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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Maersk Sirac in Durban. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Sirac.       Picture: Trevor Jones

Maersk Line’s large and impressive 117,175-dwt container ship MAERSK SIRAC (IMO: 9725718) shown arriving at Durban earlier in August. The 299-metre long, 48m wide ship was built in 2015 at the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea as hull number 2682 and is flagged in Singapore. She has a container capacity of 9972-TEU and is deployed on Maersk Line’s Far East – South Africa service with the following 69-day rotation: Westbound: Ningbo, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Shekou, Tanjung Pelepas, Port Louis, Durban. Eastbound: Durban, Ngqura, Tanjung Pelepas, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ningbo. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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Indian Ocean and its rim of nations, featured in nAfrica PORTS & SHIPS maritime News
Indian Ocean and its rim of nations, with India at its centre

Nurturing a climate of peace and stability in this region is an important priority for India’s foreign policy.

That is the message given by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj speaking on Monday.

His remarks should be seen in the context of China increasing its footprints in the Indian Ocean, which figures prominently in President Xi Jinping’s ambitious ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative to build a new Silk Route.

India is opposed to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative as it includes the China Pakistan-Economic Corridor (CPEC) which transverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

China has stepped up activities in the Indian Ocean where it is building ports and other infrastructure in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

“There can be no doubt that the Indian Ocean is at the centre of the emerging ‘Age of Asia’…This region is host to the world’s busiest waterways and three-quarters of that traffic are headed for destinations beyond our region,” Swaraj said while addressing the Third Indian Ocean Conference.

“As an important trade and energy waterway, carrying half the world’s container shipment, one-third of its bulk cargo traffic and two-thirds of oil shipments, the Indian Ocean clearly assumes importance well beyond its immediate shores and its littorals,” she said in Hanoi.

“Nurturing a climate of peace and stability in this region is, therefore, an important priority for our foreign policy,” Swaraj added.

Emphasising that India and Vietnam are connected not only by the common waters but also by a shared vision for peace and prosperity, she said, “Hanoi is, therefore, a particularly appropriate setting for us to discuss developments in the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific region.”

The Indian Ocean, which borders Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Australia, is home to major sea lanes and choke points that are crucial to global trade. Nearly 40 percent of the world’s offshore petroleum is produced in the Indian Ocean, which also has rich mineral deposits and fisheries.

Swaraj said in an inter-dependent world characterized by enhanced economic and trade linkages, the importance of sustainable use of our ocean resources cannot be overstated.

“For us in India, the seas around us have nurtured our links of commerce and culture with our extended neighbourhood over millennia,” she said.

Swaraj said though there is diversity within the region, the challenges within it are “quite similar”.

“Our vision for the region is one of cooperation and collective action,” she said.

“We cannot tap the bounty of the Indian Ocean without ensuring maritime peace and stability. Economic prosperity and maritime security go hand-in-hand,” she said.

Swaraj said those who live in this region bear the primary responsibility for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indian Ocean.

She further said India sees the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as central to the regional maritime architecture.

Swaraj is in Vietnam on the first leg of her four-day two-nation tour which aims at deepening India’s strategic cooperation with Vietnam and Cambodia — the key countries in the ASEAN region. source:

* See related report in Tuesday’s Maritime News SOUTH AFRICA PARTICIPATES IN 3RD INDIAN OCEAN CONFERENCE


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Maputo port, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Maputo

The Mozambican government says that as from 2019 the country expects to be in a position to stop importing refined sugar as it will have produced sufficient for the local demand.

Mozambique currently grows a lot of its sugar but imports the balance of its requirements mostly from South Africa and eSwatini (Swaziland).

This development is a result of the completion of…


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Gridlock at Apapa approaches. Picture:, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Gridlock at Apapa port approaches.     Picture:

Delivery can take 3 – 4 weeks

Approximately 30,000 tons of cocoa is trapped in containers and lorries outside the Apapa and Tin Can ports of Lagos in Nigeria, due to the chronic road congestion outside the ports.

President of the Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria, Pius Ayodele said that the cargo is either…


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Map showing new railway route (in green) from Chitima to Moatize and to Macuse on the coast, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Map showing new railway route (in green) from Chitima to Moatize and to Macuse on the coast

The Mozambican Ministry of Transport and Communication (MTC) has announced that the construction of the Chitima-Macuse Railway between the provinces of Tete and Zambézia will be made feasible.

That’s according to deputy minister of Transport and Communications of Mozambique, Manuela Rebelo, quoted in the daily newspaper O País.

Rebelo said that government wanted the Chitima – Macuse Railway between the provinces of Tete and Zambézia to go ahead in 2019.

“Rehabilitating the Machipanda and Ressano Garcia railways, starting the construction of the…


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Mossel Bay and port. Appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: TNPA
Mossel Bay and port. Picture: TNPA

Jetty for cruise ships to dock is planned

Transnet National Ports Authority last week hosted a two-day stakeholder engagement roadshow in Mossel Bay to explore how the Port of Mossel Bay can better serve the Garden Route region.

Various sessions on 21 and 22 August saw the TNPA leadership team engaging with customers, government representatives, business sector representatives, captains of industry and the media, to provide an update on strategic developments planned for South Africa’s smallest commercial port.

Chief Executive of TNPA, Shulami Qalinge, outlined TNPA’s plans for a multi-million rand transformation of the harbour that would include a mixed use waterfront development, a dock for cruise line passengers to disembark and various other business opportunities.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with the Mossel Bay Waterfront to make the Port of Mossel Bay an even bigger attraction on this beautiful coastline, with a mixed-use waterfront that could include retail, commercial and industrial facilities,” said Qalinge.

TNPA chief executive Shulami Qalinge, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TNPA chief executive Shulami Qalinge

She added: “A bit further down the track, we have in our sights a facility that will enable cruise passengers to disembark directly onto the quayside, instead of arriving by ferry. This is in response to calls from the Municipality and the local business community. Such a development would help to ensure that the port provides a world-class experience for the tourists who arrive by cruise ship in the Garden Route.”

As part of TNPA’s role as an implementing agent of the South African government’s Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy programme, a slipway upgrade is in the pipeline for the port to support the local fishing industry and other industries.

However broader consultation needs to be effected in order to establish how best the project and facility could assist the Mossel Bay community. TNPA has also partnered with Petro SA through its PetroSA Centre of Excellence to train 14 learners from disadvantaged communities in the Eden District Municipality as Welders, Turners, Fitters and Boilermakers in order to meet the skills development objectives of the Operation Phakisa initiative.

Other speakers at TNPA’s business breakfast on 22 August included Paul Hoffman, Director of the South Cape Economic Partnership (SCEP), who provided an economic overview of the Garden Route and its business climate.

Remarks were also shared by Municipal Manager of Eden District Municipality, Monde Stratu, and Executive Mayor of the Mossel Bay Municipality, Alderman Harry Levendal.

TNPA’s roadshow included separate closed sessions with the Executive Mayor of Mossel Bay Municipality on the waterfront development, as well as with one of the port’s most important stakeholders, Petro SA, to discuss their strategy, future plans and joint training initiatives.


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SS Mendi postcard, from the John Gribble Collection, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SS Mendi postcard, from the John Gribble Collection

In a brief ceremony yesterday UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on an official visit to South Africa, handed over the ship’s bell from the SS Mendi, the troopship which…


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Princess Jennifer arriving in Durban in July. Picture: Keith Betts, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Princess Jennifer arriving in Durban in July.     Picture: Keith Betts

One of the two offshore support/patrol type vessels that put into Durban a month ago for repairs after encountering bad weather and heavy seas on the voyage from Singapore, has left Durban and is now on her way to Koko in Nigeria.

PRINCESS JENNIFER (IMO 9764295) completed her repairs and has sailed alone, leaving the…


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Zambesi awaiting entry for Gibdock. appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Zambesi awaiting entry for Gibdock

Now that the IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention has entered into force, more shipowners than ever are actively looking at the installation of ballast water treatment systems in their vessels.

Gibraltar-based Gibdock has the skills and capabilities and favourable geographic location needed to…

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Multratug 32 in daily operation on one of its first deployments, Featuring in Africa PORS & SHIPS maritime news
Multratug 32 in daily operation on one of its first deployments

VSP, VIT and VLJ as the innovative basis for individual and sustainable drive solutions

Customised development of service packages and greater efficiency through retrofit measures
Voith at the SMM 2018 in Hamburg at booth 203 in hall A4 with daily expert forum

Hamburg/Heidenheim: Voith will be showcasing its drive concepts at the SMM 2018 in Hamburg from 4 to 7 September 2018. At the Voith booth 203 in hall A4, visitors can find out about the Voith Schneider Propeller (VSP), the Voith Inline Thruster (VIT) or the Voith Linear Jet (VLJ). Voith will also be presenting its electronic control system with the interactive iVSP 2.1 application as well as new service concepts for all its drive systems.

“Over the last decades, our propulsion systems have proven effective particularly in very challenging environments. In almost all situations, consistently reliable and precise manoeuvring is possible. Nevertheless, we are continuing to improve and refine our propulsion systems to be able to offer our customers maximum efficiency and sustainability. At the same time, customized servicing concepts and preventive maintenance are becoming increasingly important to our customers. Our new service concepts enable our propulsion systems to be used even more economically over their entire life cycle,” says Andreas Amelang, Senior Vice President Marine Business, referring to the highlights of this year’s Voith exhibit at the SMM.

The VSP: A proven solution for innovative vessel concepts

Efficiency, reliability and safety are the hallmarks of the VSP, which combines propulsion and steering in one unit. Visitors to the SMM will also have the opportunity to experience the latest version of the interactive iVSP 2.1 application and test various VSP-driven vessels under realistic conditions.

The Voith booth will also feature a unique ship’s model driven by the VSP: the innovative CARROUSEL RAVE TUG (CRT). Two of these CRTs, Multratug 32 and 33 operated by Dutch towing and salvage specialists Multraship B.V., recently went into service. Voith has developed this new kind of tugboat in collaboration with R. Allan Ltd. (RAL) and Novatug B.V.

Typical of the CRT is the towing winch arranged on a steel ring that can rotate freely around the tug’s deck house – the actual carrousel towing system. The special design of this system eliminates the risk of capsizing under tow load, allowing the safe use of the hull for creating lift to get force on the tow line. It also means that a slender hull design is safely possible.

This slim, highly efficient hull form is subsequently achieved by two Voith Schneider Propellers (VSPs) arranged along the longitudinal axis. The CRT thus maximises the safety and efficiency of towing operations whilst at the same time significantly reducing emissions. The two tugs Multratug 32 and 33 are the large version of the CRT, with an LOA of 32 metres. The partners Voith, R. Allan and Novatug intend to come up with a full line-up of the CRT in various sizes and are currently already working on the medium version of the CRT that will have an LOA of 28 metres.

The Stella Maris yacht is fitted with a Voith Inline Thruster (VIT) 1000-300
The Stella Maris yacht is fitted with a Voith Inline Thruster (VIT) 1000-300

Voith Linear Jet (VLJ) and Voith Inline Thruster (VIT): The ideal propulsion systems for yachts

The VLJ stands out for its consistently high efficiency at high and low speeds. The characteristic features of its design are compactness, low-noise and ease of maintenance. It also offers a reduced draft that makes it especially attractive as main drive for yachts.

The VIT operates without shaft and gears and has a RIM-driven propeller powered by a permanent-magnetic electric motor. This minimises vibrations and noise while at the same time making the drive very powerful and responsive, offering a manoeuvring system that is absolutely ideal for use in yachts, as numerous satisfied customers worldwide confirm.

Thanks to preventive maintenance as part of a scheduled overhaul, the Voith Service Team is reducing the risk of a tug failure.

Individual service packages and integrated concepts

To avoid costly vessel propulsion system downtimes, Voith offers its customers a wide range of tailored service solutions for its VSP, VIT and VLJ propulsion systems. Every service plan that Voith develops in collaboration with the customer is tailored precisely to the respective application.

VIT offers a good example of the benefits this offers: RIM drives from market leader Voith are used in a wide range of vessels, for example in an OSV like the Kroonborg, which supplies offshore platforms and wind farms in the rough waters of the North Sea, and can be precisely positioned thanks to the VSP and VIT propulsion concept. Experts from Voith work closely with vessel owners worldwide on an ongoing basis to develop customized concepts for servicing and maintenance to avoid unscheduled downtimes and additional costs.

Daily expert forum with Dr Dirk Juergens

This year, the Voith booth will once again feature daily forums, panel discussions, product presentations and best practice examples. Dr Dirk Juergens, Head of Research & Development Marine Business, will join with vessel operators and acknowledged experts from the shipbuilding industry to discuss the current requirements for maritime propulsion systems as well as efficient and environmentally friendly concepts. The presentations followed by discussion sessions will take place from Tuesday through Thursday at 2:30 PM and on Friday at 11:00 AM at booth 203 in hall A4.

Voith Marine Services, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Voith Marine Services

About the company

Voith Turbo, a Group Division of Voith, is a specialist for intelligent drive solutions, systems and comprehensive services. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, rail and commercial vehicles, ship technology, mining and mechanical engineering rely on the advanced technologies and solutions-driven expertise of Voith Turbo.

Voith is a global technology group. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.2 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. – Press Release


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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.



Zenith Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

Zenith Leader. Pictures: Keith Betts,featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

NYK’s 62,080-gt RoRo vehicle carrier ZENITH LEADER (IMO 9384942), sails from Durban in this August scene, having discharged and loaded motor vehicles at the Durban Car Terminal. Zenith Leader is in the mid range in terms of size and capacity. At 200 metres in length and 32m wide, she is able to carry a maximum of 6500 motor units. Built in 2007 the ship is owned by Zodiac Maritime of London and leased to NYK Line of Japan. The ship was built at the Imabari Shipbuilding Marugame yard in Marugame, Japan.    These pictures are by Keith Betts



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