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Car carrier Grand Pearl arriving in Durban, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Keith Betts
Grand Pearl. Picture: Keith Betts

The car carrier GRAND PEARL (59,217-gt) enters the port of Durban in this picture captured earlier in the year. The 199-metre long Ro-Ro car carrier is owned and managed by Cido Shipping of Pusan in South Korea and was built in 2008 at the Shin Kurushima Toyohashi Shipbuilding yard in Toyohashi, Japan. The ship operates in the Eukor Car Carriers fleet and her maximum capacity is 6,502 motor cars. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Tanzania's Port of Dar es Salaam, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Dar es Salaam

Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has signed a US154 million contract with China Harbor Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) to upgrade the port of Dar es Salaam and to dredge and deepen seven of the berths.

Dubbed the Dar es Salaam port expansion programme, the project will see berths 1 – 7 being strengthened and the depth alongside dredged to 15.5 metres.

This is designed to enable the port to cater for much bigger ships, container ships in particular, that have already begun calling on East African ports.

The Port of Dar es Salaam has two container terminals…[restrict] – one operated by Hutchison Ports Holdings under the name of Tanzania International Container Terminal (TICTs), and the other by the Tanzania Ports Authority.

Financed mainly by a loan from the World Bank the aim is to improve the competitiveness of the port, especially in light of plans for the construction of a standard gauge railway between Dar es Salaam and landlocked countries including Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the DRC.

The benefit would also reflect on the TAZARA railway that connects Tanzania and the port with Zambia along a narrower 3ft 6ins Cape gauge.

Also included in the project is the port development of a Ro-Ro terminal to handle motor vehicles.

“Deepening and strengthening of the berths will allow big container ships to dock in Dar es Salaam. All these efforts are being done in order to increase competitiveness of the port,” Makame Mbarawa, Works, Transport and Communications Minister, said at the signing ceremony last week.

The TPA intends positioning the port as a regional hub and doubling cargo handling from the present 14 million tons a year to 28 million tons by 2020.[/restrict]

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Petredec's LPG tanker MANIFESTO, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Petredec’s LPG tanker MANIFESTO

Petredec, the leading independent LPG specialist has entered into an agreement with Bidvest Tank Terminals for the development of a new facility for the import and storage of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) at Bidvest’s existing site in Richards Bay.

The terminal will consist of a 22,600 metric tonne storage facility which when completed will become the world’s largest pressurised LPG import terminal, featuring four mounded tanks, each capable of storing more than 5,500 metric tonnes of gas, guaranteeing year-round availability.

Despite growing demand in…[restrict] domestic and regional markets, LPG imports have historically been hampered by high costs resulting from South Africa’s small coastal terminals and distance from major supply hubs. The commissioning of this new large scale facility – also capable of seaborne re-exports to neighbouring countries – will unlock previously unattainable economics resulting in lower supply prices to the local market.

With the breaking-of-ground planned in September 2017 and an estimated 27-month construction schedule, South African consumers can expect to be using LPG imported via the new Richards Bay terminal from Q4 2019, said Petredec in a statement. Dedicated 24-
hour road tanker and railcar loading facilities will ensure constant supplies 365 days a year, enabling local LPG marketers to guarantee product availability to their customers throughout South Africa.

Petredec already supplies most of South Africa’s imported LPG and believes further investment in large, dedicated infrastructure is the only way to increase the fuel’s popularity and bring lower prices to consumers.

“Our commitment to the development of the Southern African LPG market underlines our confidence in the growth potential of this region,” said Petredec CEO, Giles Fearn. “Delivering LPG to South Africa on a previously unprecedented scale brings with it financial savings to our customers that will ultimately benefit consumers with lower gas prices”.

Managing director of Bidvest Tank Terminals, David Leisegang, said that they were excited about this very significant import-related project “as it further demonstrates Bidvest’s commitment to better infrastructure and growth in the South African economy.”

He said that the new facility will add significantly to the more than three and a half billion litres of bulk liquid product that is currently handled through our terminals in South Africa each year.[/restrict]

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CMA CGM'S Iniamed service, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

CMA CGM has launched INDIAMED, a new service linking the East Mediterranean with Djibouti, Arabian Gulf, Pakistan and India.

The new service starts on 2 July and is one of the fastest between these strategic zones while connecting CMA CGM hubs in the Mediterranean and the Arabian Gulf.

INDIAMED will complement the French line’s MEGEM (East Mediterranean to/from Middle East) and…[restrict] MEDEX (West Mediterranean to/from Middle East & Indian Sub-Continent) services, offering synergies between services to allow an improved port coverage of these areas and better connections.

The port rotation will be: Khor Fakkan – Karachi – Nhava Sheva – Mundra – Djibouti – Jeddah – Damietta – Piraeus – Malta – Aliaga – Mersin – Port Said West – Khor Fakkan

With this new INDIAMED service, CMA CGM says it will significantly improve its offer for the following trades:

* East Mediterranean to India and Pakistan with a new direct and fast service.
* East Mediterranean to the Gulf, to complement existing services but with faster transit times and increased reefer capacity.
* Gulf, India and Pakistan to Djibouti with a new direct service.
* India and Pakistan to Red Sea and East Mediterranean with direct calls in Turkey, Malta and Piraeus with the possibility of connection to a wide array of ports in East Mediterranean, Adriatic, Black Sea and North Africa.
* East Africa to Europe via an optimised transshipment in Djibouti.
* Djibouti to U.S. with an optimised transshipment in Damietta, and to Europe through Mediterranean hubs.

CMA CGM will operate this service in collaboration with its affiliate APL and its Ocean Alliance partner COSCO.[/restrict]

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Symphony of the Seas, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On Friday, 9 June Royal Caribbean’s SYMPHONY OF THE SEAS was floated out into open water for the first time at the STX France shipyard.

Following the floating out from the construction area, Symphony of the Seas was transferred to basin C, assisted by three pilots and eight tug boats ensuring that the manoeuvre went without hitch. The ship’s giant engines were not in use at this time.

She will remain in this position until… [restrict] April next year after which the world’s largest cruise ship will be ready to enter service.

Symphony of the Seas in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime newsThe 362-metre long, 230,000 gross ton ship is a little larger than her three fellow Oasis-class ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet. Harmony of the Seas which entered service in May 2016 has 28 less staterooms that her new sister – a total of 2,775 staterooms for the new arrival.

When she enters service on 28 April next year Symphony of the Seas will cruise in the Mediterranean for the northern summer before heading across the North Atlantic to take up residence sailing out of Miami in Florida. After an initial four-night cruise to Cozumel in Mexico she will begin a series of alternate seven-night cruises in the eastern and western Caribbean.

Symphony of the Seas in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime newsAs with the other Oasis-class ships, the upper decks surround and overlook a large parkland area extending down the centre of the ship. Symphony of the Seas can carry up to 5,494 lower bed passengers or a maximum of 6,780 passengers plus 2,175 crew full capacity.

The other Oasis-class ships are OASIS OF THE SEAS (2009), ALLURE OF THE SEAS (2010) and HARMONY OF THE SEAS (2016).[/restrict]

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Malagasy dockers protesting, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Malagasy dock workers and supporters protesting

The plight of the Malagasy 43 dockworkers sacked at the Madagascar port of Toamasina reached Madagascan government level yesterday with protests taking place at Parliament and meetings scheduled with government officials to try and resolve the dispute.

The dispute arose over the sacking of 43 workers which led to the Madagascar government having to deal with an International Labour Organisation (ILO) complaint over the dispute. The workers say they lost their jobs after fighting for better wages and against working in dangerous conditions. After joining their union, they say they faced intimidation and retaliation from management who gave them two options: leave the union or lose their jobs.

The workers refused and were sacked, contravening their rights to freedom of association. None of the 43 workers have been reinstated. The matter went before the Supreme Court of Madagascar which ruled that the workers should be re-instated but the government has refused to enforce the decision.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and local Madagascan union SYGMMA said it will be meeting with Minister of Public Service, Labor, & Social Law Jean de Dieu Maharante and was requesting that the Madagascan government enforce the Supreme Court ruling and resolve the worsening dispute.

The meetings come after major international garment manufacturers Esprit and Levi Strauss backed the workers and called on the government to uphold basic labour rights.

ITF President and Dockers’ section chairman Paddy Crumlin said the Malagasy 43 had support from around the world, with dockers in Indonesia holding events in their ports to show solidarity with them.

“We will keep fighting for justice for these workers. The government and ICTSI need to agree to work with the unions to improve safety and working conditions at the port [Toamasina]. The first step is to accept the court ruling and let them get back to work.

“The other message we will be giving the government is ICTSI is a rogue operator. They boast about charging hugely inflated prices of US$250 to move a container through their African ports while paying their workers as little as US$40 per month. ICTSI was a bad choice to operate the port.”

Crumlin said that the ITF will be delivering this message in Madagascar and across Africa – wherever ICTSI are looking to expand into. “There are better operators for governments to partner with,” he claimed. “In particularly Tanzania where they are interested in buying the port operator, the government should be wary and instead choose an operator that charges their customers fairly and treats their workers with dignity and respect.”

More background and information can be found CLICK HERE

The Port of Toamasina which is operated by ICTSI, is the main port of Madagascar and is the main gateway for $360 million worth of textile products exported to Europe, $100 million to South Africa, and $60 million to the USA. Major international brands source clothing in Madagascar – including Esprit, Eddie Bauera, Camaieu and Levi Strauss.

ITF is the international union federation representing around 700 transport unions, and more than 4.5 million transport workers from 150 countries.

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Transnet donates R100,000 to aid of uMhlatuze flood victims. In Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mr Mlamuli Buthelezi (front), Transnet GCOO, handing over food parcels to community members. Also pictured are (back) Jeffrey Krishnan (UNTU: Full Time Shops Steward), Mr. Reggie Mthembu (Terminal Manager: Dry Bulk Terminal), Mr. Velile Dube (Acting TPT COO), Mr. Mfundo Mthenjana (Speaker of Umhlathuze Municipality), Mr. Preston Khomo (Richards Bay Port Manager), Ms. Siziwe Batyi (Terminal Manager MPT), Ms. Amanda Siyengo (GM: Bulk, Break-bulk & Cars), Mr. Tiyani Hlabangwane (Executive Manager : TFR), Ms. Sinamile Zuma (Manager CRM, TNPA)

Transnet has handed over a donation of R100,000 to the victims living in the uMhlathuze area that were affected by the recent flash floods that hit the province of KZN in May 2017, impacting on a number of communities. One of these was uMhlathuze.

An appeal by the uMhlathuze Municipality to local businesses to assist the destitute victims from their community was…[restrict] taken up by Transnet which raised over R100 000 for the purchase of food parcels, school shoes for the learners and other desperately needed necessities.

When handing over the donation, Mr Mlamuli Buthelezi, Transnet’s Group Chief Operating Officer, remarked that he was proud of the efforts of Transnet Port Terminals, Transnet Freight Rail and Transnet National Ports Authority in assisting the 200 people that had been displaced from their households as a result of the flash floods.

“We hope the food parcels and the school shoes that we donate today to the affected learners and the elderly people in the community of uMhlathuze will provide hope and sustenance for this community. As much as Transnet plays an important role in strengthening our region’s economy, we also believe in the shared value of giving back to the communities we operate in,” said Buthelezi.[/restrict]

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Madrid Maersk at Felixstowe, in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Madrid Maersk 20,568 TEU

The largest container ship to call in North Europe so far made its maiden call at the Port of Felixstowe on Britain’s East Coast.

The 20,568 TEU MADRID MAERSK, (illustrated) operated on the 2M NEU2 Asia to Europe service, arrived at the port with over 6,000 TEU for the UK loaded in China and Malaysia.

Commenting on the latest in a long line of record-breakers to call at the UK’s largest container port, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: [restrict] “The Port of Felixstowe is firmly established as the port of first-choice in the UK for the largest mega ships. We were the first in the UK to handle this latest class of vessel and continue to offer the widest and most frequent range of services on the major Asia – Europe trade.”

Built by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, the Madrid Maersk is 399 metres loa, with a beam of 58.6 metres and is the first of Maersk Line’s 2nd generation Triple-Es, known officially as the EEE Mark II. The original Triple-Es have been regular callers at Felixstowe since 2013. Delivery of the remaining 10 Triple-E Mark II’s is expected to take place between now and the middle of 2018.

Brian Godsafe, Managing Director UK & Ireland, Maersk Line added: “With this maiden call of Madrid Maersk, we have yet another opportunity to celebrate our good cooperation with the Port of Felixstowe. As the latest addition to our modern fleet, this new vessel continues our commitment to serve our customers around the world in an even more efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.”

The 2M service has called at Felixstowe since its inception in January 2015. In addition to its core members, Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), capacity is also now offered on 2M sailings by Hamburg Süd and Hyundai Merchant Marine.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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RSS James Clark Ross. Picture: Hilmar Snorrason/Shipspotting, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
RSS James Clark Ross. Picture: Hilmar Snorrason/Shipspotting

São Paulo, Brazil – National Geographic’s largest environmental preservation initiative is on its way to the remote Ascension Island, with help from GAC Brazil in Recife.

The team behind the Pristine Seas project is on expedition to the island, in partnership with the Ascension Island Conservation Department, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

They are on board the National Geographic’s vessel, the RSS James Clark Ross, which arrived at Recife from Montevideo in Uruguay. Once at the port, GAC’s team took care of a crew change and arranged for the scientists joining the ship for exhibition to embark. They also handled the delivery and loading of important research equipment, including a full range of remote-sensing equipment.

Operations at the port were coordinated by Elberland Silva, GAC’s Ship Operator at Recife, who says: “It is exciting to play even a small part in the important work of the National Geographic Society and the British Antarctic Survey. This was a great opportunity to start a long-term relationship with them both.”

Tim Page, Master for the RSS James Clark Ross says GAC’s team at Recife took good care of his vessel and worked hard to arrange the release charter equipment held by customs.

BBC Television and Natgeo presenter Paul Rose was among those who joined the ship at Recife. He adds: “Many thanks to GAC for the excellent handling. It feels great to be aboard!”

The RSS James Clark Ross has now begun its 1,200 nautical mile passage to the island where the team will prepare for deep ocean work and make new discoveries of the seafloor at Ascension. source:

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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.


African Sunbird. Pictures: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
African Sunbird. Pictures: Keith Betts

The bulk carrier AFRICAN SUNBIRD (55,688-dwt) is seen sailing from Durban during February this year. Registered in Panama, the ship was built in 2006. Owned by Misuga Kaiun of Tokyo, Japan and managed out of that company’s Hong Kong office. The bulker, which was previously named TOMOSHIO, was built at the Mitsui Tamano Engineering & Shipbuilding yard in Tamano, Japan. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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