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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Santa Rosa in Cape Town harbour, June 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS marititme news. Picture: Ian Shiffman
Santa Rosa.       Picture: Ian Shiffman

Hamburg Süd’s SANTA ROSA (IMO 9430363) in Cape Town harbour earlier in June. With a length of 300 metres and a beam of 43 metres the 93,398-dwt ship has a relatively small container capacity of 7090 TEU, particularly for ship built as recently as 2011. Santa Rosa is a product of the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd shipyard in South Korea as their hull number 4077. This picture is by Ian Shiffman.


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Preston Khomo has been appointed as Executive Manager: Ship Repair, to manage and administer Transnet National Ports Authority’s ship repair resources nationally, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Preston Khomo has been appointed as Executive Manager: Ship Repair, to manage and administer Transnet National Ports Authority’s ship repair resources nationally

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has appointed Preston Khomo, previously Richards Bay Port Manager, as Executive Manager: Ship Repair, to manage and administer the organisation’s ship repair resources nationally.

This is not Khomo’s first exposure to ship repair, having previously managed the ship repair and Island View precincts at the Port of Durban.

That was before his elevation as port manager at Richards Bay.

Khomo is replaced at Richards Bay by Thamsanqa (Thami) Sithole. Both appointments are effective 1 July.

Khomo joined TNPA in 2004 as Head of Infrastructure Development: Port Operations and Consulting at Portcon (the then international arm of Transnet) and also served as Senior Manager: Real Estate Manager with a portfolio that included the management of the Island View Precinct and Ship Repair for the Port of Durban. In 2012, he was appointed as Richards Bay Port Manager.

In his new role he will be responsible for the strategic development of ship repair infrastructure, creating mechanisms for fair and equitable access to infrastructure as well as the provision of adequate and efficient services. Ship Repair facilities are located at the Ports of Durban, East London and Cape Town, where there are dry docks, and at Port Elizabeth and Mossel Bay where there are slipways.

Ship Repair has been under the spotlight since 2014 when government announced its Operation Phakisa strategy to unlock the potential of the oceans economy. Numerous infrastructure upgrades have been rolled out by TNPA at its facilities, which are in various stages of completion. Khomo will manage the implementation of the current capital programmes in all ship repair facilities.

TNPA says in a statement that in the short term the focus will be on developing a comprehensive ship repair strategy and tactical plans, and on improving the functionality and efficiency of TNPA’s ship repair business. Khomo will be responsible for assessing market trends and planning capacity to meet demand, as well as ensuring TNPA realises optimal value from its ship repair commercial property portfolio, while meeting its obligations in terms of the National Ports Act.

Khomo began his career at Transnet as Terminal Manager for Transnet Port Terminals in 2002. Prior to that he was Municipal Manager for the Municipality of Phalaborwa, following 18 years’ as a geologist, educator and education manager in the mining industry.

A BSc Hons graduate of the University of Fort Hare, he holds an MSc from Huntsville, Alabama, a Diploma in Human Resources Management from Rand Afrikaans University and an MBA from De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. He has also completed a number of marine-related and executive leadership courses, including the Executive Development Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

Thami Sithole succeeds Preston Khomo as Port Manager at the Port of Richards Bay on 1 July, and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Thami Sithole succeeds Preston Khomo as Port Manager at the Port of Richards Bay on 1 July

Sithole joins TNPA from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), where he was Senior Manager EPMO – Financial Analyst, Monitoring and Reporting (Capex) for the past seven years. Among his responsibilities were managing the Capex budget, prioritising Capex projects and engaging with regional operations managers on projects to support rail operations.

He is no stranger to TNPA having worked as Programme Manager in the Infrastructure and Engineering Department at the Port of Durban from 2007 to 2011, where he was involved with the delivery of multi-disciplinary infrastructure projects in line with Transnet’s capital infrastructure plan. These included the infrastructure planning and development strategy for the Island View Precinct, as well as representing TNPA on national strategic projects such as the New Multi Product Pipeline Project (NMPP).

Prior to joining Transnet he was Programme Manager – Zululand District, Department of Health.

A BSc Graduate from MEDUNSA, Sithole holds an MBA from the Midrand Graduate Institute, a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Thames University, London, and a Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation of Health Programmes, from the University of Pretoria Continuing Education. He recently completed a Project Management Professional Diploma from PM IDEEAS.


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Mercedes-Benz plant at East London (white roof), with large new investment from parent company, as featured in story in Africa PORTS & SHIPSmaritime news
Mercedes-Benz plant on East London’s West Bank (white roof)

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the cash injection by Mercedes-Benz in South Africa is proof of its confidence in the economy.

“The decision by Mercedes-Benz to further increase its investment in South Africa is a firm statement of confidence in the country and its economy.

“It is a statement about the skills that are available in South Africa and those that can be developed,” said the President.

On Tuesday (26 June), Mercedes-Benz unveiled its R10 billion investment into its Eastern Cape plant.

The investment will see…


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map showing the Richards Bay coal lines and connections, featured in a report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Plans are at an advanced stage for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) to embark on the annual shutdown of the coal export line which is which is scheduled to take place as from 2 July till 11 July 2018.

The shutdown is an annual exercise carried out around this time to ensure that the company (a) tackles its maintenance backlog, (b) replaces old, obsolete and problematic infrastructure as…

Richards Bay heavy haul coal train, featured in news report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Richards Bay heavy haul coal train


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Port of Walvis Bay, featured in report carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Walvis Bay

Further evidence that the Port of Walvis Bay is being increasingly utilised by SADC landlocked countries comes with consignments of building materials to be used in the construction of the Kafulafuta Water Treatment Plant in Ndola, Zambia.

Comprising 3336 tons of equipment, the shipment arrived recently by ship at Walvis Bay and has been assembled for the onward journey along the road transport corridor to Zambia.

Zambia is making frequent use of the Port of Walvis Bay for its commercial activities that are conducted via the sea.

This relationship between the two countries is nothing new and is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding which both governments signed in 2007 to establish the Zambian Dry Port at the Port of Walvis Bay. The presence of dry ports at Walvis Bay is opening up the regional body’s trade opportunities with the world.

A dry port is a piece of land given to a landlocked country by a country with a harbour which enables the landlocked country to be directly connected by road or rail to a seaport and operating as a centre for the transhipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.


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Bisey Uirab CEO of Namport and Chairperson of NSIF speaking at the handover ceremony, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bisey Uirab CEO of Namport and Chairperson of NSIF speaking at the handover ceremony

The Namibian Ports Authority continues to leave noteworthy footprints in the Namibian society through its Social Investment Fund.

In its most recent action the fund donated one movable structure valued at N$86,000 (R86,000) to the Outjo Municipality. The structure will be used as a dual facility for an office for NAMPOL and as a separate office for the Ministry of Health.

Speaking at the handover CEO of Namport and Chairperson of NSIF Mr Bisey Uirab said that Namport remains committed to assisting the Namibian community were possible.

He said that “as an entity we have adopted the notion of being present, it is in this spirit that moving forward we will support the renovations of the Frans Frederick School in Fransfontein to the value of N$300,000 as well as procurement of ICT equipment for the Cornelius Goreseb High School valued at N$36,000 in the Kunene region.”

NSIF also donated N$300,000 towards two more…


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TPT engages with Gauteng stakeholders, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) recently hosted a customer engagement session in Sandton with key stakeholders from the Gauteng region.

The aim of the session on 22 June was to create open dialogue between TPT’s management team and the automotive sector and to effectively unpack a strategic direction to achieve high level plans for the current year. The opportunity was also taken to…


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Jan Mayen class coast guard vessel Picture: VARD/LMG Marin
Jan Mayen class coast guard vessel Picture: VARD/LMG Marin

Vard Holdings Limited, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels, has secured a new contract for the construction of three Jan Mayen class coast guard vessels for the Norwegian Defence Materiel Agency (NDMA).

The value of the contract exceeds NOK 5 billion.

The Norwegian Government had originally announced plans for the construction of three new coast guard vessels in September 2016. Following review of offers from three competing yards, Vard Langsten was selected to continue negotiations in October 2017. The investments were …


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Port of Hambantota, Sri Lanka, now concessioned to China Merchants for 99 years, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Hambantota

China has made another payment, this time of US$584 million, which is half of the US$1.12 billion pricetag agreed in a 2016 deal that will see Sri Lanka’s deep water port of Hambantota being transferred to China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) operation for the next 99 years.

Comparisons have been made with the 99-year lease for Hong Kong that Britain negotiated with China in the 19th Century.

The contract entered into with the Sri Lankan government has drawn criticism from opposition leaders who see it as an erosion of the country’s sovereignty.

For Sri Lanka’s near neighbour, India, the matter is equally serious in that it provides China with a commercial foothold in the Indian Ocean for the next hundred years, and even though part of the agreement is reported to say that China may not use the port for military purposes, Indian fears will continue to linger.

The original agreement was for CM Port to have an 80% stake in the port bu following intense protests the deal was renegotiated down to 70% with the balance of 30% being retained by the state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Sr Lanka tried to run the port and terminal itself but incurred huge debts instead.

China sees Hambantota as an integral part of its marine ‘One Belt One Road’ project of recreating the famed Silk Road between China and Europe, Middle East and Africa.

China Merchants Port Holdings is a partly state-owned public company headquartered in Hong Kong.


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Transforms ocean freight rate negotiations

Xeneta banner, as appeared in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Xeneta, the leading ocean freight rate benchmarking and market intelligence platform, is launching a product that aims to transform the way shippers, freight forwarders and carriers conduct freight rate negotiations.

The Oslo headquartered firm has created a new offering, Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI™) that allows all parties to set rates at transparent, efficient and fair prices that directly follow market fluctuations. This ensures all stakeholders get the right price for their products and services, relationships are improved and complex, time-consuming negotiations become efficient.

“After several years working closely with cargo buyers and sellers, the one thing that is a clear pain point for many organizations is the inefficiency and opacity of contract negotiations,” explains Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund.

“Freight rates are dynamic and prone to rapid change, so a shipper traditionally negotiating what they consider to be a fair rate for a long-term ocean freight contract can find that, three months later, they’re paying far in excess or below the actual market rates. This has the very real potential to make their products uncompetitive in the marketplace or risk supply chain disruptions.

“Similarly for carriers, when the market is low or high, they risk shippers taking their business somewhere else or not living up to their contracts as these are not enforceable. The current situation is not ideal for buyer or seller and neither one has the upper hand.”

XSI™ is a global ocean freight index with its foundations in Xeneta’s neutral database of over 65 million contracted rates, covering over 160,000 port-to-port pairings, which is crowd-sourced from more than 700 leading international businesses, including power shippers such as Electrolux, Nestle, Unilever, ThyssenKrupp, Tata Steel and Continental. It provides an unparalleled real-time overview of the very latest ocean freight rates. The new index allows stakeholders in the negotiating chain to tie rates to the market relieving them from frequent or periodic contract negotiations.

“XSI™ allows independent, verified and up-to–the-minute rates to be tracked over major shipping routes covering 57 corridors representing 95% of global intercontinental volumes, such as Asia-Europe, Europe-Asia, trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic,” Berglund explains. “If all parties looking to sign a contract agree to use the index they can secure competitive rates over the long-term, building trust and reliable relationships with one another. What’s more they can save on all the resources, guess work and hassle associated with negotiating.

“We built Xeneta with the vision of making the shadowy world of rate fluctuations transparent. Our benchmarking and market intelligence subscription products enable the market to see what is possible with readily available freight data to optimize procurement. XSI™ goes one step further and gives forward-thinking freight procurement and supply chain professionals the power to take the next natural step and relieve their teams from negotiation cycles and instead focus on driving value and optimization throughout the entire supply chain. This means they’re not just benchmarking rates and running RFQs, but actually getting the real-time value that, until now, has remained elusive for many organizations.”

Xeneta banner featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Xeneta has several customers already running on the XSI™. Ekornes ASA, one of the largest luxury furniture manufacturers, has used the XSI™ in partnership with global logistics leader DB Schenker. Owner of the Stressless brand of reclining armchairs and sofas, Ekornes ships furniture worldwide from its bases in Europe. Both companies signed up to the XSI whereby a monthly rate is created based on the latest freight data and an invoice generated on the last day of the month. It is, says Stian Østrem, Executive Project Manager, Ekornes, simple, efficient and fair.

“The elimination of the tenders saves us internal resources costs and provides us with the possibility to allocate more full-time resources on supply chain optimization projects,” he comments. “We are able to improve our lead times and generate significant financial savings, compared to any short-lived procurement success through tender negotiations we had in the past.

“Xeneta, with its detailed market data and index solution, allowed us to establish a trustful relationship with our freight forwarder and focus on quality and delivery, which is the key value for our customers.”

XSI™ is available now. Xeneta, which launched in 2012, offers the world’s largest database of contracted ocean rates. The information is crowd sourced from some of the world’s leading shipping companies who input their real time rates to create a powerful benchmarking and analytics platform.


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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.



Red Sakura sailing from Durban mid June 2016, picture by Keith Betts, appeared in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Red Sakura leaving Durban in mid June, photographed y Keith Betts, and appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Red Sakura.       Pictures: Keith Betts

The bulk carrier RED SAKURA (IMO 9781968) makes her departure from the Port of Durban in mid June, considerably light ship. With a length of 200 metres and a width of 32m the 60,245-dwt vessel is every bit the average bulk carrier on which so much of world trade is carried. Red Sakura is owned and managed by Kumiai Navigation Pte Ltd of Singapore, where the ship is also registered. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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