizabeth

Cunard's Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

We recently featured photographs showing Cunard’s Vista-class cruise ship QUEEN ELIZABETH which was completing a visit to Cape Town (25 April) and offer no apologies for repeating the dose, this time with another set of similar pictures of the grand ship sailing for the UK from the Mother City. Queen Elizabeth was launched in 2010 at the Fincantieri Monfalcone Shipyard in Italy as their hull number 6187; she is based on the Vista class and is 294 metres long with a gross weight of 90,901 tons. The pictures are by Ian Shiffman

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“I just want to do something that matters. Or be something that matters. I just want to matter.”
― John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

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