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MOL Proficiency underway off Durban. Picture: Ken Malcolm and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MOL Proficiency. Picture: Ken Malcolm

The Mitsui OSK Line container ship MOL PROFICIENCY (72,912-dwt) underway off Durban and approaching the Fairway buoy. Built in 2007 at the Koyo Dockyard in Mihara, Japan as hull number 2273, the 293-metre long, 40m wide ship has a container capacity of 6,326 TEU and is owned by German interests and managed by Bernhard Schulte-CHR which operates out of Shanghai, China. She is flying the Marshall Islands flag. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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K-Line ship Vancouver Bridge. Picture: Gerolf Drebes, Shipspotting, and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
K-Line ship Vancouver Bridge. Picture: Gerolf Drebes, Shipspotting

South Africa’s Competition Commission has blocked the proposed intermediate merger between Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd (MOL) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (K-Line).

The three main Japanese container liner companies intend to merge their container liner shipping businesses to form a joint venture in the market. The Commission says that the primary acquiring firm is the…[restrict] joint venture for the container liner shipping of NYK, MOL and KL, a company which is to be incorporated in accordance with the laws of Japan.

“NYK operates its shipping business through an agent called Mitchell Cotts Maritime. Locally, MOL operates through its wholly owned subsidiaries called MOL South Africa (Pty) Ltd and MOL ACE South Africa (Pty) Ltd. Locally, K-Line operates through K Line Shipping South Africa (Pty) Ltd, a South African company.

“The primary target firm is the container liner shipping businesses of NYK, MOL and K-Line. The container liner shipping businesses are separately conducted and controlled.”

The Commission says that it considered the impact of the proposed transaction on the market for the provision of container liner shipping services, as well as the impact of the proposed transaction on the adjacent market of the car carriers shipping market where the Joint Venture Partners compete.

“The Commission has found that the structure of the container liner shipping market is conducive to coordination based on previous collusive conduct in the container liner market in other parts of the world. The merger increases the likelihood of coordination as it creates further structural linkages in the container liner market.

The Commission also found that the proposed transaction creates a platform for coordination in the car carrier market which has a history of collusion involving the merging parties. The parties have been prosecuted in some jurisdictions, while investigations are underway in others. It is the Commission’s view that the merging parties may require a formal mechanism for the further collusive conduct in the car carriers market. The joint venture provides such a mechanism.

“The Commission is of the view that the proposed transaction is likely to increase the scope for coordination in the container liner shipping market, while creating a platform for coordination in the car carrier market. The Commission further found that there are no efficiencies that outweigh the anti-competitive effects of this transaction and that there are also no remedies sufficient to address these effects.

“The Commission also found that there are no public interest issues that could outweigh the anti-competitive effects arising from the proposed transaction.”

Earlier, the three big Japanese shipping groups announced their intention to integrate their container shipping business with the establishment of a joint venture by 1 July 2017 and a commencement of joint service from 1 April 2018.

They are already part of the new THE Alliance, a sharing agreement among shipping lines that include Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming and bankrupt member Hanjin Shipping, with the latter now falling away. Since this agreement was reached, UAE’s United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) has merged with Hapag-Lloyd and thus also becomes a part of THE Alliance.[/restrict]

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Dr Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA D-G asnd appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr Dakuku Peterside

Nigeria is in urgent need of a maritime transport policy to complement the existing National Transport Policy and advance the country’s global maritime trade.

That’s the word from the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, who was speaking at the opening of the National workshop on Maritime Transport Policy (MTP) organised by NIMASA in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Dr Peterside described the programme as being a new phase in the nation’s journey towards effectively maximising the maritime opportunities that abound within the sector, especially in line with the Agency’s mandate of promoting and facilitating maritime trade.

“Sixty percent of the cargo headed to West Africa will likely end up in Nigeria,” Peterside said. “We have not only a long coast but also one of the longest inland waterways, in addition of six active port complexes. All these, coupled with our population, make us the biggest economy in Africa. Therefore, we need a sustainable maritime policy that would guide the coordination of maritime activities as we strive to advance Nigeria’s global maritime goal.”

Dr Peterside added that as part of the revolution going on in the transport sector, the federal administration was advancing the intermodal transport system by linking all the port complexes to the hinterland via railways to further facilitate ease of doing business.

NIMASA alone could not achieve this goal, he said, hence the need to seek the support of the IMO and other relevant stakeholders in order to come up with a model to develop a maritime transport policy that will serve Nigeria’s interest and stand the test of time.

“A workable maritime transport policy of any nation should be stakeholder driven. Therefore all associated stakeholders and professionals in the sector are needed to participate in the articulation and formulation of this policy.”

IMO Secretary General, Mr Kitack Lim, who was represented at the event by the IMO Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, Mr William Azuh, pledged IMO support.

“We will support NIMASA in developing a sustainable maritime transport system reflecting and balancing the interests of stakeholders with a carefully devised and executed maritime transport policy, which is crucial in serving as a fundamental guidance document to provide a long-term sustainable vision for the future of the Nigerian maritime sector,” Lim said.

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Ana Comoana, Council of Ministers spokesperson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ana Comoana, Council of Ministers spokesperson

The Council of Ministers last week approved decrees authorising the terms and conditions of the agreement that grants the Maritime Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal and the installation of Material Discharge in Areas 1 and 4 of the Rovuma Basin, district of Palma, province of Cabo Delgado, to the multinationals Anadarko and Eni, reports the Portuguese language newspaper Noticias.

Under the LNG Maritime Terminal contract, to be…[restrict] signed by the Government and Mozambique LNG Maritime Terminal Company, SA, the concessionaire will design, construct, install, hold, finance, operate, manage, use and maintain the infrastructure. The same responsibility is attributed to the concessionaire who will install the discharge of materials whose contract will be signed between the Mozambican executive and the Mozambican Society MOF, S.A.

According to Council of Ministers spokesperson Ana Comoana, the measure will facilitate the transportation of liquefied natural gas in accordance with oil industry best practice.

“The two instruments are complementary and aim to operationalise a decree-law that was approved in 2014. What is happening here is a clarification of procedures,” she explained.

Comoana said that the offshore infrastructure would be shared with Anadarko, which operates Area 1 of the Rovuma basin, and Italy’s Eni, which explores Area 4, and will be available to other operators that may emerge in the future. This, according to Comoana, will allow the rational use of space as well as ensuring environmental sustainability.

Export of wood

export of timber logs now regulated. Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
regulations for the export of timber logs

The government also approved a decree regulating the export of processed wood, in the hope that this will promote the rational and sustainable use of forestry resources, stimulate the emergence of new local wood processing industries and also help generate more jobs and more income for the state.

“In this case, the exportation of timber in logs is expressly forbidden. The instrument will allow native log wood to be processed in the country,” she said, adding that this would stimulate the emergence of a domestic wood processing industry, thus avoiding wood being exported, only for Mozambique afterwards to re-import it as finished products.

The cabinet meeting also approved resolutions ratifying the General Agreement on Economic, Cultural and Technical Cooperation and the General Agreement for the Establishment of the Joint Commission for Cooperation between Mozambique and Equatorial Guinea. source: Notícias / AIM Moçambique[/restrict]

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Necotrans banner flag. Maritime News

The Africa logistic specialist firm Necotrans, which has its headquarters in France, faces going under judicial management later today.

Necotrans specialises in logistics and international transport in the field of ports, maritime, oil and freight forwarding activities. The company has been hit hard by the oil and gas downturn in Africa, as elsewhere.

It is being reported that Necotrans will be in a Paris court today (Monday) where the matter is to be heard and decided. According to the French business newspaper Les Echos the most likely outcome is…[restrict] that it will be placed under judicial administration.

Necotrans has been in existence since 1985 when it was founded by Richard Talbot. The company specialised in freight forwarding initially but later in 1989 it became active in port management and logistics. Ten years later the company expanded into the oil and gas industry services which has become an increasingly significant factor in the company business but rendering it vulnerable to an economic downturn such as is now being experienced.

In 2014 Necotrans was awarded a 25-year concession to operate a bulk terminal at the autonomous Port of Dakar. Necotrans is also part of a consortium awarded the operation and maintenance of the multipurpose terminal at the deepwater port of Kribi in Cameroon.

The company also held a 49% stake in a container terminal company in Gabon which was sold to rival French company Bolloré in return for Necotrans dropping a lawsuit against Bolloré concerning the port of Conakry, in Guinea.

Necotrans is said to have an annual turnover of around €1 billion (US$1.1 billion).

The company has branches in South Africa.

Necotrans has previously undertaken restructuring of its activities in an attempt to stave off court action such as it faces today. This has included retrenching a thousand personnel, about 20% of the total, and closing activities in the US, Canada, and China. Despite this Necotrans was obliged to re-negotiate with its creditors at the end of last year. source: Lloyd’s Loading List, Les Echos and own sources.[/restrict]

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Viking Sky christening ceremony. Pictures: Viking Cruises and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Viking Sky christening ceremony. Pictures: Viking Cruises

Norwegian cruise company Viking which has expanded its operations out of river cruising and into ocean cruises as well, reached a new high this past week by christening its third new ship for ocean cruising, VIKING SKY.

The naming ceremony took place along the waterfront of Tromso in Norway.

The port which lies above the Arctic Circle will play an…[restrict] important role in Viking Sky’s cruise activities when the new ship commences her Midnight Sun sailings during the northern summer. At that time the sun does not sink below the horizon, providing 24 hour daylight and maximising cruising activities and pleasure.

The 930-passenger ship is a sister vessel to Viking’s previous two ocean-going ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea which entered service in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The christening took the traditional form of a bottle breaking across the bow but using Gammel Opland aquavit instead of the usual sparkling wine or champagne. The cord which allowed the bottle to go on its way was cut using a gilded Viking axe.

The ship is 47,800 tons and has a distinctive Scandinavian design and decor on board, with large cabins by most modern cruise ship standards. All cabins have their own balconies.

Vikin Sky, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture courtesy Viking Cruises

Viking sets itself aside from other cruise companies with more time spent ashore than most and included in the fare is at least one shore excursion per port. At lunch and dinner guests may enjoy beer and wine as part of the fare and – increasingly important today, there is unlimited WiFi access – an expensive add-on with other lines.

During the northern winter Viking Sky will transfer to cruise in the Caribbean.

A fourth sister ship, Viking Sun is due to enter service in November this year but Viking has a further four on order, all sister ships, which will enter service in 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022. And if that is not enough, Viking holds options for two more.[/restrict]

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OOC in Felixstore, and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
OOCL Hong Kong was named on 12 May this year on Geoje Island. The last time OOCL set the world record for the largest containership was in April 2003 with the OOCL Shenzhen, an 8,063 TEU vessel, also built at the SHI shipyard.

The world’s largest container ship, the 21,413 TEU OOCL HONG KONG, made her maiden call at Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe in the week commencing 18 June.

The call represented a double celebration as it also marked the return of OOCL to the UK’s largest container port after a 17 year absence.

Commenting on the two events, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: “The OOCL Hong Kong is…[restrict] the latest in a line of mega vessels to call at the Port of Felixstowe. The port’s location close to the main shipping lanes and the ports of Northern Europe, combined with a unique combination of road and rail connections, makes it the first choice for the latest generation of giant container ships.

OOCL Hong Kong was named on 12 May this year on Geoje Island. The last time OOCL set the world record for the largest containership was in April 2003 with the OOCL Shenzhen, an 8,063 TEU vessel, also built at the SHI shipyard.

“Our relationship with OOCL goes back 40 years and we are delighted to welcome them back to the Port of Felixstowe as part of the Ocean Alliance. We are honoured to have been chosen as the main UK hub for the Ocean Alliance and look forward to continuing to work with OOCL and the other alliance partners to provide the best possible service to UK importers and exporters.”

Richard Hew, Managing Director of OOCL, added: “We are very delighted by the warm welcome that the OOCL Hong Kong received from the Port of Felixstowe community. We truly look forward to working more closely with our customers, business partners and with the port community in developing our synergies for growth.”

The 210,890 gt vessel was built at Samsung Heavy Industries’ (SHI) shipyard in Geoje, South Korea. Measuring 400 metres loa and with a width of 58.8 metres, OOCL Hong Kong serves the Asia-Europe trade lane as part of OOCL’s LL1 service.

The Ocean Alliance consists of OOCL, CMA CGM, Cosco Shipping and Evergreen Line.

About the port

Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is strategically located on the UK’s SE coast and within easy reach of major ports in NW continental Europe.

As the UK’s first purpose-built container-handling facility, PFL is also the largest and busiest container port in the country. With three rail terminals, it also has the busiest and biggest intermodal rail freight facility in the UK. The latest phase of development, Berths 8&9, provides additional deep-water capacity for the world’s largest container ships.

PFL is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is a leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 48 ports spanning 25 countries. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transport-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Religious lives of international seafarers focus of Cardiff University research

appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The religious and spiritual experiences of seafarers, and ministry amongst port chaplains, will be explored in a new project by Cardiff University’s Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC).

Religion in multi-ethnic contexts, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will examine the nature of the lived religious and spiritual experience of seafarers, port chaplains, and welfare workers.

The research will contribute to society’s understanding of how multi-faith groups peacefully co-exist, and what factors may disrupt or threaten harmony in religiously diverse populations.

It will…[restrict] provide insight into the needs, practices, and understandings of religious workers in contemporary ports and industrial workers on ships.

The project will use multiple methods including shipboard and port-based ethnography, interviews, and documentary analysis. Archival data will also be collected, charting the historical development of chaplaincy in ports in the UK.

The project’s aims are to inform better spiritual provision by organisations working in ports; gain a better understanding of how religion and spirituality are expressed, experienced and negotiated in ports and multi-national residential workplaces; and explore the evolution of religion outside of congregations and formally designated religious sites.

Taking part in the research are Professor Helen Sampson, Director of SIRC; Professor Graeme Smith, Professor of Public Theology at the University of Chichester; Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Professor in Religious and Theological Studies at Cardiff University and Director of the University’s Islam-UK centre; Dr Nelson Turgo, a research associate at SIRC; and Professor Wendy Cadge, Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University.

Professor Helen Sampson, Director of SIRC said: “This project will allow us to consider the challenges associated with working in confined institutionalised multi-faith environments. It will offer us the opportunity to consider how people of different faiths can work and live harmoniously together in difficult conditions as well as the circumstances in which relationships may become strained.”

Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray, Director of Cardiff University’s Islam-UK centre added: “The project will allow us to explore the points of view of port-based chaplains who provide spiritual and welfare services to seafarers of different faiths calling at ports across the UK. The project is being supported by a wide range of stakeholders and has the potential to be of considerable benefit to both seafarers and associated welfare/spiritual organisations.”[/restrict]

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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.


INS Tarkash. Pictures: Ian Shiffman, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

INS Tarkash in Cape Town. Pictures: Ian Shiffman and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
INS Tarkash. Pictures: Ian Shiffman

The Indian Navy frigate INS TARKASH (F50) has been visiting Cape Town as part of a two-month deployment that has carried her as far as the UK. She sailed on Saturday (24 June) from South Africa for Port Louis before her return home in India. Tarkash, whose name is Sanskrit for Quiver as in Quiver of Arrows is attached to the Indian Navy Western Fleet based in Mumbai. These pictures are by Ian Shiffman



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