Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

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


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Axios in Lyttelton harbour, by Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Axios funnel, in Lyttelton harbour, by Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Axios in Lyttelton harbour, by Alan Calvert, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Axios. Pictures: Alan Calvert

The Greek owned tanker AXIOS (46,792-dwt) is seen arriving at Lyttelton, New Zealand on a sunny spring afternoon during September. The oil and chemical products tanker was arriving from Daesan with jet fuel for the port that services the Christchurch region. Axios was built in 2006 at the STX Shipbuilding Busan shipyard in Pusan, South Korea and is owned and managed by Sun Enterprise of Athens, Greece. The vessel’s homeport is at Chios in Greece. The lower photograph shows the ship’s funnel markings, an area that no longer appears to attract as much interest from photographers these days. Fortunately that is not the case with our man in New Zealand, Alan Calvert.


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Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi at Port St Johns, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi (in yellow jacket) at Port St Johns

The development of South Africa’s maritime sector is now formally in full swing under the banner of the Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) initiative, with billions of rand of State funds currently being invested in particularly ports and related infrastructure.

However, it is now absolutely crucial to ensure that all South Africans are on board and involved, and central to the strategy is a need to both broaden and entrench fully education and skills development of especially the young, South Africa’s Minister of Transport, Mr Joe Maswanganyi told hundreds of people – among them 400 high school children – attending this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations held in Port St Johns, Eastern Cape.

Port St Johns, a little town settled in a picturesque area of South Africa’s Wild Coast along the Indian Ocean, midway between East London and Durban, was chosen by the Department of Transport for this year’s observation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)-driven World Maritime Day held on 28 September.

This was for a number of reasons. Among these is that the town symbolizes one of the most under-developed areas of South Africa settled along the country’s 3,200 km long coastline. It used to fall under the jurisdiction of the former Transkei homeland or Bantustan whose development was simply ignored by the previous government.

The town is now among coastal areas of the country earmarked earlier this year as part of a coastal and marine tourism initiative for a rapid development plan over five years, beginning in 2017.

Port St Johns also falls under the OR Tambo District Municipality which is home to former African National Congress president, Mr Oliver Reginald Tambo whose contribution to the country’s liberation struggle is being celebrated in 2017.

Transport Minister Mr Joe Maswanganyi and his deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in floral dress) posing for a photograph with State officials and youths recently trained as lifeguards through a SAMSA driven marine skills development programme for the youth of Port St Johns and the OR Tambo District Municipality. The youth were awarded their certificates during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2017 held in the town last Thursday. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transport Minister Mr Joe Maswanganyi and his deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga (in floral dress) posing for a photograph with State officials and young people recently trained as lifeguards through a SAMSA driven marine skills development programme for the youth of Port St Johns and the OR Tambo District Municipality. The youth were awarded their certificates during the celebration of World Maritime Day 2017 held in the town last Thursday.

The World Maritime Day event held in the town on 28 September was the second of its kind with an international maritime theme to be held in the region, the first having been the international Seafarers’ Day held in Mbizana in June.

The SAMSA-driven initiatives included a Maritime Youth Development Programme (MYDP) for youth keen on working on cruise ships; a Corporate Social Investment Youth Skills project for youth keen on sea diving, life-guarding and related, a Coastal and Marine Tourism initiative aimed at facilitating infrastructure development and enhancement, job creation and entrepreneurship.

Minister Maswanganyi said these maritime sector related initiatives were a clear indication of Government’s expressed commitment to driving new investment into areas that are both underdeveloped and with great potential to contribute to the country’s economy through business investment and job creation.

According to Maswanganyi, there is no longer a reason why people living in the country’s coastal provinces (Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) should not be in the lead in the development of the country’s maritime economic sector.

Infrastructure development, education and skills development would be the key drivers for investment, he said. “Government has identified the maritime sector as an important sector of the country’s economy.

“Various ports across the country are receiving billions of rand in investment to enhance their capacity – facts of which will be fully revealed when President Jacob Zuma reports to the nation about the progress of Operation Phakisa (Oceans Economy) in Durban next month.

“We are not going to leave behind Port St Johns. Among highlights of projects in the area is the expansion of the N2 which will formally link the town of Port St Johns to increased road traffic between the major cities of East London and Durban. As much as R8-billion is being invested in the Wild Coast road construction project.

“The cabinet has approved the comprehensive maritime transport policy, it provides further opportunity for investment in the country’s maritime transport sector.

“This welcome development indicates that as a country, we cannot remain consumers of maritime services of other countries while we have such coastal heritage.

Transport Minister Mr Joe Maswanganyi and deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga preparing to handover certificates to newly trained Port St Johns youths equipped with life guarding and deep sea diving skills. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Transport Minister Mr Joe Maswanganyi and deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga preparing to handover certificates to newly trained Port St Johns youths equipped with life guarding and deep sea diving skills.

Transport Minister Mr Joe Maswanganyi and deputy, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga preparing to handover certificates to newly trained Port St Johns youths equipped with life guarding and deep sea diving skills.

“Gone are the days when our people are consumers. Now is the time that our people should also contribute to productions of services. Gone are the days when our oceans are dominated by big shipping companies from Europe, America and Asia. Now is the time that vessels should be owned and operated by South Africans and in the main, Africans.

“Through the maritime transport and manufacturing projects we will create between 40,000-56,000 job opportunities, whereby our people will be involved in maritime construction, telecommunication technologies and equipment manufacturing. These will contribute between R21-25-billion to the economy of South Africa. In order achieve these goals within the set timeframes, it cannot be business as usual,” he said.   source and pictures: SAMSA

Watch a 23 minute YouTube video of the minister’s speech:

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Bonang Mohale, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bonang Mohale

Transnet says that it has noted Business Leadership South Africa’s (BLSA)’s statement claiming that it had suspended Transnet’s membership, which it says is inaccurate and misleading.

“BLSA approached Transnet early this year, requesting it to consider renewing its membership for 2017. Transnet elected not to renew the membership due to cost-cutting measures. This was…[restrict] communicated to BLSA on 9 August 2017.

“The company subsequently received a meeting request from BLSA CEO Mr Bonang Mohale to discuss the cancellation. The meeting has not taken place due to diary clashes.

In its statement Transnet said that while it appreciates the role played by BLSA in South Africa, it is unfortunate that Mr Mohale opted to mislead the public in such a spectacular manner.

“Transnet is aware of reports casting doubt on the integrity of its procurement processes. The company views these in a serious light and is currently conducting its own investigation on all allegations made.”

Transnet has warned that it will take the necessary steps should any actionable facts arise.

BLSA is an independent association whose members include the leaders of some of South Africa’s biggest and most well-known organisations. It seeks through this forum to engage key players in South African society, including civil society and labour, to exchange ideas in the national interest and to create effective dialogue with government and other stakeholders.[/restrict]

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Cosco Kawasaki approaching the port of Walvis Bay. Picture: Namport, appearing in Afria PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cosco Kawasaki approaching the port of Walvis Bay.   Picture: Namport

Namport has announced that the Chinese container line COSCO has commenced calls at the Port of Walvis Bay for the first time.

On Saturday (30 September) the COSCO KAWASAKI (50,713-dwt) heralded the new service when she arrived in the port in mid-morning.

The 4,334-TEU capacity ship has…[restrict] a length of 260 metres and required two berths at the port’s container terminal. The ship’s width presented no challenges being a standard 32.2 metres. Owned by Japanese interests, Cosco Kawasaki was built in 2010 at the Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy industries Co Ltd shipyard in South Korea as their hull number 1703.

The Namibian port also played host to a group of ‘elders’ drawn from all 14 districts of Namibia who were there as guests of Namport and were helping celebrate World Senior Day.


Ship arrivals and departures at the Port of Durban were disrupted on Sunday morning according to a notice issued by the port.

At approximately 06h00 the port stated that due to a swell of 1.7 metres outside the harbour entrance and the lack of a pilot boat, no ship movements would be possible.

No explanation was given as to why the pilot boat was unavailable (Durban used to maintain two such boats in addition to its port helicopter), nor did it say why the port helicopter was not available. Those issuing these notices appear to assume that everyone reading them are fully aware of the non-availability or otherwise of port machinery or personnel.

It is apparent that the issues leading to this situation were resolved as later in the morning AIS reports indicated ships arriving and leaving from the port in the normal fashion.[/restrict]


FS Floreal at Durban's Salisbury Island naval base, on an earlier visit. Picture: Terry Hutson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FS Floreal at Durban’s Salisbury Island naval base, on an earlier visit. Picture: Terry Hutson

The French Navy patrol frigate FS FLOREAL is due to arrive in Durban on 7 October to refuel and for a few days of R&R.

The naval ship, which is based at Reunion and conducts patrols of the French islands of the Western and Southern Indian Ocean, will be departing again on 11 October 2017.

FS Floreal, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news



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

Cruise line Azamara Club Cruises is to acquire the former P&O Cruises’ ship ADONIA which will become Azamara’s third vessel

The 30,277-ton Adonia will be renamed AZAMARA PURSUIT.

Adonia will undergo a major refurbishment to ring the ship in line with upgrades that were completed earlier this year on Azamara’s other two ships, AZAMARA JOURNEY and AZAMARA QUEST, which each accommodate just 694 passengers.

In confirming the sale of Adonia, P&O Cruises said…[restrict] that the sale will be completed in March 2018 and Adonia’s last cruise as a P&O Cruises ship will be D804 leaving Barbados on February 23 and ending in Barbados on March 9, 2018.

P&O Cruises’ Paul Ludlow said that during her time with P&O Adonia had captured the hearts of many thousands of P&O Cruises guests. “She has ventured into new ports of call around the globe and has negotiated Icelandic Fjords, European rivers and Caribbean coves. We will ensure that these discovery itineraries are continued on other ships in the fleet.”

Azamara Pursuit will enter service with the new owner in March 2018.

“We are pleased to expand our portfolio by 50%, allowing us to visit even more regions of the world through the acquisition of this sister ship,” Larry Pimentel, president and CEO of Azamara Club Cruises said.

“Our loyal guests and travel partners have asked for this expansion for a long time; we are very pleased to deliver this to them.”

Adonia's reception area, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Adonia’s reception area

The arrival of an extra ship means that itineraries can be increased with greater variation. Azamara says it will be introducing a hundred new shore excursions for Australia and Asia which will include a bicycle tour of Hoi An in Vietnam, a visit to the monkey forests in Bali, Indonesia as well as culinary tour of Kangaroo Island.

The Azamara Journey will visit Asia between October and December 2017 and she will be sailing in Australian waters for her third season from January 2018.

Adonia was originally named the R8 with Renaissance Cruises but on their demise she became Minerva II with Swan Hellenic and then Royal Princess with Princes Cruises from 2007. She has been with P&O Cruises since 2011 and has sailed briefly with Fathom Cruises in 2016/early 2017. As Adonia her maximum capacity was 777 passengers.

The ship was built in 2001 by Chantiers de l’Atlantique at their shipyard in St Nazaire, France.[/restrict]


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The Port of Ngqura and adjacent Coega SEZ, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Port of Ngqura and adjacent Coega SEZ

The Coega Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is forging ahead to become the new automotive hub on the African continent.

The SEZ, which is located in the Eastern Cape, is continuing with construction in Zone 1 of the Coega SEZ BAIC site.

“The Coega SEZ is well on its way to cement its position as a new…[restrict] automotive hub on the continent as the only place where cumulatively over $1 billion US dollars Chinese automotive investment is located in just one square mile,” said the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) in a statement last week.

The CDC is wholly-owned by the South African state and the operator of the Coega SEZ.

The automotive hub is set to record even greater success as it is home to two Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) namely: First Automotive Works (FAW) and Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC). Both companies hail from China having invested R1 billion and R11 billion respectively in 2012 and 2016.

The hub is also home to over 40 companies in the automotive, logistics, chemical, metals and service sectors.

The hub is also within a 30km and 25 minute radius from several other OEMs namely Isuzu, Volkswagen and Ford – all of whom produce for the domestic and export markets.

It is also located within the same radius from at least 150 component manufacturers ranging from leather, plastic, vinyl to engines; pressed metal parts; seats and seat systems, among others.

Last September, Cabinet welcomed the R11 billion investment by BAIC to establish an automotive manufacturing plant in the SEZ.

Cabinet at the time described the deal as historic, adding that the transaction is the biggest automotive investment in Africa in the last 40 years and reaffirms South Africa as a top investment destination for global automotive producers.

In August last year, Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC Unit Head of marketing and communications, said the plant is expected to create 2,500 jobs directly and more than 10,600 jobs indirectly.

SEZ hosts British High Commissioner

Meanwhile, the SEZ this week hosted the British High Commissioner to South Africa, Nigel Casey.

The visit was meant to explore economic trade and facilitate investment between South Africa and the United Kingdom. This followed the recent appointment, earlier this year of High Commissioner Casey.

FAW automotive assembly plant at the Coega SEZ, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FAW automotive assembly plant at the Coega SEZ

“I’m particularly pleased by the number of investors who have taken advantage of this amazing economic zone and made a great success of their investments,” the High Commissioner said.

South Africa is the largest recipient of British Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa, accounting for 30% of the total UK FDI with the value of £13.1 billion.

The UK is viewed as a historical, strategic trade and investment partner for South Africa and therefore remains a key market.

The SEZ currently hosts over 40 operational investors with investment value of R6.9 billion. –[/restrict]


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Tema Container Terminal. Picture: OTAL, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tema Container Terminal. Picture: OTAL

Following the introduction of the paperless transactions at the Port of Tema in Ghana, there are increasing calls for doing away with miscellaneous or service charges on import and export transactions.

Stakeholders say that at present importers have to pay miscellaneous charges because clearing agents say these monies are to cover service charges involving things like photocopies and transportation. With the paperless system these should…[restrict] no longer apply, they say.

Nicolas Osae, the Assistant Secretary for CUBAG pointed out that the paperless system ensures the easing of clearance of goods.
“Miscellaneous is no longer relevant,” he said. “It is not necessary anymore because now the system is based on electronic transmission and not the carrying of papers.”

However, the Ghana Importers and Exporters Association (GUTA) suggests that importers should wait for the paperless system to be perfected before scrapping the miscellaneous charges.

The President of Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders, Kwabena Ofosu Appiah says the miscellaneous charges will soon fade away.
“The trader is also monitoring the flow. When he gets to a point where he sees miscellaneous as a frivolous line item, at that point you as a service provider don’t have too much argument to push it,” he said.

Waive off demurrage

Meanwhile the director of the Port of Tema, Edward Osei, has met with representatives of the shipping lines that call at Tema to ask them to waive off demurrage charges or else extend the period before demurrage becomes applicable.

He made this appeal because of possible delays as a result of the introduction of a paperless system and early challenges arising from this.

The paperless system was introduced at the Port of Tema as from 1 September and has largely gone off well with few problems or delays.

Edward Osei told the shipping lines that Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority had waived all rent charges in the interim.

“You all are aware of the paperless concept which we initiated on the 1st of September,” he told the lines. “We did this with the view that it would make this port more efficient, it will benefit our customers and by our customers, I mean the importers. It would also benefit the shipping lines. Importers have begun complaining and their cries have not only reached GPHA, it has reached the highest level of the government,” he said.

He said the shipping lines would be sending a positive signal to the presidency, importers and the Ghanaian public that they too are interested in the country’s economic welfare and in alleviating the current crisis is they agree to waive their demurrage charges.

Some of the shipping lines have already extended the demurrage-free period to 21 days, while others such as MOL have extended its demurrage-free period from 7 days to 14 days.

Rent charges are raised by the port authority when a container has been left to sit in the port beyond the maximum time of 7 days.

Demurrage is the fee charged by the shipping lines when their containers are retained by the importer beyond the free time which in Ghana is usually 7 days but has been extended to 14 days by some lines and to 21 days by others.

Tema Port’s Monitoring Manager, Nii Nii-Koi Amasa, says that if importers and exporters begin processing of documentations on their goods even before the arrival of the vessel bringing the goods, they can clear within a week of arrival of the cargo and avoid both demurrage and rent charges. source: GPHA and Ghanaweb[/restrict]


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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Canopus Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Canopus Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Canopus Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts

NYK Line’s Ro-Ro car carrier CANOPUS LEADER (51,917-gt) sails from Durban harbour on Friday last week, 29 September. Owned and managed by United Ocean Shipmanagement of Singapore, the Ro-Ro was built in 2009 at the Tsuneishi Shipbuilding shipyard in Fukuyama, Japan. The 180-metre long, 32m wide ship has a maximum capacity of 5,100 motor cars. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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