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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APL Scotland in Table Bay. Picture: Ian Shiffman, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
APL Scotland. Picture: Ian Shiffman

Shimmering in the heat and distance of Table Bay is the 5,500-TEU container ship APL SCOTLAND (67,500-dwt), awaiting entry into the Port of Cape Town. Built in 2001 at the Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy industries Co Ltd in South Korea as hull number 1336, the ship was registered in Singapore with the American President Line (APL), a division of NOL (Neptune Orient Line), which when this picture was taken in November 2016 had recently been merged into a subsidiary of the French operator, CMA CGM. This picture is by Ian Shiffman


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Port of Toamasina, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Toamasina

The Madagascan Government will be the target of a protest at 08h30 this morning (18 October) at the African Ports Evolution conference being held in Durban this week.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and its affiliate the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU), say they are demanding that the Madagascan government immediately take all necessary steps to reinstate 43 dock workers sacked at the ICTSI-operated Port of Toamasina.

“South African unions stand shoulder to shoulder with these Madagascan dock workers,” said SATAWU Provincial Secretary, Edga Mbina Mbina. “The Madagascan Government must ensure that they are reinstated, and that their right to join a union to fight for decent work is recognised and respected. Democratic countries respect workers’ rights – this is not what we are seeing in Madagascar.”

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President, Paddy Crumlin, who is attending the Ports Evolution conference to present the ITF’s latest report – ICTSI’s global expansion: a risky proposition? – on the emerging pattern of labour violations across ICTSI terminals, said that the Madagascan Government’s refusal to enforce a court order recognising the workers’ right to organise – and failure to observe the basic human rights for their own citizens – is damaging Madagascar’s image not only across the region but around the world.

“The ITF stands in solidarity with COSATU and SATAWU with a clear message for the Madagascan government – the Malagasy 43 must go back to work.

He said the Madagascan Government can solve this problem right now by showing real leadership and stopping this exploitation. “The government should enforce its own labour laws and abide by international labour conventions. They must reinstate the Malagasy 43 immediately and allow SYGMMA to organise for all workers at the Port of Toamasina.”

The dispute is over what are known as the Malagasy 43, who were employed by labour-hire company SMMC and then dismissed in 2012 following a legitimate union activity. None of the workers have been reinstated, and the workers’ union SYGMMA has not been recognised by SMMC.

The protest in Durban forms part of global week of lawful actions by ITF affiliates within ICTSI’s global terminals and shipping routes, in a renewed international push against the emerging pattern of labour violations across ICTSI’s global network.

Crumlin said that ICTSI’s Senior Vice President, Christian Gonzalez, had said last week that ICTSI remained committed to the safety and welfare of its equipment operators. It was time the Philippine company backed up statements with actions, the ITF president said.

“In outsourcing work to labour-hire companies, ICTSI believes it can avoid proper scrutiny and criticism for the wages and conditions of casual workers at its terminals. But everyone knows that ICTSI carries the ultimate responsibility for the working conditions of all workers at its terminals.”

“These workers in Madagascar deserve the right to be recognised as the bona fide workforce by ICTSI. All workers employed in stevedoring activities need to be treated as direct employees. It’s time ICTSI stopped taking shortcuts on these workers’ lives, on their families’ lives, Crumlin said.

The ITF says it is attending the Ports Evolution conference to present its latest report – ICTSI’s global expansion: a risky proposition? – on the emerging pattern of labour violations across ICTSI terminals.


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Maputo Container Terminal. Picture: DP World, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maputo Container Terminal. Picture: DP World

DP World Maputo container terminal will have 400 additional reefer plugs by the next citrus season as part of its drive to bring citrus exports back to the port.

DP World says it sees Maputo as the ideal gateway for the export of citrus from the Mpumalanga and Limpopo regions of South Africa, and has committed to providing the infrastructure to support this trade by upgrading its reefer capacity to 600 plugs by April 2018.

“Maputo is the natural geographical port to serve the citrus industry in Mpumalanga and Limpopo,” says Tejas Nataraj, CEO at DP World Maputo. “Our first step was to…[restrict] build the physical capacity to handle citrus by road, rail and in the port.”

Value-added logistics in the port of Maputo

Volumes of cargo moving through the Maputo Intermodal Container Depot (MICD) have started growing following a tailored customer solution approach by MICD. The facility, which is located 1.5 km from the container terminal within the Port of Maputo, is being used for container stuffing and destuffing, as well as short-term storage. Minerals delivered in bulk to the terminal are packed into containers.

A shuttle service then takes the containers to the nearby stack, without leaving the port precinct. MICD complements the services offered by the DP World Container Terminal. It can handle 200,000 tons of mineral products a year in outside storage and loading areas, as well as 200,000 tons of general cargo in an 8,500 square metre covered warehouse. Another advantage of the terminal is that it also operates as a depot for empty containers, which means there is sufficient inventory on hand for the loading of minerals and other cargo.

The terminal has achieved a steady rise in containerised mineral exports via Maputo during 2017 and is seeking to further facilitate this commodity’s exportation. Through its partnership with MICD, who is able to pack 200k MT/year of minerals within the port area, DP World Maputo is perfectly positioned to stimulate the trade route as a superior link to the East.

Maputo on logistics map

Investments in the Maputo port infrastructure and the container terminal have created ‘massive opportunities’ for logistics companies and importers and exporters in the region it serves, says Tejas Nataraj, CEO of DP World Maputo.

“Our strategy is to change the landscape of Southern Africa shipping to the benefit of all,” Nataraj says. “The vision is for Maputo to become the shipping hub for the region, providing shorter logistical connections and lower total supply chain costs.” Following the dredging of the approach channel and basins and the upgrading of the container terminal the next step in the realisation of this vision is the development of a ‘logistics ecosystem’ which includes warehousing, trucking, depots, distribution centres and cold storage as the next step in the process.

“This ecosystem and its development will not only benefit the people of Southern Africa by helping to lower the cost of goods by reducing the total logistical cost, but it will also create thousands of jobs through many affiliated business opportunities. This is greatly important for the economic development of the Southern African region, as the population should not have to bear the cost of inefficiency which is primarily due to a lack of competitive alternatives,” he says.

The terminal has been redesigned and continues to expand, to not only accommodate the immediate market of Mozambique, but to also offer a much-needed alternative for the greater hinterland market of Southern Africa (South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana).

“The investments by DP World Maputo and the Maputo Port Development Company give importers and exporters their first ‘truly competitive’ supply chain options in a long time,” Nataraj says.[/restrict]


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A DOP submersible dredging pump is lowered into a partition of the caisson, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A DOP submersible dredging pump is lowered into a partition of the caisson

Damen Shipyards Group is to hold its first African Dredging Seminar at Damen Shipyards Cape Town.

The seminar on 23 November 2017 will be attended by personnel from Damen and its suppliers as well as representative of the South African Government and TNPA. The seminar is open to all with an interest in the dredging industry.

During the event, a number of presentations will consider the importance of dredging in Africa, looking at…[restrict] a number of past, present and future projects covering both maintenance and capital dredging. There will also be a demonstration of a Damen submersible DOP/dredging Pump 150.

Damen colleagues will deliver presentations covering the equipment provided by Damen Dredging Equipment (DDE) and the Damen Dredging Product Group, the financing arrangements available from Damen Finance and the after-sales care provided by Damen Services.

Damen has delivered a number of products from the DDE range in Africa. Included in this are a number of the renowned DOP submersible dredging pumps.

To date, Damen Cape Town has constructed and delivered 40 vessels to the African continent form its yard in Cape Town, including offshore patrol vessels, dredgers, tugs, naval craft and platform supply vessels, some of which have been built for stock in order to ensure fast delivery. The DSCT Services & Repairs department has provided training, delivery, maintenance & repairs assistance to countries across the globe and especially to African countries seeking to source high quality services from South Africa.

“We are very excited and looking forward to this event,” said Benny Bhali, head of sales at Damen Shipyards Cape Town. “Dredging has enormous potential to open up additional trading opportunities in Africa. This will be a great chance for stakeholders to discuss the opportunities with a range of experts. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the sector to attend this event.”

The Damen Dredging Seminar will be take place on 23rd November at Damen Shipyards Cape Town. For more information or to arrange attendance, please contact Ursula Daschner, or Tel +27 21 447 1714.[/restrict]



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Koeberg nuclear power station, near where the first desalination plant is likely to operate, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIP maritime news
Koeberg nuclear power station, near where the first desalination plant is likely to operate

Plans are underway to ensure that South Africa gains the capacity to desalinate its own seawater.

Speaking at the 38th Expert Group meeting of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) on Monday, acting Director General of the Department of Energy, Tseliso Maqubela, said the City of Cape Town is facing drought and the highest level of water restrictions.

GIF is a co-operative international endeavour which was set up to carry out the research and development needed to establish the feasibility and performance capabilities of the next generation nuclear energy systems.

“The irony is that it is alongside an infinite body of water, which we…[restrict] do not have the technology to harness economically. For us, this is where Generation IV hybrid reactor systems can play a pivotal role, through desalination of seawater,” he told those attending the meeting.

“South Africa cannot wait until then, and we have already implemented solutions to use the Koeberg nuclear reactor to desalinate seawater for its own use, and further plans are underway for increasing this capacity for more general use,” Maqubela said.

For South Africa, the provision of affordable electricity is paramount, he added.

Maqubela said the good work being done by the Experts Group, which is the most critical hub of technical knowledge of the Generation IV International Forum, is an important indicator of whether a particular technology or design will be suitable for a country.

“Although some of the other factors such as reduction of waste and improving the utilisation of fuel are important to us as well, the determining factor for adoption will be the price of energy produced. I use the term ‘price of energy’, as opposed to ‘price of electricity’ because, as you know, some Generation IV reactor technologies are suitable for more than just the production of electricity.”

The acting Director General said he looks forward to more positive developments from the Education and Training Task Force, while also congratulating the success of the group’s webinar programme developed to educate the public on advanced nuclear system.

The Expert Group works at identifying, updating research needs for the Forum and ensuring alignment of those needs with the vision of the Forum, as well as reviewing progress of collaborative projects, among others.

In the early 2000s the group evaluated over 130 reactor design concepts, to arrive at six rector technologies being the most feasible to achieve the eight technology goals to improve sustainability, economics, safety and reliability, and proliferation resistance and physical protection over the current generation of nuclear reactors.

South Africa first hosted the Expert Group Meeting of the Generation IV International Forum in 2010.[/restrict]


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rural crossing in South Africa. Picture: Road Safety
A rural crossing in South Africa. Picture: Road Safety, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has again embarked on a rail safety campaign to sensitise motorists and pedestrians about the dangers of trains and adhering to the necessary safety practices to avoid injuries and deaths.

In the past year there were 52 level crossing incidents. The number of fatalities in the last 5 years country wide was 107. Almost all level crossing accidents are a result of the failure of motorists to stop at the clearly demarcated stop signs at level crossing. Trains take a long time to stop – even when the driver applies brakes, a loaded train can take more than a kilometre to stop.

The campaign focuses primarily on issues such as,…[restrict] the dangers of trains, crossing railway lines on foot, adhering to level crossing signs and is aimed at reducing and eradicating injuries and deaths arising out of train incidents through focussing on changing behaviours and attitudes of the public.

This week (18 and 19 October) TFR is busy conducting a National Level Crossing and Safety Awareness Campaign. This is the start of a roll out of activities leading to the festive season advocating rail safety, says spokesman, Mike Asefovitz. The campaign will be in partnership with some of TFR’s key stakeholders such as, the Rail Safety Regulator, PRASA, The SAPS, Community Forums and DOT (Dept of Transport).

The campaign involves presentations on rail safety issues and the distribution of educational material that informs motorists and pedestrians on a number of rail safety related messages. Senior Executives from TFR will man level crossings at hot spot areas to engage with motorists on the importance of adhering to road safety.

“Transnet Freight Rail would like to appeal to the community to assist in eradicating these tragic and unnecessary incidents by obeying at all times the traffic laws governing rail level crossings,” said Asefovitz.

“People involved in railway level crossing incidents are usually complacent when approaching crossings. The law requires motorists to bring the motor vehicle to a complete standstill at a level crossing. Trains can’t swerve to avoid you and given the weight of a train, the chances of you surviving a crash are poor as air bags will not be able to save you when you are involved in a collision with a train.”

TFR has 30,400km of track on its network throughout South Africa. There are 6,478 level crossings of which 1,663 are public, 4,087 private (farms, informal settlements, factories, etc) and 726 departmental (service roads, etc).[/restrict]


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Felixstowe - UK rail scene, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The latest enhancements to Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe’s rail connections have been given the green light by the Secretary of State for Transport, Hutchison Ports’ Port of Felixstowe has revealed.

The £60.4m scheme, jointly funded by Network Rail and Hutchison Ports, will allow up to 47 freight trains to run per day in each direction between Ipswich and Felixstowe.

Felixstowe is the main shipping hub for the UK.

Commenting on the scheme, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director Hutchison Ports and CEO of the Port of Felixstowe, said:…[restrict] “Rail is an increasingly important differentiator as shipping lines and cargo owners look to remove carbon from their supply chains. The Port of Felixstowe already has the widest choice of rail services in the UK with 33 daily services to 17 different inland destinations.

“This scheme complements the investment we have made in rail capacity at the port and will allow us to offer an even greater range of sustainable distribution option to our customers. Over 100 million HGV miles per year are already saved by using rail freight from Felixstowe and we look forward to that figure increasing significantly in future.”

Freightliner’s UK Managing Director, Adam Cunliffe, said they were delighted that the Port of Felixstowe’s improvement plans have been given the go-ahead which will create much needed additional rail freight capacity at the port. “As well as satisfying growing customer demand, the environmental benefits of moving freight by rail are significant, and we look forward to operating increased services once the enhanced rail connections are complete,” he said.

John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said this was great news, and that GB Railfreight saw it as a huge milestone in the development of a fit for purpose UK intermodal rail freight network. “The Felixstowe Branch Line is part of a key strategic freight route through to the Midlands and Northwest. This new capacity connecting the Port of Felixstowe will result in increased modal shift and radically reduce the impact of road vehicles on our environment and public health,” Smith said.

“DB Cargo UK are pleased that these improvement plans have been given the green light. This much needed additional rail freight capacity will allow for more competition which is good for the Port of Felixstowe and good for all rail freight customers,” said Hans-Georg Werner, CEO at DB Cargo UK.

Network Rail is delivering the project which will enable more goods to be transported by rail, supporting the growth of the UK economy, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. In the coming months, engineers will start clearing vegetation in preparation for building the second track.

“We’re improving the Felixstowe branch line to provide a step change for rail freight in Suffolk and beyond as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan,” said Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s Route Managing Director for Anglia.

“We’re supporting the growth of the UK economy by enabling more goods to be transported on the railway and reducing the number of lorries on the road. The work will also create a safer and more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe.”

The Port of Felixstowe is an important gateway to the UK for ships on the South Africa/Northern Europe & UK services.[/restrict]


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GE Africa CEO Wins Prestigious Princeton in Africa Award

Jay Ireland (right) in the cab of a GE locomotive with SA minister of finance, Malusi Gigaba. Picture: All Africa, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jay Ireland (right) in the cab of a GE locomotive with SA minister of finance, Malusi Gigaba.. Picture: All Africa

Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering year-long fellowship opportunities with a variety of organisations that work across the African continent

NEW YORK, United States of America – Jay Ireland, CEO & President of GE Africa ( ) was one of two to receive a Princeton in Africa award at the program’s annual gala awards which was held on Monday in New York.

Founded in 1999, Princeton in Africa develops young leaders committed to Africa’s advancement by offering year-long fellowship opportunities with a variety of organizations that work across the African continent.

Since the program’s launch in 1999, they have had 545 Fellows in 36 countries. This year, 48 recent college graduates (from 31 colleges and universities) are working with 31 organizations in 13 African countries.

Speaking at the event, Jay Ireland said “GE is committed to investing and expanding its business in Africa. Despite the recent economic challenges, we firmly believe in a bright future for the continent and see ourselves as partners in Africa’s sustainable development”.

Ireland’s journey started six years ago, when he relocated to Nairobi, Kenya to lead GE’s efforts in Africa. GE had been on the continent for over 100 years. However, the company wanted to get a broader GE focus on the infrastructure issues and subsequent opportunities in developing markets. So, in 2011, the company set up an African headquarters in Kenya and started adding people across Sub-Saharan Africa.

GE banner, appearing inAfrica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Today, GE’s footprint consists of over 3,200 employees, revenues of about US$3.9 billion dollars (2016) and operations in 33 countries across Africa.

GE Africa’s corporate social responsibility platform, Kujenga, launched in 2014 aims to empower people by building valuable skills, equip communities with new tools and technology and elevate innovative ideas that are helping solve Africa’s challenges. One of the company’s Kujenga initiatives, the GE Lagos Garage advanced manufacturing skills program, has enabled over 100 prototypes to be developed at the hub and over 20 innovative ideas transformed into actual business models in Nigeria.

Princeton in Africa matches talented and passionate college graduates with organisations working across Africa for year-long service placements. The program is open to graduating seniors and young alumni from any college or university accredited in the U.S. The program’s Fellows have helped improve education and public health, source fresh water and alternative energy, increase family incomes, and so much more.

APS – GE is an important supplier of locomotives and locomotive engines to South Africa, Angola and other African countries. The company is also important in the development and supply of energy requirements.


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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

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Naval News

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Bulktec arriving in Durban, September 2017.  Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bulktec. Picture: Keith Betts

A smart looking bulk carrier to end today’s edition of Africa PORTS & SHIPS. This is the BULKTEC (33,345-dwt), which visited Durban in September this year. Built in 2009 and owned by Bulktec Maritime, a Chinese company from Shanghai and managed out of that great port city by Shanghai Anrita Shipping, Bulktec was built by Taizhou Maple Leaf Shipbuilding in Linhai, China and is flagged in Hong Kong. This picture is by Keith Betts



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