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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Wine Trader at Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wine Trader. Picture: Trevor Jones

Bearing a slightly unusual name for a chemical tanker, the 6,259-dwt WINE TRADER (IMO 8808707) enters Durban harbour on 4 March. The tanker is 118 metres in length and 17m wide and is owned and managed by Waterfalls Co Ltd in Malta. Wine Trader was built at the De Hoop Scheepswerf in Heusden, Netherlands in 1989. After departing from Durban the vessel headed for Cape Town and from there is scheduled for Europe. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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overview of Durban container terminals from the south, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

2018 has seen a productive start for Transnet with the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) boasting positive records and milestones in the areas of landside, water and rail, says Transnet Port Terminals (TPT).

With figures like 292,000 TEUs handled in February, a 57% improvement in shift change, an increase to 75.5 ship working hours (swh) and records of 4000 trucks handled in one day compared to the previous average of 2500 – all make for compelling evidence that the combined efforts to improve operational performance by TPT, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) are working.

According to Julani Dube, TPT’s GM Operations: KZN Containers (pictured), collaboration between the Transnet operating divisions and key stakeholders has been integral to DCT’s success and record volumes month.

“Thanks to the united efforts and innovative ideas on tackling issues like decongestion of the Bayhead area and the implementation of new systems and structures to improve operations across landside, water and rail – it appears that most of the major frustrations voiced by our stakeholders in 2016 and 2017 are finally behind us. There is still room for improvement but February’s performance at DCT is indicative that if we continue on this path – we can reach our target of being among the top five terminal operators in five years,” stated Julani Dube.

2016 was a low point for Africa’s biggest and busiest container terminal with DCT being plagued by many operational issues and allegations of bribery. Since then, it’s been all hands on deck with ongoing consultations by TPT’s GM and other Transnet management teams with key industry players to identify and implement better workable solutions to address the challenges faced.

“There have been a number of initiatives and projects implemented over the past two years which started with formulating the first-ever landslide planning department within TPT at the start of 2017. The Bayhead Decongestion Forum established in early 2017 also proved crucial to monitoring and identifying solutions to tackle decongestion and ultimately truck turnaround times with the likes of all main industry stakeholders, local depots, transport companies, deliveries and truck owners, TPT, TNPA and Durban Metro being involved.

Transnet Port Terminals' GM Operations, Julani Dube, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Julani Dube

“That’s where ideas about revising the DCT truck staging area came into play that has since helped mitigate any opportunity for bribery, as well as implementing a horizontal truck release system to further improve staging times. The new straddle carriers introduced towards the end of 2017 have proven to be instrumental in DCT’s landside operations with the improved number of truck moves in one hour increasing to 200 in one hour and February recorded a first-ever milestone of over 4000 trucks handled in one day. The optional truck booking system has also assisted with raising efficiencies and easing the pressure of high traffic at peak periods,” Dube said.

TNPA Durban Port Manager, Moshe Motlohi further added that the work done by Transnet to improve the overall operations at DCT had not gone unnoticed by the industry.

“The truckers association has acknowledged that they have witnessed a 66% – 68% improvement,” he said. “There are no more queues in Bayhead Road. However, we are mindful that we still have some ground to cover. We bought 23 straddle carriers and have since focused our attention on the truck booking system and planning refinement. This is where the leveraging of our technology has come in handy.”

Working closely over the past few months with one of DCT’s biggest customers, Maersk Shipping Lines, TPT and TNPA were able to pilot and implement nine different projects at DCT Pier 2 with the intention of improving vessel turnaround times. Dube confirmed that most of the nine projects had been deployed and the success of these initiatives had led to some exciting results with the further intention of rolling out these same solutions and learnings to be applied at DCT Pier 1 and even other TPT terminals across the country.

“The strategies identified with Maersk have helped us tremendously to improve our vessel turnaround times, especially since the setbacks faced at DCT due to the severe storm weather late last year. Since then we have been able to refocus our energy on implementing the nine major projects in partnership with Maersk with the result being that some of their latest vessels to have departed from DCT recorded ship working hours of up to 75.5,” Dube said.

DCT Pier 2 North Quay, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
DCT Pier 2 North Quay

On the rail front TPT and TFR teams have worked tirelessly to improve turnaround times so increased volumes can be achieved through the execution of dual cycling discharge as well as the introduction and deployment of new haulers to DCT Pier 1 that has allowed an intense refurbishment programme on existing haulers to commence.

“DCT has the capacity to deliver any volume to be executed without fail. Our new approach to dual cycling discharge and stacking has changed the business model and significantly improved turnaround times. Aligned with the road to rail Transnet strategy, we are very focused on enhancing our performance on this front and the latest progress made at DCT demonstrates our commitment to this,” Dube said.

He pointed out that this achievement and the various milestones demonstrated by DCT in February showcases the benefits of the Transnet Value Chain Co-coordinator (TVCC) and highlights integration efforts by TPT, TNPA and TFR. He claimed it also demonstrated the vast local capabilities that can be achieved when Transnet works in partnership with key stakeholders and how this approach creates a positive impact on improving the agility, efficiency and reliability of their services for customers.

According to Transnet the Durban Container Terminal ranks among the top in the world and pioneered a world class rail dual cycle operation on the container planning system Navis. The terminal has a combined capacity of 3.6 million TEU per annum, which will increase to 4 million TEU after the berth extension.

Currently the only terminal in Africa with tandem lift cranes with a carrying capacity of 80 tons at a time, DCT can handle new generation vessels with 24 containers stowed across the deck.


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fire on Maersk Honam, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

In an update yesterday afternoon (Monday 12 March) Maersk Line announced that the remains of three of the four missing seafarers on board the fire-ravaged container ship MAERSK HONAM have been recovered from the ship.

“At this point in time our three colleagues are unidentified,” Maersk said in a statement.

The statement said that given the time passed and the severity of the fire damage it must be concluded that…


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Port of Doraleh Container Terminal, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Doraleh Container Terminal

Djibouti said yesterday that following the termination of the concession with DP World for the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) it reaffirmed its strategic intention of preserving and developing container terminal activities at the port.

The Société de Gestion du Terminal à Conteneurs de Doraleh (SGTD), an entity created to take over the activities of Doraleh Container Terminal, is a public company whose sole shareholder is the State of Djibouti. “Its primary purpose is to defend the sovereign interests of the nation. SGTD will also be in charge of promoting the terminal’s activities with a world-class standard of service,” the statement said.

The government said that DCT intends to become the…


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

An agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is envisaged to offer opportunities to create large economies of scale has been reached, said South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and his Deputy Bulelani Magwanishe attended the recent African Union Ministers of Trade (AMOT) two-day meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, that concluded on Friday.

The AfCFTA, which also offers an opportunity to create a bigger market and to improve the prospects of the African continent’s ability to attract investment, was among the key issues discussed by Ministers at the meeting.

“The African Ministers of Trade considered and…



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OCEA FPB 72 patrol boats, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
OCEA FPB 72 patrol boats

The Nigerian Navy will shortly receive new patrol boats supplied by the French shipyard OCEA, according to Nigerian sources.

The craft are FPB 110s which are aluminium-hulled fast patrol boats (FPB) which were ordered early last year.

The FPB 110 was designed…


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Railway map of Tanzania, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Railway map of Tanzania

Tanzania and Rwanda have apparently agreed that the standard gauge railway to be built linking the port of Dar es Salaam with Rwanda and to other points in Tanzania will be electrified rather than diesel-operated.

This follows a feasibility study undertaken by the respective railway organisations of both countries.

What has impressed the team deliberating on this matter is the greater speeds of the electrified trains which will dramatically shorten the time it will take between Dar es Salaam and Kigali.

“The previous study which was done provided that a cargo train would move at a speed of 80km/hr and the passenger train move at 120km/hr. During that study we wanted to use diesel locomotives, but after examining this more carefully we realised that we can reduce on the time it will take for cargo and passengers to be on the train. Under the proposed electric locomotive, passenger trains will travel at a speed of 160km/hr while cargo trains will move at a speed of 120km/hr,” said Prof Makame M Mbarawa, Tanzania’s Minister for Works, Transport and Communication.

Commencement of the section between Isaka and Kigali remains set at October this year. Construction of the first phase of the railway, 205km from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is already underway under the joint venture of Turkey’s construction company Yapi Merkezi Insaat ve Sanayi AS and Portugal’s Mota-Engil. Phase 2 from Morogoro to Dodoma, a distance of 336km, is also set to commence. Other phases between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza on Lake Victoria are Dodoma to Tabora (294km), Tabora to Isaka (133km) and Isaka to Mwanza (254km).

The total distance between Dar es Salaam and Kigali is 1,320km. The line is being designed to handle 17 million tons per annum.

The cost of building the standard gauge railway from the port of Dar es Salaam to Kigali is expected to be close to US$2.5 billion, with Tanzania being responsible for $1.3 billion with Rwanda expected to spend $1.2 billion.


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CMV's new ship - needs a name, festured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMV’s new ship – needs a name

British cruise company CMV has used the opening of ITB Berlin Travel Show and Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale, to announce the acquisition of its latest ship, PACIFIC EDEN, from P&O Cruises Australia.

Pacific Eden’s new name will be announced on Tuesday 20th March and the vessel will join CMV’s expanding fleet with delivery in Singapore in early April 2019 followed by a short docking period to include livery change, re-brand and some preparatory works before she positions westbound to Northern Europe via the Suez on her inaugural voyage.

Continuing the explorer theme, four distinguished explorers have been shortlisted for the ship’s new name and the travel trade and Columbus Club Members will be invited to cast their vote.

The shortlist includes…


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The jackup Keloa will be installed with Cathelco's MGPS system, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The jackup Keloa will be installed with Cathelco’s MGPS system

Cathelco is supplying marine growth prevention systems (MGPS) for four jackup barges owned by Gulf Marine Services, the largest operator of self-propelled, self-elevating support vessels in the world.

The systems will protect the barges against blockages in pipework caused by the growth of barnacles and mussels which can impair the efficiency of engine cooling systems and ancillary equipment.

The systems will be installed over the coming months when the Kikuyu, Kawawa, Kudeta and Keloa return to the GMS yard in Abu Dhabi for scheduled maintenance work.

The order was obtained by Cathelco Middle East who is based in Sharjah and provides sales and technical support throughout the region.

“Bio-fouling organisms grow rapidly in warm, shallow waters and therefore Cathelco MGPS are widely used on jackups to prevent the problems caused by blockages in pipework,” said Stevenson Verghese, managing director of Cathelco Middle East.

Cathelco will be supplying two types of MGPS systems for each of the vessels, one to provide protection when they are in transit with their hulls floating on the water and the other for when the platforms are in the elevated position.

The seachest installations, protecting the vessel in transit, will consist of two pairs of copper and aluminium anodes connected to a control panel, whilst in the elevated position copper anodes will be used protect the submersible pumps.

In operation, the copper anode produces ions which flow through the pipework and create an environment where mussel and barnacle larvae do not settle or grow. At the same time, the aluminium ions produce an anti-corrosive layer on the internal surfaces of pipes.

The concentrations of copper are extremely small, but effective in preventing blockages caused by bio-fouling. As a result, the system is environmentally benign and does not harm the wider marine habitat.

Cathelco are the largest manufacturers of MGPS equipment in the world with a record of over 50,000 installations during a period of more than 60 years. Their systems are used on offshore platforms and jackup rigs in locations from the Middle East to the Russian Arctic as well as numerous types of commercial ships including offshore supply vessels.


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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.



Fellowship in Durban, by Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Fellowship in Durban harbour, by Keith betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


Fellowship. Pictures Trevor Jones (top), Keith Betts (middle and lower), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Fellowship. Pictures Trevor Jones (top), Keith Betts (middle and lower)

A small vessel that attracted quite a bit of attention during her most recent call at Durban was this former beam trawler now named FELLOWSHIP (IMO 7907831), which has been set up as a standby guard vessel. Thanks to James Pottinger we know her building history – she was built in 1980 at Urk in the Netherlands by the firm of Metz BV Scheepswerf – her name then being Hermina – and was assigned her PD number 156 which can clearly be seen on the hull. Her current managers/owners are shown as Osprey Trawlers Ltd of Aberdeen – although Mr Pottinger adds that there is a lot of controversy about these “apparent” UK owners. What is more certain is the Fellowship is 40 metres in length with a 9m beam and has a gross tonnage of 383-gt. She is currently registered in the port of Avatiu, Cook Islands. Fellowship is no stranger to South African waters having been seen in the ports of Cape Town and Durban for several years and in fact appears to be based here when not on contract/charter. The pictures above are by Trevor Jones (uppermost) and Keith Betts (two lower pics). Note the denuded Millennium Tower overlooking the port, minus her revolving cowl which was severely damaged in Durban’s big storm of 19 October 2017. Surely Transnet won’t leave the building in that state?



“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
– Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”



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