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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Pacific Mermaid in Durban harbour. Picture: Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pacific Mermaid.           Picture: Keith Betts

Seatrade’s refrigerated cargo ship (reefer) PACIFIC MERMAID (IMO 9045924) heads for the Durban entrance channel and the open sea after completing working her cargo of fruit at the Durban citrus terminal. The 10,466-dwt reefer vessel, built in 1992, was bound for Port Elizabeth to continue taking on fruit for export. In the scene above she is accompanied by one of the Durban pilot boats, LUFAFA which is alongside in preparation for taking the pilot off. The ship is 143 metres in length by 23m wide and the picture is by Keith Betts


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Transnet banner, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Reports in the City Press on Sunday state that four senior Transnet executives, including chief executive officer Siyabonga Gama, could face suspension this week over allegations of involvement in state capture.

Reports on state capture produced by leading law firms implicate the senior personnel. It is believed the suspensions concern the allegations of kickbacks to Gupta-linked companies totalling around R5 billion for…[restrict] the acquisition of locomotives from a Chinese manufacturer.

The newspaper report points out that at the time the contracts for the locomotives were signed, Brian Molefe was group CEO of Transnet, Siyabonga Gama was the Chief Executive of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Thamsanqa Jiyane was TFR’s Chief Procurement Officer.

Since then Brian Molefe moved to Eskom and subsequently left that state-owned company under a cloud of suspicion which is still under investigation. Thamsanqa Jiyane became the Chief Advanced Manufacturing Officer of Transnet SOC Limited in May 2016, having previously served as the Chief Executive of Transnet Engineering at Transnet SOC Limited.

Siyabonga Gama is the Chief Executive of Transnet having previously been CEO of Transnet Freight Rail.

According to City Press and involving sources within the Transnet board and the Department of Public Enterprises, the four executives involved in the state capture reports have been asked to give reasons why they should not be suspended but are likely to receive letters advising them of their impending suspensions later this week.

The suspension action is said to be based on the MNS report, which also recommends that the entire deal, which sky-rocketed in price from R38.6 billion to R54.5 billion be cancelled. source: City Press[/restrict]


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Doraleh Container Terminal, Djibouti, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh Container Terminal, Djibouti

An Arbitral Tribunal of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on Thursday (2 August 2018) confirmed that the Government of Djibouti was acting illegally when it seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World.

The LCIA Tribunal ruled that Doraleh Container Terminal’s Concession Agreement “remains valid and binding notwithstanding Law 202 and the 2018 Decrees”. Law 202 and the referenced decrees were devices enacted by Djibouti to seek to evade Djibouti’s contractual obligations, and these have been found to be ineffective in law.

DP World said that it would reflect on the ruling and review its options.

The Djibouti government subsequently issued a statement that it “does not recognise” the ruling. It said that under Law No. 202 which had been enacted in 2017, along with a number of decrees issued this year, the government has the power to terminate the contract with DP World, which it says it has done.

The Djibouti government said that DW World’s continued operation of the Doraleh container terminal was “seriously prejudicial to the country’s development imperatives and to the control of its most strategic infrastructure” and added that terminating the contract was “necessary and unavoidable made in accordance with international public law.”

On 22 February 2018, the Government seized control of the Doraleh Container Terminal from DP World, who had designed, built and operated the terminal following a concession awarded in 2006. The Terminal became the largest employer and biggest source of revenue in the country and, says DW World, has operated at a profit every year since it opened, and has been found to have been a “great success” for Djibouti under DP World’s management.

The illegal seizure of the Terminal was the latest development in a campaign by the Djibouti government to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the concession. The matter was taken before another LCIA tribunal led by Lord Leonard Hoffmann, Peter Leaver QC and Sir Richard Aikens, all highly respected English jurists, who found the concession terms to be “fair and reasonable” in 2017.

As a result of the enactment of Law No. 202 in Djibouti, which claimed to empower the government to terminate its infrastructure agreements, DP World said it was compelled to commence a new arbitration in February 2018 seeking a declaration that the Concession Agreement was valid and binding on the Government.

“The Tribunal, comprised of Professor Zachary Douglas QC, has definitively confirmed that the Concession Agreement, which is governed by English law, remains binding and in force notwithstanding the Government’s purported termination of it under Law 202,” said DP World at the weekend.

“Today’s statement by the Djibouti government states that it does not acknowledge the decision of the London Court of International Arbitration demonstrates that Djibouti does not recognise the international rule of law. The Court’s decision upholding the continuing validity of the Concession is based on recognised principles of international law and is internationally binding both on the Djibouti government and so far as third parties are concerned,” said DP World on Thursday.

“As the Court has held, Djibouti does not have sovereignty over a contract governed by English law. It is well established that, in the absence of an express term to that effect, an English law contract cannot be unilaterally terminated at will. The contract therefore remains in full force and effect.”

However, in view of the fact that the Djibouti government is disputing the validity of the ruling and that DP World management has already been obliged to vacate the terminal, leaves the Dubai company is a difficult spot in regards to any hope it might have had in continuing with the management and operations of Doraleh Container Terminal.

Doraleh Facts

* Concession agreement signed in 2006
* Shareholding structure: 67% government of Djibouti and 33% DP World
* Quay length: 1,050 metres
* Number of berths: 3
* Annual capacity: 1.2 million TEU


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Wandisa Vazi, TPT East London senior official, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

At the end of July, Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) hosted their annual Regional Businesswoman of the Year Awards (RBWOYA) event, where “queens” were crowned for being the best in business. TPT’s East London Terminal Manager, Wandisa Vazi (pictured), took home this year’s award in the ‘women in government’ category.

The Businesswomen’s Association recognises outstanding South African businesswomen for their valuable contribution to their local economy or on a national basis through its annual awards programme.

“I feel truly honoured to have been…[restrict] recognised amongst so many amazing and talented women. With accepting this award I’m also glad to be representing Transnet, which as a company constantly encourages all staff to embody the values of innovation and leadership that are synonymous with our Transnet Port Terminals operations,” said Vazi.

She said her goal is to keep making strides in the workplace by continually improving Transnet’s Cape Channel overall culture of business excellence and to drive the terminal’s volume growth and diversification strategies.

“I want to play my part in TPT’s goal of becoming a top 5 terminal operator in 5 years in the logistics and supply chain sector,” she said.

For sixteen years BWA has been celebrating and honouring outstanding East London women in business for their contribution to the economy and society. RBWOYA are a set of annual events aimed at celebrating the success of women in each BWA branch. With up to six categories (including emerging entrepreneur, entrepreneur, social entrepreneur, professional, corporate and government), the awards recognise remarkable women whose achievements in the workplace are inspirational, and positively influence their local economies. The awards provide a platform to showcase women achievers with the hope of inspiring other women to reach for their dreams.

“We are very proud of what Wandisa has achieved by winning this award which is well deserved. She is an important part of our Eastern Cape management team and her commitment to excellence shows in the operational performance and overall quality service delivered to our East London customers who include some of the world’s leading automotive brands,” said Velile Dube, TPT’s GM: Cape Channel.

He said the East London Terminal plays a vital role in contributing towards the region’s economy so it is comforting to know that its management is being acknowledged for being the cream of the crop.

The East London Terminal consists of a Ro-Ro (Roll on, Roll off) facility for motor vehicles, the largest grain silo on the South African coastline and a combi terminal with facilities for handling break bulk and containers.[/restrict]


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Tullow Oil Kenya, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Kenya oil field scene

Tullow Oil has stopped work at its Kenya oilfields and halted trucking operations after protests by the local community disrupted a transport scheme, its chief executive said on Wednesday, as reported by Petroleum Africa.

Protests and security problems have…[restrict] halted an early oil pilot scheme which had road trucks transporting around 600 bpd to a storage facility in Mombasa. This is ahead of a pipeline which will be built, with plans to be operational by 2022.

Tullow is targeting production in Kenya of at least 100,000 boepd after the first oil in 2021/22.

The company is considering reducing its stake in the project to around 30% from 50% before the final investment decision, a spokesman said according to a Reuters report. source: Petroleum Africa[/restrict]


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map or Eritrea and adjacent Ethiopia, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The sudden and unexpected agreement reached between Ethiopia and Eritrea to put the past behind them and ‘make up’ as neighbours will have repercussions for not just the two African countries but one or two other neighbours as well.

One of these that will be watching developments closely is Djibouti, which shares borders with both Ethiopia and Eritrea but more importantly, is Ethiopia’s most important link with the sea.

When Eritrea broke away from Ethiopia to claim independence, which caused a deep rift between the two countries as well as a prolonged border war, it also meant that Ethiopia lost its only link to the sea and had become a landlocked country with no longer a coastline of its own. With the independence of Djibouti and the development of its harbour and port facilities, in particular the container terminal of Doraleh, which is now the subject of a dispute between the Djibouti government and DP World, the concessioned operator (see story above), Djibouti established itself as the main gateway port for its bigger neighbour and handles in excess of 90 per cent of all Ethiopia’s seaborne cargo – some reports put it as high as over 95 per cent.

Despite the construction of a new electrified railway between Ethiopia and the port at Djibouti, Ethiopia has recently been seen and reported (including in <iAfrica PORTS & SHIPS) making overtures to several other ports for possible outlets, including Berbera in Somaliland and Port Sudan in Sudan.

According to reports last week the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki agreed to resume telecommunication lines, transport services and trade relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea for the first time in 20 years. With this preliminary preparations are underway to repair roads leading to the port and upgrade infrastructural facilities in order for Ethiopia to recommence using the Port of Assab.

This will have a profound effect on the economy of Eritrea by way of port revenues while benefiting Ethiopia which can now negotiate more competitive terms with existing port services elsewhere.

The two countries share a number of things in common, such as language, history and cultural issues. But another factor in the equation lies in the volatility of the wider region, where several wars have been or are being fought and where terrorism is prevalent. By adding another port to its ‘bow’ strengthens the security of Ethiopia’s trade links with the outside world.

For Eritrea which has lived in a world of self-induced isolation for several decades, the new and refreshing relationship may bring about a welcome boost to this country’s economy and general standard of living and even an eventual liberalisation of the political situation.


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Bollore banner for Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news story

Bolloré Transport & Logistics and Jumia, the latter a company specialising in e-commerce, recently signed a MoU with the Cameroon Customs to facilitate e-commerce in Cameroon and to contribute to its development.

This three-year protocol is part of the commitments made at…[restrict] the Customs-Business Forum put in place at the initiative of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and already formalised by the partnership between Bolloré Transport & Logistics and the Customs administration in 2015.

Both companies will thus contribute to simplifying customs clearance procedures and optimising the level of customs revenue collection from online commerce.

Through this partnership, Bolloré Transport & Logistics says that it intends to contribute towards boosting Cameroon’s economy and to allow Jumia’s customers to access a wide range of products at a lower cost.

“In particular, Bolloré Transport & Logistics will be responsible for presenting customs documents for all orders placed by Jumia’s customers and the acquittal of customs duties and taxes with the administration. For its part, the Cameroon Customs will facilitate the customs clearance of parcels imported by Jumia both by air and by sea,” Bolloré Transport & Logistics said in a statement.[/restrict]


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A 9.2 metre ship’s propeller as cargo. Picture: Hapag-Lloyd© as appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A 9.2 metre ship’s propeller as cargo.      Picture: Hapag-Lloyd©

An occasional series by Paul Ridgway reporting from London

Hapag-Lloyd and its new containers

See here at a duration of 03:04[restrict]


From Hapag-Lloyd comes an introduction to safe stowage of containers and in particular its new Steelfloor containers with the video: How to secure your cargo safely.

Environmentally friendly and flexible, Hapag-Lloyd’s new generation of Steelfloor containers is completely manufactured from steel (including the floor) and is therefore particularly environmentally friendly.

Steel lasts longer, is more resistant than wooden floors and is also recyclable. The new generation also offers a variety of cargo securing options. It is reported that they have more lashing points than the ISO standards require thus providing a high safety threshold.

Hapag-Lloyd’s video instructs how to properly secure an over-height wooden case inside a 20ft open-top steelfloor box.

Incidentally Hapag-Lloyd also publishes a pdf guide to container stuffing available here:


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An occasional series by Paul Ridgway reporting from London

The ‘Be Cyber Aware At Sea’ Campaign

See video here at a duration of 05:59:[restrict]

This encourages the sharing of research data, best practice cyber guidelines and educational articles to help all stakeholders understand the challenges that the digital era brings to shipping and offshore operations. Cyber security awareness and training are the first steps to a safer and securer future at sea.

Contributions are welcome from those organisations willing to help others by sharing their insights or expertise on maritime and offshore cyber security. To assist or to request more information readers are invited to contact:


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Banner for King Abdullah Port case study, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Announcement comes amid port’s development initiatives to become KSA’s major export hub

As part of its bid to become one of the world’s major import and export hubs, King Abdullah Port – the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s (KSA) first fully privately owned, developed and operated port – has joined the elite list of Gold Sponsors of the premier Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018 in Dubai in a move that reflects its firm, unwavering support for the growth of the regional maritime industry.

Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018, the region’s premier maritime exhibition and conference, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre from…[restrict] October 29 to 31, 2018 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE.

Rayan Qutub, CEO of King Abdullah Port, said: “We are in the business of handling cargo, but business is done by people, not products. Seatrade Maritime Middle East gives us the opportunity to meet with current and future clients and decide the best kinds of strategic relationships we should build and maintain. Seatrade Maritime Middle East is about people working together and it is very important for us to have a strong presence in one of the most important maritime gatherings in the region. We want to meet with everyone who is interested in making King Abdullah Port a regular port of call or would like to explore establishing support services or other operations there. We will be meeting with regular clients and potential partners that are interested in the future of logistics in the region and showcase why we are considered a port for tomorrow.”

The announcement came amid the port’s key plan to embark on large-scale development projects. The year 2018 is seen to be a milestone period for King Abdullah Port, with the port already recording a 50.5 per cent increase in container handling during the first half of 2018 alone compared to the same period in 2017.

It is this year that the opening of its long-awaited roll-on/roll-off (RO/RO) terminal will take place. The new RO/RO terminal will have a 600,000-vehicle capacity once it opens for business in the fourth quarter of 2018, which is expected to transform King Abdullah Port into one of the leading entry points for cars in KSA.

Emma Howell, Global Head of Marketing, Seatrade Portfolio, said: “It is my pleasure to welcome King Abdullah Port as a Seatrade Middle East Maritime Gold Sponsor this year. We are excited to be collaborating closely with its team to bring about a successful event that will serve as a global venue where discussions on industry changes and their impact on evolving demands for advanced logistics and maritime services are going to take place. Now is the time to unlock vibrant opportunities for all stakeholders and Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018 will provide a platform that will pave the way for new and essential industry dynamics in today’s digital age. As a Sponsor, King Abdullah Port will play a key role to ensure fruitful sharing of modern-day knowledge and expertise.”

Located in King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), King Abdullah Port is a full-service commercial port with a unique strategic location on the red sea, serving countless markets and destinations in Asia, Africa, and Europe. The port is currently the eighth fastest growing port in the world.

Complete details of the Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018 event are available at

Read the King Abdullah Port Case Study  CLICK HERE



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Send your Press Releases here and marked PRESS RELEASE. Provided they are considered appropriate to our readers we will either turn them into a story, or publish them here.


Adam Boughton, Advisian EMEA Regional Director of Sectors, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Adam Boughton, Advisian EMEA Regional Director of Sectors

Transport infrastructure is a primary driver for expanding trade and sustainable development throughout the EMEA region. This is particularly the case in the SSA (sub-Saharan African) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) regions, where the integration of transport infrastructure with new development projects is core to regional economies achieving some of the highest GDP rates in the world.

Advisian’s Transport and Master Planning Service Line is well suited to respond to these opportunities, providing advisory, planning and engineering services in two key growth areas, notably ports and rail infrastructure.

Although transport infrastructure projects in the…[restrict] MENA region continue to be generously funded by state-owned and private entities, the SSA region is predominately reliant on funding by donor organisations (e.g. World Bank), private equity (e.g. sovereign wealth funds) and Chinese entities. Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) are an increasingly important mechanism for funding transport infrastructure in SSA and the wider region.

With the incorporation of a PPP offering, Advisian is well placed to provide the advisory services critical to unlocking the full range of development funding sources.

Adam Boughton, EMEA Regional Director of Sectors, states: “Advisian’s value offering, which combines management and technical advisory capability, is seen by our clients as a significant differentiator in the region. Transport infrastructure underpins all the sectors we operate in and our diverse and integrated capability is recognised and sought after across the region.”

Advisian is providing transport advisory services to several parties across the EMEA region and just over the past 12-month period, this has included prefeasibility support to a rail sector project in the Middle East; lenders advice for deep sea ports in Gulf locations; tender support for various marine structural and coastal development projects in the Gulf; due diligence for LPG terminals in Eastern Africa; benchmarking studies and review of railway operational contracts; sea level rise and other climate change related impacts assessment for the South African coastline; transport network, port and SEZ master planning for a mega port development in the Middle East; coastal and marine engineering and master planning advisory services for a major nuclear development in SSA; and marine intake/outfall advisory services on various desalination projects in South Africa, KSA, UAE and South America.

Dr Gary Mocke EMEA Director, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dr Gary Mocke

The diversity, depth and high calibre of Advisian’s team is a key contributor to the company’s success. Dr Gary Mocke, EMEA Director for Transport and Master Planning says, “I am truly proud of our talented teams in Dubai, Madrid and Cape Town. They ensure our clients achieve their goals through their technical ability, innovative approach and determination to deliver the best results.”

Advisian’s diverse offerings are also key to adding value to its clients. For example, Stepwise, Advisian’s fully integrated financial and technical process model, has enabled an offshore gas company to use an options analysis to provide surety to investors to release funds for the next stage of their project. Advisian also assisted a precious metals mining company to develop and utilise an integrated modelling approach using Stepwise to assess the potential of a new mine.

Asset Integrity, launched last year in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region, is another example of an Advisian offering now considered a key element in business planning for many of the advisory company’s clients. Advisian’s Asset Integrity service offers a seamless integrated process providing data acquisition and analysis plus engineering solutions for clients with ageing marine assets. The service is low cost and produces fast, accurate results. This offering is now being extended to the SSA region.

“The next 12 months promises many more new offerings to our clients in SSA and MENA,” says Boughton. “The pace of change is fast in our industry and we are confident we are at the front of the field.”[/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

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



CMA CGM Titus in Cape Town, Picture by Ian Shiffman, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

CMA CGM Titus in Cape Town harbour, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Pictures: Ian Shiffman
CMA CGM Titus.        Pictures: Ian Shiffman

CMA CGM TITUS (IMO 9450636) arriving at Cape Town last week to load 1,438 container and to discharge another 300. The 109,021-dwt vessel has an overall length of 334 metres and a width of 42.8m and is capable of carrying up to 8465 TEUs. Built in 2011 at the Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries Co Ltd in South Korea as hull number 1791, the site of these really large ships brings home the realisation of the potential predicament that our ports find themselves facing. At present the South African economy remains depressed and the port and terminals are coping, as are the associated logistics services related to any ships’ cargo, but what happens when the South African economy eventually climbs out of its depression and ships like CMA CGM Titus and her even larger cousins begin arriving loaded with more cargo than the figures referred to above – how will the terminal then manage, but more urgently, how will our road freight capabilities stand up? In that respect both Durban and Cape Town have constraints even now when the economy is quiet. In Durban much talking has taken place but little is evidenced on the ground or in the planning, other than conceptual long-term planning that is either many years in the making or remains in the realm of ‘never-never’. When the economy turns it will do so suddenly and without anyone realising it until our roads leading to the ports become gridlocked once more. They are close to that already, anyway. What is looked for is some bold thinking ahead of the storm to take place, not when the clouds are already overhead, such as when three 12,000 TEU ships dock simultaneously each with cargoes in excess of 6,000 TEUs to be discharged. Can anyone imagine that scenario both within the terminal and in the road approaches?

These pictures are by Ian Shiffman



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