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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African Bulker at Lyttelton, bound for Gisborne with cargo of logs for China Article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News. Picture: Alan Calvert
African Bulker.      Picture: Alan Calvert

The Lauritzen bulk carrier AFRICAN BULKER (IMO 9736418) departs from Lyttelton on 8 July bound for Gisborne after loading logs for China. The 36,228-dwt bulker has a length of 180 metres and a beam of 30m and was built in 2015 at the Shikoku Shipyard in Japan. Owned by Japanese interests and managed by Nissen Kaiun Co Ltd of Imabari-shi, Ehime-ken, Japan, she flies the flag of Panama. This picture is by Alan Calvert


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Maersk Inverness. Picture: Trevor Jones, part of a breaking story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Inverness.      Picture: Trevor Jones

Friday 13 of July was not a good day for four international shipping lines, who found themselves being suspended by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for a period of ten days.

The four shipping companies are Maersk Line, Cosco Shipping, APS and Lansall Shipping, who are accused of dumping empty containers in Nigerian ports and depots and of non-compliance of a directive to acquire and operate holding bays.

NPA Assistant General Manager: Corporate & Strategic Communications, Isah Suwaid, said the NPA would review the level of compliance by the suspended companies once the 10 day suspension is completed.

The NPA said in a statement that as part of efforts to resolve the protest by truck drivers at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and the Tin-Can Island Port (TCIP) Lagos, the NPA was announcing a ten-day suspension of the services of the four shipping companies, which was to take effect as from Saturday 14 July 2018.

“At the expiration of this suspension, the Authority will review the level of their compliance to its directives.

The statement said that in November 2017, an agreement was reached between the NPA, shipping companies and terminal operators on the provision of holding bays for their containers through the newly adopted Call-Up system for trucks.

After conducting checks the NPA said it had found that the affected shipping companies had failed to comply with the directive to acquire and operate holding bays as they have either failed to utilise their holding bays at all or do not have adequate capacity to handle the volume of containers that they deal with.

“Some of these companies have also been found to import a larger number of containers than empty containers exported thereby making the country a dumping ground for empties.

“These conducts have contributed to the persistent congestion around the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and the Tin Can Island Port (TCIP), spreading to other parts of the Lagos metropolis where truck drivers with no immediate business at the ports now park their trucks on the express roads.

The NPA said that it has been agreed with stakeholders that while the call-up system for trucks will remain in force, personnel of the Nigerian Navy will no longer be taking part, although the navy remains on the traffic management team.

This relates to accusations of brutality by naval personnel brought by truckers who had parked their trucks on roads leading to the port as a form of protest over the application of the call-up system.

“In a related vein, the NPA Management reiterated that the planned introduction of a new service charge called ‘Empty positioning fee’ by shipping lines is illegal and should not be honoured by any operator.

The NPA warned that as from now it would be conducting regular compliance checks on the operating of holding bays by shipping companies and terminal operators and that defaulters will be sanctioned.

“The Management expresses gratitude to all stakeholders for their cooperation and understanding over the perennial traffic congestion along the Apapa and Tin Can Island axis and efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem.”


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Suez Canal, where two ships collided this week, from a story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

On Monday this week (16 July) a 39,929-dwt vessel which was 24th in a southbound convoy of 27 ships went aground at the 153 km mark when her engines stopped during a transit of the Suez Canal.

The grounding occurred at 04h30 local time and although tugs were immediately deployed, a second ship is reported to have collided with the grounded vessel.

Each ship suffered damage from the collision, while other vessels were prevented to proceeding further and other planned movements were delayed. As a result the northbound convoy of 19 ships was instructed not to enter the canal until the two damaged ships had been towed away. Another southbound convoy of 18 vessels was already in the canal and was instructed to wait at Great Bitter Lakes for clearance.

The grounded ship was refloated on Tuesday with the help of Suez Canal tugs and moved to the Lakes where the grounded ship was able to restart her engines and proceed with her transit. Other convoys have been able to resume their transits through the canal.

GAC reports that earlier (15 July) a 63,059dwt container ship grounded during her transit of the canal at about 18h30 hours local time. The ship was 20th in the Southbound Convoy of 27 vessels. Suez Canal tugs towed the vessel to the Suez outer anchorage at 01h36 hours local time on Monday, 16 July and the canal was cleared, just prior to the latest grounding reported above.

GAC reported that some of southbound ships that had been behind the grounded vessel have cleared the canal. Only four were detained and resumed their transit at 03h00 hours on Monday.


In their latest update GAC advises that a total of 18 ships from Monday’s southbound convoy that had been waiting at Great Bitter Lakes started resuming their transit at about 07h00 hours local time yesterday (Tuesday). Only 11 ships from a total of 29 ships in Tuesday’s convoy entered the canal, while the rest are waiting at Port Said anchorage for SCA transit arrangements.

Only six ships from yesterday’s northbound convoy had entered the canal after the grounded ship was cleared. These were waiting at Great Bitter Lakes. The remaining 12 ships from the convoy remained at Suez anchorages. About 25 ships registered on Tuesday’s northbound convoys were at Suez Anchorages awaiting SCA Transit arrangements. source: GAC News[/restrict]


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Medical crew from the Spanish ship ESPS Meteoro on board a Somali fishing dhow, assisting with ill fishermen, featured in story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

EU NAVFOR says it is committed to the mariners’ code of preserving life at sea and remains on standby to provide crucial medical aid and assistance when required.

With a number of naval ships on active duty in the Gulf of Aden and Horn of Africa regions, it is uniquely capable of answering the calls for help when they present themselves.

On Monday, 16 July, such a request came in the form of an urgent request to EU NAVFOR warship ESPS Meteoro to provide medical assistance to a passing dhow.

Several of the crew of 16 fishermen on board the dhow were experiencing extreme and unexplained stomach pain. The highly skilled Spanish medical personnel onboard ESPS Meteoro were able to quickly and assertively respond to the request which was coordinated by the EU NAVFOR Headquarters.

On board the Somali dhow that required medical assistance. Pictures: EU NAVFOR, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
On board the Somali dhow. Pictures: courtesy EU NAVFOR

Once onboard the Somali vessel, the fishermen were quickly diagnosed and treated. This allowed the other crew to discuss local issues in the area and address any concerns they had.

The medical team onboard ESPS Meteoro is responsible for up to 90 personnel on board their ship and responding to additional requests on occasion. The fisherman have now returned to their day jobs after thanking the Spanish medics.

Events such as this not only help preserve life, they also develop a greater understanding of the pattern of life of local seafarers and strengthen mutual trust and cooperation. Since the start of Operation Atalanta in 2008, EU Naval Force warships have met with and assisted many local seafarers and helped to strengthen mutual understanding.


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The tanker Alice which broke her back in the Tema outer anchorage, from a rfeport appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The tanker Alice which hogged and broke her back in the Tema outer anchorage

The Ghana Maritime Authority says it will be conducting port state inspections on vessels that call at the anchorage of Ghana’s ports following the oil tanker vessel that broke in two at the Tema Port anchorage.

On 5 June 2018 we reported the case of the Bahamas registered oil tanker vessel, MT Alice which had called at the anchorage of the Tema port before breaking in two. Fortunately there were no casualties.


Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Transport, Daniel Titus Glover has now


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Afrimart banner, featuring in article on Afrimart in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Afrimart is designed to create new business opportunities for African Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), general merchants and service providers on the quest for growth and expansion by creating visibility and accessibility to African buyers and suppliers

Pan-Africa’s pioneer Business to Business (B2B) e-commerce platform for made in Africa products, AFRIMART, has officially taken off this week, offering prospects of catapulting the otherwise less exploited intra-Africa trade to higher heights of growth.

Afrimart is a one-stop-shop for all things African; the first Pan-African B2B-focused marketplace whose central aim is to create an infrastructure that supports rapid growth of seamless trade of goods and services across Africa and the rest of the world.

According to Fredrick Igbinedion, Afrimart’s President and Founder, the decision to…


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Durban's T-Jetty and passenger terminal, venue for the annual Sea Sunday Service, from a report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban’s T-Jetty and passenger terminal, venue for the annual Sea Sunday Service.   Picture: courtesy Russell Cleaver

The Port of Durban will once again be the venue for the Annual Combined Missions Sea Sunday Service on 29 July 2018.

The service will be held in the Passenger Terminal, N Shed, T Jetty. Originally the service was held at various churches in Durban but about 27 years ago as a result of discussions between the Sailors’ Society and the then Port Manager, it was agreed that it would be fitting to celebrate this day in the harbour.

As a result of the kind assistance of the Transnet National Ports Authority of South Africa, Port of Durban, it has been held in the port.

Organised by the Durban Port Chaplains, the day aims at blessing the port and all who work there.

Bishop Zipho Siwa, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa which spans six countries, South Africa, eSwatini (Swaziland), Namibia, Botswana and Lesotho will preach the main sermon. Chaplains will participate in the various readings.

The Military Band of the South African Defence will once again provide the music.

Tea/coffee will be served after the service.

All are welcome.

Further information is available from Mrs Linda van Schalkwyk on 031 266 0695.

Directions: Enter the harbour from Margaret Mncadi Avenue [Victoria Embankment], next to the Customs building. Officials at the security boom will direct guests to the parking alongside N- shed.

by Yvonne de Kock

N.B. Sea Sunday Services will also be held at various other ports in South Africa


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Autonomous survey vessel for Loch Ness testing, from a report appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

It was announced from Portsmouth on 16 July that ASV Global (ASV), in partnership with Sonardyne International Ltd, the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and SeeByte, have successfully delivered a long-endurance, multi-vehicle, autonomous survey solution.

A recent two-week trial in Scotland’s Loch Ness was the culmination of the three-year Autonomous Surface and Sub-surface Survey System collaborative project, part-funded by Innovate UK* and Dstl**.

The aim of the project was to deliver an integrated system to perform low cost, full water column marine surveys using multiple autonomous systems.

During trials in and on the loch, Sonardyne’s USBL acoustic positioning and AvTrak telemetry systems enabled ASV’s C-Worker 5 Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) to locate, track, command and control the NOC’s Autosub Long Range (ALR) Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV). Position and mission status updates were transmitted to shore via RF communications.

The need to collect more data from the marine environment means that marine autonomous systems need to be at sea for longer. Pairing an AUV or unmanned underwater vehicle with an ASV means that positioning accuracy – crucial for high-quality survey data – can be optimised on missions lasting weeks, if not months, without the need for manned surface vessel support.

This game changing technology can open up dramatic cost savings in a wide range of maritime applications from pipeline survey to scientific coral exploration and deep water seabed mining.

In the words of James Cowles, Commercial Technical Sales Manager: “This project has enabled ASV to extend its survey capability; pairing an AUV with our already proven survey platform, the C-Worker 5, has opened up new opportunities for our technology. We have been able to leverage the experience gained from this project into commercial applications, such as our recent delivery of eight ASVs to Ocean Infinity for AUV tracking.”

Geraint West, Global Business Manager, Oceanographic, Sonardyne added: “We’ve shown that our technology can enable an AUV to operate autonomously with an ASV and offload its Solstice side-scan survey data using our BlueComm high-speed optical modem. Proving acoustic enabled multi-vehicle tracking, command and control, with high-speed through-water data transfer also lays the ground work for long-range, over-the-horizon autonomous underwater vehicle survey operations.”

Matthew Kingsland Senior Robotics Systems Engineer, NOC, said: “We are now able to send down new missions via acoustic communications to avoid the ALR having to surface from six kilometres deep. We are not only tracking, we are getting quality data back from the system via acoustics, so we can make informed decisions.”

Pedro Patron, Engineering Manager at SeeByte concluded by saying: “Under this project, we have demonstrated a novel autonomous behaviour running under the Neptune Autonomy engine able to optimise search, localisation and tracking of multiple vehicles based on understanding of the overall mission tasks and the prediction of other vehicle positions. This behaviour enables safe unattended comms relay tasking and efficient data transfers for long-range over-the-horizon maritime operations.”

Edited by Paul Ridgway

* Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. See also:

** Dstl, the (UKs) Defence Science & Technology Laboratory. See also:


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Chaplains & social workers involved with the Maredon case: [Men] l – r Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk, Revd Danie Taljard. [Ladies] Ms N. Jiya, Ms L.Ndzamela, Ms Estelle Gelderblom, Ms N Mpambani, appearing in a feature in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Chaplains & social workers involved with the Maredon case: [Men] l – r Revd Boet van Schalkwyk, Chaplain Steve van Schalkwyk, Revd Danie Taljard. [Ladies] Ms N. Jiya, Ms L.Ndzamela, Ms Estelle Gelderblom, Ms N Mpambani
Readers may remember the shipping disaster which took place in July 2017 when the chokka fishing vessel, the MAREDON capsized off St Francis Bay.

See report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS by CLICKING HERE

Of the 16 crew members, seven were rescued; five were missing for more than a week and four crew members were confirmed deceased.

The Sailors’ Society Crisis Response Network under the coordination of Rev Boet van Schalkwyk and chaplains from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth counselled and debriefed survivors and families.

Sailors’ Society, however, did not forget them. They continued to counsel them and supported the widows with three months supply of groceries and electricity coupons. Mrs Linda van Schalkwyk did entrepreneurship training to help them earn an income to support themselves.

When visiting the widows on 5 June 2018 they found that a further seafarer’s widow had been traced and she was delighted at being included in the programme – she had been pregnant at the time of the disaster and needed help with the addition of a new baby. One widow is now self supporting and food coupons will continue for three more months. In addition plans to present a Wellness at Sea training programme in Cape St Francis for fishing fleet crews is being considered.

Rev and Mrs Van Schalkwyk will return in November and follow up.

Although the situation was tragic, it is so important that those helped are not forgotten. As it is, some good has arisen through the sadness.


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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Santa Clara. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Santa Clara at Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in feature in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Santa Clara.        Pictures: Trevor Jones

Hamburg Süd’s container ship SANTA CLARA (IMO 9444716) was in Durban earlier in July and is seen here on her departure last Friday, 13 July. Once quite frequent visitors to these parts the ships of the former German company, now a part of the Danish Maersk Line group, have begun appearing once more but on this occasion Santa Clara was on Maersk business. Either way these attractive looking ships are most welcome. The 93,551-dwt Santa Clara has a length of 300 metres and is 43m wide and a maximum container capacity of 7100 TEU. She was built in 2010 at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd, South Korea as hull number 4148. These pictures are by Trevor Jones



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