Africa PORTS & SHIPS Maritime News

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


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African Buzzard arriving in Durban in September 2018, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture by Keith Betts
African Buzzard.         Picture: Keith Betts

Another MUR bulk carrier to cross our horison in recent weeks is the 66,000-dwt AFRICAN BUZZARD (IMO 9720225) seen here arriving in Durban earlier in September. Built in Tamano, Japan in 2014 at the Mitsui Tamano Engineering & Shipbuilding yard the ship has a length of 199 metres and a beam of 36m. Following her call at Durban African Buzzard proceeded to Cape Town and is now on her way to Singapore. The ship is owned by Japanese interests and is managed and operated by MUR Shipping BV of Amsterdam, Netherlands. This picture is by Keith Betts


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Port of Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Walvis Bay

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) says that it is concerned with the increased number of incidents of changes of ships agents when vessels are already in port.

The port authority points out that port regulations Part III no.16 (4) stipulate that the owner, master or agent of a vessel which intends to call shall, before entering the port, provide a guarantee to the satisfaction of Namport for all fees, dues and levies which may become due and payable to Namport by the vessel for that port of call.

It says that it is therefore obvious that changing of agents while the vessel is already within port limits is in contravention of the regulation mentioned and has a negative bearing on the safety, efficiency and effectiveness of port operations.

As such the following conditions will apply immediately.

1. An agent who signs for the arrival notification of the vessel will be accountable for all fees related to the full duration of the relevant ship’s stay in port except for cargo related dues which remain the responsibility of the nominated cargo agents.

2. No change of agent or agents is allowed for vessel visits to the port under whatever circumstances.

3. Where there should, for whatsoever reason be a change in ships agent, such ship must sail outside port limits and re-enter with a completely new arrival notification.

Namport states that any master or agent not following these instructions will be fined as per port regulations no.110 and pilotage service will not be rendered to such vessel.


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Glarus, which was attacked by Nigeria pirates and 12 seamen abducted. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Glarus.      Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says that it has commenced operations aimed at the rescue of the 12 crew members kidnapped from the bulk carrier GLARUS at the weekend.

Pirates stormed aboard the bulk carrier which was sailing between…[restrict] Lagos and Port Harcourt with a cargo of grain. After ransacking the vessel’s bridge and accommodation area they departed taking 12 seafarers with them – seven Filipinos, and one each from Ukraine, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Romania.

The 45,000-dwt ship was attacked at 05h00 UTC on Saturday, 22 September in position 03:40.0N – 006:40.0E, which is around 51 nautical miles South West of Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The pirates left with their hostages before a Nigerian Navy vessel could arrive on scene in response to a call for help made at the start of the attack.

NIMASA Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside said in Lagos that the agency was working hard to ensure the release of the crew.

“We are working closely with Forward Operation Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, the Falcon Eye alongside others to secure their release unconditionally,” he told journalists. “The agency is saddened about the attack and the perpetrator will surely be brought to book to serve as deterrent to others.”

Without explaining how, he asserted that NIMASA would ensure the safety of the nation’s waterways. Piracy must be tackled head-on, he said.[/restrict]


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The boat hoist brings a vessel ashore in Port Elizabeth, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture: TNPA
The boat hoist brings a vessel ashore

Transnet National Ports Authority’s (TNPA) Port of Port Elizabeth hosted a 40-member delegation from the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Working Group on The Blue Economy (WGBE) earlier in September, led by the Head of the Oceans Economy Secretariat from the Department of Environmental Affairs, André Share.

The visit formed part of the 1st Preparatory Meeting for the Establishment of the IORA Working Group on the Blue Economy (WGBE) which was hosted by the Department of Environmental Affairs in conjunction with IORA from 12 to 13 September 2018 in Port Elizabeth.

During the port visit TNPA showcased various…[restrict] Operation Phakisa: Oceans Economy initiatives that are being implemented.

Port Manager, Rajesh Dana said the Authority welcomed opportunities to showcase Operation Phakisa initiatives, as TNPA is a lead implementing agent of this government initiative to unlock the economic potential of the Oceans Economy.

“This visit was an excellent opportunity for the Port of PE to market and positively position each of our Operation Phakisa Oceans Economy initiatives to international delegates. Ours is a thriving port on a mission to create a vibrant maritime industry and to ensure sustainable economic growth.”

The group’s bus tour included the viewing of aquaculture initiatives at the port’s North Sea Wall where approximately 66 hectares of sea water is available for aquaculture leases. There is also land available to complement establishing fishing type hatcheries. TNPA has already concluded a 10-year lease with a tenant for oyster farming covering 27.5 hectares of sea water.

Port Elizabeth: The IORA delegation with the Port of PE’s Sujit Bhagattjee and Xola Mkontwana on the far left and Philile Gamede second from the right, in front, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The IORA delegation with the Port of PE’s Sujit Bhagattjee and Xola Mkontwana on the far left and Philile Gamede second from the right, in front

The delegation also visited the port’s tug jetty to view the new tugs MVEZO and QUNU which were built in South Africa. The tugs were delivered as part of TNPA’s R1.4 billion, nine-tug contract to procure new and powerful vessels with a 70-ton bollard capacity to cater for the larger commercial ships now increasingly calling at South Africa’s ports.

A highlight of the visit was the stopover at the port’s slipway precinct where over R200 million was invested into new vessel repair facilities including replacement of the 130-year-old, 1,200-ton lead-in jetties, the upgrade of the 40-ton slipway and introduction of a new 90-ton boat hoist.

This infrastructure is helping to stimulate the boat building and boat repair industry in the Eastern Cape. Other areas of interest within the port’s marine engineering hub include Workshop 17, and land earmarked for boat building and a proposed site for a composite hub for yacht building.

Also on the itinerary was a site visit to the new plough tug which is being built for TNPA by local shipbuilder Tide Marine Shipyard from premises within the port. The vessel is the first of its kind to be constructed for TNPA in South Africa and will be used as a bed leveller to smooth out high spots created by marine traffic in high-volume berth areas. It is expected to be handed over to TNPA Dredging Services by October 2018.

Delegates also visited the Port Elizabeth Waterfront project site and TNPA representatives shared with them how this catalytic project would change the physical and economic face of Nelson Mandela Bay.

TNPA Port Elizabeth representatives hosting the delegation were New Business Development Manager Sujit Bhagattjee, Business Strategy Manager Xola Mkontwana and Acting Property Manager Philile Gamede.

IORA consists of 21 Member States globally and South Africa is the current Chair of IORA and the Working Group on the Blue Economy.[/restrict]


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Liebherr Reachstacker being assembled in Port of Durbban, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Earlier this year Liebherr, the lifting solutions provider, delivered seven new reachstackers to the Port of Durban, where they have already been in operation for the past six months.

The reachstackers were manufactured in…[restrict] Sunderland, UK and assembled at the port in Durban.

“The decisive factor for the purchase of a Liebherr machine was to find a reachstacker that could withstand the difficult maritime environmental conditions such as dust and salt that prevail in the port of Durban and defy them permanently,” said Nene Thubelihle, Regional Supply Chain Manager KZN for Transnet SOC Ltd.

“In addition, it was necessary to find an engine that could cope with the deficient quality of diesel fuel in Africa. In dialogue with Liebherr, a very satisfactory solution for all this requirements was found, the LRS 545.”[/restrict]


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UN ECA banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a unique and timely opportunity for the continent and offers more benefits than other trading arrangements with regions outside the continent, according to Mr Andrew Mold, Acting Director of UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Eastern Africa.

Mold indicated that the AfCFTA marks a fundamental step towards dismantling barriers and reducing costs to intra-African trade, boost industrialization, improve productivity and competitiveness of Africa for the creation of the much-needed jobs on the continent.

He was speaking in a two-day conference discussing…[restrict] the Industrial Policy of Rwanda for the Next Decade, a meeting organized by Rwanda Ministry of Trade and Industry, the International Growth Centre (IGC) and World Bank.

Mr Mold made the case for AfCFTA explaining that Africa’s trade with the rest of the world over the past six decades has not delivered the promised diversification and that most countries on the continent are still import-dependent and export excessive amounts of unprocessed commodities, and, as a consequence, run up large trade deficits.


Based on ECA research, Africa’s trade balance moved from a surplus of $24 billion in 2012 to a deficit of $87 billion in 2014 and $155 billion in 2016.

ECA estimates that in recent years African imports have fallen, but not by enough to reduce the widening trade deficit. Africa’s merchandise imports declined, from $642 billion in 2014 to $501 billion in 2016. Exports, however, contracted significantly more than imports over the period, contributing to the region’s widening trade deficit.

The African Continental Free Trade Area, according to ECA, has the potential to boost intra-African trade by more than 52 per cent through the elimination of import duties alone. It is estimated that the benefits would double if combined with trade facilitation measures to further reduce non-tariff barriers.

Mold noted that the fragmentation of African economies limits the ability of African businesses to build their competitiveness.

“Integration is critical for Africa to drive manufacturing sector and industrialization and to boost its production and trade,” he said. “This matters because African trade deficits are principally driven by the lack of industrialization.”

From 2012 to 2014, over 75 per cent of Africa’s exports to outside the continent were extractives, such as oil and minerals.

Mold said that as Africa’s industrial exports are expected to benefit most from the AfCFTA, it is important for diversifying the continent’s trade and encouraging a move away from extractive commodities towards a more balanced and sustainable export base.

“ECA stands ready to provide all the necessary support to the governments of the region to make the AfCFTA a reality”, he concluded.[/restrict]


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Passports and Visas - the latter to become s-Visas as from 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

South Africa will pilot its e-Visa in New Zealand by April 2019 in a bid to improve efficiency of visa applications.

“Once glitches identified during the pilot phase have been addressed, the e-Visa will be rolled out to other countries,” said Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Gigaba made the announcement at a media briefing yesterday (Tuesday).

The briefing follows an announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on changes to the visa regime as part of the economic stimulus and recovery plan.

South Africa will also pilot e-Gates at…[restrict] OR Tambo, Cape Town and King Shaka International Airports by 2019.

This will allow returning South African citizens, as well as certain categories of trusted travellers, to be processed electronically as opposed to interacting with an immigration officer.

“This will increase efficiencies and convenience, and improve facilitation of movement of frequent travellers going through our international airports, thus creating our capacity to service those that still require manual assistance through physical availability of immigration officers,” said the Minister.

Movement control system at ports of entry

To ease congestion at the country’s ports of entry and improve efficiency, South Africa is currently finalising the development of a new Biometric Movement Control System.

This will be piloted at Cape Town and Lanseria International Airports.

The biometrics capturing system is currently at selected airports, namely OR Tambo, King Shaka, Lanseria and Cape Town International Airports.

A biometrics capture system is at the six busiest land ports – Beit Bridge, Lebombo, Ficksburg, Maseru Bridge, Oshoek and Kopfontein.

“Though unrelated to visas, the above six are the land ports of entry, where we also receive the highest volumes of complaints regarding congestion.

Gigaba said processes are underway to deal with congestion to ensure human movement and smooth trade relations and tourism with South Africa’s neighbours.

In the current financial year, Gigaba said his department is working on expanding biometrics to all remaining ports on the enhanced movement control system (eMCS).

Border Management Authority

Gigaba also announced that the Border Management Authority Bill is currently at the National Council of Provinces and is in its final stages.

The bill aims to optimise border control operations and processes by establishing an integrated Border Management Authority. source:[/restrict]


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Sulphur cap to be introduced as from 1 January 2020, resulting in surcharges to be introduced one year ahead. Story featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Shippers are reacting strongly to announcements coming from the major container shipping companies that they will be passing on the cost of fleet compliance with the 0.5% sulphur cap that comes in to effect in 2020.

Maersk as usual led the way by announcing that it would pass the cost of complying with the 2020 deadline of a sulphur cap affecting container ships.

Other shipping companies have been quick to fire off their own announcements, including MSC and CMA CGM, the three largest container lines.

Each company has said they will adjust fuel surcharges ahead of the deadline for the introduction of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) low sulphur regulation.

The sulphur cap comes into effect on 1 January 2020 and it appears that the surcharge will be in the order of US$160 per TEU.

“In line with its commitments, the group will comply with the regulation issued by the International Maritime Organization from January 1, 2020,” said CMA CGM senior vice-president for commercial and agency network, Mathieu Friedberg. “In this context, we will inevitably have to review our sales policy regarding fuel surcharges.”

CMA CGM is pioneering the way ahead with orders placed for nine liquefied natural gas-powered container ships each capable of carrying up to 22,000 TEUs. The French company says it won’t be relying entirely on scrubbers, although these are likely for the existing fleet.

MSC has indicated that the cost of converting ships to reduce sulphur emissions will increase significantly and that a global fuel surcharge will come into effect on 1 January 2019, one year ahead of the official implementation of the new IMO rule.

“As we continue to prepare for the 2020 low-Sulphur fuel regime, we are therefore introducing a new Global Fuel Surcharge as of 1 January 2019 in order to help customers plan for the impact of the post-2020 fuel regime,” MSC said on Monday (24 September 2018).

MSC said the new MSC Global Fuel Surcharge will replace existing bunker surcharge mechanisms and will reflect a combination of fuel prices at bunkering ports around the world and specific line costs such as transit times, fuel efficiency and other trade-related factors.

“MSC operates a modern, green fleet and seeks to operate in a sustainable and responsible way, guided by social and environmental values in its business plans and practices. The company is committed to contributing to global efforts to reduce ship emissions and fully supports the UN IMO’s work in this area.

“A plan to optimise energy efficiency through continuous evaluation of trade route networks is also expected to help limit fuel use and improve service reliability.”

According to Maersk its fuel bill will increase by up to US$2 billion a year as a result of the sulphur cap. It would therefore introduce new bunker surcharges to recover these costs.

The Global Shippers Forum (GSF) reacted with suspicion to the announcement by Maersk Line of new fuel surcharge arrangements from 1 January 2019 to recover presumed costs from the introduction of low-sulphur marine fuel from 1 January 2020.

James Hookham, GSF Secretary General, said: “Asking customers to contribute to new environmental costs is to be expected, but this charge lacks transparency; no data is available to let customers work out how the charge has been calculated.

“In addition, Maersk has decided to help itself to a whole year of higher fuel surcharges, a full 12 months before the rules requiring them to use surcharges actually come in.

“Given historical experiences with surcharges, shippers are naturally suspicious over something shipping lines say is ‘fair, transparent and clear’. GSF will be taking this piece of financial engineering apart piece by piece as we suspect this has more to do with rate restoration than environmental conservation.”


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Picture courtesy DNV GL. featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

As digitalization continues to reshape the maritime industry, the first commercial autonomous vessels are due to launch in the next several years. To help build a safety culture around these new technologies, DNV GL has released a new class guideline covering autonomous and remotely operated ships.

“A new set of sensor, connectivity, analysis, and control functions in maritime technologies is …[restrict]laying the foundation for remote and autonomous operations in shipping,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. “Increased automation, whether in the form of decision support, remote operation, or autonomy, has the potential to improve the safety, efficiency and environmental performance of shipping. To reach this potential, the industry needs a robust set of standards that enables new systems to reach the market and ensure that these technologies are safely implemented.”

The guideline covers new operational concepts that do not fit within existing regulations, and technologies that control functions that would normally be performed by humans. In terms of new operational concepts, the guideline helps those who would like to implement new concepts with a process towards obtaining approval under the alternative design requirements by the flag state. For novel technologies, suppliers can use the guideline to obtain an approval in principle.

image courtesy DNV GL appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The guideline covers navigation, vessel engineering, remote control centres, and communications. Particular emphasis is given in two key areas that emerge from the reliance of autonomous and remote concepts on software and communications systems: cyber-security and software testing. Both the concept qualification process and the technology qualification process include cyber security aspects in the risk analysis. Not only the systems themselves, but the associated infrastructure and network components, servers, operator stations, and other endpoints should all take cyber security into account, incorporating multiple layers of defence where possible. In terms of software, quality assurance of software-based systems is essential, and well established development processes and a multifaceted end-product testing strategy should be used to ensure safe operation.

“This is a first step in the process to fully realise these technologies,” says Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen. “But we continue to develop experience from several projects currently underway. In some areas, such as navigation systems and engineering functions we can already offer technical guidance based on our current class rules and as we progress new guides and rules will follow.”[/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

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Naval News

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Jolly Diamante.        Pictures: Trevor Jones featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Jolly Diamante in Durban.        Pictures: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jolly Diamante.        Pictures: Trevor Jones

Ignazio Messina Line’s fleet of Ro-Ro container ships are some of the brightest and most easily recognised ships to call at the Port of Durban, and when on their berth at the City Terminal (Point Docks) they remain highly visible, easily dominating the scene even from the Mahatma Gandhi Road (Point Road) outside the port precinct. We last featured this particular ship on 5 December 2017 and again on 19 April this year and with the excuse of having more recent readers, consider it not too soon to take another look at JOLLY DIAMANTE (IMO 9578957)  as she enters port earlier this month.
The Messina ships operate a regular service calling at ports between Genoa in Italy and Durban in South Africa via the Red Sea and East Africa coast with a fleet of identical ships. Built in 2011 by the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering at Geoje in South Korea as hull number 4465, the 46,635-dwt Italian-flagged Jolly Diamante remains an attractive sight whenever she is in port. At 240 metres long and 38m wide, with a draught of 10.5 metres and is impressive in all respects. These pictures are by Trevor Jones



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