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

*** In respect for the International DAY OF THE SEAFARER all today’s stories and reports remain open to all readers for today ***


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MSC Savannah. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Savannah.       Picture: Trevor Jones

The former Hanjin Seattle, now sailing for Mediterranean Shipping Company as MSC SAVANNAH (IMO 9461477), is seen arriving in Durban on Friday, 22 June 2018. The 102,518-dwt ship has a length of 335.6 metres with a beam of 42.8m and a capacity of 8,580 TEU. She was built in 2011 at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co Ltd shipyard in South Korea as their hull number S403. Following the break-up of Hanjin line the ship was acquired by another South Korean company, SM Line Corporation and placed on charter with MSC. This picture of the ship entering the Durban entrance channel is by Trevor Jones

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IMO Day of the Seafarer banner appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Yesterday the focus of the maritime sector internationally was rightfully on seafarers, with the occasion being marked in South Africa by three simultaneous events held in the port cities of Durban, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

Sponsored by the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and Department of Transport (DoT) the events focused on the role the seafarer plays in the economy of nations and the plight they often find themselves in while having to adjust to different environments and circumstances.

With SAMSA’s emphasis in recent years on creating opportunities for young South Africans to come forward and take their place among the nations of seafarers, the events also focused on the challenges and opportunities each young person faces in a career at sea, including gender disparity and racism experiences.

South Africa is in the midst of transforming its own seafaring experience, with a strong emphasis on identifying job opportunities for young people, particularly those who previously were not exposed to international shipping as a career path, and among measures taken has been the establishment of the former Antarctic supply vessel SA Agulhas as a training ship which for many recruits provides a first opportunity of going to sea, prior to completing their studies further and seeking more sea-time in international shipping.

Among the issues highlighted at yesterday’s functions was the adjustment each cadet has to make with a career lacking in much support base, as well as the benefits the SAMSA- initiated programme is bringing.

The Day of the Seafarer has been observed internationally for about eight years and serves to highlight the continuing importance that each seafarer brings to the industry, its opportunities and its challenges. It also serves to remind others of the role and importance of seafaring to international economies – none more so than in South Africa where up to 95% of its international trade is carried at sea and that, as the DoT remind us, “….almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport…. about 20 million containers are traveling across the oceans every day.”

In addition, adds the DoT, the International maritime Organization (IMO) has asserted that the years 2017 and 2018 have seen strong momentum in the industry to address seafarer’s well-being, particularly their mental health.

“South Africa, as a member of IMO has traditionally supported and participated in the Seafarers Day celebration. The Department of Transport wants to create a platform to engage with seafarers in order to better understand the challenges they are facing and together to develop responses to the identified challenges. The purpose of participation is to create awareness about the role of seafarers and to inculcate the seafaring culture and excellence in South Africa.

“The IMO encourages governments, shipping organizations, companies, ship owners and all other parties concerned to duly and appropriately promote the Day of the Seafarer and take action to celebrate it meaningfully.”

While the celebration of the ‘Day of the Seafarer’ was well supported by cadets and former cadets, new seafarers who in many cases are now sitting at home awaiting opportunities of practising their skills in their chosen careers, what was notably lacking, in Durban at least, were representatives of the wider shipping sector industry, including the absence of the SA Navy.

Whether these were invited or were overlooked highlights one of the issues facing South Africa – that its needs and requirements for transformation and growth are inclusive of all segments of the sector.

One of the issues raised internationally by the IMO and as a discussion point at the local events was the adjustment that young people entering the industry have to face especially when in need of counselling and support, which is naturally lacking on most ships. This same adjustment is faced equally by seafarers even with years of experience on board ships – seafaring can be a lonely affair.

Support however is available at many of the ports that ships visit by way from the respective seafarer missions and organisations, yet this important element was also notably missing from the event held in Durban – a port where arguably the largest seafarer’s organisation support base already exists.

This leaves the feeling that not everybody is on the same page with regards to events such as international Days of the Seafarer. The work that SAMSA and the DoT are doing is to be applauded and respected, but future events organised need to ensure that a much wider cross section of the maritime industry becomes involved in marking this important occasion.

SAMSA has made available a video series entitled ‘In Conversation with Seafarers – In celebration of Seafarers’ Day 2018’, comprising 10 seafarers (five female and five male including three international) who share their joys as well as frustrations that they experience in the profession, yet with most stating that seafaring is remains their first love and so it shall remain for a while yet.

To view these interviews (averaging 15 minutes each) CLICK HERE

See related article OSM launches mental health campaign…. further below


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The South African International Maritime Institute celebrated the International Day of the Seafarer on Monday with the official launch of its new national headquarters in Port Elizabeth. Here chief executive officer Prof Malek Pourzanjani (left) and director of operations Soraya Artman prepare to welcome dignitaries to the event with a sea cadet guard of honour. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: Supplied
The South African International Maritime Institute celebrated the International Day of the Seafarer on Monday with the official launch of its new national headquarters in Port Elizabeth. Here chief executive officer Prof Malek Pourzanjani (left) and director of operations Soraya Artman prepare to welcome dignitaries to the event with a sea cadet guard of honour. Picture: Supplied

The South African International Maritime Institute (SAIMI) marked the International Day of the Seafarer by officially opening its new national headquarters in Nelson Mandela Bay yesterday (Port Elizabeth, 25 June).

The institute, which is based on the Ocean Sciences Campus of Nelson Mandela University in Summerstrand, operates under a government mandate to assist in growing the “blue economy” by facilitating maritime skills development through relationships between industry stakeholders and education and training institutions countrywide.

Dignitaries at the opening were guided through SAIMI’s role in the city and the global maritime sector, which includes everything from aquaculture and fisheries to coastal and marine tourism, shipping and off-shore oil and gas exploration.

“We are thrilled to be operating from our first permanent ‘home port’,” said SAIMI chief executive officer Professor Malek Pourzanjani. “But this is just the beginning for us, with our eventual aim being to have a presence in all South Africa’s coastal cities.

“In fact, there is already a satellite office at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town, with a Durban branch in the pipeline.

“This planned expansion will position us well to ensure that we continue to play a vital role in South Africa’s oceans economy.”

The Institute also aims to strengthen maritime education and research through facilitating co-ordination and co-operation among education providers, a role which is enhanced by now being based at the Ocean Sciences Campus.

Delivering an address on behalf of NMU vice-chancellor Professor Sibongile Muthwa, SAIMI advisory board member Dr Oswald Franks – who is also dean of the faculty of engineering, built environment and information technology – said the opening of the national head office represented significant a milestone in the development of SAIMI, which launched in 2014.

“It also represents a significant commitment to the national agenda of growing the oceans economy,” said Franks.

“Nelson Mandela University’s Ocean Sciences Campus is an excellent environment for SAIMI to discharge its national mandate.”

Franks acknowledged the founding partners of SAIMI – the South African Maritime Safety Authority, the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Skills Fund and NMU – and welcomed new key partner the Transport Education and Training Authority.

He said a strong advisory board, comprising leaders in the maritime sector – across government, business and the education sector, helped to provide strategic direction and support networks for SAIMI.

Dispensing with the usual handing out of corporate gifts at the opening of the new offices, SAIMI opted instead to show its community spirit and reiterate its support for the sector by making a donation to the local chapter of the Mission to Seafarers, which aids seafarers in distress.

“This is an extremely worthy global organisation,” said Pourzanjani. “On our behalf, seafarers face many dangers, including piracy, which may mean that their ship does not safely reach port.

“The Mission, through its Angels of Mercy centres in cities such as Port Elizabeth, Durban and Cape Town, helps seafarers to stay in touch with their families while on these long, sometimes dangerous, trips and also ensures the safety and well-being of seafarers who face abandonment and homesickness.

“What better way to mark International Seafarers Day than through this gesture? It perfectly fits SAIMI’s vision of national, regional and international interaction and could become a legacy project which we would support annually.”


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ASEA Kenya service, June 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ASEA Kenya service, June 2018

Shipping Group CMA CGM has announced an enhancement of its service spectrum in East Africa with what it says is a significant improvement of its shipping service connecting Asia to Kenya and neighbouring countries.

Taking effect from 5 July 2018, the ASEA Kenya service will offer a direct link from China to Mombasa and vice versa

Kenya will now be reached on a direct basis from Shanghai in 23 days, Ningbo in 22 days and Shekou in 19 days.

Reefer cargo from Ningbo and Shekou will benefit by an improved transit time of 7 days.

This is with what CMA CGM calls an excellent service on land to Kenya domestic destinations and cross border to Uganda and Rwanda.

Exports from Kenya will now have a very competitive and direct service to China, with a transit time to Shanghai of 21 days.

The ASEA Kenya port rotation is now: Shanghai – Ningbo – Shekou – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Port Kelang – Colombo – Mombasa – Colombo – Port Kelang – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Shanghai.


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The whale carcass at the Hout Bay slipway, from a report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The whale carcass at the Hout Bay slipway

It was an unusual and somewhat unexpected call to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 26 at Hout Bay in the Cape yesterday (Monday) with the duty crews at NSRI Hout Bay and at Kommetjie being activated following eye-witness reports of a large whale carcass spotted floating 200 metres off-shore of Kommetjie.

On investigation NSRI Kommetjie determined that it was likely that the whale carcass would wash ashore at any moment at Kommetjie in the vicinity of the Kommetjie boat slip-way.

The City of Cape Town (CoCT) Marine Animal Stranding Network was activated but as a precautionary measure NSRI Hout Bay launched the deep sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer anticipating to reach the scene quickly to attach a towline to hold the whale carcass from washing ashore until a CoCT Marine Unit could get to the scene.

The NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft Il Battello was also launched from NSRI Kommetjie to assist with manoeuverability around the carcass while a towline was attached.

Once the NSRI Hout Bay deep sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer arrived on the scene a towline was rigged to the 12 metre Humpback whale carcass which was then towed further out to sea successfully preventing it from washing ashore.

A CoCT Marine Unit arrived on the scene in their 5.5 metre rigid inflatable boat which was not sufficient to tow the whale carcass, which was estimated to be in excess of 36 tons. The NSRI Hout Bay deep sea rescue craft then continued to tow the whale carcass into Hout Bay harbour where the CoCT cleansing department was able to recover the dead animal for disposal.

According to Bruce Bodmer, NSRI Hout Bay duty coxswain at the helm of NSRI’s Nadine Gordimer, the whale carcass was towed into Hout Bay at a rate of about 3 knots, arriving early afternoon.


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Alpha Transporter, making her first call at Micimboa da Praia this week. Story featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS. Picture: LBH
Alpha Transporter. Picture: LBH

The Port of Mocimboa da Praia in northern Mozambique, strategic to the emerging oil and gas industry in that part of the country, received its first vessel earlier this month.

The development of Mocimboa da Praia is an initiative of a strategic partnership between Alpha Choice Lda, LBH Mozambique Lda and Subtech Lda, who selected to use the picturesque coastal town sometimes described in the literature as a port though lacking in any basic infrastructure, though it has been used by dhow traffic over many centuries.


Grove 980 mobile crane featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Grove 980 mobile crane

On 13 June the 57-metre long, 1057-dwt landing craft type vessel ALPHA TRANSPORTER (IMO 9563031) built in 2010, arrived in Mocimboa da Praia with a Grove 980 mobile crane on board to discharge for the handling of the first cargoes of cement that were due yesterday (25 June) for transportation to the gas project area at Afungi, Palma, some 80kms from the port.

The cement and other equipment part of the ongoing development of the port in terms of improving its handling capacity for the operations that will be seen over the coming months and years as the Afungi gas project develops in Palma.

This is the first project carried out after the development of ALS Alliance (described in our linked earlier article on 8 November 2017), a strategic smart partnership between the three companies.


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OSM Group banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The OSM Maritime Group has chosen The Day of the Seafarer (15 June) to launch a global campaign aimed at safeguarding and improving the mental health of its 11,000 crewmembers.

The year long initiative, dubbed ‘How Healthy is Your Mind: An OSM Seafarers’ Guide to Positive Mental Health’, will be pushed out across the 500 plus vessels managed by the business, addressing an increasingly pressing, but often overlooked, industry issue.

According to a recent report carried out by Sailors’ Society and Yale University, some 26% of seafarers have regular feelings of being “down, depressed or hopeless”, while studies by the Seafarers’ International Research Centre (SIRC) suggest that some key conditions for good mental health at sea (such as sleep quality/fatigue) appear to be in decline.

Global issue

“This is a global issue and should be a matter of utmost concern for our industry,” states OSM CEO Geir Sekkesaeter. “Being on-board vessels for long periods of time, separated from family and friends, is difficult enough, and if conditions aren’t optimal then seafarers can be acutely vulnerable to mental health challenges. That’s easy to understand, but can be difficult for the individuals concerned to talk about. As such there’s a tendency to ‘sweep these things under the carpet’ and that only exacerbates the problem.

“Here at OSM we want to raise awareness and tackle the issue head on – for our crew, but also for our business and global customers. If our people are happy and healthy they can carry out their duties more effectively. This leads to efficient, safe and optimal operations and performance. And that’s good for everyone.”

Improving standards

The campaign forms an element of OSM’s commitment to the UN Global Compact (UNGC) initiative, aiming to further incorporate it into operations to achieve the highest standards for the four key UNGC areas of Human Rights, Labour, Environmental Protection, and Anti-Corruption. OSM has selected a number of UN Sustainable Development Goals to focus on in its drive for improvement, with the mental health push falling under ‘goal three’, Good Health and Well-Being.

Key messages and information will now be rolled out across multiple channels, including social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) the My OSM app, circulars, on-board posters in communal areas (e.g. mess rooms), the OnBoard magazine, and digital learning tools. Masters will ‘own’ the initiative on vessels, pushing it out to crew, discussing its impact in Shipboard Safety Meetings and encouraging reports of incidents and actions. Areas that will be highlighted include fatigue, being away from home, stress, bullying and sexual harassment, amongst others.

Fighting the stigma

“We want to remove the stigma attached to discussing issues that impact upon mental health and address any areas where we could improve our performance,” concludes Sekkesaeter. “We actively encourage all crew members to get involved, as well as our diverse range of customers and the industry as a whole. Together we can help effect a change, fostering an environment where safeguarding mental health is always on the shipping radar.”

A thorough assessment of the impact of How Healthy is Your Mind: An OSM Seafarers’ Guide to Positive Mental Health will be conducted, with feedback garnered through engagement surveys, the IRIS management system and cloud based learning tools.

OSM submitted its first UNGC report earlier this year and is already underway with numerous worldwide initiatives, including work to highlight opportunities for female seafarers (who remain under-represented in maritime) and a feasibility study to re-launch the Mozambican Higher School of Nautical Sciences.

OSM provides a comprehensive range of bespoke solutions for its customer base – ranging from complete ship management and all-inclusive arrangements to individual value-added services, such as crewing, procurement, accounting and insurance.

OSM’s UNGC report is available by CLICKING HERE

View explanatory video about the OSM Maritime Group


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why the bollard failed, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
why the bollard failed

At the end of May the United States Coast Guard (USCG) issued Marine Safety Alert No 06-18 with the warning: ‘Don’t Let Your Vessel Get Underway Unexpectedly!

This safety document drew attention to bollard failures at marine facilities.

Recently, there have been a number of shore side marine bollard failures whereby moored vessels were cast adrift. In some cases this resulted in damage to the involved vessel as well as other nearby vessels and shore side structures.

Thankfully, there were no related injuries or deaths.

The alert can be read CLICK HERE

Of course the recommendation that facility owners routinely inspect bollards and so forth is sound sense and could well be hoisted in wherever ships and ports meet.

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Cyber attacks, Image: Silicon UK, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Image: Silicon UK

Most ship cyber security breaches are consequent of human error but can easily be avoided by implementing cutting edge technology and policies to prevent crews from inadvertently infecting shipboard systems.

That was one of the key take-aways from a major maritime cyber conference held in London recently and at which delegates were informed of the potentially catastrophic consequences when Operational Technologies are hacked.

“The problem is that when crew or operators use USB sticks to upload system files or log on using their own mobile phones, laptops and tablets or open an infected email, they can potentially upload a malware virus or worse,” Naval Dome CEO Itai Sela told delegates attending the European Maritime Cyber Risk Management summit.

As 150 million emails are sent globally every minute by more than 4 billion Internet users, it is safe to assume that some of these will be infected and opened by unsuspecting crew members.

“The biggest issue is the internal attack and the human element is definitely part of the problem. Crew training alone is not a solution,” said Sela. “Also, when a technician boards a vessel and connects a laptop or equipment directly to the ECDIS or RADAR to fix or service these systems, can they verify their own systems are secure and have not been infected?”

But there is also an external threat, warned Sela. “Since headquarter and vessel operations go hand-in-hand, it is important to know that when a shipping company’s offices have been hacked it means the company’s vessels are also compromised.”

It emerged at the summit that many systems onboard are still based on old operating systems, such as Windows XP, Windows 7, or Linux – systems designed and manufactured without consideration of the cyber threat.

That many of these systems remain unprotected with critical PC-based IT and OT systems frequently using the same Internet connection was a significant concern raised by Lloyd’s Register’s Elisa Cassi, Product Manager, Cyber Security.

“Industrial control systems may still run on separate networks, but true physical isolation is becoming the exception rather than the norm. Even with no direct connection, malware can bridge air-gapped networks by exploiting human activity and operator error.”

Templar Executive’s Director MCERT Chris Gibson said that 47% of ship’s crews have been targeted, with IT and OT systems “very vulnerable to attack.”

“The Maritime sector is a keystone of a modern, digitised world, but remains vulnerable to cyber attack.”

Acknowledging the introduction of legislation and guidelines designed to help safeguard the industry from cyber intrusion, such as the Europe’s General Data Protection Rules, TSMA3 and IMO’s MSC.428(98), which will be in included in the ISM Code, he said there remains a number of maritime industry challenges. He intimated that its fragmented, cost-conscious and competitive nature can make the maritime industry an attractive target for hackers.

Gibson, Sela, Cassi and others speaking at the event all urged the industry to assess their response capabilities. Cassi said: “The earlier the detection point in the chain, the greater the chance that the ship operations center will be able to identify malicious activity, contain it and prevent it from spreading laterally.”

It was also suggested that the industry should implement an anonymous cyber-attack reporting scheme and consider establishing a Maritime Charter of Trust to establish industry-wide protocols for dealing with the threat.

Naval Dome is an Israel-based cyber security specialist providing security detection and protection solutions to the international maritime industry. The award-winning Naval Dome solution is the first maritime multi layer cyber defence solution for mission critical onboard systems.


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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

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BW Yangtze. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

BW Yangtze. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
BW Yangtze. Pictures: Keith Betts

The oil and chemical products tanker BW YANGTZE (IMO 9393096) was a recent caller at the Port of Durban to take bunkers and, it is thought, to take on security personnel. She is one of several Singapore-flagged ‘BW’ tankers to have called in the past 12 months, all very distinctive with their light green livery. The 76,579-dwt BW Yangtze is 229 metres in length and 32m wide and was built in 2009 at the Dalian Shipbuilding Group shipyards in Dalian, China. The tanker is owned and managed by BW Tankers of Singapore. Pictures: Keith Betts



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