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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British Chief. Picture: Alan Calvert, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
British Chief.        Picture: Alan Calvert

The oil & chemical products tanker BRITISH CHIEF (IMO 9724726) is seen at the oil berths in Lyttelton, New Zealand this week. Built in 2017 the 45,999-dwt tanker is 183 metres in length and 32m wide. Flagged in the UK (Douglas, Isle of Man) she is part of the BP tanker fleet the tanker was built at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co shipyard in South Korea. This picture is by Alan Calvert


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Leaders meeting at the Kigali forum to sign initial agreement, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Leaders meeting at the Kigali forum to sign initial AfCFTA agreement

South Africa has signed the African Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement with the African Union, which will pave the way for the country to benefit from inter-regional trade within the African continent.

“This agreement is an important step towards South Africa’s participation in a market of over one billion people and will create opportunities and many benefits for South Africa, which would enable South African companies to export goods and services across the continent,” said President Ramaphosa.

“It will contribute to the growth and diversification of our economy and therefore create jobs, as well as reduce inequality and unemployment.”

The President signed the agreement during the AU Summit that took place from 1 – 2 July 2018 in the Republic of Mauritania under the theme ‘Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’.”

“South Africa remains committed to a coordinated strategy to boost intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated market in Africa that will see a market of over one billion people and approximately $3.3 trillion in GDP.

“New markets in West Africa and North Africa will provide opportunities for the export of South African products. To date, the agreement has been ratified by six countries, namely Chad, eSwatini (Swaziland), Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Niger,” said the President.

The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to:

* Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments;
* Accelerate the establishment of the Customs Union;
* Expand intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalisation and facilitation and instruments across the RECs and across Africa in general and
* Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.

President Ramaphosa said that in order to take full advantage of this agreement, investment in infrastructure that connects countries must be made.

“There are many other areas of cooperation where we can foster integration, particularly at a regional level, such as tourism, energy and transport. This agreement offers the prospect of a new dawn for Africa,” said the President.

The agreement will soon be submitted to Parliament as part of the process towards its ratification. –


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Durban’s Bayhead Road, main thoroughfare to the container terminals and Island View, with Ambrose Park on the right. Picture by Steve McCurrach, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Durban’s Bayhead Road, main thoroughfare to the container terminals and Island View, with Ambrose Park on the right. Picture by Steve McCurrach

The Revolutionary Transport Union of South Africa (RETUSA) said yesterday that it is calling for an indefinite strike action to take place next week on Wednesday 11 July.

Whilst it is one of the smallest trade unions, with approximately 4,500 members, the last time RETUSA led a strike action in April this year it was successful in disrupting operations at several of the Transnet Port Terminals in Durban. On that occasion it targeted Bayhead Road which is the main thoroughfare to and from the Durban Container Terminal as well as the vast Island View oil and chemical products complex.

“We call on all workers to join in this campaign of mass action to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with Transnet’s response to our demands,” said the union general secretary, Joseph Dube.

He said Transnet has had ample time for dialogue and to meet with RETUSA’s demands but the company continues to treat workers’ rights with total disregard.

“We have no choice but to exercise our might and right to demonstrate our grievance by downing tools.”

RETUSA was responsible for work disruptions in April this year at the Durban port (see our report AVOID DURBAN’S BAYHEAD ROAD AND AMBROSE PARK TODAY BECAUSE OF STRIKE ACTION.

RETUSA claims that Transnet pays attention only to the larger unions. It says that its members have been victimised and harassed even for minor infractions. The union also appears to have targeted the road freight industry, which among other things, it says are “mostly of the Indian demographic” and who disregard the “laws of the country regarding work permits as per the employment services Act.”

According to RETUSA the strike action will continue until agreement is reached with their demands.


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New buoys awaiting installation in the Maputo port access channel, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
New buoys awaiting installation in the Maputo port access channel.

Mozambique’s National Institute for Hydrography and Navigation of Mozambique (INAHINA), which is responsible for ensuring navigational safety on national port access channels, is spending US$3.5 million on a “substantial intervention” in navigational aids at the port of Maputo, according to macauhub.

Quoting the Portuguese language daily newspaper Noticias, the report says that the introduction of…[restrict]equipment to improve the ‘signage’ at the port is intended to bring a greater dynamism to the port of Maputo.

As a result of various investments aimed at improving the port’s performance, Port Maputo has experienced a considerable increase in traffic, not only in terms of freight volumes but also the number and the size of ships.

One of these improvements involved the recent dredging of the access channel to enable much bigger ships to call. As recently as 5 June a ship carrying more than 100,000 tons of cargo sailed from the port of Maputo to China, marking a new era in the port’s services after dredging work was completed in 2017, creating the conditions to receive and safely handle large ships.

The latest investment has been the purchase of the navigational aids, comprising 41 floating buoys, together with a monitoring system, as well as communication equipment for use with visiting shipping, and certain technological facilities for detection and rapid response troubleshooting capabilities.

The buoys will be installed covering the entire port access channel, comprising the northern channels, namely Xefina, Polana, Catembe and the Matola Channel, and is aimed at making access to the port fast and secure while improving Maputo’s competitiveness in the region. source: Noticias & macauhub[/restrict]


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EU NAVFOR report appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news

The crews of the Italian FREMM frigate ITS CARLO MARGOTTINI (592) and Spain’s patrol ship ESPS METEORO maintain watch 24 hours a day ready to respond to piracy incidents off the Horn of Africa; there hasn’t been one minute where EU NAVFOR sailors have not been on duty over the last nine years of the operation, reports EU NAVFOR.

Watchkeeping, vigilance and preparedness are vital qualities which all warship bridge crew are required to have in order to perform at the highest level of counter-piracy.

Being at the centre of…[restrict] a multifaceted, multinational response to piracy requires clear communication, clear decision making and clear actions at anytime of the day or night.

The vessels are supported round the clock by the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) Watch-keepers who link directly to the maritime industry vessels transiting the area.

Any activity classed as suspicious or threatening is made widely known to all registered ships and vessels who immediately implement heightened security measures to avoid capture.

24/7 watch-keeping generated swift and effective action in November 2017. Six suspected Somali pirates were detained after attacking a merchant vessel. They were transferred to the Seychelles where, if convicted of piracy, they could be placed in prison for up to 30 years.

EU NAVFOR says that it is committed by its mandate to deter, prevent and repress piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the Coast of Somalia, and keep World Food Programme (WFP) and other vulnerable shipping safe.[/restrict]


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Tema, Ghana's main port, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Tema, Ghana’s main port

The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has instructed importers that the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) System took effect from 1 July 2018 (B/L date).

In a reminder of this CMA CGM shipping group advises that the GRA issued the following notice:…[restrict]

“For all shipments to Ghana (transit cargo included), shippers/exporters/forwarders at the various ports of loading around the world are required to obtain a validated CTN number using the global online platform and submit same together with Shipping Instructions (SI).

“Each B/L must be covered by a valid unique CTN number which will also be inserted on the Cargo Manifest. Shipments not covered by a valid CTN number will not be loaded and fines may apply.”

A transition period of two months (from 1 July to 1 September 2018) has been given, after which containers without CTN number will not be loaded.

For any further information or support, stakeholders can visit


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Cape Town Container Terminal, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Cape Town Container Terminal

The Port of Cape Town began accepting ships again at the container terminal after the heavy rains and, more significantly, strong swells prevented ships from being berthed.

By late last night (Tuesday 22h00) the terminal had reopened to traffic and all three berths are now occupied.

This was the second time in the last week that weather has disrupted port and terminal operations at Cape Town, as the region received welcome heavy rains which however caused localised flooding in places.



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Hapag-Lloyd expedition ships, featuring in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Hapag-Lloyd expedition ships

Vard Holdings Limited, one of the major global designers and shipbuilders of specialised vessels, has announced that it has secured a new contract for the design and construction of one luxury expedition cruise vessel for German cruise company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

The new expedition cruise vessel will join Hapag-Lloyd Cruises HANSEATIC series, together with the two vessels that VARD already has under construction for the Germany-based cruise company.

Developed by Vard in close cooperation with Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, the vessels are specially designed for cruises in polar regions in the Arctic and Antarctica, as well as operations in warm water destinations such as the Amazon.

“It is encouraging to see returning customers such as Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, which bears testament to the quality of our vessels and services,” Roy Reite, CEO and Executive Director of Vard said. “We currently have two vessels under construction to be delivered to Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in 2019, and it is our honour to be awarded with this latest contract for their new luxury expedition cruise vessel.”

The new cruise ship will be approximately 16,000 gross tons, about 139 metres long and 22 metres wide. The vessel will have seven passenger decks, with accommodation for 230 passengers in 120 cabins and suites. Similar to its sister vessels, the new ship will be equipped with high standard of facilities.

The HANSEATIC series features a water sports marina and modern spa and fitness areas.

Delivery of the new vessel is scheduled from Vard Langsten in Norway in the second quarter of 2021. The hull will be built by Vard in Romania.

Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is owned by the TUI Group, the Hamburg-based world’s leading integrated tourism business, and is the German-speaking region’s leading cruise provider in the luxury and expedition segments.


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UK command of SNMG2 came to an end on 30 June 2018 after 12 months. In the port of Lisbon that day Commodore Mike Utley, RN, formally handed over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to his Dutch counterpart Commodore Boudewijn GFM Boots. HNLMS De Ruyter assumed the SNMG2 Flagship role from HMS Duncan during the same ceremony, which was presided over by Commander Allied Maritime Command Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone. NATO photo by GBRN LPhot Paul Hall / MoD Crown Copyright 2018 © appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
UK command of SNMG2 came to an end on 30 June 2018 after 12 months. In the port of Lisbon that day Commodore Mike Utley, RN, formally handed over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to his Dutch counterpart Commodore Boudewijn GFM Boots. HNLMS De Ruyter assumed the SNMG2 Flagship role from HMS Duncan during the same ceremony, which was presided over by Commander Allied Maritime Command Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone. NATO photo by GBRN LPhot Paul Hall / MoD Crown Copyright 2018 ©

In the port of Lisbon on 30 June Commodore Mike Utley formally handed over command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two to his Dutch counterpart Commodore Boudewijn G F M Boots. This marked the end of a year-long UK commitment leading SNMG2.

Rear-Admiral James Morley assumed Command of SNMG2 during a ceremony in Souda Bay, Crete 12 months previously before handing over to Commodore Mike Utley on 4 January 2018.

HNLMS De Ruyter assumed the SNMG2 Flagship role from HMS Duncan during…[restrict] the same ceremony, which was presided over by Commander Allied Maritime Command Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone (pictured below, second left).

Success on operations has been the guiding principle of the UK’s leadership of SNMG2. The focus has been on operational output, seeking to improve warfighting capabilities, strengthening reassurance to Regional Partners and delivering strategic deterrence effect.

SNMG2 fulfils a vital contingency role in the Mediterranean region. It can never be predicted what events or emerging threats may arise, but as the very high readiness force the Task Group would be the first on call and ready to respond as part of a combined and effective NATO force.

The Type 45 Destroyer HMS DUNCAN represents the most recent in a sequence of Royal Navy commitments to this significant NATO task. Duncan has twice flown the COM SNMG2 pennant. HMS Ocean and Duncan’s sister ship Diamond have also assumed the Flagship role during the 12-month period. The UK also Commands the NATO Minehunting Force SNMCMG2 with HMS Enterprise acting as the Flagship.

Duncan is set to return to her homeport of Portsmouth on 13 July after an eventful deployment which has seen her operate in the Black Sea and Mediterranean for six months. The Type 45 destroyer provided an air picture to NATO during the US / France / UK air strikes in Syria and rescued two Algerian fishermen lost at sea for a number of days.

Commander SNMG2, Commodore Mike Utley commented: “To Command SNMG2 during a successful deployment and a period of significant UK contribution to NATO has been an honour. I am proud of the achievements and the contributions made to maritime security, regional stability and Defence Engagement whilst operating in the Mediterranean and Black Sea. The delivery of such strategic effect has been made possible by having a highly capable and versatile Flagship such as HMS Duncan and all the Allied ships which have worked with us.”

HNLMS De Ruyter assumed the SNMG2 Flagship role from HMS Duncan during...[restrict] the same ceremony, which was presided over by Commander Allied Maritime Command Vice-Admiral Clive Johnstone (second left), featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news

About the SNMG2 Task Group

The SNMG2 Task Group is made up of warships from a number of different NATO nations and has three main roles. First, to remain at a very high state of readiness should reaction be needed to a military or humanitarian crisis. It can never be predicted what events or emerging threats may arise but the Task Group would be the first on call and ready to respond. To do this the Task Group conducts a series of exercises that are designed to ensure that the group has a good understanding of its capabilities. The Task Group is then able to operate as a combined, effective NATO force.

Another role for the Task Group is to deter illegal migration. Traffickers are exploiting migrants by selling them the idea that the journey to Europe by sea is easily achievable. This is not the case as the Mediterranean and Aegean seas can be as dangerous to cross as the Atlantic or Pacific. To deter migrants’ passage to Europe the Task Group is working closely with the Greek and Turkish coast guards as well as with other Allies in the region.

Finally, a series of engagement visits are made to partner nations to reinforce friendships with other nations and to support its allies. During these visits NATO is able to share ideas, train and improve security in the maritime domain.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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IALA banner appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are conducting a survey to gauge current and future user requirements for their Differential GPS service. This was announced at the end of June 2018.


The authorities are now surveying users across a wide variety of sectors to better understand how the Differential GPS service is being used.

The Differential GPS service currently provides corrections for GPS (single frequency) only, but the technology is being developed to enable corrections to be provided for all Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), should there be a requirement. The survey results will be used to establish current and future user needs.

In order to ensure that the GLAs are well-informed and therefore able to make the best provision for future requirements, they are looking to gather as much user feedback as possible and encourage all users, from all sectors, to complete the survey.

It is important for respondents to understand that this is a survey about the Differential GPS service and not GPS / GNSS.

Link to survey document

The survey will take about five minutes to complete. All responses will be kept confidential and any identifiable information will be managed in accordance with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Survey responses can be provided until 31 August 2018.

The survey can be completed online at

Alternatively, the survey can be downloaded from the nearby pdf for offline completion and then e-mailed to:

About the General Lighthouse Authorities

The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLA) of the United Kingdom and Ireland are: Trinity House, the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Commissioners of Irish Lights. Together, they have the statutory responsibility for the provision of marine aids to navigation around the British Isles and Ireland.

The GLA joint mission is the delivery of a reliable, efficient and cost effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners.

Readers are invited to learn more of the activities of these services by taking a look at their respective websites here:

• Trinity House:

• The Northern Lighthouse Board:

• The Commissioners of Irish Lights:

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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Glander Bunkering banner, appearing in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news


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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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Glocvis Challenge by Keith Betts, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news

Glovis Challenge arriving at Durban later June 2018.. Pictures: Keith Betts, featured in Africa Ports & Ships maritime news
Glovis Challenge.        Pictures: Keith Betts

The 58,288-gt car carrier GLOVIS CHALLENGE (IMO 9590591) shown entering Durban late in June. With a length of 200 metres and a beam of 32m this RoRo vessel was built in 2012 at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard at Ulsan, South Korea. The ship is owned and managed by Hyundai Glovis of Seoul, South Korea, a specialist company operating 66 ships of various vehicle-carrying types and a total capacity of 426,186 motor units. Glovis Challenge is capable of carrying up to 6,560 motor cars when fully loaded. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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