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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CSC Amethyst. Picture: Trevor Jones, departing Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CSC Amethyst.      Picture: Trevor Jones

The oil products tanker CSC AMETHYST (IMO 9406386) departs from Durban on Sunday, 19 August. The 49,982-dwt tanker had arrived earlier from East London to where she was now returning after loading product at Island View 8. She was built in 2009 at the Jinling Shipyard in Nanjing, China, the same port city where the vessel’s owner Nanjing Tankers is based. The handysize tanker is 185 metres in length and 32m in width. She flies the Hong Kong flag. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Transnet banner, appearing with the company's 2017/18 financial results in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Transnet has recorded an increase in revenue by 11.3% to R72.9 billion for the year ending in March 2018, the company revealed yesterday (Monday).

Transnet Group chief executive Siyabonga Gama, who had until yesterday to explain to the new Transnet board why he should not be suspended pending investigations into the acquisition of 1064 locomotives under unusual circumstances, made the announcement of the company’s financial results for the year which ended on 31 March 2018.

Gama attributed the increase in revenue to a 4.3% increase in railed export coal volumes; a 6.5% increase in railed automotive and container volumes and a 6.1% increase in port container volumes.

The reform pledge was included in Transnet’s financial results for the year through March, which showed an 18% rise in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation to R32.5 billion rand ($2.2 billion). That was driven by rising volumes of rail-transported coal and automotives.

Transnet continued to execute its infrastructure investment programme, spending R21.8 billion, a 1.6% increase from the previous year. This takes total investment under the Market Demand Strategy (MDS) to R165.6 billion in the past six years.

Transnet said it expected to invest a further 163.7 billion rand over next five years, with the aim of “aggressively growing volumes” and also “seeking new markets to compensate for lower growth expected within Transnet’s traditional markets”.

Among the company’s most significant investments, it listed the acquisition of locomotives to modernise its fleet in anticipation of a rise in general freight volumes and the solidifying of the ‘road to rail’ strategy.

Siyabonga Gama, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Siyabonga Gama

“As at 31 March 2018, the cumulative expenditure incurred on the 1064 locomotive contract amounts to R30.1 billion, with R7.3 billion spent in the year under review.

“A total of 402 locomotives have been accepted into operations while 16 have been delivered and are currently undergoing acceptance testing,” said Gama.

While Transnet boasted an increase in revenue, it said an action plan is in the works that will assist the state-owned entity to curb irregular expenditure, which has tainted its reputation.

“The year under review though, has been characterised by a number of serious procurement related governance challenges which has impacted on the company’s reputation and the ability to attract investment.

“The board, together with management, is developing a comprehensive corrective action plan to prevent the recurrence of such instances,” said Gama.

The plan will focus on developing additional controls to prevent irregular expenditure while a mechanism to ensure the completeness of reported irregular expenditure is developed and implemented. –


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The Tanzanian ferry UMOJA featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Tanzanian ferry UMOJA

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that it is confident that others will follow its lead in using the recently re-opened rail service that includes lake-rail on Lake Victoria from Mwanza to Port Bell in Uganda, which it says is proving to be time and cost effective.

The service was re-opened in June with a consignment of 18 train wagons of vegetable oil destined for WFP operations in Uganda. On arrival at Mwanza from Dar es Salaam the wagons were loaded onto a ferry and shipped across the lake to Port Bell in Uganda, thus re-opening…[restrict] a service which has remained inactive since 2007.

The new multimodal service that is plied by the Tanzanian ferry UMOJA will ease the transportation of exports and imports between Uganda and Tanzania at a much reduced cost and time.

According to WFP, the route cuts transit time by over 50 per cent and lowers costs by 40 per cent, which means the UN organisation can now get food more quickly to those in need in neighbouring, landlocked countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.

The re-opening of the Lake Victoria corridor will lead to opening of an economic corridor for the East African region which will help attract public and private sector investment, the Head of Supply Chain for WFP Tanzania Office, Riaz Lodhi told the Business Standard in an interview.

“WFP opens the corridor the private sector follows…you mark my words. In the months to come, the private sector will follow,” he said.

After the first shipment which marked the re-opening of the route, WFP has sent six more shipments as it continued to benefit from improved efficiency in terms of time and cost provided by the new route.

According to Mr Lodhi, one single shipment contains more than 800 tonnes of cargo which would have required use of 27 trucks each with a carrying capacity of 30 tonnes each.

The Acting General Manager for Marine Services Company Limited Erick Hamis is quoted in a WFP magazine as saying the route will provide economic advantages for those who in Mwanza while also boosting trade between Tanzania and Uganda. “Seeing a reputable international organisation such as WFP using the route has already enticed other traders.

“We have received a number of inquiries from people who are excited to get on board,” he said.

The rail/ferry network on Lake Victoria was in such a state of disrepair that most cargo was transported by road around the lake.

It was reopened in June after Tanzania and Uganda signed a Memorandum of Understanding last year on joint ministerial cooperation and improvement of ports, inland waterways and railway transport in order to increase transit trade.

The agreement establishes the re-opening of multi-modal transport through the use of trains and wagon ferry services.

The Central Corridor that starts from the Dar es Salaam port in Tanzania to the hinterland includes routes in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Tanzania has already provided MV UMOJA while Uganda is providing MV KAAWA with each marine vessel carrying 880 tonnes of cargo per trip and are capable of making eleven voyages in one month. source: Tanzania Daily News/TMEA[/restrict]

The Ugandan ferry MV Kaawa after her recent refurbishment, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Ugandan ferry MV Kaawa after her recent refurbishment


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Nigerian oil jetty appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Nigerian oil jetty

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has reopened four of the five jetties it shut for non-compliance with provisions of the International Ships & Ports Facilities Security (ISPS) Code.

The jetties that were shut down on 24 July this year are…[restrict] Heyden Petroleum Jetty, Index Petroleum Oil Jetty, Waziri Jetty operated by Hemsmor Nigeria Limited, NIPCO, Lagos, and Pinnacle Oil and Gas Petroleum, Warri, Delta State.

To see our report of 26 July CLICK HERE

NIMASA declined to say what fines were imposed on the jetty operators before they were allowed to reopen.

The jetty operators also had to ring their facilities in line with ISPS code requirements before being given clearance to reopen. source: Ships&Ports Nigeria[/restrict]


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The existing bridge across the Save River (Sabi in SA) dates from 1971, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The existing bridge across the Save River (Sabi in SA) dates from 1971

The Mozambican government says it is planning to build a new bridge over the Save River, which is on the North-South highway and marks the divide between southern and central Mozambique.

Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, João Machatine, said in an interview with the independent television station STV that the new bridge would be…[restrict] concluded by the end of 2021. It will be built by China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) – the same Chinese company which has built the longest suspension bridge in Africa over the bay of Maputo, linking the centre of the Mozambican capital to the outlying district of Catembe.

The Mozambican and Chinese governments will invest the equivalent of 98.3 million US dollars in building the bridge.

The bridge over the Save is part of the country’s main north-south highway (EN1). The existing bridge dates from 1971, and has never undergone any major rehabilitation and is now regarded as obsolescent, and its poor condition limits the amount of cargo it can carry at any one time to 35 tonnes.

While work on the new bridge is under way, traffic will be diverted to a metallic bridge which will be erected between the two banks of the river, and will be able to carry up to 50 tonnes of cargo.

Machatine said the diversion to the steel bridge will begin in November, allowing work on the new bridge to take place. Currently geophysical studies of the site of the new bridge are under way.

Machatine visited the site on Friday, and was satisfied at the pace of the preparatory work. “The contractor has ordered the cables and, according to the information given to us, they will arrive in November,” he said.

The minister promised that the new bridge will be more robust than the existing one, and will improve the movement of traffic along EN1. Source: AIM[/restrict]


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The Maputo-Catembe Bridge as it will look when opened in October, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Maputo-Catembe Bridge as it will look when opened in October

The Maputo-Catembe bridge, linking the two banks of the bay of the Mozambican capital, will be ready by the end of October, Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources João Machatine said.

The launch of the bridge, costing more than US$785 million, has seen several delays since last December.

Machatine said that…[restrict] the successive postponements were the result of difficulties in relocating families living in an area covered by the works in the Malanga neighbourhood of Maputo.

The Maputo-Catembe bridge hs been financed through a loan from China.

The crossing between Maputo and Catembe, a stretch of about 1,500 metres is currently made using an old ferry.

Construction of the bridge by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) began in September 2012.

The bridge is around 3 kilometres long, with four lanes for vehicles, two in each direction.

The bridge, with a suspended section, is the largest in Mozambique and in Africa and is among the 60 largest in the world.

The bridge is expected to boost activity in the Catembe area and the south of Mozambique, as well as facilitating connections with South Africa. source: macauhub[/restrict]


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Overcrowding on obsolete boats is frequently the cause of the thousands of African migrants who drown in the Mediterranean, featured in an article in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Overcrowding on obsolete boats is frequently the cause of the thousands of African migrants who drown in the Mediterranean

According to a group known as Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN), more than 700 Nigerians died in the Mediterranean Sea while migrating illegally in the last six months.

The report which is carried by the publication Maritime First, raises the alarm at a time when people making the journey across the Mediterranean face immense obstacles including being denied a landing in Europe.

The Director MEPN, Femi Awoniyi, told a media gathering in Abuja at the recent weekend that the figure of 700 is conservative compared to those who have died while crossing the Sahara Desert.

He acknowledged that Nigerians constitute the highest number of illegal migrants from Africa, but lamented that Nigerians have the highest rate of rejection among sub-Sahara asylum applicants in the European Union.

He said MEPN intended raising awareness on the risks and dangers of irregular migration, and would dispel the misconception that there were better job opportunities outside the shores of Nigeria. “In this year alone, more than 1,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, many of them Nigerians.

“This is not even counting those who have died travelling through the Sahara Desert, or in the transit countries,” he said.

“Everybody knows that more than half of Saharan migrants in Africa are Nigerians. We cannot count the number of people who die in the Sahara Desert. Experts say more people die in the Sahara Desert than the Mediterranean. For those who are lucky to reach Europe, a difficult struggle to obtain legal residency begins.

He said that more than 30,000 Nigerians are currently awaiting deportation in Germany alone.

“Their asylum claims have been rejected since Nigeria is not considered by the European Union as a country where there is political persecution.”


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NCL's Norwegian Star, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Norwegian Star

A 46-year old British woman will have reason to remember her cruise in the Adriatic after she spent 10 hours treading water through the night and hoping for a rescue after going overboard from the Norwegian Cruise Line ship NORWEGIAN STAR.

The woman, identified as Kay Longstaff went overboard on the morning of 19 August (Sunday) as the…[restrict] 2300-passenger ship was 95 kilometres from Croatia and heading towards Venice. Her fall was noticed and the ship immediately notified the Croatian authorities who despatched the coast guard to search for her.

Twitter image of Kay Longstaff appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Twitter image of Kay Longstaff

Ten hours the following morning they found an exhausted Longstaff in the sea close to where she went overboard. She was taken to a hospital in Pula in a shaken but stable condition. She was able to tell a Croatian news service HRT “I fell off the back of the Norwegian Star and I was in the water for 10 hours, so these wonderful guys rescued me.”

The man in charge of the rescue team from the Croatian Coast Guard, Lovro Oreskovic said his team were extremely happy to have saved her. She was exhausted when we arrived, he said.

“We are pleased to advise that the guest was found alive and is currently in stable condition,” NCL said in a statement.

No explanation has been made public as to how she came to go overboard from deck 7 but an investigation is being conducted. However, unconfirmed reports claim she didn’t fall but jumped from the ship after being heard having a row with her partner on the ship.[/restrict]


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A 120 metre unit of the first cleanup system being tested in towing configuration for two weeks in the Pacific Ocean, May-June 2018.   Photo: The Ocean Cleanup ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A 120 metre unit of the first cleanup system being tested in towing configuration for two weeks in the Pacific Ocean, May-June 2018.   Photo: The Ocean Cleanup ©

It was announced in mid-August that Maersk Supply Service will in the coming months provide marine support to The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit organisation that is developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastics, and install their first clean up system in the North Pacific.

This introduction will mark the start of the World’s first large-scale initiative for collection of floating plastic…[restrict] debris in the ocean.

Global plastic production has risen steadily since the 1950s with, as an unintended result, an estimated of over 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste now littering all major ocean basins. The Ocean Cleanup is a globally recognised organisation addressing the problem of plastic pollution, having developed a method in the form of long floating screens to collect plastic debris for recycling.

Within a few weeks the first offshore cleaning system, in a partnership between The Ocean Cleanup and Maersk Supply Services, will be established in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP), located 1200 nautical miles off the coast of San Francisco. The system will be deployed by Maersk Supply Service’s AHTS vessel MAERSK LAUNCHER.

In the words of Steen S Karstensen, CEO of Maersk Supply Service: “We are truly proud to be supporting the installation of The Ocean Cleanup’s first system. Large towing operations have been a part of Maersk Supply Service’s work-scope for decades. It is rewarding to see that our marine capabilities can be utilised within new segments, and to support solving such an important environmental issue.”

Another view of the system during recent tests, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Another view of the system during recent tests

Departing on 8 September the system will be delivered 250 nautical miles offshore for a two-week sea trial before towage to the final deployment location at the GPGP. Maersk Supply Service will in addition to the towing and installation, be monitoring The Ocean Cleanup’s System 001. Total duration of the campaign is expected to be 60 days.

Karstensen again: “Part of Maersk Supply Service’s strategy is to diversify its business and use its technical capabilities in new areas outside traditional oil and gas. With recently announced other new partnerships in innovative fields with DeepGreen and with Vestas Wind Systems, this collaboration with The Ocean Cleanup is a confirmation we are taking important steps in this direction.”

Claus V Hemmingsen, Vice CEO of A P Moller – Maersk and CEO of the Energy division added: “Maersk contributes to the protection of the ocean environment through enhancing the sustainability of all our activities both at sea and on land. In addition to always taking great care that our operations do not pollute the oceans with plastic, we are also very pleased to take part in the world’s first major collection of plastics from the ocean. As a responsible maritime operator, we are committed to ensuring that the oceans can remain a healthy environment for generations to come.”

The Ocean Cleanup’s long-term ambition is to install a fleet of at least 60 floating screens in order to remove 50% of the 80,000 tonnes of plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch every five years.

The principle of Ocean Cleanup is shown in an animation CLICK HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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NSSL banner, featured in artielc in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

NSSLGlobal brings Iridium CertusSM to maritime customers

Award-winning global satcoms provider NSSLGlobal has signed a Service Provider agreement with Iridium Communications Inc that will see NSSLGlobal offer the new Iridium Certus L-Band service as part of its portfolio of maritime satcom offerings to its extensive customer base.

Iridium Certus will be offered both as a standalone L-Band service and in conjunction with NSSLGlobal’s premier VSAT IP@SEA service as its preferred service assurance offering. The Iridium Certus service is suitable for vessels across the maritime spectrum, from recreational yachts and workboats to commercial fishing trawlers and merchant vessels.

Iridium Certus will initially offer speeds of up to 352kbits but by early 2019 this will double to 704kbits ensuring that the service will be the most global and fastest L-Band satellite solution available. The Iridium Certus service is enabled by Iridium NEXT, the next-generation $3bn satellite constellation of 66 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that provide full coverage of the Earth’s surface. With 65 satellites already launched successfully, Iridium’s 8th and final launch is planned for later this year on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket when the last 10 satellites will be launched.

Alongside the Cobham SAILOR 4300 Iridium Certus terminal, NSSLGlobal will be offering customers its unique Cruise Control solution, which enables users to fully manage their operational and crew communications, while also offering a suite of value added services, covering everything from crew entertainment, onboard IT management, cyber security to an integrated IP PBX.

Scott McBride, the Group Sales Director at NSSLGlobal, commented: “Robust global connectivity is critical in order to facilitate data management, safety, efficiency and crew welfare benefits brought about by digitalisation, IoT and the connected smart ship. Whether used as standalone or as a VSAT companion solution, Iridium Certus represents a very strong addition to the NSSLGlobal portfolio of services — offering truly global, high quality, reliable connectivity that is superior to any other L-Band service on the market today.”

Wouter Deknopper, Vice President & General Manager at Iridium, was similarly upbeat: “The Iridium Certus program can only benefit from the addition of world-class service providers like NSSLGlobal. The company’s involvement and ability to add unique value and global support only serves to reinforce how important versatility and choice is in the satcom industry. Being able to distribute the Iridium Certus program through specialist resellers who can support the maritime market allows us to reach a wide variety of potential users who will benefit from the service.”

For more information about NSSLGlobal’s Iridium Certus L-band service please come and visit us at SMM 2018 in Hamburg. NSSLGlobal’s stand will be located in Hall B6, Stand 514.


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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.



MSC Capri departing Durban for Maputo, by Keith betts and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC Capri departing Durban for Maputo and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, Picture by Keith Betts
MSC Capri.       Pictures: Keith Betts

Mediterranean Shipping Company’s 2446-TEU coastal or feeder type container ship MSC CAPRI (IMO 9154220) departing from Durban fully laden and bound for Maputo in Mozambique. This was on 15 August 2018. The 34,051-dwt ship which is 208 metres in length and 29m wide, is now owned and managed by MSC. She was built in 1998 at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard in Geoje, South Korea and as evidence of her suitability to the task, the ship has undergone numerous charters with accompanying name changes, including previous spells with the MSC company as MSC SPAIN from October 2003 until October 2005 and MSC MALAGA from June 2006 until June 2008. Other names carried by this ship have been CONTI VALENCIA (for three periods- this was her ‘given’ name at launch), SEA TIGER, IVARAN HUNTER and LYKES HUNTER (a South African visitor). Being owned now by MSC she is likely to remain as MSC Capri until taken out of service. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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