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bulker Kaley departs from Durban. Picture by Trevor Jnes in Maritime News
Kaley. Picture: Trevor Jones

In today’s Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, the Greek-owned Ultramax dry bulk carrier KALEY (63,458-dwt) sails from Durban, accompanied by the pilot boat LUFAFA waiting to take off the pilot before the ship reaches the open sea. Kaley is operated and managed by Starbulk SA which is incorporated in the Marshall Islands with executive offices in Athens, Greece. Starbulk operates with a fleet of 73 ships in the dry bulk sector, of which three are still building. The fleet consists of Newcastlemax, Capesize, Post Panamax, Kamsarmax, Panamax, Ultramax and Supramax vessels with carrying capacities between 52,055 dwt and 209,537 dwt – now there are a few descriptions that we don’t often see or hear. Many of the Starbulk bulkers names are prefixed with STAR. Kaley is an exception and was built in 2015 – she is registered in the Marshall Islands. This picture is by Trevor Jones

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MSC Carl departs Durban. Picture TNPA in Marine News
Picture: TNPA, in Maritime News

The world has been in the grip of one of the most prolonged economic downturns in recent history, and although there appeared to be a brief revival after the dramatic financial collapse of 2008 and 2009, a number of factors have seen the global economy struggling along with little in the way of progress.

The container industry acts as a mirror to much of the world economy, certainly as far as the manufacturing sector is concerned. Here in the Southern hemisphere we like to…[restrict] think ourselves immune to what goes on north of the Equator, but this is not so and North-South as well as South-South trades have been hit just as hard as elsewhere.

As a result of this situation hundreds of cargo ships including container vessels have been sent to the breakers – many of them prematurely as owners and operators struggle to stem the growth of surplus capacity while freight rates hover around the break-even mark.

2016 saw almost zero growth overall – South Africa is but a reflection of that.

Yet a turnaround might have been thought possible according to global trade volumes that showed an increase that was the fastest since 2010, according to data from World Trade Monitor. The New York Brink magazine however said otherwise, showing that almost all of the recent volume increase occurred in November 2016 and further analysis of World Trade Monitor data indicates that the spike in world trade volume in that month is but a historical anomaly.

It shows that over a six month period from September 2016 to end February 2017, global export volume expanded 2.4% – in Europe growth was 0.1%, in the US 1%, Asia 2.5%, Japan 7% and Latin America 12.4%. Figures for Africa are unfortunately not available.

The latest data on world export prices is also not good. The World Trade Monitor’s index of global export prices is 20.5% below its peak. Looking at the data over time, much of the deterioration in export prices happened in 2015 and 2016. There is no comparable improvement in world export prices to match the strange jump in world export volumes in November 2016.

This is not just a commodity price or currency phenomenon; every major region of the world has seen export prices languish below previous peaks, with the shortfall ranging from 9.8% for US exporters to 45.9% for exporters from Africa and the Middle East.

Excess capacity in heavily traded sectors – such as steel and aluminium – as well as the spread of government-provided export incentives has almost certainly reduced prices in global markets.

The Global Trade Alert team has documented 411 policy initiatives since the start of the global financial crisis that impose some type of localisation requirement. Fiscal incentives to exports have been even more pervasive.

While direct cash payments for manufacturing exporters are banned under WTO rules, this has not stopped numerous governments from introducing many incentives to export through national tax systems. The impact of such incentives on the maritime sector is probably positive.

It has become clear that few senior executives of large manufacturing firms are willing to shed much political capital defending free trade. With little opposition to populist trade policies in sight, on net, the current policy environment is unlikely to be supportive of a sustained revival of global trade growth in 2017 or 2018, the report concluded. source: World Trade Monitor, Brink, SeaNews Turkey[/restrict]

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Nsanje port under construction, in maritime news
Nsanje port under construction, in Maritime News

Construction of port facilities at Nsanje in anticipation of a waterway corridor to the sea
Malawian ambitions of re-opening a waterway using the Chire (Shire) and Zambezi rivers has been dealt another blow with a Mozambique report saying the river route to the Indian Ocean lacks the necessary conditions and remains economically unviable in the short, medium and long terms.

The project was originally the brainchild of a former Malawian head of state, President Bingu Wa Mutharika, who set about establishing the port…[restrict] city of Nsanje on the Chire river, with an international airport and a hoped-for direct link with the sea.

The latest dampening statement was made in Maputo by a project representative of the Mozambique Ministry of Transport and Communications.

This was in response to reports coming from Malawi that accused Mozambique of placing difficulties in the way of those wanting to make use of the two rivers as a natural waterway linking Malawi with the Indian Ocean. The previous government of Mozambique under President Armando Guebuza had a serious fall-out with his Malawian counterpart several years ago over the same proposal but Malawians continue to dream of having a direct route to the sea.

In early colonial days the rivers were considered navigable and small craft successfully made the journey into southern Malawi.

In more recent years a former mining company in Mozambique’s Tete province, faced with limited access to the Sena Railway to the port at Beira, conducted an independent study into the possible use of the Zambezi to carry coal from Moatize to the mouth of the Zambezi River. It came to the conclusion that this would not be a viable proposition.

Now the Mozambique government says that a study in November 2015 carried out by international consulting firm HydroPlan, selected by the three countries involved in the project, namely Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia, had concluded that the Chire/Zambezi waterway is not commercially navigable in its natural state and, under these conditions, the overall objective of the proposed project – a reduction of transport time and costs – cannot be achieved.

The study showed that the small amount of cargo transferable to the waterway (273,200 tonnes per year) and the high costs involved in maintenance dredging (US$30 million per year) and the removal of aquatic plants (US$50 million per year) ruled out any viable operation.[/restrict]

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overhead pictures of Durban port and environs, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Picture: TNPA, in Maritime News

Lease agreements are available for more than 30 properties and operational sites in the Port of Durban’s Ship Repair and Bayhead Precincts. The port has a land area of 985 hectares.
Transnet National Ports Authority in the Port of Durban is offering new lease agreements for more than 30 properties and operational sites in the Port’s Ship Repair and Bayhead Precincts.

The commercial sites, which will be leasable for a minimum of five years, present opportunities for new entrants who have a minimum of 51% black ownership to participate in port related activities.

Port Manager for the Port of Durban, Moshe Motlohi said this exercise was part of transforming the port space and making it more inclusive for interested businesses especially new entrants.

Durban port manager Moshe Motlohi, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Moshe Motlohi, Durban port manager

“This is the first ever real estate lease application exercise of this magnitude and we hope that it will be well received by the public, especially for communities residing in and around the Port of Durban,” he said.

“As the national ports authority, we have a responsibility to the country to help address the three scourges plaguing South Africa – unemployment, poverty and inequality – by making business opportunities available for small and emerging businesses owned by previously disadvantaged individuals to operate within the port environment,” said Motlohi.

The commercial sites range in size from 14m2 to 5000m2 and are mostly used for port and logistics related activities such as light industrial engineering workshops, repair operations and storage warehouses/sites. The properties up for grabs also include a restaurant which caters for the Bayhead industrial workers market and sites suitable for local sporting bodies, boating clubs and fishing clubs.

“Currently the Port of Durban has been leasing these properties on a month-to-month basis to a group of businesses for more than 20 years. This will now change, as most of the lease agreement terms will be on a five-year lease term agreement,” explained Gary Young, Real Estate Manager at the Port of Durban.

Young added that whilst most of the properties were still occupied, their lease agreements were soon coming to an end.

“Where the lease expires, we put them out to the market through a public process to identify new participants,” Young said.

Current tenants are encouraged to participate in the process, however, further recognition will be given to new entrants and applicants who have a minimum of 51% black ownership.

TNPA Chief Executive Richard Vallihu has repeatedly reinforced the view that the country’s ports are a catalyst for economic growth, pushing for what TNPA calls “Radical Port Reform”. This includes unleashing the potential of the ports to create jobs and open up the space for the participation of historically disadvantaged communities.

The Port of Durban which has a land area of 985 hectares, has at least 352 lease agreements with a number of businesses operating within the port vicinity.

Interested parties should refer to the tender advertisements in national newspapers or alternatively contact: Silindile Gwala or Cindy Hlubi, on +27 (0) 31 361 8747 or fax. +27 (0) 31 361 8854.

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Italian Nay frigate Espero on duty with EU NAVFOR, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Italian Navy frigate ESPERO, in Maritime News

Somali Security Forces have taken delivery of four patrol boats donated by the Italian Ministry of Defence.

Originally in service with the Italian Navy, the four patrol boats are capable of carrying up to 15 people and will be used to patrol along the maritime sector of the Somali coast.

According to the Italian Ministry of Defence…[restrict] in a statement issued just over a week ago and carried by, the initiative was implemented thanks to the bilateral talks held by the Italian Defence Ministry and the Federal Republic of Somalia, with the aim of fostering reconstruction and strengthening the peace-establishment and stabilisation process in the African country.

This lies within the framework of European missions ‘EUTM Somalia’ and Regional Maritime Capacity Building in the Horn of Africa and the Western Indian Ocean.

The entire coast of Somalia including the semi-autonomous region in the Gulf of Aden is still considered a risk to all forms of shipping and recent attempts at highjacking ships have reinforced this.

As a result the area is still patrolled by a number of national and international naval assets, including assets from counter-piracy operation Eunavfor Atalanta, the European Union mission which, since March, includes Italian Navy Frigate ESPERO.[/restrict]

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bold prediction by Nigerian minister, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Piracy off Nigeria – soon to be eradicated, promises transport minister, in Maritime News

Nigeria intends spending US$ 186 million to combat piracy in a bid to safeguard its waters and vessels moving in and out of the country.

That’s the word from transport minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. In a speech at last week’s Nor-Shipping inaugural Africa Podium in Oslo, Norway, Amaechi set about trying to allay potential investors’ fears of growing security concerns in Nigeria’s seaway.

This follows…[restrict] continued attacks on ships by pirates. According to Amaechi, over the next six months the Nigerian government will undertake additional training for the Nigerian Navy, while providing technical and further support to patrol vessels in the region.

Security would also be stepped up at the country’s ports.

“Rest assured, in six months you will no longer be harassed in our waters,” he told delegates.

Amaechi said piracy is not the only issue currently impacting the progress of the maritime sector in Nigeria. While admitting that eradicating this growing issue was the main priority, Mr Amaechi was keen to point out that Nigeria was also making significant strides in its bid to improve its creaking transport infrastructure.

“All you hear about is efforts to stamp out corruption, but we are working extremely hard to develop transport infrastructure,” he added.

Amaechi said that whether this be roads or railways, the development of ports, the dredging of inland waterways and coastal regions, there was huge investment and resources earmarked for projects both now and in the future.

He also revealed that transport has by far and away the largest budget allocation from the government. “Things are changing,” he promised. source: Vanguard[/restrict]

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FASTEUR banner, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

On 2 June the US Navy reported that Marines from Alpha Company, 1st Platoon of Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Company Europe (FASTEUR) completed the first embassy engagement training exercise in the US Africa Command area of responsibility in Rabat, Morocco the previous week (26 May).

During the training engagement, FASTEUR trained with Moroccan police and the embassy’s Local Guard Force during…[restrict] live fire exercises, defensive tactics and medical techniques training.

Embassy training engagements like these are held to prepare for a coordinated response to an unforeseen emergency, and Morocco’s on-going partnership with the United States made it an ideal environment for FASTEUR to strengthen interoperability with the host nation security, locally employed guard force, Department of State and other Embassy staff.

FASTEUR exercise in Morocco. Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

In the words of Captain Jacob Fernandez, Alpha Company 1st Platoon Commander, FASTEUR: “It has been a year and a half workup watching my Marines grow. Watching their performance and their ability to see first-hand being in an embassy and getting the realism of a full-fledged supported embassy staff. To support the exercise just made the exercise go over the top and their performance was nothing less than exemplary.”

Stephanie Miley, Chargé d’Affaires, US Mission to Morocco concluded by saying: “I think that as much as we can do table top exercises, that is essential, but you really cannot replace exercises in which everybody has to jump up from their desks and go through the motions, go to where they need to go, try to keep communication lines open, try to understand as things are going off around you how you would react. The FAST team being here offered us that opportunity. There were a lot of lessons learned. Every time we do this it gives us an opportunity to improve the game and that is what we are looking for. The FAST team gave us an extra level of sophistication that we do not normally have in these kinds of exercises.”

Embassy engagement exercises allow US Embassy staff members the opportunity to see the support FASTEUR would provide in an emergency and FASTEUR gains direct knowledge of how an embassy functions, which improves their capability for response and protection.

US Naval Forces Europe-Africa/US 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with joint, allied and interagency partners, in order to advance US national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.

Text based on material originated by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Russell Ryne Rhodes Jr.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Photographs kindly provided by US Navy© Public Domain Work.


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Maersk McKinney Moller, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
East-West ships are not always so well filled. Picture: Wikipedia Commons, in Maritime News

Shippers are struggling to secure containership space, with reports of some eastbound Europe to Asia shippers waiting up to eight weeks to load, said London’s Drewry Maritime Research.

Furthermore, ocean liners have ceased taking bookings, it said, while…[restrict] spot shippers are paying far more than the usual freight rate, prompting Drewry to slam the mega alliances for failing “miserably”.

“They have failed miserably from the get-go and it is no surprise that the European Shippers Council has expressed concern, questioning whether the current situation was artificially engineered,” said Drewry.

Eastbound spot rates are now practically as expensive as they are in the westbound market, where volumes are much higher, reported London’s Port Technology.

“Eastbound ships are usually only 60 per cent full at best so in normal circumstances shippers should never have to worry about space shortages,” Drewry stated. “However, a perfect storm of events has conspired to make their lives very difficult right now.

“These factors include stronger than expected demand in Asia for European products, most significantly of heavy cargoes that restrict a ship’s carrying capacity, and what now seems like a poorly managed integration of new alliance networks.”

Eastbound volumes in the first two months of the year were up by nine per cent year on year, on the back of 14 per cent growth in trade from Greater China, with volumes up by 14 per cent to 501,000 TEU. Shipments to North Asia rose by 1.5 per cent to 160,000 TEU, and Southeast Asia was up four per cent to 158,000 TEU. However, westbound volumes were only up 0.4 per cent. source: SeaNews Turkey[/restrict]

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TPS's Take a Girl Child to Work project, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News
Neren Naicker, Key Accounts Representative, Commercial Department, with the girls on board the vessel Chang Shun II in Cape Town harbour, in Maritime News

As part of the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day on at the end of May 2017, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) teams across the country (Cape Town, KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape) treated female learners in grades 10 to 12 to an exciting day exploring the heart of SA’s maritime industry.

Management from various departments within TPT dedicated their day to mentoring employees’ daughters and other girl students from neighbouring schools across the regions they operate in to empower these young women to think about their futures and showcase the various career opportunities available to them.

They spent the day at the Terminals learning the ins and outs of the organisation before they were awarded a certificate of attendance.

Transnet believes that women can be vibrant contributors to the economy and leading job creators for South Africa, so the Cell C Take a Girl Child to Work Day initiative is one that resonated with the organisation and which is why it was hosted at a number of TPT’s terminals across the country.

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port in Maritime News

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.


Happy Diamond by Keith Betts, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Heavylift Happy Diamond sailing from Durban March 2017, by Keith Betts in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Happy Diamond. Pictures: Keith Betts

The heavy-lift projects general cargo vessel HAPPY DIAMOND (18,148-dwt, built 2011) is seen sailing from Durban after a call at the port in March this year. While relatively small, ships such as this often carry large and cumbersome cargo to difficult to reach places where shallow waters will defeat the efforts of much larger vessels. With the spate of port and other infrastructural development taking place across the world, including here in Africa, these ‘mighty mouse’ vessels have become indispensable assets. Happy Diamond, owned by Dutch interests and operated by the Dutch company that trades under the appropriate name of Big Lift, is part of a wider fleet of strengthened ice-class vessels of different types all designed for heavy cargoes. On-board cranes usually exceed the lifting capacity of shoreside facilities and where these ships go there are sometimes no facilities. Happy Diamond belongs to the ‘Happy D-type’ class which have two 400 ton cranes and a single 120 ton crane onboard, giving an impressive combined lifting capacity of 800 tons. Her overall length is just short of 157 metres and her width is 25.6 metres. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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