Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 8 April 2019

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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Come with us as we report through 2019

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

These news reports are updated and added to on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za

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FIRST VIEW 1: NORTHERN JAVELIN

Northern Javelin Picture: Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Northern Javelin Picture: Trevor Jones

The container ship NORTHERN JAVELIN (IMO 9465095) has not been a frequent visitor to Durban although that may be changing. The 107,500-dwt ship, which is 332 metres in length and 43.2 metres wide, with an 8042 TEU capacity, is owned and managed by Norddeutsche Reederei Schuldt. The ship completed building in 2009 at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Ltd, South Korea as hull number 4174. In 2011-12 the vessel operated with the name APL ITALY.   This picture was taken by Trevor Jones

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FIRST VIEW 2: PACIFIC PRINCESS

Pacific Princess departing Durban, 30 March 2019, picture by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Princess Cruise Line’s 30,312-gt ship PACIFIC PRINCESS (IMO 9187887) is shown here departing from Durban last weekend, after cruising once again along the South African coast. Built in 1999 at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France as R3 for Renaissance Cruises, this was to an evolving cruise ship design that has since been defined and redefined into a basic shape for modern small and mid-size cruise ships, but incorporating slightly softer shapes and curves. The fact that all the former Renaissance Cruises ships remain in service as front line cruise ships speaks to their popularity and success. The list of former R ships is: R1 INSIGNIA (Oceania Cruises), R2 REGATTA (Oceania), R3 PACIFIC PRINCESS (Princess Cruise Line), R4 SIRENA (Oceania), R5 NAUTICA (Oceania), R6 AZAMARA JOURNEY (Pullmantur), R7 AZAMARA QUEST (Pullmantur), R8 ADONIA (P&O Cruises). A number of these ships have become regular callers in South Africa.
Pacific Princess is able to carry up to 688 passengers all in lower berths, topping at 826 if all available berths are utilised. The 181-metre long ship has a crew of 373.
The pilot boat seen alongside is the BALLITO.   This picture is by Keith Betts

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SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANIES EXHIBITING IN BRAZIL

Example of a typical Rigid Inflatable Boat - this one of the RNLI in the UK, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news, picture Wikipedia Commons
Example of a typical Rigid Inflatable Boat – this one of the RNLI in the UK. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

The Western Cape’s emerging export companies have identified possible business opportunities in Brazil and the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) which can be explored to grow their businesses.

The two businesses – Bayside Marine and Lantern Engineering which have 100% black ownership- are showcasing their products and services at the Latin American Defence and Security Exhibition (LAAD) underway Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Bayside Marine’s Director Timothy Jacobs outlined his company’s line of services as comprising steel repairs, fabrication, hull repairs, structural and general repairs.

“We also provide mechanical services and have since resolved to also provide boatbuilding as part of increasing our diverse services portfolio. Currently, we have two types of vessels that we built, namely, the Rigid Inflatable Boat and the…

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AIR CARGO INDUSTRY RALLIES TO HELP MOZAMBIQUE FOLLOWING CYCLONE IDAI

Loading relief goods for Mozambique, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Loading relief goods for Mozambique

Over the past couple of weeks a leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has chartered aircraft to fly a total of almost 500 tons of humanitarian aid, as well as almost 100 doctors, into disaster-struck Mozambique so far.

This is in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai which swept through Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe a little more than three weeks ago. It left at least 700 people dead and three million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Air Charter Service has worked tirelessly since then in conjunction with various aid agencies and governments, flying in a variety of cargo, including cholera vaccines, water treatments, mosquito nets and tarpaulins.

Dan Morgan-Evans of Air CXharter Service, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dan Morgan-Evans

“We even had one flight that was transporting an entire field hospital to the region, including X-ray machines and 4×4 vehicles,” said Dan Morgan-Evans, Group Director of Cargo at ACS. “In total so far we have chartered aircraft for just over 480 tons of equipment, on a variety of aircraft, ranging from Antonov 12s and Ilyushin 76s, to Boeing 747-400s and Boeing 777s, with more to come in the next few days.

“Our offices in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa have all been involved in the relief effort. As well as the huge amount of cargo, we also had a Boeing 737 transporting 80 doctors to Beira in Mozambique over the weekend.”

More details about Air Charter Service can be found at www.aircharterservice.com

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DEATH OF ‘FIERCELY LOYAL’ MSC MAN DALLAS SUTTON

We regret to having learned of the passing on Wednesday 3 April 2019 of Mr Dallas Sutton, formerly of Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) until his retirement some years ago. Dallas was a fiercely loyal MSC man always in the midst of the organising of events at MSC head office in Durban, full of humour and liaising often with the media and a gentleman with whom it was always a pleasure and honour to know.

Dallas was married to Faye, who he met when both were serving on board the Union Castle ships when that company operated its weekly passenger service between the UK and South Africa. After they came ashore it was to settle in Durban where Dallas joined MSC for the remainder of his career.

To Faye Sutton and their daughter Samantha (after whom the container ship MSC SAMANTHA was named), we extend our deepest condolences as well as gratitude for having been enriched by knowing their husband and father.

The funeral will take place next Friday 12 April at the Roman Catholic Church, 2 Newport Ave, Glenashley, Durban at 11h00.

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CHAMBER’S ROLE IN PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMENDED

Durban Chamber of Commerc & Industry banner, displayed in article published in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry was commended recently by the KZN MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mr Sihle Zikalala for its accredited service to members and organised business through the issuing of Certificates of Origin (COO).

This followed concerns raised and directed at the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) about the rising practice of fraudulent COOs being issued in South Africa and used to extort importers of their funds.

The Durban Chamber, a SACCI member, has a background in the history of issuing COOs and trade certifications going back decades as a SARS authorised and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) accredited issuer of COOs and trade certification.

“A COO is an important international trade document that certifies that goods in a particular export shipment are wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country,” said Palesa Phili, Durban Chamber CEO.

“It also serves as an official declaration by the exporter adding credibility to their product or service and the export/import process. Virtually every country in the world considers the origin of imported goods when determining the duty that will be applied or, in some cases, whether the goods may be legally imported at all,” Phili said.

Zikalala said that Certificates of Origin help to promote KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a tried and tested export destination for certain goods and products.

“As the department continues to clamp down on illegal business operations that threaten economic growth in our province, we commend the Durban Chamber of Commerce as our private sector partner for ensuring that important instruments of trade such as COOs are issued with the highest level of quality, implementing transparent and accountable verification procedures and in accordance with international best practices,” the MEC said.

Zikalala added that export and trade play a crucial role in promoting sustainable and inclusive economic growth for KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as a whole. “They contribute to GDP growth and also drive industrialisation, manufacturing, technology adoption and much needed infrastructure upgrades”.

The Durban Chamber is the biggest issuer of COOs in South Africa and a member of SACCI which is a national body mandated by the Department of Trade and Industry. As custodian and accreditation body for issuing chambers, SACCI interacts with government bodies such as the South African Revenue Service’s Customs department and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

SACCI’s CEO, Alan Mukoki, said recently that SACCI has been put under pressure by Department of Trade & Industry to tighten controls over the issuing of certificates. He said this applies also to non-compliant issuing chambers and that SACCI intends to open a criminal case against the people engaged in such illicit activity.

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YACHT WRECKED ON DURBAN PORT SOUTH BREAKWATER

Yacht wrecked on Durban South Breakwater. Picture: NSRI Durban Station 5, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Yacht wrecked on Durban South Breakwater. Picture: NSRI Durban Station 5

The Durban NSRI Station 5 (National Sea Rescue Institute) was called out on Thursday afternoon shortly before 2 pm after the Port of Durban Transnet National Ports Authority issued a report of a yacht having gone aground on the sea side of the South Breakwater.

According to a report from Andre Fletcher, NSRI Durban station 5 commander, the yacht had a crew of five people, three females and two males.

He said the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and Megan II were launched, while Police Sea Borderline dispatched a Police Boat and TNPA officials, TNPA Fire and Rescue Services and TNPA Security were dispatched in addition to a TNPA tug boat and a TNPA pilot boat responding.

In addition Netcare 911 ambulance services were dispatched to stand-by at the NSRI Durban rescue base which is close to the harbour entrance.

On arrival on the scene the rescuers found all five crew had managed to abandon the yacht and get onto the dolosse along the side of the breakwater.

Two NSRI rescue swimmers were sent ashore where they assisted one female who had gotten herself trapped in amongst the dolosse. Once she was freed and the remaining four crew accounted for and found safe it was found they had suffered only minor injuries.

The crew of the yacht are all locals who advised they had sailed to Richards Bay and were returning to Durban when their yacht went aground.

They departed from the scene in a TNPA vehicle to be collected by family members the TNPA Millennium Tower on the Bluff headland.

As of Thursday evening the yacht remains wrecked on the South Breakwater awaiting salvage.

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LONDON TRIBUNAL ISSUES HEFTY FINE ON REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI OVER DORALEH

Tribunal orders Djibouti to pay fine of US$385 million plus interest

Doraleh container terminal and port, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Doraleh container terminal and port

Doraleh Container Terminal SA (DCT), a Djibouti port operator owned 33.34% by DP World Group, and 66.66% by Port de Djibouti S.A., an entity of the Republic of Djibouti, has been successful in the London Court of International Arbitration proceeding against the Republic of Djibouti.

The Tribunal has found that by developing new container port opportunities with China Merchants Holdings International Co Limited (China Merchants), a Hong-Kong based port operator, Djibouti has breached DCT’s rights under its 2006 Concession Agreement to develop a container terminal at Doraleh, in Djibouti, specifically, its exclusivity over all container handling facilities in the territory of Djibouti.

The Tribunal ordered Djibouti to pay DCT $385 million plus interest for…

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SEVERE WEATHER EXPECTED OVER DURBAN FROM 19H00 TODAY (THURSDAY)

Durban port on a fair weather day, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news. Picture courtesy TPT
Durban port on a fair weather day, picture: TPT

Port stakeholders have been advised by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the port of Durban to expect severe adverse weather tonight as from 19h00.

The message sent out this afternoon reads:

“Please be advised that the Port Of Durban is expected to experience severe adverse weather, with winds gusting up to 50 knots South Westerly and swells over 4 metres. Please advise all vessels in Port and at Durban anchorage to put out extra moorings, have engines on short notice and standby on channe l9 and 16. Periodic updates will follow on the night shift.”

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FORD BEGINS EXPORTING VEHICLES FROM PORT ELIZABETH TO EUROPE  (TOP STORY)

First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA

The Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is expanding its vehicle export operations by adopting a multi-port strategy with the first shipment of 1,000 locally assembled Ford Rangers and Ford Ranger Raptors from Port Elizabeth to markets in Europe.

Currently, all of Ford’s incoming and outbound vehicles are processed through Durban Harbour’s Roll On Roll Off (RORO) Terminal, which is the country’s primary import and export hub for most original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), importers and distributors.

“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for the Ford Ranger around the world, and have invested over R3-billion in the recent expansion of our production capacity in our South African operations to fulfil these orders,” said Ockert Berry, VP Operations, Ford Middle East and Africa.

“Together with Transnet, we evaluated how a multi-port strategy could benefit both parties by improving the use of current assets, reducing costs, avoiding the ongoing congestion in the Durban Terminal and utilising other ports for imports and exports,” Berry stated.

To facilitate this process, Ford has broadened its outbound logistics portfolio to support the multi-port strategy for Port Elizabeth, and will be shipping vehicles twice per month to various receiving ports in Europe.

First shipment comprises 1,000 Ford Ranger and Ford Raptor models destined for markets in Europe. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The Ford Rangers, which are produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, are being transported to Port Elizabeth using Transnet Freight Rail infrastructure. Traditionally, Port Elizabeth-based vehicle manufacturers transport units to Gauteng by rail, and these rail assets return empty. Ford will now be using the return leg to move export vehicles from Silverton to Port Elizabeth for shipping to selected markets around the world.

“This will assist us in making the shipping and delivery from South Africa more cost effective, efficient and faster,” Berry added.

Rajesh Dana, Port Manager, Port of Port Elizabeth said that Transnet National Ports Authority is extremely excited at the launch vehicle volumes that Ford Motor Company will be processing through the port.

“The high number of these launch volumes further provides the Transnet operating divisions the opportunity to ensure that our OEM partners experience world-class facilitation through our port,”Dana said. “Of further importance is the role that this operation will play in the long-term strategy of the port becoming an Automotive Hub.”

The Transnet integrated logistics solutions across three of the operating divisions, to accommodate the Ford Motor Company launch exports units, allows for optimisation of strategic infrastructure, moving of cargo from road to rail and improving the efficiency of export logistics.

“Not only will this project result in increased export volumes through the Port of Port Elizabeth, but it will also allow for value-added logistic services within the port,” Dana added. “This will allow us to showcase our world-class automotive industry port services and allow the port to take a step closer in becoming a premier automotive hub for South Africa.”

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MARITIME TRAINING PLOUGHS SCARCE SKILLS BACK INTO EASTERN CAPE

Education & Training Harbour Infrastructure & Shipping

Trainee Tug Masters at Port of Ngqura (left to right) Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Trainee Tug Masters (left to right) Ntombizonke Khayisa, Olwethu Mzimeli, Makabongwe Sibandile, Anda Mzinyathi, Lulamile Mnyila, Bongi Nomqhuphu and Awonke Notshulwana

The Port of Ngqura in South Africa’s Eastern Cape announced the intake of seven marine cadets recently.

They represent a group of ten cadets, out of a national port pipeline of 31, who have just completed their required academic and sea borne training before being employed by the port for three years to complete their Tug Master training.

The other three of the ten cadets are being employed by the Port of Richards Bay as…

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OVERSUPPLY STILL MAJOR CHALLENGE WARNS ICS

Turkish Straits courtesy of ICS, used with press release on conference April 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Speaking in Istanbul, Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned today (Wednesday 3 April 2019) that avoiding overcapacity and unsustainably low freight rates is still a major challenge ten years after the massive downturn of 2008.

Mr Bennett said: “In that time shipping companies needed to show restraint when ordering new ships, to prevent stifling recovery. Yet the dark clouds of protectionism and slowing growth in key economies mean that…

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TRANSNET PLACES TUGS AND WORKBOATS FOR SALE BY AUCTION

Richards Bay tug UZAVOLO. Picture by Trevor Jones, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Richards Bay tug UZAVOLO is for sale by auction.    Picture by Trevor Jones

Transnet has this year placed a number of its harbour fleet of older tugs and workboats on sale by way of auctions held in February and March.

It is understood that most of the vessels on offer remain unsold at this time but this is subject to confirmation as is the outcome for much of this report.

Among the tugs that were on offer is RB3 UZAVOLO, the former R.H. Tarpey, a Voith Schneider propelled tug built in 1974 at the James Brown & Hamer Shipyard in Durban.

Another harbour vessel is the Saldanha-based tug MARCUS, built in 1976 which is also a Voith Schneider diesel tug. It is believed this vessel was sold though confirmation is required.

Likewise at Saldanha the 1977-built tug MEEUW was on offer, yet another of the Voith Schneider vessels.

At Port Elizabeth the former Cape Town diesel tug SHIRAZ (ex Ben Schoeman), Voith Schneider propulsion and built in 1980 was on offer but apparently remains unsold.

Among the smaller vessels on the auction was the Saldanha-based single-engined diesel harbour launch SYSIE, which appears to have been sold.

A report in a railway-related newsletter disclosed that a harbour dredger at Durban was for sale, as are two abandoned fishing craft at Mossel Bay, three harbour pilot boats at Saldanha and Cape Town (see above) plus the four harbour tugs that we list here.

The auctioneer involved is/was GoDove Auctioneers.

If any readers can confirm or clarify any of the above or others that we have left out it would be appreciated. Email such info to terry@africaports.co.za

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CONTAINER SHIP CONTSHIP OAK ATTACKED BY PIRATES, FOUR CREW KIDNAPPED

Contship Oak. Picture courtesy: ShipSpotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Contship Oak. Picture courtesy: ShipSpotting

The Liberian-flagged container ship CONTSHIP OAK (IMO 9373917) has come under attack by armed pirates who boarded the vessel while the ship was at anchor in the outer anchorage of Douala in Cameroon, position 03 53N 009 30E.

The vessel had arrived earlier and on 30 March was waiting to dock on the following day when the pirates boarded the vessel.

Little information has been…

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COUNTING THE COSTS OF FIRES AT SEA

Carol Holness Senior Associate Norton Rose Fulbright

 

By Carol Holness
Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa

 

 

The first few months of 2019 has already seen three major container ship fires. The most recent fire, on board the Grande America, has resulted in the sinking of the roll-on/roll-off container ship in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France, the loss of her cargo and oil pollution from the 2200 metric tonnes of fuel on board.

Why are fires on container ships like the Grande America so frequent and devastating? Firstly, cargo is packed into containers before it reaches the shipowner or carrier who are reliant on the shipper’s declaration regarding the container’s contents. Most container ship fires are cargo (rather than engine room) fires and many occur as a result of the misdeclaration or inadequate packing of hazardous cargo. Secondly, it can be difficult for crew to contain a fire which starts in one of several thousand containers in a stack in a vessel’s hold.

The shipping industry is well aware of the dangers of fires at sea and hazardous cargo and has taken some steps in response to container ship fires. Several P&I Clubs have issued guidance notes for the carriage of dangerous goods. And, following the two week blaze on board the Maersk Honam in 2018, Maersk changed its cargo storage guidelines to prohibit the storage of dangerous cargo near the crew’s accommodation or the engine room and has implemented random container checks in North America. We will have to wait and see how effective these measures are in improving safety at sea.

A major vessel fire results in massive losses to many of the parties involved in the voyage. Cargo owners and their insurers bear the risk of damage to their cargo and claims by shipowners for general average and salvage contributions. Shipowners face damage to their ship and huge expenses to tow the vessel to a port of refuge, fire-fighting operations, oil pollution cleanup costs and potential claims by cargo owners. Carriers may have to transship cargo to its final place of destination where the vessel is unable to continue or where the shipowner terminates the voyage. There is also the very real risk to the safety of the vessel’s crew.

Establishing the cause of a fire can take several months with many experts appointed by the respective parties. There may be protracted litigation and it is not uncommon for an average adjustment (which sets out each party’s proportional general average contribution) to take years to be issued.

Under the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules, which are the liability regimes covering most ocean-going cargo, a shipowner has a defence to cargo claims unless the cargo owner can show that the vessel was unseaworthy at the commencement of the voyage and that this caused the loss. The shipowner must then prove that the loss did not occur as a result of a lack of due diligence on the part of the shipowner. For example, a shipowner’s failure to train the crew, to have an adequate safety management system in place or fire-fighting equipment on board the vessel may result in the vessel being deemed unseaworthy and show a lack of due diligence on the part of the shipowner.

Where the fire is caused by a misdeclaration of hazardous cargo, the shipowner and cargo owners may have a claim against the owner of the guilty cargo. However, in practice, such claims are often worthless as parties who misdeclare cargo often do so to obtain lower freight rates and will disappear overnight when a major fire occurs.

The owners of the Grande America have indicated that they do not believe the fire to have been caused by misdeclared cargo.

Even when the nature of cargo is properly declared, a cargo owner may still be liable to the shipowner and other cargo owners. For example, in a 2018 judgment relating to the fire on board the MSC Flaminia, the US courts apportioned blame between the cargo owner (for shipping hazardous cargo during warmer months) and the non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) for failing to inform the ocean carrier, MSC, of the dangers of heat exposure to the particular cargo.

Fires at sea pose a serious commercial and safety risk and more steps need to be taken to fight this threat or it is inevitable that we will experience further major container ship fires before the end of 2019.

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BOLLORÉ TRANSPORT & LOGISTICS NEGOTIATING TO SELL ITS FRENCH PORT OPERATIONS

Negotiations underway with the MARITIME KUHN Group

Bollore Transport & Logistics banner, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Bolloré Transport & Logistics and the MARITIME KUHN Group are negotiating ‘exclusively’ with a view to the MARITIME KUHN Group taking over the French port activities of Bolloré Transport & Logistics.

In a statement Bolloré Transport & Logistics said this fell within the scope of its strategy to refocus its port handling and logistics operations in international markets where the Group is already established, in particular in West Africa.

Unions have been previously informed of and consulted on…

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VESCONITE ENTERS THE NAMIBIAN MARINE SECTOR

Some of the marine bearings that Vesconite Bearings has in stock, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Some of the marine bearings that Vesconite Bearings has in stock

Vesconite Bearings, the South African maker of advanced, self-lubricating polymers, is making inroads into the Namibian marine sector, having in March dispatched several marine orders to Namibia.

While global shipping lines have been making a loss as a result of decreased shipping vessel sizes, Namibia, which borders Zambia, Angola, Botswana and South Africa, is planning ahead for shipping-industry growth.

Namibia has, to this end, started implementing several mega projects to expand capacity and capture a larger share of Southern African port traffic.

Vesconite Bearings says it hopes to be part of the growth of the Namibian port and marine industry, and has already seen an increase in interest from this region, as a result of marketing and a successful roadshow to the country.

The three marine orders that were dispatched to Namibia in March were from a ship-repair-supplier company based in Walvis Bay, Namibia’s largest commercial port, which receives about 3,000 vessel calls each year and handles about 5 million tons of cargo.

“With a warehouse in Johannesburg, South Africa, Namibian marine customers can quickly obtain rudder bearings and stern tubes from Vesconite Bearings depending on the urgency of their order,” says stores manager Martin Nyathi.

“Customers can ask for delivery via airfreight, express road freight or economy road freight, with delivery times ranging from one to two days, three to four days and one to two weeks, depending on the courier option chosen,” he says.

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ONE FOR ONE – OCEAN NETWORK EXPRESS CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY

ONE container ship, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Monday 1 April 2019 marked the first anniversary of Ocean Network Express (ONE), following its commencement of operations as a liner conglomerate of “K” Line, MOL and NYK.

As a member of the THE Alliance and an entity operating in a mere span of 12-months, ONE has emerged as a significant multi-trade global carrier and despite the challenges of the ever-changing shipping industry climate, ONE has managed to ensure competitiveness and relevance by…

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TRANSNET GIVES APPROVAL FOR DESALINATION STUDIES FOR CAPE TOWN HARBOUR

Berth 700 area, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Berth 700 area

Approval has been granted for further studies into a Sea Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) plant at the Port of Cape Town.

Reverse osmosis is the process of converting seawater into drinking water.

Announcing Transnet SOC Ltd’s approval, the Port of Cape Town acting Port Manager, Captain Alex Miya, said the next steps would be to appoint consultants to conduct studies that could be concluded by …

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CRUISE SHIP ASTOR CLOSES PORT OF MOSSEL BAY’S 2018/19 CRUISE SEASON

Astor arrives at the Port of Mossel Bay. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Astor arrives at the Port of Mossel Bay.    Picture: TNPA

The arrival of the cruise ship ASTOR at the Port of Mossel Bay last Thursday, 28 March brought the port’s 2018-19 cruise season to a stunning end.

The vessel with a rich South African history is owned by the Germany-based Premicon, under charter to the Germany-based Transocean Tours and is one of four vessels to have visited Mossel Bay this season.

She arrived with 500 passengers mainly from Germany en route from Durban to Cape Town.

The vessel was welcomed by Mossel Bay Harbour Master, Captain Vania Cloete who presented a plaque to the ship’s captain Andrey Lesnichiy aboard the vessel.

ASTOR has a length of 176.5 metres and a width of 23.6 metres, with 289 cabins and a guest capacity of 578.

“We are always delighted to welcome the beautiful ASTOR back to Mossel Bay as a regular to this port,” said Shadrack Tshikalange, Port Manager for Mossel Bay.

He said it is an honour that Transocean Tours shows such confidence in this region and returns each year with their international guests. These passengers spend time taking in the Garden Route coastline and activities such as foot tours around Mossel Bay and bus tours to neighbouring towns like George and Plettenberg Bay.

TNPA is working closely with the Mossel Bay Municipality and Mossel Bay Tourism to develop the Port of Mossel Bay as a tourist port.

This was Astor’s final visit to South Africa as the ship has been sold and will in future sail mostly in the Mediterranean under a different guise. The ship served with Safmarine in her earliest days.

Mossel Bay Executive Mayor Alderman Harry Levendal, MS Astor’s Captain Andrey Lesnichiy and Mossel Bay Harbour Master, Captain Vania Cloete. Picture: TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Mossel Bay Executive Mayor Alderman Harry Levendal, MS Astor’s Captain Andrey Lesnichiy and Mossel Bay Harbour Master, Captain Vania Cloete. Picture: TNPA

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CAPE TOWN’S DUNCAN DOCK TO UNDERGO MAINTENANCE DREDGING

TNPA grab dredger Italeni, soon to undertake maintenance dredging in Cape Town's Duncan Dock, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TNPA grab dredger Italeni, soon to undertake maintenance dredging in Cape Town’s Duncan Dock

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA)’s Dredging Services division will soon embark on a maintenance dredging campaign at the Port of Cape Town to restore the design depths at certain berths inside Duncan Dock, the port authority has revealed.

The maintenance campaign, which is set to start in early April 2019, is scheduled for completion by the end of May 2019. The main objective of the dredging campaign is to ensure the Port of Cape Town provides safe navigational channels and berthing facilities for shipping.

TNPA said recently that it would…

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AID STARTS TO POUR IN TO BEIRA AND OTHER CYCLONE IDAI DEVASTATED REGIONS

Members of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army unload supplies from a U.S. military C-130J Hercules aircraft that landed at the Beira Airport on Friday 29 March 2019. The capulanas shown here are part of 125 metric tons of relief supplies that have been delivered by the U.S. Government, in coordination with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, to help Mozambicans impacted by Cyclone Idai. Photo: Supplied, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Members of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army unload supplies from a U.S. military C-130J Hercules aircraft that landed at the Beira Airport on Friday 29 March 2019. The capulanas shown here are part of 125 metric tons of relief supplies that have been delivered by the U.S. Government, in coordination with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, to help Mozambicans impacted by Cyclone Idai. Photo: Supplied

U.S. government delivers substantial relief supplies and personnel to support the response to Cyclone Idai

In coordination with the Government of the Republic of Mozambique and international partners, the United States Government has to date delivered 125 metric tons of relief supplies via military aircraft to areas affected by Cyclone Idai.

The U.S. military has flown fifteen missions using C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, and C-12 Huron aircraft to move critical commodities and personnel associated with assistance efforts.

Some of those flights are being undertaken from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

In addition to this assistance, a flight chartered by the U.S. Agency for International Development delivered to Beira on 30 March the following supplies procured by the U.S. Government for distribution by the International Organisation for Migration:

· Plastic sheeting for 1,800 households;
· 1,800 kitchen sets; and
· 3,600 blankets.

To help prevent the spread of waterborne diseases such as cholera, the U.S. Government is working with the international nongovernmental organisations World Vision and CARE to deliver safe drinking water and hygiene supplies for 150,000 people, with more supplies on the way.

The U.S. Mission to Mozambique, coordinating through the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and supported by the U.S. Africa Command, says it will continue working with the Mozambican government and international partners to provide the immediate assistance required to preserve and protect the lives of Mozambicans in the areas affected by Cyclone Idai.

“The People of the United States stand with the People of Mozambique to respond to this disaster, and to rebuild the lives of those affected by Cyclone Idai.” source: U.S. Embassy in Mozambique

FAO distributes 180 tonnes of bean and maize seeds

Meanwhile, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is to distribute 180 tonnes of bean and maize seeds to Manica and Sofala provinces devastated by Cyclone Idai, it was officially announced yesterday (Monday).

“At the moment, water levels are lowering, and it is crucial that the government, FAO and its partners act quickly,” FAO’s representative in Mozambique Olman Serrano said.

Cyclone Idai has destroyed around 500,000 hectares of crops in the affected provinces in central Mozambique, according to the organisation’s figures, while the Mozambican government estimates 669,000 hectares have been affected.

A significant farming area has been flooded before maize and soy harvesting, and the most affected provinces were Sofala and Manica, which contribute 25% of production.

The official death toll continues to increase to over the 500 mark with another 1600 people with serious injuries, and more than 146,000 people living in reception centres. source: FAO

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PE’s TANKER BERTH WELCOMES ITS FIRST VESSEL AFTER REPAIRS

The tanker UAAC Mirdif at Port Elizabeth's newly repaired tanker berth, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The tanker UAAC Mirdif at Port Elizabeth’s newly repaired tanker berth

Last week we reported on the completion of repairs at Port Elizabeth’s tanker berth, which saw the berth being out of service for several weeks.

On Friday (29 March 2019) the port welcomed the berthing of UAAC MIRDIF (IMO 9402794), a tanker of 47,367-dwt that became the first vessel at the berth since the repairs were completed ahead of schedule.

UACC berthed at 10h00 on Friday and sailed the following day after having delivered a shipment of white oil for Nelson Mandela (Algoa) Bay.

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CONTINENT’S FIRST DREDGING SCHOOL LAUNCHED BY TRANSNET

Dredging Services personnel and the Dredging School at the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence., featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Dredging Services personnel and the Dredging School at the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence

Transnet and its forerunners at the respective ports and in particular at Durban have for long been at the forefront in harbour dredging, particularly maintenance work and with a modern fleet of dredgers that legacy has continued into the 21st Century.

Now the Transnet Maritime School of Excellence (MSoE) has advanced matters to a new level by having launched the continent’s first Dredging School to develop and enhance the competencies of new and already employed dredging personnel.

The Dredging School aims to train not only pipe operators, but project engineers, harbour masters, port engineers and…

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JOINT OPERATIONS TO COMBAT MARITIME CRIME IN INDIAN OCEAN

Ian Shiffman's picture of SAS Isandlwana F146 at Cape Town, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ian Shiffman’s picture of SAS Isandlwana F146 at Cape Town

According to a report in Lusa the governments of Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania intend carrying out joint actions in the Indian Ocean aimed at curbing international crime in the region.

This has been announced by the Mozambique Deputy Minister of the Interior, Helena Kida.

The Portuguese language newspaper Noticias quoted Minister Kida as saying that…

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MARITIME EMERGENCIES A REAL THREAT FOR SOUTH AFRICA: SAMSA

SAMSA Maritime Emergency readiness conference held in Durban March 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

South Africa’s state of readiness for maritime emergencies along its expanse of oceans at the southern tip of Africa remains porous at the very least, and finding viable solutions to the massive challenge lies with consultation and ongoing collaboration among stakeholders, the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has said.

Addressing about 80 delegates from the private and public sectors to a two-days maritime risks workshop in Durban last week, SAMSA board member and chairperson of the agency’s Maritime Industry Committee, Ms Sekabiso Molemane described the country’s maritime risks as high and the state of readiness for emergencies as low.

Ms Sekabiso Molemane, SAMSA Board Member, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ms Sekabiso Molemane, SAMSA Board Member

She attributed the situation to both increasing global utilisation of the oceans and waterways in and around the country, and the collapse of structures previously in place to safeguard the maritime and marine environments.

The risks involved ranged from pollution and environmental degradation, vessel traffic accidents involving both property and people’s lives, to improper use of the country’s waters by rogue elements in world trade.

Alongside these was the country’s poor state of readiness to respond properly and on time, with the requisite personnel, tools and equipment.

She said South Africa’s marine emergency response rested previously on a foundation of cooperative institutional infrastructure built on the mandates and respective capabilities of mainly government entities.

“Over time,” she said, “the mandate or main focus of most of the entities that formed the core of South Africa Maritime Emergency Cooperative Response got reviewed and in most cases, the review led to the erosion of the respective maritime elements.

“The cumulative result of these reviews is a substantially eroded marine emergency response capability.”

Examples of the situation included the diminished role of the South African Air Force in carrying out aerial functions as well as the reduction of Telkom Maritime Communications to Telkom Radio which has lead, to inadequate and obsolete communications infrastructure. In addition, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Pollution Combating Function had inadequate and outdated pollution equipment.

“Thus with the passage of time, the capability that the Department of Transport requires in order to respond to maritime emergencies has been largely diminished, in most cases both in terms of skills capacity, the equipment as well as institutional memory. This demise is largely driven by budgetary constraints within those institutions,” said Ms Molemane.

She said the purpose of the SAMSA organised workshop was for maritime risk stakeholders to take stock of what remains of the architecture for marine emergency response, reassess what the requirements are to resuscitate and sustain a world standard state of readiness, taking into account the funding and capacity that would be required to achieve the goal.

Speaking at the end of the first day of the workshop, SAMSA acting CEO, Mr Sobantu Tilayi expressed satisfaction with progress achieved during the day, wherein a number of crucial issues were identified for correction, inclusive of legislation that was suffering neglect due to lack of adequate attention.

Crucially, Mr Tilayi said, the important point of the exercise was to ensure that South Africans were aware of the situation and secondly, that necessary steps were being taken to address it.

“It helps little to hide challenges of this nature and which are in the public’s interest when what would be useful is to share the knowledge and with that, trust stakeholders to partner with you in finding solutions. That is what this two day gathering is about,” he said.

For Mr Tilayi’s full remarks at end of day one of the workshop, click on the video [07:10] below.

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EU NAVFOR MOVES OPERATIONAL HQ FROM NORTHWOOD UK TO SPAIN & FRANCE

The handing back of command at Rota Naval Base in Cadiz, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The handing back of command at Rota Naval Base in Cadiz

The UK may be vacillating over Brexit but one of the conclusions of the proposed withdrawal of the UK from the European Union involves the moving of EU NAVFOR’s Operational Headquarters (OHQ) from Northwood, UK to Rota, Spain and to Brest, France.

Despite the British Parliament as late as Friday 29 March – the day the UK was supposed to leave the EU – having voted effectively to delay Brexit by a period of two weeks or even longer, the transfer of EU NAVFOR has gone ahead on the original date as planned.

To commemorate the move of…

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USCGC SENECA COMPLETES PATROL

Coast Guard Cutter Seneca transits in Somes Sound near Acadia National Park, Maine on 20 February 2019. US Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist David Lau. U.S. Coast Guard District 1 USCG ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Coast Guard Cutter Seneca transits in Somes Sound near Acadia National Park, Maine on 20 February 2019. US Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist David Lau. U.S. Coast Guard District 1 USCG ©

It was reported by the US Coast Guard from Boston on 30 March that the cutter SENECA had returned to its homeport in Boston that day after an 86-day patrol in the northern Atlantic Ocean.

During the patrol, Seneca’s ship’s company responded to four search and rescue cases. One notable case involved…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

Preparing for an earlier patrol Coast Guard Cutter Seneca passes by the Statue of Liberty as she departs from GMD Shipyard, 7 December 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. Cutter Seneca underwent an 82-day drydock availability. US Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist David Lau. US Coast Guard District 1 USCG ©, as featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Preparing for an earlier patrol Coast Guard Cutter Seneca passes by the Statue of Liberty as she departs from GMD Shipyard, 7 December 2017 in Brooklyn, New York. Cutter Seneca underwent an 82-day drydock availability. US Coast Guard Photo by Auxiliarist David Lau. US Coast Guard District 1 USCG ©

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A WHALE OF A STORY

Entangled whale off Sea Point, Cape Town. Picture: SAWDN, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Entangled whale off Sea Point, Cape Town.   Picture: SAWDN

Juvenile Southern Right whale freed in a whale disentanglement operation off-shore of Sea Point

At 14h38, Friday, 29 March, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers were activated following reports from Francois Stapelberg, of African Eagle Marine Eco Tours, aboard their tourist boat Eagle 1, reporting to have come across a whale entangled in fishing rope, fishing gear and flotation buoys, 1.5 nautical miles off-shore of the Sea Point Pavilion.

A sea rescue craft conducting sea trials in the area diverted to investigate and it was confirmed to be an entangled 10 metre juvenile Southern Right whale and SAWDN were activated and the NSRI were requested to assist with sea rescue craft.

Francois had first alerted SAWDN to the same whale in February but despite an extensive search by SAWDN and NSRI no sign of the whale could be found.

On three further occasions in February and in March sightings of the same whale had been reported in Table Bay, Clifton and up the West Coast but every time SAWDN and NSRI responded all attempts to locate the whale were unsuccessful.

On two occasions a Girocopter was volunteered by Jean Tresfon to try to locate the whale but on both occasions no sign of the whale could be located.

On Friday, after finding the whale, Francois had taken his tourists back to the harbour before returning to seek out the whale which he was able to locate for a second time that day.

SAWDN also requested assistance from the Cape Town Boating Network and they had a member, who is also an NSRI spotter, locate the whale using a telescope from a residence high up of Sea Point, and a member who was launching his boat to go on a pleasure cruise also offered to assist in locating the whale.

Having confirmed sightings of the whale the NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft was launched accompanied by SAWDN volunteers and on arrival on the scene Francois was in attendance to point out the whale and it became evident why the animal had eluded previous search efforts for so long – due to a heavy clump of fishing gear wrapped around the whales tail in six entanglements forcing the tail to mostly lie under the water surface making it difficult to identify the whale as entangled.

NSRI Table Bay and NSRI Bakoven remained on alert to assist.

The whale was tired, said Mike Meyer of SAWDN, and two whales remained by the entangled whales side throughout the operation which always adds an element of emotion to these operations but the SAWDN crew were determined to free the whale having finally located it after so many previous unsuccessful efforts.

Kegging lines were attached to the entanglement and using the specialised cutting equipment the crew set about cutting the six ropes around the tail harbouring a clump of fishing gear and flotation buoys and another three around the fluke.

During the operation the whale dived under water a number of times and the close proximity of the other two whales made the operation challenging particularly because of the weight of the gear around the tail causing the tail to lie under water most of the time which made it difficult to determine which whale we were there to disentangle.

In an operation lasting about 20 minutes the SAWDN crew was able to cut free all entangled lines and all of the ropes and gear and buoys were recovered for disposal.

The disentangled whale, and its two companions went on their way leaving the crew confident of the affected whales survival following this ordeal and delighted with the successful operation.

SAWDN commend Francois Stapelberg for his involvement in locating this whale and all involved in the ongoing search for this whale and the operation.

About SAWDN

The South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) was established in 2006 in order to manage entangled whales using specialised equipment and is comprised of trained volunteers from the – National Sea Rescue Institute, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Department of Environmental Affairs, Centre for Sustainable Oceans at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Nature, Mammal Research Institute, South African National Parks, South African Police Service, Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Cape Nature, Bayworld, various Boat Based Whale Watching and Shark Cage Diving Operators, the Rock Lobster Industry and the Octopus Industry and fully supported by the Dolphin Action and Protection Group.
SAWDN covers the entire South African coastline. Whales assisted to date: 174

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RECOVERY TIME IN BEIRA IN THE WAKE OF CYCLONE IDAI

As the situation in Beira and surrounding districts, and also in Malawi and Zimbabwe turns to recovery by the local populations, many of whom having lost everything in the floods and fury that accompanied Cyclone Idai earlier in March, so too is attention being given to dealing with the trauma that ordinary people suffered.

This unnamed experienced captain of a service vessel at Beira describes to one of the chaplains how he has faced many storms and cyclones in Mozambique waters but this one, he said, left him scared, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
This unnamed experienced captain of a service vessel at Beira describes to one of the chaplains how he has faced many storms and cyclones in Mozambique waters but this one, he said, left him scared.

For a large number the aftermath of the storm meant them clinging to trees or roof tops as flood waters rose around them, waiting in the uncertain hope that someone would come to rescue them.

For many that was a long wait but eventually rescuers did come.   Among the very…

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MIAMI-DADE COUNTY DELEGATION REVISITS PORT OF CAPE TOWN

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) this week welcomed a high-level delegation from the Miami-Dade County in the United States for a tour of South Africa’s second busiest port, the Port of Cape Town.

Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, Commissioner Audrey M Edmonson, and Cape Town Harbour Master and Acting Port Manager, Captain Alex Miya, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, Commissioner Audrey M Edmonson, and Cape Town Harbour Master and Acting Port Manager, Captain Alex Miya

The visit on Tuesday 26 March formed part of the Miami-Dade Business Development Mission to South Africa from March 24 to March 27, 2019.

The Miami-Dade delegation was led by Ms Audrey M Edmonson, Chairwoman of the Miami-Dade County Commission. She was joined by senior representatives of entities including Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Port Miami, Miami-Dade County’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) and Miami Downtown Development Authority.

TNPA and the Miami-Dade County enjoy an ongoing relationship which included the signing of an MOU in 2014 to collaborate on vital skills and training, internships and exchanges between Miami and South African ports. There have also been several visits to the port over the years.

Outcomes of the MOU to date include collaboration on cruise business best practices, expanding trade routes to and from Miami Port and capitalising on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) opportunities from Cape Town.

The Port of Miami’s largest exports to South Africa include machinery, vehicles, electronics and textiles, while South Africa’s largest exports to Miami are metal, steel articles, textiles and live trees.

Miami is the closest US entry point into the key North American market. It is viewed as a world-class city, global gateway, logistics hub and cruise tourism capital of the world.

Meanwhile the Port of Cape Town – one of eight commercial and complementary ports along South Africa’s nearly 3000 kilometre coastline – handles a variety of cargo, including fresh produce and South Africa’s famous Cape wines for export. The port supports a vibrant fishing sector, a burgeoning off-shore oil and gas industry and provides ship repair services.

It is also one of two home ports serving the fast-growing cruise industry and attracting growing numbers of tourists. The V&A Waterfront was awarded a concession by TNPA for the development of the Cruise Terminal facility at E Berth, which is now at Phase three of its development.

TNPA’s Cape Town acting Port Manager, Captain Alex Miya said the South African port authority was committed to exploring various ways in which to grow the relationship between the Port of Miami and the Port of Cape Town.

Other engagements during the Miami-Dade delegation’s Cape Town visit included discussions with the City of Cape Town’s Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, the City’s International Relations Office, U.S. & South African Trade Officials, WESGRO and Business-to-Business matchmaking meetings with private sector participants.

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TRUCKS SET ALIGHT ON N-3 HIGHWAY NEAR MOOI RIVER

Trucks set alight on N-3 highway near Mooi River, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Trucks set alight on N-3 highway between Pietermaritzburg and Ladysmith near Mooi River

Further attacks of trucks travelling between the port city of Durban and Gauteng have taken place, with four trucks stopped by armed men on the N-3 near Mooi River before being set alight.

The latest attack is thought to be linked to xenophobic disruptions involving the destruction of trucks in and around the greater Durban area and on the main N-3 highway inland by armed men claiming to be protesting against the use of foreign truck drivers and crew by…

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DENMARK CONTINUES MARITIME COOPERATION WITH GHANA

Ghana's new container terminal at Tema as it will appear, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ghana’s new container terminal at Tema as it will appear

Denmark and Ghana have cooperated on e-navigation resources, implementation of international regulations and training of tug masters since 2015.

It was reported by the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) at the end of March that this strategic sector cooperation has been extended until 2021.

This cooperation between Denmark and Ghana is to support capacity building in the maritime sector to the benefit of both countries.

Denmark and Ghana have cooperated on e-navigation solutions, implementation of international regulations and training of tugboat captains since 2015. This week, the strategic sector cooperation was extended until 2021, from a report featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Denmark and Ghana have cooperated on e-navigation solutions, implementation of international regulations and training of tugboat captains since 2015. This week, the strategic sector cooperation was extended until 2021

Andreas Nordseth, Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority, said during…

Edited by Paul Ridgway
London

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TNPA COMMITS TO GROWING EXPORTS IN EASTERN CAPE

Pictured at the TNPA Port of East London exhibition stand at the Eastern Cape Export Symposium were (left to right) Sixolile Makaula - Business Strategy and Stakeholder Manager at TNPA Port of East London, Linda Lubengu, ECDC’s Export Relations Coordinator for the Buffalo City Export Helpdesk, and Dirk Botes, Customer Relationship Manager at the Port of East London. Featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictured at the TNPA Port of East London exhibition stand at the Eastern Cape Export Symposium were (left to right) Sixolile Makaula – Business Strategy and Stakeholder Manager at TNPA Port of East London, Linda Lubengu, ECDC’s Export Relations Coordinator for the Buffalo City Export Helpdesk, and Dirk Botes, Customer Relationship Manager at the Port of East London

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has again voiced its commitment to using the ports of the Eastern Cape to drive economic growth and long-term sustainability.

This was made clear during the port landlord’s participation at the inaugural Eastern Cape Export Symposium held in East London on 27-28 March.

An initiative of the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) in partnership with the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, the symposium brought together industry experts, established exporters and export-ready small businesses with the aim of facilitating high value export deals and forming new trade collaborations between existing and export-ready businesses.

East London port Manager, Sharon Sijako, said TNPA saw the ports as natural partners to help create awareness of different import and export opportunities.

“If we can achieve a more export driven economy the benefits to South Africa would be tremendous,” she said. “By lending our support to platforms like this we want to make it easier for small businesses to leverage off foreign markets and grow the Eastern Cape’s export businesses and industries.”

TNPA also hosted a networking function at Latimers Landing (waterfront) in the Port of East London to give delegates a feel of the port’s offering.

In addition to participating in the symposium’s exhibition, representatives of TNPA were among the expert speakers at the event.

Nozipho Booi, New Business Manager at the Port of Ngqura, and Dirk Botes, Customer Relationship Manager at the Port of East London, spoke on the Eastern Cape Export Capacity panel.

The discussion looked at the Eastern Cape’s strategically and economically advanced offering including a geographical location that presents a huge opportunity for investment, and economy enhancing infrastructure including three ports, two airports and road and rail infrastructure.

Around 80% of the province’s exports are seaborne, 12% airborne and 8% traded by land border and inland port.

Sijako congratulated the ECDC, BCMM and NMBM on a successful event which she said would help expansion of export businesses into international markets.

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CYCLONE JOANINHA SWINGS PAST RODRIGUEZ CLOSE TO MAURITIUS

Cyclone Joaninha's likely track, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Cyclone Joaninha’s likely track

Tropical Cyclone Joaninha (22S) was situated near 20.7S 67.2E at 03h00 on Thursday 28 March. The cyclone is tracking in a general South Easterly direction at about 3 knots and is gradually moving away from the Mascarene Islands.

Maximum wind intensity is currently recorded at 115 knots gusting to 140 knots in warm sea conditions of 28-29 degrees Celsius.

The Mauritius Meteorological Services (MMS) has issued several warnings on…

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PORT OF PE TANKER BERTH BACK IN BUSINESS

Repaired walkway at the PE tanker berth. Picture: TNPA, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Repaired walkway at the PE tanker berth. Picture: TNPA

Repairs to the Tanker Berth at the port of Port Elizabeth (PE) have been completed, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) announced on Wednesday (27 March 2019).

The repairs were completed ahead of schedule and the tanker berth successfully recertified…

Aerial view of PE harbour with blue ship at the tanker berth. Picture: TNPA, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Aerial view of PE harbour with blue ship at the tanker berth. Picture: TNPA

 

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DEFECTIVE VESSEL PASSAGE PLANS: WHEN FAILING TO PLAN IS PLANNING TO FAIL

Carol Holness, Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Carol Holness

 

By Carol Holness
Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa

In an important judgment [Alize 1954 & Anor v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG & Ors (The CMA CGM Libra) [2019] EWHC 481 (Admlty) (8 March 2019)] for cargo owners and their marine insurers, the English courts have considered how a defective passage plan can result in a vessel being considered unseaworthy and when this may allow cargo interests to defend a shipowner’s claims for general average contributions.

Claims for general average

Following a major casualty such as a fire or grounding, it is common for shipowners to incur substantial expenses in order to preserve cargo and continue the voyage. Under the principle of general average, shipowners may try to claim back proportionate contributions from other parties to the voyage including charterers, hull and machinery underwriters and cargo owners. Most marine cargo insurance will cover the cargo owner’s liability for general average contributions; while uninsured cargo owners will have to pay such contributions themselves.

In the recent decision of the CMA CGM Libra, the Master of the vessel departed from the planned route reflected in the vessel’s passage plan and left the buoyed fairway while departing Xiamen Port. The vessel ran aground and the shipowner incurred salvage expenses of USD9.5m and general average expenses of USD13m. 92 percent of the cargo interests paid their share of the general average expenses while eight percent defended the claims for contributions.

The test for defending claims for general average

In order to successfully defend claims for general average contributions, cargo owners (or, in practice, their marine insurers) will have to show that the vessel was unseaworthy at the commencement of the voyage and that this caused the loss. The shipowner will then have to show that it exercised due diligence to make the vessel seaworthy in order to escape liability.

In the CMA CGM Libra, the Master and First Officer used paper charts when preparing the vessel’s passage plan for the vessel’s departure from Xiamen. The papers charts did not mark the shoal upon which the vessel grounded but a recent Notice to Mariners issued for Xiamen warned that there were numerous shallow areas which were less than the charted depths within the channel and in the approach to the port. In addition, the passage plan had not been marked with “no go” areas.

The cargo interests argued that the defective passage plan made the vessel unseaworthy, that the unseaworthiness caused the grounding, and that the shipowner failed to exercise due diligence to make the vessel seaworthy.

Negligence on the part of the crew

The court held that the Master’s decision to depart from the passage plan and to navigate outside the buoyed channel was negligent as it was not a decision a prudent mariner would have taken. Prudent passage planning required that the danger created by the presence of potentially shallower depths than those charted to be noted on the paper charts and on the passage plan. The omission of the warning rendered those documents defective.

However, negligence on the part of the crew is not sufficient for actionable fault on the part of the shipowner. The negligence must amount to unseaworthiness and the shipowner must have failed to exercise due diligence.

Unseaworthiness of the vessel

The court considered whether the defective passage plan rendered the vessel unseaworthy. The accepted test for unseaworthiness is whether a prudent shipowner would have required the relevant defect, had the shipowner known of it, to be made good before sending the ship to sea. The court considered the presence of an appropriate chart on board a vessel to not just constitute an aspect of the preparation for a safe navigation; it is also an aspect of seaworthiness.

The court rejected the shipowner’s assertions that a once-off defective passage plan did not amount to unseaworthiness, or that it was sufficient for a shipowner to have proper systems on board to ensure that the Master and First Officer were able to prepare an adequate passage plan before the beginning of the voyage.

A prudent shipowner would have insisted on the vessel having on board an adequate passage plan before the voyage had commenced. In this case, a defective passage plan resulted in the Master’s departure from the buoyed fairway and this caused the grounding.

Lack of due diligence by the shipowner

Having found that the vessel was unseaworthy and that this caused the loss, the onus was on the shipowner to show that the loss was not caused by a lack of due diligence on its part. The court confirmed previous decisions that the exercise of due diligence is an inescapable personal obligation on the part of the shipowner which cannot be delegated to someone else.

The shipowner had issued its own warning to its Masters and crew about the difficulty of navigating Xiamen waters and instructed them to do so with utmost care and diligent caution.

The court held that it is not sufficient for a shipowner to show that it itself exercised due diligence to make the ship seaworthy; the shipowner must show that the servants or agents that it has relied on to make the vessel seaworthy exercised due diligence.

In practice, a shipowner seldom has sight of the passage plans prepared by the crew. It is even less likely that a shipowner will override a passage plan prepared by the First Officer or Master. What the shipowner can do is to have an adequate system in place to warn navigators of any particular dangers of a port, to ensure that sufficient and up to date charts and warnings are on board the vessel and to train the crew adequately.

The court’s findings

The court held that the CMA CGM Libra was unseaworthy before and at the beginning of the voyage from Xiamen because of the defective passage plan and that this caused the grounding. The shipowner had failed to exercise due diligence to make the ship seaworthy because the Master and First Officer failed to exercise reasonable skill and care in preparing the passage plan. If a vessel’s charts are not up to date that is an “attribute” of the vessel which can render her unseaworthy. As a result, there was actionable fault on the part of the shipowner which allowed the cargo interests to successfully defend the shipowner’s claim for general average contributions.

The cargo interest’s success may not stand if the judgment is taken on appeal by the shipowner. The decision appears to blur the lines between an error in navigation on the part of the crew (for which the shipowner may escape liability) and actionable fault on the part of the shipowner (which allows cargo interests to defend claims for general average contributions).

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ABB PROPULSION SYSTEMS TO POWER FIRST CHINESE-BUILT CRUISE SHIP

ABB's Azipod steerable propulsion system to be installed in new Chinese cruise ship, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
ABB’s Azipod steerable propulsion system to be installed in new Chinese cruise ship

ABB announced earlier today (Wednesday 27 March 2019) that it has been awarded a contract to supply an integrated package, including two Azipod steerable propulsion systems, for the construction of China’s first ever home-grown cruise ship.

“ABB has a long-standing history in delivering electric, digital and connected solutions to the cruise market globally, and with our strong local experience and proven solutions, we are committed to support China’s current and future cruise demands,” said Mr Gang Chen, General Manager of Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co, Ltd.

The 323-metre-long ship, due for delivery in 2023, can accommodate 5,000 passengers and is designed to suit the tastes of Chinese cruise travelers whose numbers are…

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    CRUISE NEWS AND NAVAL ACTIVITIES


    QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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    THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

    “Don’t underestimate me because I’m quiet. I know more than I say, think more than I speak and observe more than you know.”

    – Michaela Chung, author of The Irresistible Introvert

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