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BREAKING NEWS….Fire on Taiwanese fishing vessel N-E of Durban

Hsiang Fuh No.6 abandoned after fire. Picture courtesy: SAMSA, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Hsiang Fuh No.6 abandoned after fire. Picture courtesy: SAMSA

A fire has enveloped the Taiwanese longliner HSIANG FUH No.6 forcing the crew of 30 to abandon ship 740km northeast of Durban and nearly 500km offshore.

SAMSA, which is jointly coordinating the rescue reports that some of the crew suffered burns. The crew took to life rafts and have since been picked up by ships that responded to the MAYDAY.

One of these is the container ship EVER DIADEM which was sailing about 10km away and which has recovered 16 of the crew, while a second responding ship, the bulker SBI ANTARES picked up the remaining 14.

A third responding vessel, the bulker HAMPTON BAY has since been released from the scene by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordinating Centre in Cape Town (MRCC CT) which is co-ordinating the rescue together with SAMSA.

one of the life rafts with crew onboard, appearing in Africa aPORTS & SHIPS maritime news
one of the life rafts with crew onboard

One of the crew that suffered burns was evacuated this morning (11 July) by a South African Air Force helicopter as the Ever Diadem reached 60km north-east of Durban and has been brought to a Durban hospital for treatment.

A warning has been issued for the abandoned and unmanned vessel still adrift.

SAMSA said that necessary arrangements for the safe delivery and repatriation of the sailors, Philippine, Indonesian, Taiwanese and Vietnam, have been made and they would be met by representatives of their countries on arrival in Durban.




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Baltic Lady arriving at Durban, July 2017. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Baltic Lady. Picture: Keith Betts

Not the most attractive looking reefer ship that has ever called at a South African port, the BALTIC LADY arrived in port in the past week to load citrus at one of the port’s two fruit terminals. We are well into citrus exporting season now and those ports that handle the succulent fruit are busy. Although a majority of fruit now goes out in containers, a fair amount – probably 30 – 40 percent remains for the traditional refrigerated ships (reefers), of which Baltic Lady is one example. Facing up to the times however, most of the reefer vessels provide deck and some hold facilities for containers – if you can’t beat them, join them! Baltic Lady (12,913-dwt) was built in 2000 and is owned by Russian interests, and managed by Baltic Reefers Ltd of St Petersburg. A brief dip into her history reveals that she was previously named LADY KORCULA and was built at the Brodosplit – Brodogradiliste D.O.O. shipyard in Split, Croatia as their yard number 404. This picture is by Keith Betts

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Port of Matadi terminal, Congo River, DRC. Picture: ICTSI, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Matadi terminal, Congo River, DRC. Picture: ICTSI

International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and the dredging contractor Dredging International have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to co-operate in the further deepening of the Congo River.

With DRC Government support, the consortium intends to deepen the Congo River, in phases, to an eventual depth of 40ft and beyond. This will eliminate current draught restrictions in the Divagante area near Boma, and enable direct calls by mainline vessels at the ports of Matadi and Boma.

By doing so, both ports will…[restrict] resume their historic roles as the preferred natural gateways to the capital city of Kinshasa and its surrounding extensive hinterland, home to a rapidly growing market of 30 million people, the single largest in Central Africa.

The project, requiring an initial investment of €35 million, will deliver extensive operational efficiencies and cost savings to the western DRC supply chain and the market as a whole with these progressively realised from 2018 onwards.

“We look forward to working with Dredging International and the DRC Government to realise this important project and the diverse benefits it will deliver to the transportation sector and the economy as a whole,” said Hans-Ole Madsen, Senior Vice President, ICTSI, Europe, Middle East and Africa region. “It builds on the co-operative approach taken to the development of the Matadi Gateway Terminal and will represent a key component in the modernization of DRC marine infrastructure with benefits felt along the whole supply chain.”

ICTSI, the Philippines based terminal operator, operates the new Matadi Gateway Terminal in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Matadi Gateway Terminal is a joint venture company between ICTSI, The Ledya Group and SCTP SA.

ICTSI operates 27 terminals in 17 countries and is recognised as a leading developer, manager and operator of gateway container terminals of different sizes and serving extended hinterlands including cross border.

Dredging International, based in Belgium, is one of the primary operating companies of the DEME Group and is highly respected for its worldwide dredging and associated activities. These encompass waterway system development, harbour construction and wide range of other marine infrastructure works.[/restrict]

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OOCL Panama. Picture: Wikipedia Commons, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
OOCL Panama. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

The consolidation of shipping lines continues, leaving cargo owners with increasingly fewer options when it comes to shipping their containers.

The latest link-up of two companies involves the takeover of OOIL (Orient Overseas International), the owner of OOCL (Orient Overseas Container Lines), by China’s Cosco Shipping, itself a merger between COSCO and China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL).

Although OOCL ships are…[restrict] not seen trading in Africa, those of both COSCO and CSCL were regular callers as are Cosco ships today.

The rumour market has been rife with stories that Cosco Shipping would be taking over the Hong Kong-based OOIL/OOCL. The merger now confirmed will turn this into the largest Pacific Ocean container operator and the world’s third biggest container line, with more than 400 ships and 2.9 million TEU capacity and knocking French Line CMA CGM down to fourth place.

As a measure of what is happening globally, the top six companies now control 63% of the world container market.

The take-over will go through the usual regulatory measures, including obtaining approval from affected global shipping regimes.

It is understood that Cosco has agreed to pay US$6.3 billion for OOIL and that the two shipping lines will continue to trade under separate identities.[/restrict]


Rob Davies, Minister of Trade & Industry, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rob Davies, Minister of Trade & Industry

Pretoria – South Africa has become the 19th country to sign an agreement establishing the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA).

Signed on Friday (7 July 2017), the TFTA represents an integrated market of 26 countries with a combined population of 625 million people and a total gross domestic product (GDP) of US$1.6 trillion.

South Africa signed the agreement in Kampala, Uganda, during the meeting of the Tripartite Sectoral Ministers’ Committee.

The TFTA was launched by the Heads of States in Sharm el-Shaik, Egypt, in June 2015 and South Africa did not sign the agreement at that stage since there was outstanding work in some of the annexures to the agreement.

“All the annexures have been completed and adopted by the tripartite Sectoral Ministers Committee, enabling South Africa to sign the agreement. South Africa is 19th country to sign the agreement,” said the Department of Trade and Industry (dti).

The agreement will enter into force once 14 countries submit their instruments of ratification. Egypt recently became the first country to ratify the agreement.

Once the agreement enters into force, it will reduce the tariffs on goods traded between the tripartite countries and create new opportunities for exports as well as regional value chains.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, who attended the Sectoral Ministers Committee meeting, said the TFTA is an important initiative in accelerating regional integration efforts to ensure that African countries trade with each other.

South Africa, the Minister said, has been a champion of the tripartite process from the beginning and it has committed to the process.

Minister Davies said the country is pleased to be in a position to sign the agreement. He said while the outstanding annexures were being finalised, South Africa, as part of Southern African Customs Union (SACU), participated in the negotiations to finalise the bilateral tariffs commitments.

Tariff negotiations between SACU and Eastern Africa Community (EAC) are very near to conclusion.

“The conclusion of these negotiations will be another important step forward in the process, since it will provide commercial benefits to our business people by enabling them to trade products between SACU and EAC countries at a reduced or zero tariff,” said Minister Davies.

The meeting was attended by Trade Ministers and officials from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), and Southern African Development Community (SADC). source:

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The port of Banjul in The Gambia. Picture: OTAL, appearingin Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The port of Banjul in The Gambia. Picture: OTAL

Following the overthrow of the dictator, Yahya Jammeh earlier this year, investors are reported to be looking to upgrading the Gambia port of Banjul.

According to a Reuters report the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which has…[restrict] been active in various parts of Africa, has made a bid through a subsidiary company to invest US$160 million on redeveloping the port.

On the other hand, French African specialist in West Africa, Bolloré Africa Logistics is reported to have shown interest in operating at least a part of the port. A French delegation which included personnel from the logistics company recently visited The Gambia and the Port of Banjul.

Banjul is currently being operated and managed by a state-owned entity, the Gambia Ports Authority, but little recent development has taken place. The port, which occupies a strategic position near the extreme west of Africa, was first developed in 1972 at the mouth of the estuary of the Gambia River, facing the Atlantic Ocean at 13 degrees 27′ North and Longitude 16 degrees 34′ West.

The port is basically the only port in The Gambia and handles about 90% of the country’s imports and exports.

The depth of water alongside the cargo pier is listed as between 9.4 and 10 metres, while the channel has a depth of between 7.1 and 9.1 metres. The anchorage provides water depths of up to 18 metres.

Bolloré Africa Logistics which is believed to have shown interest in Banjul, operates 16 container terminals in African ports, in particular those at Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, Douala in Cameroon, Tema in Ghana and Lagos-Tincan in Nigeria, Libreville Owendo in Gabon, Pointe-Noire in Congo and Cotonou in Benin, Freetown in Sierra Leone, Lomé in Togo, Conakry in Guinea and in Moroni in the Comoros Islands.[/restrict]

Bolloré Africa Logistics also operates three rail concessions in Africa: Sitarail, Camrail and Benirail.[/restrict]

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Nigerian ports face strike today, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nigerian ports facing a national strike today

The Nigerian media is reporting that port workers are about to embark on nationwide protests today (Tuesday 11 July) regarding elements of the Ports and Harbour Bill, which they fear could lead to large-scale job losses.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) says that the protests will take place at all the country’s ports.

MWUN has organised the protest action jointly with…[restrict] the maritime branch of the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations (SSACTAC).

The union says that the mass action became necessary when there was no response from the National Assembly.

The Ports and Harbour Authority Bill has been passed by the Nigerian Senate and is awaiting passage through the House of Representatives, after which it will repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act of 1955, as amended.

“The protests will be held simultaneously in all the ports, from 06h00 till 18h00 on Tuesday, “MWUN’s secretary-general Felix Akingboye said.

He added that members in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Onne, Warri and Calabar were all being mobilised for the demonstration.

Akingboye said that the bill had been carefully examined as well as the existing Nigerian Ports Authority Act of 1955, as amended. “We are unable to see any deficiency in the present NPA Act that warranted the bill, except for the latent intention of its promoters to corner for themselves harbour operations.”

He warned the government not to make the same mistakes of the port concession of 2006, which led to the dismissal of 12,000 NPA workers.

Akingboye called the provision of item 6 in the second schedule of the bill repulsive, saying that it fails to make provision for the retention of every member of the NPA staff by the Ports and Harbour Authority.

There was also no mention of what would befall those not re-employed and who would pay their terminal benefits.

He said that Section 15 (4) of the Bill gives the authority to employ persons on non-pensionable terms and conditions.

“This is offensive to the provisions of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 as amended,” Akingboye said.

Another point of contention arose from the claim that the Ports Act had been debated and amended without seeking the opinion of the port workers.[/restrict]

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Global Operations Award 2017, Highly Commended. Awarded to the best single image that is judged to create the most impact portraying the Royal Navy’s global maritime responsibilities. Pictured is a Commando Helicopter Force Merlin Mk3 helicopter and HMS Scimitar, a Scimitar Class Fast Patrol Boat, conducting reassurance and demonstration of UK sovereignty in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Working from RAF Gibraltar, two Merlin Mk3 helicopters from 846 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset were consolidating their contingency deployment capability during Exercise Barbary Commando 16 of August 2016. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Global Operations Award 2017, Highly Commended. Awarded to the best single image that is judged to create the most impact portraying the Royal Navy’s global maritime responsibilities. Pictured is a Commando Helicopter Force Merlin Mk3 helicopter and HMS Scimitar, a Scimitar Class Fast Patrol Boat, conducting reassurance and demonstration of UK sovereignty in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. Working from RAF Gibraltar, two Merlin Mk3 helicopters from 846 Naval Air Squadron based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, Somerset were consolidating their contingency deployment capability during Exercise Barbary Commando 16 of August 2016. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©.

From emotional homecomings on windswept jetties to the action-packed scenes of operations in the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s photographers see all sides of the Senior Service.

On 4 July the photographers, who deploy with warships and commando units worldwide, were recognised for their talent, dedication and creativity at the annual Peregrine Trophy awards in London.

Joining up as any other rating into a particular trade such as logistics, engineering or warfare specialists, the sailors work hard to excel at their chosen field before being accepted into the elite photographic branch.

The select few then work with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on deployments anywhere in the world – from Antarctica to the Arabian Sea, from the UK to the Far East – taking pictures of maritime operations, personnel at work and capturing all aspects of naval life.

Every year the best of these images are showcased at the prestigious Peregrine Trophy awards – this year held at Trinity House in London – with the winners congratulated by the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

Captain Ian Stidston, the head of the Royal Navy Photographic Branch, said: “The Royal Navy protects our nation by operating around the world at sea, on land and in the air, and our photographers capture every element of that work.

“I am immensely proud of all they have achieved in the last year, telling the story of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines through their dedication to the art of photography.”

With just twelve professional categories and four amateur classes – the competition is fierce and whittled down by an expert panel of judges. There were more than 400 entries for the awards this year.

The judges were Luke Brighty, picture editor of Metro, David Botwink, of Maritime Films UK, Jack Ashdown, of digital agency E3, Rob White, of Maritime Films UK, Panay Triantafillides, Ministry of Defence Imagery Editor, and Harland Quarrington, Ministry of Defence Head Office Chief Photographer.

Petty Officer Simon Ethell was named this year’s Royal Navy Photographer of the Year with a portfolio of imagery from operations around the world.

He said: “I am delighted to have won Royal Navy photographer of the year and over the moon that my video has been recognised, as I am passionate about video.”

The Peregrine Trophy dates back to 1961 and is named after the HMS Peregrine the Royal Naval Air Station in Sussex. The award’s primary purpose is to encourage the production of eye-catching, powerful imagery that can be used in the media to demonstrate Royal Navy and Royal Marines operations.

The Best Maritime Image Award Highly Commended 2017. Awarded for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and submarines. Amid the fog Type 45 HMS Diamond is docked at HM Naval Base Portsmouth loading bay. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Best Maritime Image Award Highly Commended 2017. Awarded for the best photograph depicting Royal Navy, Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and submarines. Amid the fog Type 45 HMS Diamond is docked at HM Naval Base Portsmouth loading bay. Photo: MoD Crown Copyright 2017 ©.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Map: Cargo People, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
China’s One Belt, One Road. Map: Cargo People

Chinese media agency Xinhua reports that with the departure of a cargo train on Monday last week (3 July), the number of such trains between central China’s transport hub Zhengzhou and Hamburg of Germany rose to 12 every week.

Such is the extent by which freight is now beginning to be moved on a regular basis across Asia to Europe, and return.

The train loaded with 904 tonnes of goods such as computers and machinery parts left Putian station in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province Monday night.

China's Silk Road now reaches to London, Picture: Xinhua, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
China’s Silk Road reaches to London. Picture: Xinhua

China’s first train to London ran earlier this year (see map above). Soon they will all be commonplace while giving new meaning to the expression ‘long distance train’.

The increase in trains marked the expansion of transport capacity on the Zhengzhou-Hamburg rail service, Zhengzhou Railway Bureau said. Previously, ten trains operated between the two cities every week.

Zhengzhou opened its first freight train route to Hamburg in July 2013. The number of cargo trains has increased dramatically under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The exported goods come from east China’s manufacturing bases including the Yangtze and Pearl river deltas. Imports come from 121 cities in 24 countries. A number of Chinese cities have opened similar container freight trains to central Asia and Europe. source: Xinhua

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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.

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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.

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Stolt Zulu arriving in Durban, July 2017. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Stolt Zulu. Picture: Trevor Jones

Making a bright and colourful finale to this day’s maritime news is the Stolt tank STOLT ZULU (25,197-dwt), seen making her way down the Durban entrance towards a berth at Island View. The oil and chemical products tanker is owned and managed by Stolt Tanker BV of Rotterdam, Netherlands and was built in 2006 at the Fukuoka Shipbuilding Nagasaki shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan. She flies the Liberian flag. This picture is by Trevor Jones



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