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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AMSOL's utility boat and tug Sibanye enters Durban port where she is based. This picture is by Ken Malcolm
Sibanye. Picture: Ken Malcolm

A fine study of AMSOL’s linerunner or utility boat/tug SIBANYE, shown re-entering the port at Durban where the vessel is stationed for work with the single buoy mooring. The latter is opposite Isipingo, which lies a few miles to the south of the port entrance. The SBM handles the majority of South Africa’s oil imports discharged from VLCC and the occasional ULCC crude carriers too large to enter port. The SBM connects ashore close to the Sapref Refinery, one of two in the Durban area. The other, the Engen Refinery is on the Bluff between Sapref and the port. Sibanye was built in Durban at Southern African Shipyards in Durban in 2014 to supplement the tugs SMIT SIYANDA and SIYAKHULA, currently working on contract out of Durban and with the SBM. Sibanye, in essence a small tug, is 16 metres in length and has a bollard pull of 11 tons. This picture is by Ken Malcolm


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Apapa port complex at Lagos, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Apapa port complex, Lagos

Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has intervened in the Lagos street crisis outside the port of Apapa where trucks continue to block access to the roads and port area.

Osinbajo on Friday (20 July) gave orders for a 72-hour operation to clear the roads and to restore order, following heavy rainfall added to activities of the truck drivers, who in…[restrict] defiance of previous efforts to reopens the gridlocked roads, are continuing to make traffic movements around the port area difficult if not impossible.

The VP ordered that the Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDAs) should speed up the decongestion of the port. He said the operation would involve a collaborative effort by the Police, Nigeria Navy, Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Air Force, FRSC, the NSCDC, LASTMA, LASEMA, container truck drivers, National Association of Road Transport Owners, NUPENG and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria.

The police have responded by deploying 1,000 men to move trucks and containers from the bridges and roads leading to the port.

“This operation needs a lot of manpower and requires cooperation of all sectors in charge of transport,” said the State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal.

Earlier efforts involving the Nigeria Navy and other military personnel led to complaints of extreme force and brutality which saw truck drivers reacting by dumping more containers onto the roads.

Osinbajo flew to the affected ports of Tin Can Island and Apapa by helicopter in the company of the transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi and senior naval and police officers.

On Thursday the Lagos State Government issued a statement saying that the situation had worsened due to the ongoing industrial action of some port workers who were slowing down the pace of goods clearance while others were going slow on repairing or reopening the roads leading to the ports.

It said the state government intending urging the Ministry of Works, Power and Housing to consider delaying the closing of the Third Mainland Bridge for maintenance and repairs in order to avoid compounding the problem.[/restrict]


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Port Elizabeth manganese terminal, featured in rport in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port Elizabeth manganese terminal

Transnet SOC Ltd has taken over operations at an inland terminal for the loading and handling of manganese at Lohatlha in the Northern Cape.

The terminal which is situated about 100 kilometres from South Africa’s manganese belt in the Hotazel area is specially designed to service emerging mines.

The move to operate an inland terminal will position Transnet to strategically reconfigure one of the critical logistics channels by allowing emerging miners to pile and load manganese onto rail instead of using road.

Transnet took control of the terminal as of the beginning of July 2018, five years after it was operated by a private operator, SAFreight Logistics (Saflog).

Saflog’s contract to operate the Lohatlha terminal came to an end in May 2018.

The manganese terminal will be operated by one of Transnet‘s operating divisions, Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) with the commodity transported through Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) networks to the ports.

The Lohatlha terminal is the biggest inland terminal out of the three operated by TPT. The terminal handles about 1.8 million tons of manganese per annum which could reach up to 2 million tons at full capacity.

TPT also operates two other inland terminals, the Pendoring multi-purpose terminal in Brits, west of Pretoria, Gauteng and the Newcon terminal in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal.

“Transnet is continuing to position itself as a lead solutions provider, where customers can benefit from a one-stop and reduced cost solutions in a quick and efficient way,” said Gert De Beer, Chief Business Development Officer at Transnet.

“Operating cargo aggregation and consolidation for effective rail transfer, not only in coastal ports but also in inland terminals, demonstrates Transnet’s ability to apply its core competencies innovatively as we continue to connect the region,” he added.

Lohatlha terminal will service emerging miners who are also part of the Manganese Export Capacity Allocation (MECA 2) contract, recently signed by a number of large manganese companies such as South32 and Tshipi ‘e ntle among others.

The MECA 2 project is intended to service the manganese mining industry for seven and half year at a take-or-pay contract agreement. This will provide security for exported manganese volumes to Transnet and security of export rail and port logistics to customers.

As part of the MECA 2, Transnet, in an arrangement with major manganese producers, has made available 15% of the manganese rail capacity to new entrant emerging miners such Sebilo Resources, PMG, and Mmogo among others.

“Over the past five years, Transnet has witnessed a healthy volume growth among emerging mining companies. The 15% capacity has been made available to support entry-level miners and cut out unnecessary headaches on how their commodity will reach export markets,” De Beer said.

The change is also part of Transnet’s manganese expansion programme which will see the increase of the commodity’s export capacity through the upgrade of the rail network between the Hotazel area and Coega in the Eastern Cape and the provision of the new bulk terminal at the Port of Ngqura.

South Africa accounts for close to 75% of global manganese reserves. The project aims to retain the country’s position as the leading exporter of high-grade manganese ore.


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Bollore banner, flying in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Bolloré Transport & Logistics has recently concluded two new agency agreements with Banadir Gate, a logistics company in Somalia, and Ewan Technology Solutions, a transport corporation based in Eritrea.

By combining its know-how with the expertise of local logistics suppliers, Bolloré Transport & Logistics says it plans to expand its offering, increase the…[restrict] quality of its services and create new business opportunities.


Linked by a long-standing partnership, Bolloré Transport & Logistics and Banadir Gate signed in June 2018 an exclusive agency agreement in order to strengthen their collaboration in Somalia. Both companies have already successfully completed several projects on behalf of large international institutions. Today, they continue to provide transport services for several NGOs in the country including foodstuffs and pharmaceutical materials.


In Eritrea, Bolloré Transport & Logistics also signed a new agreement with Ewan Technology Solutions, an exclusive agent of the Group since May 2018. Both companies, which had already worked together on transporting medical supplies from the United States, are currently working on other projects and intend to investigate new opportunities by building on the success of their operations.

“We are delighted to have closed these two contracts that will strengthen our presence in the Horn of Africa,” said Jérôme Petit, CEO Africa of Bolloré Logistics.

“Beyond pooling our skills, they will also let our clients benefit from our expertise in the management of corridors and integrated logistics. With the experiences of Banadir Gate in Somalia and Ewan Technology Solutions in Eritrea, we shall be able to increase the quality of our services and respond to the demands of our future clients,” he said.[/restrict]


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BRICS banneer flying in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The KwaZulu-Natal government is rolling out a massive infrastructure programme which will change the face of the province for many more years to come, KwaZulu-Natal acting Premier Sihle Zikalala told delegates attending the two-day BRICS Business Council meeting in Durban on Sunday.

Outlining KwaZulu-Natal investment opportunities, Zikalala told delegates that the province was open for business, adding that the overall government infrastructure expenditure for the province would exceed R200 billion over…[restrict] the next seven years.

The infrastructure development would further make doing business in KwaZulu-Natal easy and cost effective.

“The infrastructure development programme involves road construction, air-freight, rail, provision of water and sanitation, services, electrification and a major focus on the maritime industry. We are encouraging partnerships between the public and the private sectors to maximize investments and grow the economy together using the infrastructure as a catalyst,” said Zikalala.

The BRICS Business Council is attended by representative of BRICS countries, Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, Chair of the South African Chapter in BRICS, Dr Iqbal Surve, Vice-President & COO of the New Development Bank, Xian Zhu and various other business people.

Zikalala said the hosting of the BRICS Business Council annual meeting had generated optimism and brought hope to the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

“As the provincial government, we are particularly pleased to host you because the BRICS Business Council presents a good opportunity for this province to be integrated with economies of other countries in the BRICS bloc. The provincial government will work with member countries to facilitate twinning of cities, provinces and academic institutions and strengthen partnerships in the business fraternity.”

Zikalala said KwaZulu-Natal was focusing on the oceans economy because of its strategic location along the ocean.

“We wish to indicate that the Oil and Gas industry presents many opportunities for partnerships in this province. The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zones which is located in the Port of Richards Bay is being developed as a site and an anchor for energy infrastructure – especially Gas,” he said.

Zikalala told delegates that KwaZulu-Natal’s special economic zones at Dube Trade Port and the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone, offered an attractive corporate tax regime that ensures greater value for investors.

The KZN One Stop Shop located in Durban provided an easy point of entry for potential investors, he noted.

“It is geared to assist business people with the all the necessary support to set up business in our province and to ensure the elimination of red-tape in getting their business started.” –[/restrict]


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Namport's NSIF hands over 25 desktop pcs to Hungua Primary School, featuing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Namport’s NSIF hands over 25 desktop pcs to Hungua Primary School

In this technologically advanced day and age it is hard to believe that there those who do not have access to internet connections or computers. This was however the reality of 550 learners from the Hungua Primary School which is located 150 km outside Opuwo in the Kunene region of Namibia.

The school which was established 10 years ago could still not boast of having…[restrict] a computer lab of their own. This reality however changed last week when Namport, through its Social Investment Fund (NSIF), donated 25 desktops and software to the value of N$200,840. Namport says it will go the extra mile in ensuring that the company’s ICT team install the desktops to ensure maximum value is derived from the donation.

The handover was done by Namport’s HR Executive Dr Felix Musukubili on behalf of Mr Bisey /Uirab, CEO of Namport and Chairperson of NSIF. Musukubili indicated that Namport through NSIF aims to make its presence felt in all 14 regions, available funding permitting.

He said that the company aims to have a presence and relevance not only in the society it operates in, but beyond the borders of the Erongo and Karas regions. He pointed out that Namport has spent more than N$20 million (R20m) in various projects of social interest countrywide.

Dr Felix Musukubili and Hungua Primary School principal, Mr Tjivikua, appearing in story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr Felix Musukubili and Hungua Primary School principal, Mr Tjivikua

Receiving the desktops, the principal of Hungua Primary School, Mr Tjivikua, told those in attendance of the struggle they have faced as a school in receiving financial assistance from companies. “We have approached so many companies and Namport was the only company that responded positively to our request, and for that we are very grateful. We will use these computers and look after them like the precious treasure they are.”

NSIF recently also donated two refurbished containers valued at N$300,000 to the Seringkop community in the Kunene region which will be used as a clinic.

This is not the first time that the NSIF is investing in the education of Namibian children as it also donated IT equipment valued at N$36,000 to the Cornelius Goreseb School in the same region as well as purchasing ICT equipment for the Kuisebmond Primary School in the Erongo region valued at N$10,000.[/restrict]


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Congo Terminal. Picture: Bolloré, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Congo Terminal.          Picture: Bolloré

Navis, a part of Cargotec Corporation, has announced the signing of a licensing deal to implement Navis’ flagship N4 TOS with the Congo Terminal in the port city of Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo.

The terminal will migrate from its current operating system to N4 3.5, addressing the need for increased operational support and meeting customer service demand.

Congo Terminal has an annual throughput of…[restrict] 600,000 TEUs.

Bolloré Ports, which has been managing the terminal since 2009 under a public-private partnership with the Congolese government, has invested 360 million Euros for equipment and infrastructure improvements to turn the cargo hub into a state-of-the-art terminal, serving as the oceanic gateway to the Congo Basin.

Another view of the Congo Terminal at Pointe Noire, as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of the Congo Terminal at Pointe Noire

Since its launch, Congo Terminal has doubled the number of shipping lines coming to call and doubled the annual throughput being handled. It has also cut the average dwell times for import and transshipment containers in half and reduced average port stays from three days to 24 hours or less.

The implementation of N4 will be a critical component to help the terminal maintain its current growth trajectory by drastically improving the automation of operations planning and execution – achieving maximum productivity while keeping costs low.

“As we continue to modernise and innovate at our terminal, it’s imperative that we focus on key operational improvements that will enhance our overall service quality and streamline processes for the growing traffic passing through our site,” said Stanislas de Saint Louvent, deputy CEO, Bolloré Ports.

“Having N4 in place will enable us to handle a larger capacity and will prepare us for the transition to increased automation as it becomes more prominent in the industry.”

Chuck Schneider, VP and General Manager of the EMEA region at Navis, said that Bolloré Ports has been a great partner to Navis and recently signed on to utilise N4 at seven of its leading terminals worldwide. “We are currently their TOS provider of choice and Congo Terminal is the second site to start their N4 implementation – following Dakshin Bharat Gateway Terminal in India earlier this year.

“Bolloré Ports has placed a clear priority on improving efficiency and productivity across its network of terminals and with N4 to optimise operations at Congo Terminal, it is now one step closer to delivering a holistic solution to its international clients,” Schneider said.[/restrict]


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Jade Cloete, appearing in feature story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jade Cloete

Young engineering professionals are making a big impact at the Port of Saldanha through various innovations that are improving infrastructure at Southern Africa’s deepest natural port, also home to the country’s only dedicated iron ore export facility.

Saldanha Port Manager, Vernal Jones, said TNPA is committed to training a new generation of young engineers equipped with technical excellence.

“With Youth Month recently celebrated under the theme ‘Live the Legacy: Towards a Socio-economically Empowered Youth’, I was reminded of our young engineers in the port who have proven that they can shape the future of the Port of Saldanha and the broader industry, through their innovations and diligence,” he said.

University of Stellenbosch civil engineering graduates, Jade Cloete and Gareth Gertse successfully completed in-house designs that would have ordinarily been outsourced to external service providers. Cloete executed the design, project engineering and management of the Port’s Scour Protection Project, while Gertse designed the stormwater network for the port’s future Off-Shore Supply Base (OSSB).

Cloete, 27, is originally from Laingville in St Helena Bay and started working as an Engineer in Training (EIT) at TNPA in February 2014, after receiving a bursary from the company while she was in matric.

“Being a young engineer in the marine engineering field is challenging but has provided some amazing opportunities that most engineers don’t get exposed to,” she said. “It is a field that is not focussed on heavily in any of the universities in the country and thus a lot of the knowledge regarding this field comes from the experience of other engineers. I have been fortunate to have been able to work with some of these individuals who have freely shared their knowledge.”

Wandile Radebe, appearing in a feature carried in AfricaPORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Wandile Radebe

Wandile Radebe, 23, is one of the port’s rising engineering stars. Born in the small township of Kwa Thema in Johannesburg and growing up with a qualified Electrical Engineer as a father, finding solutions to problems using engineering has always been a passion for him. Radebe joined TNPA as an Electrical Engineer in Training after completing his BSc (Hons) Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in 2017 which was funded by the TNPA Bursary Programme.

“The best thing about working for this organisation is the ability to work closely with some of the industry’s most experienced individuals across a wide range of disciplines to collectively achieve collective goals that are for the betterment of the port,” he says. “One of my best highlights at TNPA to date is the first day I saw the VLCC type and Cape size vessels. Just the sheer size and majesty of the vessels makes me want to extend my stay at TNPA indefinitely.”

Johané Matthee, appearing in a feature carried in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Johané Matthee

Cassidy Gray and Johané Matthee are close to completing their EIT programme at the port. Gray has chosen to specialise in electrical engineering, and Mathee aspires to be a civil engineer.

Matthee, 26, originally hails from Cradock and attended Vredenburg High School before obtaining her Bachelor of Engineering Civil (BEng Civil) degree from Stellenbosch University. She secured a bursary from Transnet and went on to do holiday work at the company.

“As a young person working in the maritime industry, I have been exposed to so many exciting new developments and it’s been an opportunity to gain exposure and experience that may have taken me much longer had I not been at TNPA. Being on site during the construction of the quay at the OSSB has been the highlight of my career and time at TNPA to date.”

Zukisa Misani, appearing in a feature carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Zukisa Misani

Zukisa Misani, a Civil P1/P2 student in training, and Nondumiso Nolwazi Ntuli, an Electrical P1/P2 student in training, have also displayed engineering prowess during their tenure with TNPA. David Kuhn, Acting Port Engineer at the Port of Saldanha, says they are future stars to look out for in the years to come.

Durban born Nolwazi Ntuli, 23, was raised in Richards Bay. She joined the Port of Saldanha in February 2018 as part of her Work Integrated Learning prescribed by the Durban University of Technology. She aspires to work her way up to become a Chief Engineering Technician (Electrical). She counts her former DUT lecturer Professor Inno Davison as her mentor.

Misani, 31, also joined TNPA in February 2018 on a 12-month experiential learning contract. He is originally from rural Centane in the Eastern Cape and attended East London’s Mzokhanyo High School before obtaining his Civil Engineering qualification from Walter Sisulu University of Technology.

Nolwazi Ntuli, appearing in a feature carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nolwazi Ntuli

“I am looking forward to using the skills that I have acquired to build a better future for this company. TNPA is putting a lot of effort into training young people to grow into their careers in terms of skills and knowledge,” Misani said.

Cloete believes that TNPA must continue its efforts to encourage young people to consider the maritime industry as a career. “More outreach programmes are needed and TNPA can change the narrative about the importance of the maritime industry,” she says.

TNPA’s Young Professionals in Training programme continues to expose young graduates and professionals to practical in-house work experience and takes pride in the stars that the programme has produced. The programme challenges students to explore their potential for achievement by nurturing their critical thinking, increasing scientific literacy, exposing them to all port and maritime activities, and enabling innovation.

TNPA also continues to create platforms for engagement to encourage more young people to consider the maritime industry as a career path.


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A depiction of the new Hapag-Lloyd Hanseatic-class expedition ship now confirmed with shipbuilder Vard, appearing in a story in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A depiction of the new Hapag-Lloyd Hanseatic-class expedition ship now confirmed with shipbuilder Vard.

Finnish specialist shipbuilder Vard, a division of Italian shipyards Fincantieri, has received a confirmed order from German cruise ship company Hapag-Lloyd for a luxury expedition cruise ship.

The contract had been announced earlier in July but…[restrict] was subject to certain conditions being lifted, which has now been fulfilled with the contract becoming effective.

The new ship will be similar to two others ordered last year for delivery in 2019, HANSEATIC INSPIRATION and HANSEATIC NATURE. They will be 230-passenger, ice-class ships designed specifically to cruise in Arctic and Antarctic regions as well as to destinations denied to larger ships.

The latest ship, as yet not named, will be delivered in 2021.

YouTube video of the new Hanseatic class cruise ships [2:05]



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Virgin Voyages' first cruise ship is to be named Scarlet Lady, from a story appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Virgin Voyages’ first cruise ship is to be named Scarlet Lady

Details of the first cruise ship to sail with newcomer to cruising Virgin Voyages have begun to appear. The 2,700-passenger ship is to be named SCARLET LADY and will…[restrict] enter service sailing from Port Miami to the Caribbean as from 2020. The ship will have a no children policy catering for passengers 18 years and up. Details of the ship are available on the following YouTube clip:

YouTube video clip [4:07] via Talking Cruise providing views and details of the Scarlet Lady


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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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TNPA Port of Durban tug Umkhomazi going through her paces on Durban Bay, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Umkhomazi          Picture: Keith Betts

This is our first view of the latest Durban tug to enter service, UMKHOMAZI (IMO 9755270). Built at the Southern African Shipyards and launched on 17 November 2017 when she was also officially named, she has been undergoing final fitting out and completion. Umkhomazi (460-gt) is the eighth of nine tugs in the current order for TNPA – the ninth tug awaits completion at the shipyard and is expected for launching in October or possibly November this year. The 70-ton bollard pull Umkhomazi is seen here on Durban Bay apparently having entered service and adding to the Durban fleet at a time when another is reported as being prepared for transfer to another port. While not confirmed it is thought this may be the tug MKHUZE (377-gt), built in 2003 also at Southern African Shipyards.



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