Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 25 August 2019


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O[PTIMANA arriving in Durban, picture by KeithBetts andfeatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Optimana arriving at Durban. Pictures: Keith Betts, fetaured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Optimana. Pictures: Keith Betts

The Saga Welco general cargo ship OPTIMANA (IMO 9253856) shown arriving in Durban last week. The 54,683-dwt vessel, built in 2003, is managed (ISM) by Zeaborn Shipmanagement of Singapore and commercially by Masterbulk Shipmanagement also of Singapore. Masterbulk is also the registered owner – the ship is flagged in Douglas, Isle of Man. Optimana has a length of 212.5 metres and a width of 32.5m and is one of three ships in her class or type in the Saga Welco fleet. Equipped with two sets of travelling gantry to provide full weather protection, the ship can also carry a total of 2,500 container TEUs. These pictures are by Keith Betts



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CMA CGM Danube at Port of Walvis Bay. Picture courtesy: Namport, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Danube at Port of Walvis Bay. Picture courtesy: Namport

French company CMA CGM has announced the following General Rate Restoration (GRR) on its services from Asia to East and South Africa and Indian Ocean destinations.

With effect 15 September 2019 (B/L date) and from Asia all ports:

To East Africa including Kenya, Tanzania,…[restrict] Mozambique
To South Africa including Durban and Cape Town
To Indian Ocean including Madagascar, Mauritius

Quantum: USD 200/20′ – USD 400/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk

the following General Rate Restoration (GRR) on its services from Asia to West Africa destinations.

With effect 15 September 2019 (B/L date) and to West Africa all ports:

From China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan
Quantum: USD 500/20′ | USD 1,000/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk

From South East Asia
Quantum: USD 500/20′ | USD 500/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk[/restrict]


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Joint Industry Guidance


Illustration reproduced here by kind courtesy of the Joint Industry members listed above ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Illustration reproduced here by kind courtesy of the Joint Industry members listed above ©

London: A number of shipping, refining, fuel supply and standards organisations have worked together to produce Joint Industry Guidance on the supply and use of 0.50% sulphur marine fuel. *These organisations are listed below.

The document was released on behalf of the Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF) on 20 August, is available at no charge and can be found here on the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) websiteby CLICKING HERE

This publication has been developed by experts from across shipping, refining, supply and testing of marine fuels.

It is understood that the publication is designed to provide guidance for stakeholders across the marine fuels and shipping industries, from fuel blenders and suppliers to end users.

Here are presented (a) the specific safety and operational issues relating to the supply and use of max. 0.50%-sulphur fuels, (b) an overview of fuel quality principles, and (c) the controls that should be put in place to ensure that safety issues are identified, prevented and/or mitigated.

The document addresses issues such as fuel compatibility, fuel stability, and fuel handling and storage, and contains a comprehensive review of existing operational factors that can affect safety.

It does not address issues related to compliance with Flag State, Port State or IMO rules or guidelines, or alternative means of compliance (for example Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems), and does not include a discussion of alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas, hydrogen or methanol.

Key messages publicised are:

 Ensure fuel quality by ensuring that blend components are suitable for bunker fuel production, with particular attention being given to ensure that the final product is stable.

 Fuel suppliers and purchasers should provide adequate information to the ship concerning the fuel as supplied to enable ship crew to identify and manage potential safety and operational issues associated with certain fuel properties and characteristics.

 Fuel characteristics are expected to vary considerably between bunkers. The ship’s crew will need to adopt a more proactive approach to fuel management. They will need to know the fuel characteristics as loaded and be able to respond to the requirements, especially in terms of on board temperature requirements and any commingling.

 While compatibility between fuels from different supply sources can be a concern in today’s environment, assessing compatibility of 0.50%-sulphur fuels from different sources will be key. To the extent possible, fuel should be loaded into an empty tank. The available space for new bunkers to be loaded should be taken as the capacity of the empty tanks in order to avoid commingling on loading.

 Ship operators and fuel suppliers should review operational practices to allow sufficient time to test for compatibility between existing and proposed bunker fuel delivery, especially if no “empty” dedicated storage tank is available on the ship.


It is reported that the publication will be supported by an e-learning course to be released in October 2019.

The aims of the e-Learning course will include a means:

1. To provide an understanding of MARPOL Annex VI and its potential impact on the management of fuels on board ships.

2. To raise awareness of and offer solutions to potential fuel management issues.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

* African Refiners’ Association (ARA)
Concawe, Environmental Science for European Refining
Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST)
International Association of Classification Societies (IACS)
International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA)
International Council on Combustion Engines (CIMAC)
International Group of P&I Clubs
IPIECA (The global oil and gas association for advancing
environmental and social performance)
ISO/TC 28/SC 4/WG 6
Japan Petroleum Energy Center (JPEC)
Oil Companies’ International Marine Forum (OCIMF)
The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA)


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JR More under tow in the Esplanade Channel. Upper photo shows JR More having been eased away from her berth at the Maritime Museum. Pictures by Trevor Jones

JR More under tow in the Esplanade Channel. Upper photo shows JR More having been eased away from her berth at the Maritime Museum. Pictures by Trevor Jones, featrued inAfrica PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
JR More under tow in the Esplanade Channel. Upper photo shows JR More having been eased away from her berth at the Maritime Museum. Pictures by Trevor Jones

Durban: After a number of false starts two of the museum vessels at the Port Natal Maritime Museum in Durban have finally arrived at SA Shipyards where one ship, the ex SA Navy minesweeper SAS DURBAN, is already on the floating dock.

SAS Durban was towed across Durban Bay on Wednesday 21 August and went later that day on the floating dock where workmen are busy undertaking the necessary repairs and refurbishment. To see that photo story CLICK HERE

The former harbour and ocean-going steam tug JR MORE was supposed to have gone to the yard on Friday but a last minute delay with the availability of Transnet tugs due to necessary ship movements in the harbour, meant a further delay.

Instead she was moved on Saturday morning, 24 August leaving the museum quayside naked from emptiness. What it does provide for visitors however is a magnificent view across the harbour while the statue of the Lady in White, the late Perla Gibson, now has this view as a magnificent backdrop.

The cost of repairs and refurbishment on both museum vessels is being met by the eThekwini Municipality-run Local History Museums of which the maritime museum forms a part.

Despite the absence of the two main attractions at the maritime museum, a third vessel remains available to visitors who can clamber onboard to explore the engine room, wheelhouse and deck of the workboat/tug named ULUNDI.

This vessel is in fact the first exhibit that visitors notice as they arrive at the museum, which is on the harbour-side of the Esplanade facing into Durban Bay and close to the Transnet Tug Basin. The Durban Car Terminal R-berth is also close by. Ulundi towers over the entrance gate, for this vessel is placed on the hard, ashore and access is gained through a doorway cut into the side and leading directly to the engine room.

Ulundi was the oldest surviving workboat in the country, having started her working life in Algoa Bay during the 1920s, when she operated for a private company towing lighters to and from ships at anchor in Algoa Bay – this was prior to Port Elizabeth having an enclosed harbour as we know it today.

In the late 1930s when the then South African Railways & Harbours took up responsibility for Port Elizabeth and created the harbour more or less as we now know it, Ulundi was released from her duties ferrying lighters and, now owned by the SAR&H, was transferred to Durban to operate as a pilot tug. She was retired from service on 17 November 1982 and following the establishment of the museum from 1988, was donated by the then SA Transport Services (now Transnet) and moved into position on the hard using the port’s gigantic floating crane.

SAS Durban on SASDock at the SA Shipyards, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SAS Durban on SASDock at the SA Shipyards

The museum boasts a wide variety of other exhibits – a growing collection of ship models, which includes a 5-metre long model of the ARMADALE CASTLE passenger ship, a large whaling exhibition, and a number of smaller craft of which some are sorely in need of TLC.

A Resource Centre consisting at this stage of a growing library of maritime-related books and magazines is under development and is one of the latest developments at the museum. The number of books on the shelves already reaches past the 600 mark with several thousand others in the pipeline. Further donations of a maritime nature are encouraged.

A group of volunteers who style themselves simply as The Friends offer their services at the museum and new recruits’ to the ranks are welcome. The contact number at the museum is +27 031 322 9598.


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CMA CGM Kerguelen, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Kerguelen

Calling it a forward-looking, socially responsible choice to protect the biodiversity of both the Arctic region and the entire planet, French shipping line CMA CGM has announced two major decisions impacting the future of the maritime industry:

* the CMA CGM fleet will not use the Northern Sea Route
* the Group will give priority to liquefied natural gas to power its future ships

French President Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Labour Muriel Pénicaud, and Deputy Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Brune Poirson, invited to the Elysée Palace representatives of the…[restrict] shipping industry including global leader CMA CGM.

This was in advance of the G7 meeting at Biarritz from today (Saturday) 24-26 August during which Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, used the opportunity to make the announcement.

CMA CGM, which is a pioneer and world leader in the use of LNG to power its future high-capacity container ships, is also a signatory of the SAILS Charter initiated by France’s Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition.

The announcement thus reasserts the CMA CGM Group’s role within the maritime transport industry as a leader in protecting the environment.

Protecting the Arctic, the world’s reservoir of biodiversity

Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Chairman and CEO, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Chairman and CEO

The Northern Sea Route, which runs the length of the Siberian Coast, connects Asia to Europe. It has been made navigable due to the effects of global warming. Rich in its unique and largely unexplored biodiversity, the Arctic plays an essential role in regulating ocean currents and global climate patterns. The use of the Northern Sea Route will represent a significant danger to the unique natural ecosystems of this part of the world, mainly due to the numerous threats posed by accidents, oil pollution or collisions with marine wildlife.

It is to avoid posing a greater threat to this fragile environment that Rodolphe Saadé has decided that none of the CMA CGM Group’s 500 vessels will use the Northern Sea Route along Siberia, which is now open due to climate change.

The company says it is making this choice to protect the environment and the planet’s biodiversity despite the major competitive advantage this route represents for shipping companies.

Pioneer in the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to power ultra-large vessels

LNG offers the best proven solution available to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of maritime transport, reducing emissions of sulphur and fine particles by 99%; nitrogen oxides emissions by 85%; and carbon dioxide emissions by up to 20%.

CMA CGM regards itself as leading the way with its decision to use LNG power in its ultra-large ships that carry up to 23,000 containers. This pioneering choice in the international maritime industry took seven years of development in collaboration with shipyards, suppliers, large groups, SMEs and research laboratories. The first ship in this fleet of nine container vessels will be delivered as early as 2020 and by 2022 the Group will have 20 LNG-powered vessels in its fleet.

CMA CGM is continuing its research into other energy sources and was the world’s first container shipping company to successfully test a biofuel oil, made with 20% recycled vegetable oils and forest residues. It is also establishing research partnerships to develop hydrogen as a potential long-term energy solution.

CMA CGM, a leader in the energy transition of the shipping industry
During the meeting with the President of France, Rodolphe Saadé, acting on behalf of the maritime industry, the SAILS (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low-impact Shipping) Charter, formalised the initiative of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. Through this charter, the ten French signatory shipping companies, all members of Armateurs de France, commit to implementing specific actions in the reduction of emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, whale protection, vessel energy optimisation and performance, and strengthening of relations with the scientific community.

CMA CGM says it is continuously innovating in order to equip its fleet with the most environmentally-friendly technology. Between 2005 and 2015, the Group has already reduced its CO2 emissions per container transported by 50% and has a target to further reduce these emissions by a further 30% by 2025.

“We make these choices to meet the needs of our employees and our customers, who are increasingly concerned about the environment,” says Saadé. “But above all, we make these decisions for the future, to leave our children a cleaner planet. These are brave, bold choices, which go far beyond purely business decisions. This is a firm belief for us, born out of our family ethos and our strong human values, to make responsible, forward-looking choices. That is how we plan to build fairer, more environmentally-friendly trade, and I invite the entire industry – competitors, partners and customers – to join us.”[/restrict]


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One of the assets recovered by Grindrod from West Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
One of the assets recovered by Grindrod from West Africa

Durban: Grindrod Limited (Grindrod), the JSE listed freight and financial services company, released its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019, on Friday.

Grindrod’s Freight Services business is focused on ‘unlocking sub-Saharan African trade corridors. This requires the alignment of its businesses along key corridors, to connect and extend supply chains, effectively providing a corridor solution for cargo flow. The marine fuel business and agricultural investments do not fit into these ‘corridor solutions’, leading to the decision to exit these businesses.

The core bank has been further capitalized with R100 million following good growth in deposits and advances and is focusing on property lending and the SME market. The private equity businesses have been split out and are now being driven as a separate focused business.

Overall, the continuing operations performed well. Port and Terminals, Logistics and Bank – generated first half trading profit of R678 million up 22 per cent on the prior year of R556 million. Headline earnings grew by 118 per cent to R136.7 million compared to R62.6 million in 2018.

Discontinued operations – Marine Fuel and Agricultural investments – reported a trading loss of R241 million (2018: R371 million trading profit). This includes an impairment provision in the Marine Fuels UAE business.

The Agricultural investments made good trading profits; however, the discontinued businesses are now held for sale and an impairment provision has been raised against the investment carrying values of the businesses to reflect management’s estimate of the recoverable value.

Port, Terminals and Logistics

Site of the Grindrod Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Site of the Grindrod Calulo Liquid Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ngqura – see below

Scaling these businesses by investing in infrastructure and acquiring assets, included:
-The acquisition of mobile cranes in Maputo Port to improve efficiency;
-Slab and quay development in Maputo Port to add further capacity;
-Facilities in Richards Bay and Durban upgraded to facilitate new cargo and customers;
-Twenty-four locomotives extracted from the Tonkolili mine (the mine closed in 2017) in Sierra Leone for deployment in sub-Saharan Africa on leasing contracts;
-Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo commenced the construction and development of the Ngqura Liquid Bulk Terminal.

Diversifying the customer base and commodities, included:
-Key contract extensions with shipping lines and key contract logistics customers;
-New customer contracts developed with shipping lines, cement, coal, hematite and vehicle customers;
-Additional Mozambique voyages and improved volumes in cement, steel and mill shipments despite the impact of cyclone Idai in Beira;
-Oil and gas focus in Northern Mozambique;
-Building solutions for the movement of copper, sulphur and fuel on the DRC and Zambia corridors.

Andrew Waller, CEO Grindrod Limited had this to say: “In most businesses we saw improvement in results off a very clear focus on customer solutions and servicing the supply chain. Strong iron ore prices in the first half sustained chrome volumes and our Nacala operational ramp up also contributed to the improvements.”


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Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU) deegates at Cape Town this week, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Cape Town: South Africa has been called upon to step up and increase its regional support of Indian Ocean rim countries in order to improve the general standard and level of control measures in place to maintain safety and security of the regions’ oceans, reports the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

The call has been issued by the chairperson of the 20-member States Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding (IOMOU), Ms Beatrice Nyamoita in an interview on the sidelines of the organisation’s Port State Control Committee meeting currently taking place in Cape Town over five days since Monday this week.

IOMOU member States represented include Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Eritrea, France (La Reunion), India, Iran, Kenya, Madagascar, Maldives, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Oman, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Yemen.

Also present are delegates from other observer States and organisation with similar status as the IOMOU.

Ms Beatrice Nyamoita, Chairperson of IOMOU, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ms Beatrice Nyamoita, Chairperson of IOMOU

The IOMOU on Port State Control has its main function the establishment and maintenance of a harmonised system of port State Controls as envisaged in various instruments under the directive of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and similar such institutions.

The port State control system, according to the IOMOU ‘aims to verify whether foreign flagged vessels calling at a port of a State comply with applicable international maritime conventions.’

There are no less than 12 of such IMO and related institutions’ conventions and protocols that inform the IOMOU’s port State control activities across the region.

In Cape Town on Tuesday, Ms Nyamoita said while the IOMOU block had made several achievements over the past two decades to both enrol as many Indian Ocean countries into the fold of the IOMOU, and to harmonise adoption of instruments for group of countries activities in promoting and maintaining safety and security of the region’s ocean area by preventing entry of substandard vessels into the region’s sea waters, sufficient capacity remained the major challenge.

She said because of the nature of the training programme required for inspection officers in member States, particularly the long duration and costs involved, many of the countries were unable to develop an adequate number of personnel sufficiently skilled to carry out necessary vessel inspections and surveys.

“We have managed to ensure the development of standard procedures across the region intended to harmonise and establish uniformity of activity aimed at enhancing safety and securing of people and ships in our our respective ocean spaces. However, the greatest challenge currently facing IOMOU member States with regards port State control is capacity,” she said.

“Most of the member States cannot afford to train enough people. The training takes too long and governments budgets do not give priority to training people for port State control.”

She said currently, the IOMOU relied on support from other MOU organisations across the world, but this was just not enough for development of a cadre of skilled officials required by countries in the region in order to meet their obligations.

Ms Nyamoita said South Africa on the other hand, however, had certain advantages that would be beneficial to the organisation, such as vast experience in maritime matters, as well possessing infrastructure in terms of its relatively higher number of ports in which to conduct vessel inspection. The vast ports infrastructure could be beneficial to IOMOU country’s skills development, she said.

“I’d like to encourage the government of South Africa to endeavour to train the port State control officers and to effectively take control of port State control activities in the region.

“We request that South Africa actually support… because we know that the country has more experience in the region…to undertake the training of port State control officers for countries in the region that are unable to do so themselves. In so doing, this will greatly assist in harmonising the training and activities in the region,” she said.

For Ms Nyamoita’s full interview (9.18 minutes) click on the video below:

Meanwhile, IOMOU Secretary, Mr Dilip Mehrotra presented his organisational report to the meeting on Monday. His presentation (19.49 minutes) is captured in the video below.

The IOMOU five-day meeting’s agenda this week is looking at a whole range of issues among which is an analysis of CIC on MARPOL Annex VI as well as development of guidelines for MARPOL Annex IV and Annex V for inclusion into the region’s port State control manual; port state inspections carried out by the maritime authorities, short term training programmes and a lot more other issues including the organisation’s online information management system.   source: SAMSA


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Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants with Gerardine Delanoye, Capacity Building and Resources Manager: IALA World-Wide Academy, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants with Gerardine Delanoye, Capacity Building and Resources Manager: IALA World-Wide Academy

Cape Town: Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) successfully hosted another IALA Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training course for six participants from Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and The Gambia.

The course was held in Cape Town from 22 July to 16 August 2019.

The Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Manager training was developed by IALA, the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities. IALA is the only international body concerned with the provision of AtoNs at sea and on inland waterways, and its recommendations and standards are accepted and implemented all over the world, including South Africa.

Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants during their technical visit to the Green Point Lighthouse, the oldest in South Africa. Pictured from left to right: Alexandre Cossa (National Hydrography and Navigation Institute Mozambique), Johannes Muzanima (Ministry of Works and Transport Namibia), Immanuel Hango (Namibian Ports Authority), Laura Chirindja (National Hydrography and Navigation Institute Mozambique), Babucarr Mbye (Gambia Maritime Administration) and Bruce Nell (Oynetec PTY Ltd South Africa), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants during their technical visit to the Green Point Lighthouse, the oldest in South Africa. Pictured from left to right: Alexandre Cossa (National Hydrography and Navigation Institute Mozambique), Johannes Muzanima (Ministry of Works and Transport Namibia), Immanuel Hango (Namibian Ports Authority), Laura Chirindja (National Hydrography and Navigation Institute Mozambique), Babucarr Mbye (Gambia Maritime Administration) and Bruce Nell (Oynetec PTY Ltd South Africa)

The training targeted those who fulfil the role of AtoN Managers in the Competent Authorities of Coastal States or their AtoN service providers. The three-module course aimed to enable participants to gain an internationally recognised Aids to Navigation Certificate as an AtoN Manager, with competencies including technical functions of visual, radio and audible AtoN, Vessel Traffic Services, AtoN provision, design and maintenance, contracts, environmental matters and human resource issues.

The theoretical training was delivered by David Gordon, Executive Manager: Lighthouse and Navigational Systems, and Gerardine Delanoye, Capacity Building and Resources Manager: IALA World-Wide Academy, together with TNPA-endorsed experts.

The training included technical visits to the historical Green Point Lighthouse, South African Navy Hydrographic Office (SANHO), STC-Southern Africa, the South African Maritime Safety Authority’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (SAMSA MRCC), South Africa Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

TNPA first hosted the Level 1.1 AtoN Manager training in 2018 for students from South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Kenya and Madagascar.

“South Africa is recognised as the centre of excellence in Africa with regard to AtoNs, and will continue to host this important training to achieve competence and compliance on the African continent,” said David Gordon.

TNPA is hoping to add the Level 2 Aids to Navigation Technician Course to its training for 2020/21.

Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants at the closing ceremony on 16 August 2019, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Level 1.1 Aids to Navigation Manager training participants at the closing ceremony on 16 August 2019



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NSRI boarding the container ship in Table Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NSRI boarding the container ship in Table Bay on Tuesday night. Picture courtesy: NSRI

Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay Station 3 commander reports that at 22h55 on Tuesday this week, 20 August, the NSRI Table Bay duty crew, accompanied by WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics, launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom to rendezvous with a container ship lying off-shore of the Port of Table Bay.

NSRI rescue crew and the EMS rescue paramedics were transferred onto the ship where a 22 year old Filipino male with a medical condition was waiting for their arrival.

The transfer had been arranged earlier in the day as the ship approached the port of Cape Town. Once the NSRI rescue crew and rescue paramedics had assessed the patient’s condition, the seafarer was transferred to the sea rescue craft in a stable condition and taken ashore without incident. From the NSRI base he was able to be transferred to hospital by ER24 ambulance.

The NSRI duty crew were then stood down for the night.

Paramedics and NSRI personnel wait to place the patient in an ambulance beforfe taking him to hospital, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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An American destroyer USS Preble and an Australian frigate, HMAS Melbourne, sail together in the Philippine Sea. Picture: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel/Navy, Released, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
An American destroyer USS Preble and an Australian frigate, HMAS Melbourne, sail together in the Philippine Sea. Picture: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bryan Niegel/Navy, Released

The Australian Government has announced that Australia will take part in naval military patrols to guard international merchant shipping in the Persian Gulf, an initiative led by the US Navy.

The mission to protect merchant shipping in the Gulf arose with the heightened tensions between Iran and the United Kingdom following the detention of the UK-flagged Swedish tanker, STENA IMPERO in July.

The detention of the tanker was in retaliation for the…[restrict] detaining of an Iranian tanker at Gibraltar, which the Gibraltar authorities said was in violation of a European ban on the export of oil to Syria. The tanker Grace 1 has since been released after Iran renamed and flagged the ship and agreed not to take the oil to a Syrian port.

The Australian government said it would send a frigate, a reconnaissance aircraft and troops to protect the shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Two other nations have similarly agreed to support the US-led initiative – Bahrain and the UK.

The UK already has naval ships operating on this duty in the Gulf. The Australian statement announcing the move said that the “modest, meaningful and time-limited” participation was in Australia’s economic interests, Australia receives significant amounts of crude and refined oil products from the Gulf.

Although over 30 other countries are involved in naval patrols in the Arabian Sea with the multinational naval partnership known as Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), or Combined Task Forces 150, 151 and 152, which promote security, stability and prosperity across approximately 3.2 million square miles of international waters of the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden, no other states have so far expressed a desire to become a part of this latest military grouping.

Australia’s involvement in the latest initiative is for an initial period of six months.[/restrict]


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President Cyril Ramaphosa says to achieve the goal of creating the “South Africa we want”, all sectors of the economy need to rally together and work towards a common goal.

The President said this when he fielded oral questions in the National Assembly this Thursday afternoon.

President Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's president,featured in Africa PORTS& SHIPS maritime news
President Cyril Ramaphosa

“If we are to achieve the South Africa we want, we need to forge durable partnerships with government, business, labour and communities as well. Government is hard at work to create an enabling environment, use public resources wisely and invest in developing the country’s human potential,” he said.

ANC MP Judy Hermans had asked the President what government’s plan is to address the challenges of slow economic growth and the rising unemployment rate.

The President said it has been a year since government announced its recovery and stimulus package and government has begun implementing several measures to ignite growth. This includes looking at the VISA regime with an aim of attracting more tourists and more skilled professionals to South Africa.

The Department of Home Affairs recently issued a list of countries that will receive VISA waivers. The e-VISA system will soon be piloted to modernise the country’s VISA system.

Government has also introduced trade measures to safeguard key agricultural sectors like poultry and in the process, protect jobs.

The President said the publishing of the policy paper on the release of spectrum in the Government Gazette will help to draw fresh investment to the ICT sector.

In forging ahead with agrarian reform, R3.9 billion has been released to support black commercial farmers through the Land Bank.

“To promote greater certainty in the use of land for productive activities, we have finalised over 1,400 thirty-year leases for a number of farmers,” President Ramaphosa said.

In revitalising industrial parks, three new industrial parks have been launched in the 2019 financial year.

Between September 2018 and July 2019, the Industrial Development Corporation approved over R14 billion for social infrastructure like roads, schools and human settlements, among others.

To support job creation initiatives, R600 million has been allocated to support rural and township economies.

The President said while progress has been made in addressing economic challenges, more still needs to be done.

No quick solutions to tackling economic challenges

The President said that there are no quick solutions to addressing challenges faced by the country’s economy.

“Business and labour need to work together and to act together to promote our country’s national strategic objectives.

“Early in the sixth administration, I engaged with the National Planning Commission to tap into the collective wisdom embodied in that esteemed collective of South Africans.

“In playing the advisory role, the National Planning Commission continues to develop research and insights and support strategies towards inclusive growth.

“There are no easy or quick solutions to low economic growth.”

President Ramaphosa said while some of the interventions of the stimulus package are starting to bear fruit, this will not happen overnight.

“These interventions by nature take time to gain traction and we are beginning to see them gain traction. It requires hard work. It does require smart policy choices, commitment and above all, close cooperation amongst all social partners. We have embarked on a journey and this journey will become clearer as we move on in the next few months.”


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This is one of several concept drawings of the proposed new terminal; its final design is likely to be different, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
This is one of several concept drawings of the proposed new terminal; its final design is likely to be different

Durban: MSC Cruises’ plan to bring two ships to South Africa in 2020 is part of the company’s commitment to investing in African tourism. This investment has included infrastructure development in Mozambique – a popular cruising destination for South Africans – and continued collaboration with the Namibian government, as Walvis Bay is one of the ports that MSC Cruises sails to.

There are also knock-on benefits for the tourist industries in the destinations that MSC Cruises sails to, which have been enhanced by increased passenger volumes.

MSC Cruises’ commitment to improving South Africa’s tourist infrastructure has been particularly noteworthy in its development of the Durban port terminal over the past few years. The most significant of these is its investment of over R200 million in the construction of the new world-class Durban Cruise Terminal as part of the KwaZulu Cruise Terminal Consortium (KTC).

Ross Volk, MD of MSC Cruises, South Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Ross Volk

“This multi-user terminal will make Durban an even more desirable destination for cruise ships from all over the world,” explains Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa.

“It will substantially boost tourism numbers, create thousands of jobs and lead to supplier development. The construction of this state-of-the-art terminal is an exciting project that MSC Cruises is proud to be a part of.

“All the partners in the initiative will shortly sign off the final design of the terminal and groundbreaking is scheduled to begin in November this year. The design phase took a little longer than we anticipated, but it was vital that we got this right as we want the Durban Cruise Terminal to be an iconic destination. We hope the new port will be operational by January 2021.”

Angelo Capurro, Global Executive Director at MSC Cruises, says, “South Africa is an important market for MSC Cruises and reflects our broader growing investment in cruising globally. We have committed to launching 13 next-generation ships between 2017 and 2027, which will bring our fleet total to 25 and see our passenger capacity more than triple. Our total investment in these ships amounts to approximately R200 billion.”


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Increasing passenger capacity by 50,000

MSC Opera to join MSC Musica in South Africa for 2020/2021 cruise season
Next season to offer over 60 cruises from one of two home ports
Passengers will have eight different itineraries to choose from – the most in Company history

MSC Musica, to be homeported in Durban, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Musica, to be homeported in Durban

Durban: MSC Cruises, the leading cruise line in South Africa, Europe, South America and the Gulf, has announced that the company will be bringing two ships to South Africa’s shores for the 2020/2021 cruise season. This will mark the first time that two different class MSC Cruises’ ships (Lirica and Musica Class) will be deployed in the country simultaneously and will mean that 50,000 additional cruise passengers can discover why cruising in South Africa is booming.

From December 2020 to March 2021 MSC OPERA, which will be homeported in Cape Town, will join MSC MUSICA, homeported in Durban.

“Our decision to increase the number of ships for the South African cruise season in 2020/2021 is due to the significant growth in demand we have seen in our guest numbers over the past few years,” explains Ross Volk, MD for MSC Cruises South Africa.

“Our most recent season saw a 25% increase in guests compared to the same period in 2017/2018. MSC Cruises has been bringing bigger and better ships to this country and enriching our itineraries as more South Africans are realising that a cruise is an affordable, convenient and exciting holiday option.”

MSC Opera, to be homeported in Cape Town. Picture: Trevor Steenekamp, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Opera, to be homeported in Cape Town.      Picture: Trevor Steenekamp

New Southern African itinerary for cruisers

MSC Opera, which can host approximately 2,500 passengers and was completely refurbished in 2014 as part of MSC Cruises’ Renaissance Programme, will offer 22 cruises next season alongside MSC Musica. MSC Musica can cater for approximately 3,200 passengers and will offer 40 cruises.

The ships will alternate routes, providing South African cruisers with a wider choice of options to suit their holiday needs. This means that both Cape Town and Durban ports of embarkation will get to experience the leading cruise line’s elegant and diverse product offering and enjoy more cruise destinations and packages than ever before.

One highlight of the 2020/2021 cruise itinerary is MSC Cruises’ 14-day New Year cruise around Southern Africa. The cruise will depart from Durban on 26 December and will incorporate destinations including Portuguese Island; Nosy Be, Madagascar; followed by Port Victoria, Seychelles; and then Port Louis in Mauritius, returning to Durban on 9 January. What makes this cruise particularly special is that it will be the first time that Port Victoria has been included in the cruise offering from Durban outside of MSC Cruises’ Grand Voyage.

Passengers wishing to experience the delights of an MSC Cruises holiday in the coming 2019/2020 season can book onto MSC ORCHESTRA, who will make her maiden voyage to South Africa in November, offering three-, four- and five-night sailings around the South African coastline until April 2020.

Highlights of these itineraries include Pomene Bay in Mozambique – a marine safari experience complete with its own beach club – Portuguese Island, and Maputo.

Cruises as popular holiday ‘destinations’

Cruises are increasingly becoming an appealing holiday choice for South Africans as they offer an all-inclusive vacation – all food, accommodation, and most activities are included in the cruise fare. The diversity of the offering also appeals to tourists; local cruises can last from anywhere between three to 14 nights, include a variety of destinations, and cater for all types of holidaymakers and people of all ages.


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Tazara Railways, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The TAZARA Railway connecting the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam with Zambia and the rest of the Cape-gauge (1067mm) rail network across South and Central Africa, came under the spotlight during this past week’s Southern African Development Community (SADC) gathering, with an emphasis that the railway is under-performing.

Tazara is also connected by way of transshipments with the metre gauge railway network of Tanzania.

SADC was informed that the 1,860km long Tazara required increased investment in order to upgrade the railway infrastructure as well as rolling stock if it wants to unlock its full potential of…[restrict] boosting inter-regional trade.

In a report appearing in a magazine for SADC by the Tanzania Standard Newspaper at the recent weekend, Tazara Managing Director, Bruno Chingandu said: “There can be no better regional integration facilitator.

“From the Port of Dar es Salaam in the East African Community (EAC), TAZARA links members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern African Community (COMESA), thereby forming a critical infrastructure backbone to ease the movements of goods and people amongst the three regional blocks.

“The Port of Dar es Salaam, where TAZARA links, also forms the gateway to the vast market in Far East and Middle East.”

TAZARA, from Dar es Salaam well into Zambia from where it connects with the rest of the SADC countries

TAZARA has the capacity to carry up to two million tonnes of freight annually and is ably poised to handle huge volumes of cargo arising from regional economic integration efforts, Chingandu said.

TAZARA, which was built to 1067mm gauge by the Chinese in the 1970s, is able to convey through traffic operations with other 1067mm gauge railways, such as South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail, Botswana Railways, National Railways of Zimbabwe, Zambia Railways Limited, Namibia Railways, Mozambique Railways and Societe Nationale Des Chemins De Fer Du Congo Sarl (SNCC) of the DRC.

Through a recent refurbishment of the 1067mm gauge Benguela Railway TAZARA is also able to connect with Angola and the port of Lobito, as was recently demonstrated with the successful running of a South African private rail operator, Rovos Rail, which operated a train from Dar es Salaam to Lobito, crossing the width of Africa from the Indian to the Atlantic Ocean.

The bulk of traffic along TAZARA at present is copper from Zambia and the DRC but that is under threat of competition from the reopening of the Benguela Railway link with Lobito.

According to the 2018 Annual Report, the annual freight traffic for 2017/18 financial year was 220,818 tonnes, an increase from 171,000 metric tonnes in 2016/17.

TAZARA is targeting 300,000 tonnes of freight and 800,000 passengers in the 2019/20 financial year.

According to Mr Chingandu, the transport corridor of which TAZARA is a part is currently estimated to handle in excess of three million tonnes of freight, with overwhelmingly the majority being transported by road.

TAZARA’s 2018 Annual Report states that the volume of freight traffic that was transported by rail increased by 29 per cent, thanks to intensified marketing efforts and enhanced operational execution.

Freight traffic rose from a low of 88,000 metric tonnes in 2014/15 financial year to 130,000 metric tonnes in 2015/16 financial year, 171,000 metric tonnes in 2016/17 financial year and 220,818 metric tonnes in 2017/18 financial year.

The railway company faced a number of setbacks including being unable to pay salaries to staff but since then and with an injection of working capital and the provision of a fuel revolving fund by shareholding governments, conditions have improved as can be seen from the traffic volumes.

The removal of VAT on auxiliary services on transit goods at the Dar es Salaam port brought about improved port competitiveness opening up the flow of chemicals such as fertilisers and sulphur which was being diverted to other ports in the region. sources: Tanzania Daily News, SADC, AP&S[/restrict]


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SAS Drakensberg arriving at the port of Durban and Durban Naval Base. Picture: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
SAS Drakensberg arriving at the port of Durban and Durban Naval Base. Picture: Trevor Jones

The South African Navy combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG arrived back in the Mozambique port of Beira on Monday (20 August) to deliver further supplies of clothing and other much-needed goods for victims of two savage cyclones that devastated large parts of central and northern Mozambique, southern Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe.

After completing her first mercy voyage to Beira with…[restrict] much-needed goods packed in 67 containers, SAS Drakensberg returned to Durban for a second shipload of relief cargo intended for cyclone victims.

It is understood that a third mercy trip to Beira is necessary to deliver the balance of goods available for distribution.

According to a South African Revenue Services (SARS) spokesman, the containers are packed with confiscated clothing and blankets that had been illegally imported into South Africa and seized by SARS.

The move to deliver these goods to cyclone victims followed an appeal to the international community by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

* See our initial report SAS Drakensberg heading for Mozambique on relief duties



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Pictures show the SAS Durban easing away from her berth at the Maritime Museum (top) and a little later in the Maydon Channel on her way to the SA Shipyards quayside and floating dock. Pictures: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Pictures show the SAS Durban easing away from her berth at the Maritime Museum (top) and a little later in the Maydon Channel on her way to the SA Shipyards quayside and floating dock. Pictures: Trevor Jones, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures show the SAS Durban easing away from her berth at the Maritime Museum (top) and a little later in the Maydon Channel on her way to the SA Shipyards quayside and floating dock. Pictures: Trevor Jones

Durban: After several false starts the museum minesweeper SAS DURBAN M1499 has finally left her berth at the Port Natal Maritime Museum and departed, under guidance from a workboat, for an appointment with the SA Shipyards floating dock.

The ex-SA Navy vessel, thought to be the last of the ‘Ton’ class of minesweeper in actual naval appearance, is urgently in need of plenty of TLC to restore her looks and condition before returning as a firm favourite of the visiting public at the Durban Maritime Museum.

The minesweeper is expected to be joined in a few days time by a second museum vessel, another firm favourite of visitors, the former Durban harbour tug JR MORE. She too is in need of repair and refurbishment especially to some of the rusted steelwork above her main deck.

The repairs to both these vessels marks a significant investment by the Durban Local History Museums, which falls under the eThekwini Municipality (Durban) and is a confirmation of the LHM’s intent on maintaining and preserving Durban’s interesting history.


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Picture: Veecraft Marine, fetaured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture: Veecraft Marine

Cape Town: Veecraft Marine, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Paramount Maritime Holdings and African-based global aerospace and technology company Paramount Group, has moved into new and larger premises in Cape Town.

Veecraft Marine, which specialises in aluminium vessel construction, has 17 years of maritime shipbuilding expertise behind it and the latest move marks a strong expansion and ongoing investment in the growth of the African maritime industry.

It is also the first time that Veecraft will have direct access to the water, enabling the company to make significant cost and time savings in its logistical operations.

“We are delighted to open these facilities here in Cape Town, playing our part in unlocking the benefits of the ‘Blue Ocean’ economy in-country and across the continent,” said Alison Crooks, CEO of Paramount Industrial Holdings.

“This is an important milestone in the growth and development of Veecraft Marine, and indeed a celebration of the skills and experience of the leadership team and every employee in the company.”

“From these premises, we look forward to meet the growing needs of our customers while strengthening Veecraft’s value proposition and forging greater opportunities for collaboration with customers from across the continent, providing our partners with world-class vessel design, incorporating the latest technologies and materials, training and long-term operational support.”

Veecraft took occupation of the new facility at the end of June after concluding a lease agreement with Transnet National Ports Authority, Port of Cape Town.

At the function marking the opening of the new 2,500m2 facility guests were able to survey maritime vessel production processes first-hand and manufactured platforms in various stages of development.

These included 20m workboats for South Africa’s Special Forces, hydrographic motor boats for the South African Navy and a 24m coastal reconnaissance workboat for a West African customer, powered by Volvo IPS Pod Drives, notably the first commercial maritime vessel to be powered by these drives on the continent.

“It is a privilege to expand our market footprint and invest at home and in the home-grown capabilities of South Africa,” said James Fisher, CEO of Paramount Maritime. “This nation is a leader in maritime technologies with key research and development capabilities, and the people behind them representing a beacon of innovation for the continent at large.”

Fisher said that facilities such as the new Veecraft shipyard showcased Paramount’s commitment to the development of innovative African solutions to meet the challenges of the continent.

“We take great pride in playing a leadership role in driving further vessel manufacturing, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) capabilities that together have proven to bolster job creation and economic growth”. source: Veecraft


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Namport NewContainer Terminal at Port of Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Namport NewContainer Terminal at Port of Walvis Bay

Walvis Bay: As the port of Walvis Bay gears up towards operations at the recently completed Namport New Container Terminal, staff from the operations department were hard at work at the ecent weekend after having been tasked with the job of relocating all containers from the old container yard to the newly built terminal.

Namport NewContainer Terminal at Port of Walvis Bay

A total of 1200 export containers have so far been successfully moved to the new terminal amidst the unfavourable weather conditions that were experienced during the operations leaving less than 5% of equipment on the current container yard that needs to be moved.

Namport said in a statement that it is excited at the immense growth that the port and terminal is undergoing and is eagerly anticipating the official commencement of port operations at the new facility.

The New Container Terminal was constructed on a 40 hectare piece of land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean in Walvis Bay in a project costing N$4.2 billion (R4.3bn).

Namport staff during th relocation of containersto the Ne Container Terminal, as featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Namport staff during the relocation of containers to the New Container Terminal


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Cape Town: As this year’s Women’s Month draws to its close, Transnet National Ports Authority is celebrating its landmark appointment of a female marine technical officer (MTO) at the Port of Cape Town, a first for the port.

Jabulile Shandu, first female MTO at the Port of Cape Town, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Jabulile Shandu, first female MTO at the Port of Cape Town

Jabulile Shandu is not only the port’s first female MTO, she also holds the record as the longest serving female marine engineering officer and is only the second marine engineer to ever be employed by the port.

As MTO, she is responsible for providing technical advice to the marine engineering team to support the operation and maintenance of watercraft such as tugs and pilot boats. This is a role that is critical ahead of the port’s craft replacement strategy which will see it acquiring new workboats in the near future.

Prior to her appointment as MTO in April 2019, Shandu served as a marine engineering officer for over nine years after qualifying as a marine engineer.

“I did my mechanical studies at Durban Technical College, thereafter completed my marine engineering studies at the Durban University of Technology,” she explained. “I did my cadetship with Unicorn Shipping Company for 12 months, after which I had to sit for the SAMSA oral examination to qualify as a marine engineering officer.”

Shandu said her appointment as the first female MTO was a dream come true and that she was fully prepared for the demands of the job. “Being the port’s MTO comes with great responsibilities that require open line communication with different stakeholders, therefore good communication and respect go hand in hand,” she said.

“It’s important to know that the job needs to be carried out effectively in order for operations to continue smoothly. My motto in life is to ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. This ensures I do my work with integrity and always uphold company values.”

Port’s first open licence female pilot

Sanette Robinson, Open Licence Pilot at Port of Cape Town, featured in Africa PORTS & sHIPS maritime news
Sanette Robinson, Open Licence Pilot at Port of Cape Town

Earlier this year, the port also recognised Sanette Robinson, who was the first female pilot to obtain an open licence at the Port of Cape Town. Robinson is trained and certified to guide anything from the very smallest vessels to tankers (51,260-dwt) and container ships (12,000-TEU) into port.

Commenting on gender diversity and women empowerment, Cape Town Port Manager Mpumi Dweba-Kwetana said it was important that the gap between males and females in the workplace grew smaller, and that by supporting women, TNPA as well as other role-players were bringing about positive change in the previously male dominated maritime industry.

“It is assuring to see more women show an in interest in maritime and marine careers. TNPA strives to create equal opportunity for all South Africans and we look forward to more female firsts,” she said.


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CMA CGM featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

A number of Peak Season Surcharges (PSS) on cargo bound for West African destinations have been announced by French line CMA CGM.

Cargo from the USA to Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria

Effective from 1 October [REVISED DATE] 18 September 2019 (date of loading) the PSS applicable from…[restrict] the USA to Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria from US ports to Lagos ports (Apapa and Tin Can Island) is USD750 per container.

This applies to dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk cargo.

Cargo from Europe and the Mediterranean to Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria

Effective from 1 September 2019 (date of loading) the PSS applicable from Europe and the Mediterranean to Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria from all Europe and Mediterranean ports to Lagos ports (Apapa and Tin Can Island) is USD900 / EUR 800 / GBP 690 per container.

This applies to dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk cargo.

Cargo from Asia, Indian Subcontinent & Gulf, Canada and South America to Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria

Effective from 1 September 2019 (date of loading) except for Taiwan (17 September 2019).

From Asia including China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Southeast Asia and Bangladesh.
From Indian Subcontinent and Middle East Gulf
From Canada and South America
To Lagos ports: Apapa and Tin Can, Nigeria

The PSS amount is USD 900 per container[/restrict]


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US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cameron Stoner. Released USN ©, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cameron Stoner. Released USN ©

Our photograph taken in the Atlantic on 16 August shows the Belgian Navy’s Karel Doorman-class frigate LEOPOLD I (F930), at left, and the Portuguese navy frigate NRP FRANCISCO DE ALMEIDA (F334), right, conducting a replenishment-at-sea (known widely as a RAS) with the Henry J Kaiser-class underway replenishment oiler USNS PATUXENT (T-AO 201), centre, as the guided-missile destroyer USS GRIDLEY (DDG 101) transits astern of the group.

Gridley is underway on a regularly-scheduled deployment as the flagship of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 to conduct maritime operations and provide a continuous maritime capability for NATO in the northern Atlantic.

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Overhead view of Tanger Med 2, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Overhead view of Tanger Med 2

Durban: When the expansion programme involving Morocco’s Tanger Med port was revealed in June it became clear this was on its way to becoming the biggest container port in Africa in terms of capacity.

Larger than Port Said and close to three times the capacity of Durban, the latter having been at one time (not so long ago) the biggest box port on the continent.

Not any more, with Port Said handling the biggest volumes of containers and the Moroccan port starting to take advantage of its …[restrict] crucial and strategic geographic position facing Europe across the Strait of Gibraltar, ideally situated for transshipment cargo.

Tanger Med, with two terminals in operation, is reported as having handled 52 million tons of cargo in 2018. The second of the two terminals tripled the port’s capacity from three million TEU to nine million TEU, it is claimed.

While not achieving that sort of volume as yet – in 2018 Tanger Med handled 3.4 million TEU, some 15 per cent beyond its then capacity – this does provide the port with the potential of becoming one of, if not the largest container ports within the European sphere.

“Thanks to Tanger Med 2, we have the largest capacity in the Mediterranean region for container activity. We’re ahead of Spanish, French, Italian and Greek ports,” said Central port director Rachid Houari.

In addition to its container capacity there are plans involving a further EUR28 million being allocated to to extend the passenger and ro-ro terminals.

He revealed that at Tanger Med 2, operators can allocate up to eight cranes for loading or unloading a ship. The entire Tanger Med 2 basin is dredged to a depth of 18 metres, which allows the world’s largest ships, 400 metres long, with a capacity of 23,000 TEU to be accommodated.

The port can hold seven vessels at a time. This is not possible anywhere else in the Mediterranean,” said Mr Houari.

Tanger Med 1 is operated by APM Terminals and Eurogate who each invested EUR150 million. APM Terminals MedPort Tangier has also invested EUR900 million in TC4, one of the container terminals at Tanger Med 2.

MedPort Tangier is also the first automated container terminal in Africa.[/restrict]


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Durban: Port statistics for the month of July 2019, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

The three leading ports in terms of cargo throughput measured in tonnes were Durban, Richards Bay, and Saldanha Bay in that order. Then followed Cape Town, Ngqura, Port Elizabeth, East London and Mossel Bay. Total number of ship calls decreased from 785 in June to 750 in July for an average gross tonnage of 34,990-gt.

Details of the port throughputs, ships berthed and containers numbers handled can be seen in the Tables below.

Statistics involving motor vehicles are now being included, per port and measured in units. These include imports and exports as well as earth-moving and other ro-ro vehicles.

Total cargo handled for the month of July amounted to…[restrict] 22.374mt (23.580 million tonnes in June).

For comparison with the equivalent month of last year, July 2018 CLICK HERE

These statistic reports on Africa PORTS & SHIPS are arrived at using an adjustment on the overall tonnage compared to those kindly provided by TNPA and include containers recorded by weight; an adjustment necessary because TNPA measures containers by the number of TEUs and does not reflect the weight which unfortunately undervalues the ports.

To arrive at such a calculation,  Africa PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13.5 tonnes per TEU, which probably does involve some under-reporting.  Africa PORTS & SHIPS  will continue to emphasise this distinction, without which South African ports would be seriously under-reported internationally and locally.

Port Statistics continue below

Port of East London , featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of East London


Figures for the respective ports during July 2019

Cargo handled by tonnes during July 2019, including containers by weight

PORT July 2019 million tonnes
Richards Bay 6.883
Durban 6.918
Saldanha Bay 5.214
Cape Town 1.231
Port Elizabeth 0.837
Ngqura 0.983
Mossel Bay 0.086
East London 0.104
Total all ports 22.374 million tonnes

CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during July 2019
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT July 2019 TEUs
Durban 248,120
Cape Town 63,818
Port Elizabeth 9,450
Ngqura 61,707
East London 2,838
Richards Bay 754
Saldanha Bay 126
Total all ports 386,813 TEU

MOTOR VEHICLES RO-RO TRAFFIC (measured by Units) during July 2019
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT July 2019 TEUs
Durban 50,988
Cape Town 0
Port Elizabeth 9,500
East London 8,845
Richards Bay 9
Total all ports 69,341 TEU

SHIP CALLS for July 2018

PORT July 2019 vessels gross tons
Durban 266 9,202,960
Cape Town 146 3,535,566
Richards Bay 132 5,149,002
Port Elizabeth 66 1,856,037
Saldanha Bay 51 3,203,854
Ngqura 40 2,127,484
East London 26 797,296
Mossel Bay 23 370,191
Total ship calls 750 26,242,390
— source TNPA, with adjustments regarding container weights by AP&S[/restrict]


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Now named Adrian Darya 1 and re-flagged to Iran

Grace 1, now renamed and reflagged and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Grace 1, now renamed and reflagged

London: The VLCC Grace 1 sailed from Gibraltar on the evening of 18 August following 46 days detained in the port on suspicion of breaching EU sanctions against Syria.

Now named Adrian Darya 1 and flagged to Iran she steamed east from the Rock at approximately 23h30 that day, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle, and the ship tracking website Marine Traffic indicated she was steaming into the Mediterranean. According to widespread reports the vessel’s landfall was not initially clear although one indicated that she was making for Kalamata, Greece.

Her departure came a few hours after the Gibraltar Government declined a request from the US to place the ship once more under embargo.

HM Government of Gibraltar stated that the US was seeking to seize the ship on grounds linked to US sanctions against Iran which were not in accord with the sanctions regime applied in Gibraltar, the UK or the remainder of the EU.

It will be recalled that the tanker, carrying 2.1 million barrels of Iranian crude, was seized by Gibraltar law enforcement agencies and Royal Marines on 4 July on suspicion of violating EU sanctions with such a delivery to Syria.

On 15 August Gibraltar lifted the detention order after Chief Minister the Hon Fabian Picardo had been assured by Tehran that the cargo would not go to Syria. These assurances, in the form of diplomatic Notes Verbale from the Iranian government, were published the same day by Gibraltar as part of the legal notice lifting the order of detention.

Two days later the US Government obtained a Court warrant in a final attempt to impound the ship on the grounds that it had links to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC], which it designates a terrorist organisation. However, the Gibraltar Government does not regard the IRGC as such neither does the UK or the EU.

It was established that EU legislation specifically prohibited compliance with certain US legislation, including the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations that formed a central part of the US request to seize the Grace 1.

Reported by Paul Ridgway


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The symbol of pirates the world over, though modern pirates are not known for flagging their intent, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Douala: A second ship, a bulk carrier has been attacked off the Cameroon port of Douala by armed pirates resulting in nine Chinese crewmen being abducted when the pirates left the ship. Twelve remaining crew members remained on the ship and are not being reported as injured or harmed.

This attack took place also last week at roughly the same time as the other vessel, a German vessel named MARMALAITA was boarded by pirates, with eight of the crew, all reported to be Ukrainians, being kidnapped – see that report by CLICKING HERE,

This brings to 17 the number of crew who have been abducted by pirates, thought to be operating from Nigeria but attacking ships off the coast of Cameroon.

By the time a Cameroonian Navy patrol vessel was able to respond, the pirates had disappeared.

The name of the bulker has not been made public but it is believed to be Greek owned and managed.

According to Noel Choong, the head of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) which acts as a watchbody concerning crime at sea, both attacks took place in the Douala anchorage outside the port and were within a short time of each other.


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Marseilles: With effect 1 September French line CMA CGM will introduce the following general rates restoration (increase) involving shipping containers from Asia to East and South Africa (all ports) as from 1 September (B/L date).

In a notice issued on 16 August CMA CGM said that “in a continued effort to provide our customers with reliable and efficient service, CMA CGM informs of the following…[restrict] General Rate Restoration:”

Shipping from China, Taiwan, South Korea and South East Asia, to East Africa (including Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique and to South Africa including Durban and Cape Town:

Quantum: USD 200/20′ – USD 400/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk[/restrict]

Picture above: MSC Bianca in Cape Town.  Picture by Ian Shiffman


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Sea Voyager fire off Lagos. Picture: NIMASA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Sea Voyager fire off Lagos. Picture: NIMASA

Lagos: A fire that broke out on the tanker SEA VOYAGER (IMO 9044073) at anchor in the Lagos anchorage resulted in the crew having to be evacuated, reports the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

On being alerted to the fire on the ship, the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (RMRCC) at Kirikiri mobilised firefighters from various agencies including the Nigerian Ports Authority to help put out the fire.

The fire and crew evacuation occurred on Thursday last week, 15 August. There were no injuries reported and the cause of the fire has either not been ascertained or else not revealed.

Despite the crew having been evacuated from the ship the fire was relatively quickly extinguished by fire fighting teams that included a NIMASA intervention vessel that stood by the assist in any further emergency evacuations.

The 6,666-dwt tanker, built in 1992 is operated by a Nigerian company, Sea Transport Group but is owned and managed by an Indian company, Oceanic Shipping Services Pvt Ltd of Mumbai.

In January 2018 the tanker was again in the news when she ran aground on the coast near Warri in eastern Nigeria, but was later successfully refloated. Sea Voyager lives, it seems, a charmed life.


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CMA CGM Asia-West Africa service, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
CMA CGM Asia-West Africa service

Marseilles: With effect 1 September French line CMA CGM will introduce the following general rates restoration (increase) involving shipping containers from Asia to West Africa (all ports).

In a notice issued on 16 August CMA CGM said that “in a continued effort to provide our customers with reliable and efficient service, CMA CGM informs of the following General Rate Restoration:”

Shipping from China, South Korea and Taiwan, all ports, to…[restrict] West Africa (all ports):

Quantum: USD 500/20′ | USD 1,000/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk

From South East Asia:

Quantum: USD 500/20′ | USD 500/40′
All cargo dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk[/restrict]


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Captain of the MSC Aino Aleksandr Lebedev, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube – Ncube, Director of MSC Depots Mrs Sandra Sarno and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala at the naming ceremony of the vessel in the Port of Durban. Picture: Val Adamson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Captain of the MSC Aino Aleksandr Lebedev, MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Mrs Nomusa Dube – Ncube, Director of MSC Depots Mrs Sandra Sarno and Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala at the naming ceremony of the vessel in the Port of Durban. Picture: Val Adamson

Durban: At the naming ceremony for the new 12,108-TEU MSC AINO (IMO 9770751) container ship in Durban on Friday 16 August, MSC South Africa announced the formation of its new training facility, the Shosholoza Ocean Academy, which will begin to operate from November 2019.

It was also announced that construction of the new Durban Cruise Terminal would commence in early November this year.

Speaking at the ceremony attended by the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Mr Sihle Zikalala and other dignitaries, Captain Salvatore Sarno, Chairman of MSC SA, said that this was the first time a MSC container vessel has been named in the Port of Durban. He said that MSC had specifically chosen to name the ship here as it demonstrates the company’s commitment to this country by creating jobs and growing the economy.

Referencing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address earlier this year, in which he stated that government would create “no less than two million new jobs for the youth in the next decade”, Captain Sarno said, “Our intention is to actively demonstrate our confidence in the country and by extension the economy, as we have put plans in place to train and create jobs for 5000 people on both our cruise and container vessels.

Shosholoza Ocean Academy

“We have formed the Shosholoza Ocean Academy, as a non-profit company in response to the urgent need for young people to be employed in South Africa,” said Sarno. “Last year in October, our Managing Director Rosario Sarno met with the Department of Trade and Industry to formulate its development and we have the full backing of government going forward.”

KwaZulu Cruise Terminal

Captain Sarno explained that KwaZulu Cruise Terminal (KCT) was recently awarded the contract for the development of the new Passenger Terminal. KCT is a partnership between MSC cruises and African Armada, a black empowerment company headquartered in KZN. The Shosholoza Ocean Academy will be housed on one level of this building.

Durban Cruise Terminal, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

“It has always been a dream of ours at MSC to have a passenger terminal in Durban which affords our guests a sense of dignity as they disembark and embark on voyages with our liners,” said Sarno. “Utilising the building as both a commercial space and training environment will have great synergies going forward, as trainees will have real-time and practical experiences of working in this sector, developing their understanding and confidence prior to graduating.”

Training will be provided by expert and qualified personnel in many forms of hospitality that are relevant to the cruise sector, as well as technicians, welders, boilermakers, maintenance and repair personnel for the container and cargo sector. Students would be required to do theoretical training and also serve on either a cruise or container vessel on any of MSC’s vessels globally to gain hands-on experience and expertise whilst studying towards their chosen area of interest.

Details of recruitment and enrolment will be communicated at a later stage.

Challenge to other commercial companies

“It is part of our company’s long-term vision to support the President’s call for job creation by creating 5000 more jobs within five years,” said Captain Sarno. “We would like to challenge other commercial companies and ventures in South Africa, to look internally to their own businesses to see how they can support this call for job creation too.”

Reaffirming the Port of Durban and the City of Durban’s unique capability to support the shipping industry and create opportunities for economic growth, Captain Sarno said, “Durban recently showed the country and the world that we are able to be more actively involved in the global shipping sector, when we did repair work on the MSC Ines, the 300m container ship that was damaged in the storm in 2017. The entire rudder was damaged and had to be replaced. Instead of towing it to Singapore technicians and experts from Durban were able to do the job. Now that is a great indication of how we can grow an economy around repairs and building in the sector as well.”

MSC Aino has been named after Aino, a daughter of a MSC manager, in the tradition of naming ships after female family members of people working at MSC.


IMO 9770751
GT: 112,695-gt
DWT: 128,688-dwt
Built: 2019
Length: 328 metres
Width: 48m
Entered Service: 15 July 2019
Maiden arrival Durban: 15 August 2019
Naming Ceremony at Durban: 16 August 2019
Godmother (sponsor): Mrs Sandra Sarno
Ship owner & manager: c/o MSC Shipmanagement Cyprus
Flag: Liberia


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Airborne medivac of patient from ship off South Africa's west coast, pictures courttesy NSRI and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictures courtesy of NSRI

Cape Town: An Airborne Sea Rescue operation was carried out late on Saturday afternoon, 17 August, to airlift a 41 year old male crewman from a research ship 20 nautical miles off shore of Hondeklipbaai, between Lamberts Bay and Kleinsee, on the West Coast, reports Marius Hayes, NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) station commander.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) in conjunction with the SA Air Force (SAAF) tasked an SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter with a SAAF flight team, NSRI airborne rescue swimmers and Western Cape Government Health EMS rescue paramedic to proceed to the research vessel.

This was after an EMS duty doctor had communicated with the ship to evaluate the condition and circumstances of the patient, following which it was deemed necessary to evacuate the man to hospital as soon as possible.

Airborne medivac of patient from ship off South Africa's west coast, pictures courttesy NSRI and featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter lifted off at Cape Town’s Ysterplaat Air Force base at 17h00 and rendezvoused with the ship just before sunset.

The EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI ASR rescue swimmer were lowered onto the ships deck.

The patient was medically assessed and then hoisted into the helicopter in a rescue basket and airlifted in the care of the EMS rescue paramedics directly to a Cape Town hospital in a serious but stable condition.

NSRI Port Nolloth, NSRI Lamberts Bay and NSRI Mykonos remained on alert throughout the helicopter rescue operation.

VHF Marine Radio Communications were assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services and Transnet National Ports Authority and MRCC remained on alert during the operation,which was completed by 20h30.

Mission accomplished, everyone is ready to stand down. Picture courtesy NSRI
Mission accomplished, everyone is ready to stand down. Picture courtesy NSRI


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Maersk Cape Coast arriving at Tema port, Ghana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Cape Coast arriving at Tema’s new container terminal 3, Ghana

Accra: The Ghanaian Government has appointed an inter-ministerial committee to meet the 1 January 2020 deadline for the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 2020 Sulphur Cap regulations.

This was announced by the Ministry of Transport’s chief director, Mrs Mabel Sagoe, who was addressing a sensitisation seminar for shippers and shipping service providers.

She said the committee was comprised of…[restrict] representatives from the Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA), the Ghana Shippers’ Authority (GSA), the National Petroleum Commission, the Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority, and several other organisations who will ensure that adequate plans are put in place to meet the deadline.

On 1 January 2020 all ships will have to adhere to the new IMO regulations of lowering their sulphur emissions from the current 3.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent or lower. Those that do not meet the deadline, now just over four months away, will face being fined large amounts while also suffering delays to their shipping schedules.

“As a Ministry, we recognise the need to ensure optimum port cost as a prerequisite for greater competitiveness of Ghanaian shippers.” She called on all stakeholders in the sector to support the government’s efforts of ensuring the successful implementation of trade facilitation measures at the ports.[/restrict]


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Calabar port, Nigeria, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Calabar port, Nigeria

Nigeria: Addressing a public hearing in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, the Permanent Secretary for the Federal Ministry of Transportation has acknowledged that ongoing criminal activities in the eastern coastal regions of the country are impacting on the smooth operations of the eastern ports of Calabar, Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne and the Onitsha inland port.

Alhaji Sabiu Zakari was at a hearing arranged by the House of Representatives; ad hoc committee that is looking into reasons why the eastern ports are being held back. He said that kidnapping, armed robbery and ocean piracy was responsible for…[restrict] the non-utilisation of the ports and was forcing operators to stay away.

“Lack of synergy and cooperation among government agencies operating at the ports is also affecting the smooth running of these ports. NIMASA, NPA, the Navy and freight forwarders are not working together,” Zakari said.

“There is no cooperation and we are one government and I don’t see why there should be conflict among these agencies. We need legislative support and backing of the National Assembly.”

Zakari added that these challenges were compounded by being coupled with multiple taxes imposed by state and local governments.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee, Professor Mahmud Yakub, explained that the purpose of the committee was to unravel the reasons why the ports of Warri, Calabar, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and Onne were operating below capacity at a time when the Lagos ports of Apapa and Tin Can Island were congested.

He said that these eastern ports have all failed to provide “alternative or even consummate services to aid decongestion of two Lagos Ports Complexes.”[/restrict]


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MarMalaita. Picture courtesy: Shipspotting, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MarMalaita.   Picture courtesy: Shipspotting

Douala: In an audacious attack on a German-owned general cargo ship, MARMALAITA (IMO 9217151) which was at anchor outside the port of Douala, eight of the crew have been abducted presumably for ransoming purposes.

The 10,603-dwt ship, owned and managed by MarConsult Schiffahrt (MC) of Hamburg, was at anchor in the Douala anchorage in position 03:52N – 009:31E on late Wednesday 14 July when at near midnight a group of armed pirates boarded the ship.

As crew attempted to muster in the ship’s citadel, eight of the twelve were captured by the armed men who took them away when leaving the ship.

A statement issued by the owners, MC Schiffahrt stated the following:
“It is with deep regret and great concern to inform that our vessel MarMalaita was attacked by pirates yesterday 14th August between 23h00 and 24h00 local time on the anchorage of Douala / Cameroon.

“A group of pirates boarded the vessel and abducted 8 of our 12 crewmembers from the vessel.

“We have assembled our emergency response team and are doing utmost to deal with the case, in cooperation with all relevant authorities and crew managers.

“Our thoughts reach out to the concerned families, and we will take all efforts to support and assist them until their seafarers safely return back home. All respective authorities have been informed accordingly and we will fully cooperate with them until the case is resolved.”

After the alarm was sounded a Cameroon patrol boat responded but was unable to find any sign of the pirates and the missing men.


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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.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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