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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MTM Yangon. Picture: Trevor Jones, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MTM Yangon.        Picture: Trevor Jones

The 46,818-dwt handysized oil and chemical products tanker MTM YANGON (IMO 9250165) is seen here departing from Durban earlier in June. The tanker has a length of 183 metres and a beam of 32m and was built in 2013 Owned by MTM Yangon Pte Ltd and managed by that company’s MTM Ship Management all of Singapore, the tanker was built in Ulsan South Korea by Hyundai Mipo. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Cape Town Container Terminal - not always as idyllic a scene as this, weather-wise Picture: TNPA. Featured with report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cape Town Container Terminal – not always as idyllic a scene as this, weather-wise Picture: TNPA

Cape Town Container Terminal operations have been forced to play catch-up after severe Cape-style weather conditions impacted on terminal operations for the period from Saturday 23 to Tuesday 26 June last week.

For several days despite there being container ships at anchor in Table Bay, the container berths remained empty. Later ships were admitted but little or no work took place in discharging or loading containers.

According Cape Town Container Business Manager, Pamela Yoyo, work on handling the ships or their cargo was curtailed owing to the severe weather being experienced.

“For the safety of staff, the vessels and customers’ cargo, TPT and TNPA communicated with relevant parties regarding work stoppages until the severe weather conditions had subsided,” she said in a statement to Africa PORTS & SHIPS.

“A business continuity plan has been implemented to mitigate the impact of the time lost due to the severe weather conditions. TPT and TNPA are grateful for their customers’ continued support and are committed to providing safe, reliable and efficient service to all customers.”

The severe weather conditions included strong winds and heavy swells.


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Yacht CV24 grounded on the Cape Peninsula, Picture: MAIB illustration: Crown Copyright 2018 ©, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: MAIB illustration: Crown Copyright 2018 ©

Cape Peninsula, South Africa. 31 October 2017 – (UK) Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) report: what happened, safety lessons learned and recommendations made.


On the first night of the Cape Town to Fremantle leg of the 2017 – 2018 Clipper round the world race, the UK-registered and commercially operated yacht CV24 ran aground on Cape Peninsula, South Africa.

CV24 could not be freed and was abandoned with all the crew rescued safely.

CV24 had been sailing south and downwind with…[restrict] a spinnaker hoisted, intending to pass clear of land and into the Southern Ocean.

During this coastal passage, there was a significant shift in the wind direction which resulted in the yacht being turned towards the shore in order to prevent an unwanted gybe. The skipper realised that a planned gybe would be necessary to head back towards the open sea; however, this turn came too late to avoid running aground.

Seven of the eleven other yachts in the race also headed inshore and, in similar circumstances to CV24, CV31 almost certainly grounded but did not stop and was able to continue the race.

Safety lessons

The MAIB investigation found that CV24 was not safely manned or operated as the skipper was the only qualified, professional seafarer on board, and there was no dedicated navigator with responsibility for passage planning and execution.

It was found that there was not an effective plan for CV24’s coastal passage
along the Cape Peninsula and, when unexpectedly close inshore, the skipper became distracted from navigation by the requirement to supervise the crew on deck. It was also difficult for the crew to monitor the yacht’s position when on deck.

Company risk assessments, operational procedures and taking opportunities to learn from previous groundings could all have provided a higher level of safety management on board Clipper Ventures’ yacht fleet, particularly when operating in remote and often harsh environments.


Safety recommendations have been made to the (UK) Maritime and Coastguard Agency (No 2018/116) and Clipper Ventures plc (No 2018/117 and No 2017/118) intended to improve the standards of safety management and conduct of navigation in the Clipper yacht fleet.

The full report by the MAIB (No 12/2018), published on 27 June 2018 is to be found CLICK HERE.

The Annexe Clipper Race Instructions – Cape Town to Fremantle is available CLICK HERE.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Lake Victoria train ferry MV Umoja. Picture: Wikipedia, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MV Umoja.       Picture: Wikipedia

After a gap of about 12 years the Tanzanian train ferry MV UMOJA has returned to service on the Port Bell to Mwanza route on Lake Victoria, linking Uganda via Port Bell with Dar es Salaam.

The service was discontinued in 2006 when the Kenya and Uganda metre-gauge railways were privatised and taken over by Rift Valley Railway. The Port Bell section was neglected and fell into disuse.

The railway to Port Bell which is now operated by Uganda Railways Corporation once again has recently been returned to service, making possible the resumption of the lake ferry services.


Lake ferry UMOJA featured on a 30c East African stamp, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MV Umoja will reopen the service between Port Bell and Mwanza, which is…[restrict] on the southern reaches of Lake Victoria in Tanzania and which is connected by rail to Tabora and ultimately with the port at Dar es Salaam. The new standard gauge railway (SGR) presently under construction from Dar es Salaam will also reach Mwanza.

The operation from Port Bell, which is the port for Kampala, and Dar es Salaam incorporates the use of lake, road and rail travel. As a train ferry RoRo wagons are able to be loaded directly onto Umoja and rolled off at Mwanza for onward travel by road and rail.

It is claimed that the lake and rail service will cut the transit time by several days as well as being considerably less expensive.

The 1600-gt MV Umoja is 92 metres in length with a beam of 16.5 metres. Originally owned by the East Africa Railways & Harbours Corporation she was built in 1965 by Yarrow Shipbuilders in Scotland in 1965 as hull number 2242. In 1977 she was transferred to Tanzania’s Marine Services Company Limited who continue to operate her. Umoja is a sister ferry to UHURU and is homeported at Mwanza.

Lake services are gradually returning to use and popularity on Lake Victoria as the idea of using rail transport also returns to favour, thanks to the introduction of the standard gauge railway. The railway corridor from Uganda to Dar es Salaam became neglected on the short northern leg between Kampala and Port Bell when the northern route from Kampala to Mombasa was privatised under Rift Valley Railway, there being no advantage for RVR with the short branch to Port Bell which was in any case in competition with Rift Valley Railway Mombasa operations.

The loading quay at Port Bell with MV Kaawa and another vessel alongside. This was prior to Port Bell being rehabilitated. Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The loading quay at Port Bell with MV Kaawa and another vessel alongside. This was prior to Port Bell being rehabilitated

Now with the advent of the SGR and a re-emphasis on rail transport, attention has also turned to bringing some of the equally neglected lake transport service back into vogue.

The corridor carries freight to and from five countries in the region – Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC and Tanzania.

Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) lake ferry KAAWA will shortly be returning to service on the lake, the Uganda authority says.[/restrict]

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Type 054A PLAN ship YANCHENG. Picture Zhu Linlin/China Military, appearing in frica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Type 054A PLAN ship YANCHENG. Picture Zhu Linlin/China Military

Three naval ships of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) (or Chinese Navy for simplicity sake), have made a four-day courtesy visit to the South African Naval Base at Simon’s Town.

The three ships comprising the 28th Escort Task group (ETG546) is made up of the Type 054As frigates YANCHENG and WEIFANG and the Type 903A replenishment support ship TAIHU (AOR889).

The Task Force was arriving from West Africa where among other visits the group called at Ghana’s Tema port also for a four-day visit. Several other ports were also visited.

Prior to that the ships performed escort and patrol duties in the Gulf of Aden where they commenced their deployment in December 2017. With their departure their replacement, the 29th Escort Task Force has taken up the duty of escort patrols of Chinese and other nations’ ships sailing in the troubled waters of the Gulf of Aden. The Chinese ships have performed several escorts of World Food Programme ships.

The continuous presence of Chinese naval forces present off the North-Western coast of Africa is evidence of China asserting herself militarily as well as politically and economically across a wider canvas by utilising her naval ships to visit ports in Africa as well as elsewhere in the Indian Ocean.

China has rapidly evolved from a brown water navy to a true blue water navy in a short few years. As recently as 2011, China experienced difficulty in evacuating Chinese nationals from Libya when the civil war there broke out. It said that the heavy loss of Chinese investment during the Libyan civil war acted as a warning to China.

With the availability of increasing numbers of modern naval ships such as the type 054A, four years later in 2015 China was able to more confidently perform another evacuation of Chinese nationals from Yemen.

According to one Chinese source the presence of a Chinese fleet in an area of interest acts as a deterrent to the destabilising factors in the region and will make those involved more fearful of hurting China’s interests.

In addition, Africa is regarded as an important strategic area for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a region with the fastest growth of China’s foreign investment and trade as well as a market where China holds great expectation. “The Chinese Navy’s visits to the countries in the region and its presence will not only promote the friendly relations with these countries, but also demonstrate China’s strength and capacity to safeguard national interests.”

While in West Africa waters the Group took part in a naval exercise involving ships of the Nigerian Navy, France, Portugal, Cameroon, Togo, Senegal, Ghana and China.

Other countries visited during the round Africa cruise from the Gulf of Aden were Valencia, Tunisia, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Cameroon, Angola, Namibia and South Africa.

The Group will now return to China with a stopover at Sri Lanka a possibility although this has not been confirmed.

Earlier, the 28th Escort Task Force handed over to its replacement, the 29th Escort Task Force which has taken up the duty of escorting Chinese and other nations’ ships sailing in the troubled waters of the Gulf of Aden and North-East African coast.

The 29th Chinese naval escort taskforce consists of the frigates BINZHOU and XUZHOU and the replenishment ship QIANDAOHU of the Donghai Fleet. The three warships set sail on 4 April from their homeport in Zhoushan.


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Robben Island, with Table Mountain and Cape Town in background, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Robben Island, with Table Mountain and Cape Town in background

The South African Competition Commission says in a statement that it welcomes the confirmation, as an order by the Competition Tribunal, of the consent agreement with three vessel owners who ferry passengers between the Robben Island Museum and the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Thembekile Maritime Services (Pty) Ltd (Thembekile), Silverbuckle Trade 21 CC t/a Yacoob Yatch (Silverbuckle), and Nauticat Charters (Pty) Ltd (Nauticat Charters) admitted to charges of…[restrict] price fixing and collusive tendering.

The companies agreed to assist the investigation and the following administrative penalties have been imposed:

Thembekile – R350,000.00
Silverbuckle – R249,171.72
Nauticat Charters – R422,087.87

In May 2017, five boat companies, which include Ferry Charters (Pty) Ltd (Ferry Charters) and Tigger 2 Charters (Pty) Ltd (Tigger 2 Charters), were referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on charges of price fixing and collusive tendering.

This was after the Commission received a complaint from the Robben Island Museum against the five vessels owners who provide chartering services to the Museum’s clients from the V&A Waterfront to Robben Island and vice versa.

The subsequent investigation found that around 22 September 2015, the respondents met at the Cape Town Fish Market Coffee Shop where they discussed and agreed to increase the prices they would charge when responding to a tender that would be issued by the Museum. The tender was for bidders to be listed on the Museum’s database as preferred service providers for a 12 month period.

The Commission’s investigation also found that subsequent to the agreement reached at the coffee shop meeting:

* Thembekile and Nauticat Charters increased their prices to R18,000 per trip for 140 passengers. Ferry Charters did not alter their prices as it was already charging R18,000 per trip for 140 passengers and this resulted in all three quoting the same price of R18,000 for per trip for 140 passengers; and

* Silverbuckle and Tigger 2 Charters also increased their prices as agreed during the coffee shop meeting, but not to the same extent as that of the other respondents as their vessels are smaller.

The statement states that this conduct constitutes price fixing and collusive tendering in contravention of the Competition Act. In respect of the remaining respondents, the Commission is seeking a similar order declaring that the two respondents contravened the Competition Act and that they are liable to pay an administrative penalty equal to 10% of their annual turnover.

“Robben Island is an iconic site that represents the saddest and richest history of this country dating back centuries. The museum deserves to be treated with great pride and respect as it symbolises the peak of courage and triumph of human spirit. The actions of these vessel owners exhibited distain for this country’s history and utter disrespect for the people. Those who show neither remorse nor shame must be considered for criminal prosecution,” said Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele.[/restrict]


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P&O Cruises' Oriana, featured i Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture by Antonio/Wikipedia
Oriana. Picture by Antonio/Wikipedia

P&O Cruises’ has announced that it is dispensing with one of its most well-known ships, ORIANA.

“Oriana is an original, and a much loved P&O Cruises ship. Whilst we will miss her, her departure will allow us to focus on our remaining mid-sized and larger ships as the fleet expands with IONA and her sister ship in 2020 and 2022 respectively,” said P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Paul Ludlow.

P&O Cruises intends sending…[restrict] the by then 24-year old, 69,000-gt, 1,928-passenger Oriana on her way in August 2019. Apart from newbuilds under construction that will leave P&O Cruises to operate with Arcadia, Aurora, Oceana, Britannia, Azura and Ventura in the fleet.

The cruise line also announced that Aurora will undergo a refit next Northern Hemisphere spring, following which the ship will appear as an exclusively adults-only ship.

“With the introduction of Iona in 2020, followed by a similar ship two years later, it is also imperative that we continue to elevate the standards of the rest of the fleet,” said Ludlow.

P&O Cruises will be announcing the final sailing of Oriana in the near future.[/restrict]


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Norsafe S1200, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Launching at Seawork International 3-5 July 2018

Norsafe has carried out extensive research and development in the last few years to develop a new range of robust and safe boats for the military and professional market.

Using the experience gained from the closed cabin 1200 and S1200 in the Munin range, an open version is now ready for sea trials and will be launched at Seawork International on 3-5 July in Southampton.

It is reported that the latest boat has already been tested by Norsafe’s engineers together with user groups representing the coast guard, maritime police, customs and special forces. Overall, feedback has been very positive, say Norsafe.

Norsafe S1200 as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to literature published the first open S1200 comes with a…[restrict] triple Mercury Verado 400 outboard installation and the same platform can be delivered with sterndrives, surface drives or a waterjet installation.

With the rigid bulwarks and D-fender configuration, the available deck space boasts an impressive flexibility and space for various on-deck operations. All main components can be reconfigured to user specific needs with the console positioned aft, amidships or for’ard, it is understood. Mission specific equipment placed on deck is safely secured to cargo rails.

Ergonomics and safety in extreme conditions have been key factors in the design and development of the console and dashboard arrangement. All main controls and switches are within direct reach of the pilot position.

The console has been designed with large flat surfaces making it easy to install additional mission specific equipment and the large dashboard can be delivered with a two- or a three-crew layout, depending on user needs and specifications.

From the for’ard deck, a robust lockable door opens up to a large cabin with standing headroom, making servicing and maintenance easy while providing protection from the outside elements.

The Munin S1200 open comes with two different bimini* solutions. A large bimini with a full height windscreen offers a protected cockpit, yet with open access to the surroundings of the boat. This offers a robust and large flexible mounting platform for sensors and equipment.

The second option comes with a short windscreen and a short bimini only covering the area above the dashboard. The short bimini works as a mounting platform for navigational equipment. It folds forward to reduce transportation height.

The boat is designed to ensure that crew and passengers feel comfortable in all sea conditions with ergonomically designed helm and either shock absorbing seats or high-end saddle seats with laminated foam core covering for maximum comfort. All can be customized to client specifications. The rigid construction reduces and avoids excessive noise and slamming.

Norsfae S1200, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

According to Norsafe’s literature when moving around the Munin S1200 open there are grab-rails, robust anti-skid surfaces in step zones and ample work lights available when needed. Furthermore, the main deck is flush and without steps, making it safer and easier to move around at night.

Large open scuppers on both sides of the stern makes the cockpit effectively self-draining with large storage spaces below deck.

Technical data of the Munin S1200 open

Length oa: 12,03 m
Beam max: 3,53 m
Height max: 3,97 m
Capacity: 12 persons (per EC Recreational Craft Directive)
Light displacement: 5,100 kg (per EC Recreational Craft Directive)
Max load: 2,500 kg
Max displacement: 7,600 kg
Hull/deck material: Vacuum infused glass reinforced Vinylester

The Munin S1200 open will be available for testing at Seawork 2018; seestands PB73 and VA30.

*per © “… A lightweight cover, usually made of fabric stretched on a metal frame which is readily removable, for the cockpit or deck of a speedboat or sailboat…”[/restrict]

Paul Ridgway


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Nusrat Ghani, appearing in report featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture courtesy: ©

UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Nusrat Ghani, the Shipping Minister* who is responsible for maritime matters including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will tour the Seawork** exhibition held in Southampton to meet key exhibitors in the week ahead.

She will also visit the Trinity House Vessel Alert, the largest vessel to be exhibited on water at Seawork International.

Importance of the maritime sector

The Minister will then make a speech focusing on the importance of the maritime sector, seafarer training and Maritime 2050***, a long-term strategy for the future of the UK maritime industries.

As the engine of British trade, the maritime sector supports nearly a million jobs, contributes tens of billions of pounds to the UK’s GDP and drives exports as well as inward investment. Half a trillion pounds worth of goods passes through UK ports each year, it is reported.

Nusrat Ghani is the first Muslim woman to speak from the House of Commons despatch box, the first female Muslim minister for the Department for Transport and only the second woman to hold the DfT’s portfolio for the UK’s £40bn maritime sector. During her speech she will also make a key announcement about a new initiative in the marine industry.

The ceremony is open to all exhibitors and visitors to the exhibition and will take place at 10h00 on the first day of Seawork (3 July).

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

* The Minister’s portfolio includes:

• Accessibility across all transport modes
• Buses and taxis
• High speed rail (HS2)
• Maritime
• Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)
• Maritime security

• Skills and apprenticeships
• The Year of Engineering.

** Seawork Exhibition

The 21st in a series of Seawork International Commercial Marine & Workboat Exhibition and Conference will be held from 3-5 July 2018 in Mayflower Park, Southampton, UK. See

Seawork International is regarded as the industry’s focal point providing buyers, legislators and influencers from around the globe with direct access to the commercial marine and workboat market, its equipment and services, its innovations and its people.

Accustomed to a regular mid-June slot, Seawork’s move from June to July for 2018 was driven by a combination of spring tides on the previously favoured dates, and a busy calendar of events for the commercial marine industry sector.

*** For further information see Maritime 2050 Call for Evidence

The consultation period on this call for evidence began on 27 March 2018 and closed on 16 May.


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COSCO Asa, featured with article about COSCO appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

With the approval of the Chinese anti-trust authorities now granted, COSCO can now proceed with the merger with OOCL, which will bring the new combined container ship fleet to around 400 ships and an…[restrict] annual container capacity in excess of 2.7 million TEUs.

According to data by shipping analyst Alphaliner, this will take COSCO ahead of the French company CMA CGM to rank at number three.

While these exercises are interesting and entertaining, what really matters is that over 60% of global trade now resides in the hands (or should that be holds) of the top six ocean carriers, which is unlikely to be regarded as healthy for the industry.</restrict]


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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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Dongwon Industries fishig vessel ADRIA sailing from Durban June 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Photo by Sheree Cronwright

Dongwon Industries fishig vessel ADRIA sailing from Durban June 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Photo by Sheree Cronwright
Adria.        Pictures:  Sheree Cronwright

The fishing vessel ADRIA (IMO 8919489) heads out to sea after calling at Durban during June. The South Korean flagged vessel, 2227-gt, has a length of 80 metres and a width of 14m and was built in 1991. The vessel is owned and managed by Dongwon Industries of Seoul, South Korea, a company claiming to be the largest fishing company in the world. These pictures are by Sheree Cronwright



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