Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 3 May 2020

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Come with us as we report through 2020

Today is Workers’ Day (Labour Day)



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Teal Bay. Pictures by Keith Betts

Teal Bay. Pictures by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Teal Bay.    Pictures by Keith Betts

The general cargo ship TEAL BAY (IMO 9343637) is seen sailing from the port of Durban earlier in March this year. The 32,327-dwt Teal Bay was built in 2007 and is owned and managed by Pioneer Trading and Pioneer Marine Advisers of Singapore and is flagged in the Isle of Man, UK. The ship is 177 metres in length and 28m wide. Pictures are by Keith Betts



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The reefer Baltic Patriot at the Fresh Produce Terminal on the Durban T-Jetty in July 2018. On this latest occasion the ship loaded her cargo at the Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal. This picture is by Ken Malcolm, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The reefer Baltic Patriot at the Fresh Produce Terminal on the Durban T-Jetty in July 2018. On this latest occasion the ship loaded her cargo at the Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

South Africa’s first break-bulk vessel shipment of citrus departed on Thursday (30 April) for China and Japan amid restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development said this is the first break-bulk vessel shipment in the 2020 export season, adding to the similar shipments that were exported in the 2019 season.

The shipments of citrus to Japan is not unique and has continued for many years, whereas China is an emerging new market for South African citrus growers. Citrus comprises oranges, lemons, grapefruit and soft citrus (naartjies/mandarins a.k.a. easy-peelers).

Last year also saw the first break-bulk shipment of citrus through a specialised reefer vessel to China.

According to the department the reefer vessel BALTIC PATRIOT would leave South Africa with 4,521 tons of grape fruit and lemons destined for the Japanese and Chinese markets. The expected date of arrival in Japan is 18 May 2020 while for China it is 26 May 2020.

Loading of the vessel commenced on 25 April 2020 at Durban’s Maydon Wharf Fruit Terminal under thorough inspections, and was concluded yesterday (Thursday, 30 April 2020).

The fruit harvesting, sorting, washing, transportation, inspection, loading and related aspects was conducted by essential workers during the lockdown, the department advised.

“The citrus industry continues to be one of the critical industries that creates 160,000 direct jobs and earns approximately R20 billion from exports only. South Africa exports two million tons of citrus annually, making it the second highest global exporter of citrus,” the department said.

Given the challenges posed by COVID-19, the department said it continued to engage with trading partners to ensure that, where possible, export programmes would proceed as planned.

The department also called upon all farmers, farmworkers, pack house workers, inspectors, drivers and everyone in the agriculture and food value chain to observe the COVID-19 hygiene and social distancing measures in the quest to grow the country’s economy and feed the people, both local and internationally.


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Transaid responds to the Covid-19 crises, read all about this in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


A message from Caroline Barber, CEO, Transaid

All over the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and uncertainty across all aspects of life. However, countries in sub-Saharan Africa will face significant additional challenges in the fight against the coronavirus.

Health systems in many African countries are already overstretched and there is a worryingly small number of ICU beds and respiratory treatment devices in the countries where Transaid works. In rural areas, limited access to running water will inhibit basic sanitation practices such as handwashing, whilst lockdown measures will hit low-income workers hardest.

Transaid believes that every community matters and we are working round the clock to try and support the COVID-19 response and help with preparedness planning and community resilience. In each of the countries we are working in, we are following national government advice and adapting to the ever-changing situation.

In Zambia, our MAMaZ Against Malaria at Scale team is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in rural communities through a variety of activities including raising awareness, establishing handwashing stations, and provision of basic PPE for community health volunteers.

Continuing our commitment to making roads safer

Whilst the pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, we must not pause our work to make the world’s roads safer. No matter how far lockdown measures extend, trucks will continue to be on the roads, and warehouses will still need to be staffed. Road safety therefore continues to be a priority for us, especially as drivers facing economic hardship may be pressured to cover longer distances or work longer hours.

Whilst our partner driver training centres in Tanzania, Zambia and Uganda have suspended practical training for now, the teams are still hard at work. We are prioritising the health and well-being of everyone involved in our programmes, but we are also exploring new avenues, such as distance learning and using this time to review training materials.

I look forward to keeping you updated as the situation develops. In the meantime, I wish you all the best in these uncertain times.

Join the Transaid webinar

On 5 May at 11h00 BST (GMT +1) Transaid is hosting a webinar to update readers on how the charity is responding to the pandemic.

Readers will be able to hear from the MAM@Scale team as they share how they are combatting COVID-19 in Zambia.

To find out more and register SEE HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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Vemahope, carrying the name she was launched with, CF Christchurch. Picture by John Regan / MarineTraffic, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Vemahope, carrying the name she was launched with, CF Christchurch. Picture by John Regan / MarineTraffic

Dryad Global is reporting a raid on the 6,152-dwt products tanker VEMAHOPE (IMO 9477751) as the Greek-owned and managed, Panamanian-flagged vessel was in position 03° 30.0’N 003°49.0’E, 116 nautical miles west of the Agbami Terminal, 178 n.miles South South-East of Lagos, Nigeria.

The attack on the tanker by a single speedboat with an unknown number of armed men on board, took place yesterday, 30 April. time not given.

Not much is yet known about the attack apart from the above and the fact that when they left the tanker the pirates kidnapped 10 members of the tanker’s crew, presumably for ransoming.

Vemahope has a length of 102.7 metres and a beam of 17.8m and is managed by Queensway Navigation Co Ltd of Athens, Greece. The vessel is owned by another Greek company listed through Queensway. The ship was built in 2009.

Thus far in 2020 a total of 42 seafarers have been kidnapped by pirates operating in West African waters. Dryad Global points out that there has been a gradual increase in incidents involving pirates occurring beyond traditional maritime crime heartlands. If the above is conformed, this becomes the 7th deep offshore incident involving piracy within the Nigerian EEZ within 2020.  source: Dryad Global


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Enjoy this short YouTube video, the unofficial ‘Battle of the Horns’ Time [4:16]

Not one for the purists!


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The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) are calling upon ship captains across the world to sound their ships’ whistles when in port at 12h00 local time on International Workers’ Day, 1 May 2020.

International Workers’ Day, also referred to as Labour Day, is recognised in many countries around the world to celebrate and acknowledge the contribution of workers.

ICS and ITF are encouraging the gesture of solidarity to recognise over 1.6 million seafarers across the world.

The initiative is especially seen in support of the ICS-ITF campaign to facilitate crew changes. It follows the ‘Horns of Hope’ solidarity campaign initiated by Abu Dhabi Ports, which calls upon ports worldwide to allow ships in port to sound their horns every day at 18h30 local time, in support of all critical workers, including port workers and seafarers.

Paul Ridgway, London correspondent for Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

reported by Paul Ridgway


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The Malaba border crossing between Kenya and Uganda, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Malaba border crossing between Kenya and Uganda

Uganda may introduce a relay system where foreign truck drivers would have to leave their vehicles at the borders where they would be sanitised before Ugandan drivers would take them to their destination within Uganda, or to the next border where another relay driver would be available to drive the cargo to its eventual destination.

The problem with this suggestion is that additional drivers would have to be available at the borders, adding considerable logistical costs.

Uganda is a landlocked country but with open access to…[restrict] shipping on Lake Victoria, Africa’s biggest lake. The country borders with Kenya in the east, Rwanda and Tanzania in the south, the DRC in the west and South Sudan in the north. The road from the Kenyan port at Mombasa runs through Uganda to the other countries, hence the transit traffic.

In order to keep these supply lanes open, and in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Uganda has a quandary concerning the threat of the coronavirus being brought into the country by transit drivers.

Of 11 new cases of the virus recorded in Uganda in one week recently, all were transit drivers. In total, truck drivers amounted to 26 per cent of Uganda’s total infection rate.

President Yoweri Museveni highlighted the matter during an event in which 45 light pick-up vans were donated to the country’s anti-coronavirus campaign.

The president suggested several alternatives. Transit drivers, he said, could be tested on arrival at the border and would then wait for the result before entering the country, or he could be tested at the point of origin and only once he is cleared could he start the journey.

“We need to solve this problem of the truck drivers,” Museveni said.

The president also suggested that the number of people in a truck be reduced from three (two drivers and a turn-boy) to one driver. He said he’d spoken with Kenya’s President Kenyatta about having stop-points away from trading centres in order to limit interactions between drivers and the local population.[/restrict]


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Members of Namdock’s technical and fabrication teams, together with a member of Walvis Bay state hospital’s nursing staff, with one of the newly-refurbished hospital beds, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Members of Namdock’s technical and fabrication teams, together with a member of Walvis Bay state hospital’s nursing staff, with one of the newly-refurbished hospital beds

Walvis Bay’s ship repair company Namdock recently turned its attention, and expertise, to providing much-needed assistance towards helping the Walvis Bay state hospital to become ‘ship-shape’ and ready to combat Covid-19.

Leading by example, Namdock has utilised its fabrication expertise into helping with the maintenance and repair of hospital beds, trollies and bedside cupboards and in this way Namdock has played an active role in the national fight against the coronavirus.

“While national infection rates and fatalities are currently low, COVID-19 has the potential to trigger a major health crisis in Namibia,” says Namdock Marketing Manager Quintin Simon.

“We have already seen the global impact of the virus, and have taken the approach that ‘forewarned is forearmed’. For the sake of all those affected, everyone needs to proactively seek opportunities to use their skills and expertise to pioneer initiatives which will mitigate the impact of the pandemic.”

Over a period of two weeks, the company’s technical and fabrication teams carried out inspections and structural repairs to operational and mechanical assemblies. A total of 25 beds, 3 trollies and 10 bedside cupboards were repaired.

“Our concern for Namdock staff, their families and our greater Walvis Bay community prompted us to lend a hand to the Walvis Bay hospital. We wanted to do everything in our power to ensure local medical facilities are well equipped to care for those near and dear to us,” explained Simon.

He points out that Namdock is determined to continue playing a proactive role in the fight against the coronavirus in Namibia: ” We take our responsibilities as an employer and global citizen very seriously. Through our involvement with the Walvis Bay hospital and substantial financial contributions to the Erongo region’s Corona Care campaign, we continue to fight this pandemic alongside our fellow Namibians,” he said.

Members of Namdock’s technical and fabrication teams working to refurbish hospital beds for Walvis Bay’s state hospital, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Members of Namdock’s technical and fabrication teams working to refurbish hospital beds for Walvis Bay’s state hospital

About Namdock

Namdock, an established ship repair company strategically located on the west coast of Africa in Walvis Bay, Namibia, provides a holistic service solution in all aspects of marine engineering and ship repair to the local and international shipping and offshore industry; as well as land-based engineering and fabrication services to a variety of industries including mining.
The company operates three privately-owned floating docks – including a Panamax-sized dock – in Walvis Bay.


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The Durban pilot boat Lufafa, involved with the skillful rescue of a marine pilot in Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Hutson, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The Durban pilot boat Lufafa, involved with the skillful rescue of a marine pilot in Durban Bay. Picture: Terry Hutson

A marine pilot at the port of Durban had a narrow escape on Tuesday (28 April) when he fell from a rope ladder into the waters of Durban Bay.

The 35-year old male pilot was in the process of disembarking from a crude oil tanker when a securing rope on a rope ladder severed as he was disembarking from a crude oil tanker sailing from the port.

In an effort to avoid injury to the man the pilot vessel Lufafa veered away from the ship when the incident occurred allowing the man space to push away from the ship and swim free from the ship’s draught in an effort to avoid being sucked into the vessel’s propellers.

The pilot boat Lufafa then manoeuvred to his rescue and he was recovered onto the Pilot vessel and brought to the Jetty where they were met by Police S&R, Metro Police S&R and Life Healthcare paramedics.

The incident, which occurred at 07h45, resulted in the NSRI Durban duty crew responding to prepare to launch a sea rescue craft while the SA Police Search and Rescue, Metro Police Search and Rescue, and Life Healthcare response paramedics were all activated and responded.

The pilot was treated immediately for mild hypothermia and as a precaution he was transported to hospital by ambulance for further medical evaluation and care.

According to Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, the immediate reaction of the skipper and crew of the pilot boat Lufafa and the calm and deliberate actions taken by the casualty after he fell into the water contributed to his survival and they are commended.

The incident is under investigation by authorities.

NSRI Durban Station 5 rescue craft Alick Rennie featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NSRI Durban Station 5 rescue craft Alick Rennie

Medivac from ship at sea

In another sea rescue emergency involving the NSRI Durban station, the Durban NSRI sea rescue vessel Alick Rennie was launched at 06h44 on Sunday (26 April) to rendezvous with a crude oil tanker out at sea and to evacuate a 34-year old seafarer, from Kuala Lumpur, who was suffering a medical complaint (not COVID-19 related).

The NSRI team on board the Alick Rennie, together with three Netcare 911 rescue paramedics, carried out the mission rendezvousing with the tanker three nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Durban.

Observing all Department of Health Covid-19 regulations during this operation, two Netcare 911 rescue paramedics were transferred onto the ship and took over care of the patient from the ships medical crew.

The patient, in a stable condition, was secured into a Stokes basket stretcher and a technical rope system was constructed and the patient was transferred from the ship onto the sea rescue craft.

The two rescue paramedics were then transferred from the ship onto the sea rescue craft and the patient, in the care of the paramedics, was taken to the NSRI Durban sea rescue station from where he was transported to hospital by a Netcare 911 ambulance. The operation was completed by 09h00.

According to Jonathan Kellerman, a mission of this nature involved NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, Transnet National Ports Authority, Netcare 911 ambulance services, and the Department of Health and Port Health Authorities who assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation. source: NSRI


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Angolan Government launches international public tender for the grant of the public management service and exploration of the Port of Luanda Multipurpose Terminal (PRNewsfoto/The Government of Angola (Minis), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Angolan Government launches international public tender for the grant of the public management service and exploration of the Port of Luanda Multipurpose Terminal (PRNewsfoto/The Government of Angola (Minis)

The tender calling for proposals for the concessioning of the multipurpose terminal in the Angolan Port of Luanda, has been extended until 29 May as a result of the state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

A report carried by Macauhub says the Concessions Evaluation Committee has indicated that additional extensions to the deadline are possible, depending on…[restrict] the evolution of the pandemic.

The tender, launched on 16 December 2019 with the date of 30 March 2020 as the initial deadline, looks to the development of and improvements in the efficiency of the port of Luanda by means of involving private operators.

The Porto de Luanda public company said in January this year the international tender had attracted proposals from some of the largest companies in the sector from Angola, China, Dubai, the United States, France, Switzerland and the Philippines.

The public tender is focused on domestic and foreign companies or associations that have proven experience in the port sector or that meet the requirements stipulated in the programme, the specifications and the legislation in force.

The Multipurpose Terminal of the Port of Luanda is a port facility for both general cargo and containers. It has a 610-metre quay, a depth of 12.5 metres alongside and an area of 181,000 square metres with the capacity to handle 2.6 million tonnes of cargo per year. source: Macauhub[/restrict]


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Classed by Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass)

Indian survey vessel SAGAR ANVESHIKA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Indian survey vessel SAGAR ANVESHIKA

Research vessel set to strengthen oceanographic research capabilities of India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology

With the commissioning of coastal research vessel Sagar Anveshika earlier this year, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) celebrated yet another collaborative success with the Indian shipbuilding ecosystem. This was reported by IRCLass on 27 April.

Built under IRClass, Sagar Anveshika is a DP1-capable vessel fitted with state-of-the-art equipment that allows her owner, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT/ Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India*) to carry out environmental indexing and bathymetric surveys in both coastal and offshore waters.

Sagar Anveshika is the second of two coastal research vessels built for…[restrict] NIOT, by Titagarh Wagons Ltd, with the first being Sagar Tara which was delivered in August 2019. The two vessels are set to augment NIOT’s research capabilities.

Apart from classification, IRClass provided assistance to the owners in seamless integration of research equipment including the laboratories and deck machinery, to ensure that both the vessels satisfy the Scientific Mission Requirements, while complying with applicable rules, conventions, regulations and the flag state.

“We thank IRClass for its contribution which led to successful completion of the project without delays and cost overruns,” commented Dr M A Atmanand, Director NIOT.

“We look forward to future collaborations with IRClass on mutually-beneficial projects of significance not only to our respective organisations but to the maritime ecosystem at large,” added Dr D Rajasekhar, Project Director Vessel management cell, NIOT.

Vijay Arora, Joint Managing Director, IRClass, concluded by saying: “The successful commissioning of Sagar Anveshika bears eloquent testimony to the hard work of the owners, ship builders, ship designers, and all those who were involved with the project. IRClass is proud to be part of the Indian maritime ecosystem that continues to deliver high quality ships that meet the requirements of discerning owners worldwide.”

Film of the vessel’s launch is available here: [6:35]

The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was established in November 1993 as an autonomous society under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. NIOT is managed by a Governing Council and the Director is the head of the Institute. Major aim of starting NIOT under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is to develop reliable indigenous technologies to solve the various engineering problems associated with harvesting of non-living and living resources in the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is about two-thirds of the land area of India.

* See HERE[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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despite Oiltanking Grindrod stalling

The civil work in progress at Berth B100, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The civil work in progress at Berth B100

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) says that since turning the first sod for a new liquid bulk Tank Farm in the port of Ngqura complex early last year, it remains on track with its part of the development.

This is in response to Oiltanking Grindrod Calulo (OTGC) recently announcing that its part of the development of the Liquid Bulk Terminal in the port has stalled, due to insufficient customer commitment. See that announcement HERE

OTGC was awarded the…[restrict] preferred bidder status in 2011 by TNPA to develop a liquid bulk storage facility to service fuel imports in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. The facility is intended to replace the existing one in the Port of PE. OTGC’s announcement of the stalling of its participation came after the completion of the earthworks of the storage area.

The access road to link the Tank Farm site to Berth B100 under construction, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The access road to link the Tank Farm site to Berth B100 under construction

Meanwhile, TNPA says the civil work at Berth B100, which includes the paving of the berth, is expected to be completed in August 2020. The surfacing of the 15,000 m² area covers 50% of the Multi-Purpose Terminal, which is the area dedicated for the liquid bulk berth operations.

“The completion of the paving will represent a step closer to our dream – unlocking the potential of the berth to ultimately increase cargo volumes and port revenue,” said Ngqura Port Manager Tandi Lebakeng.

TNPA remains committed to deliver infrastructure to facilitate and enable the development of a Liquid Bulk Terminal in the port. It says that to date, all the design work has been completed and all major construction work is in progress and scheduled for completion by September 2020.

“TNPA is currently engaging OTGC, the PE oil companies, stakeholders and all the relevant authorities to formulate and implement a way forward. A comprehensive impact assessment is being undertaken by all the relevant parties and the way forward will be communicated in due course,” said Lebakeng.

Phases and propgress to date

Having completed Phase 1 of the infrastructure required to service the site in 2014, TNPA commenced with Phase 2 at the end of 2018. Phase 2 includes the construction of the landside development, forming the link between the Tank Farm and the berth. This phase includes the environmental search and rescue to relocate plants and animals, a 3km access road to link the Tank Farm to Berth B100, a fuel line servitude, the Port Entrance Plaza, CCTV and access control, electrical substations and lighting, perimeter security fencing, data and telecommunications, a fire fighting system at Berth B100 and civil work at Berth B100.[/restrict]

The completed earthworks of the Tank Farm site, by OTGC Pictures courtesy TNPA, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The completed earthworks of the Tank Farm site, by OTGC Pictures courtesy TNPA



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APM Terminal, Apapa, Lagos, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
APM Terminal, Apapa, Lagos

In the wake of criticism that APM Terminals had failed to invest sufficiently in the terminal at Apapa, Nigeria, APM Terminals has taken rapid steps to address the matter and last week with the commencing of an $80m upgrade the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, commissioned two new multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) in the Lagos port.

APM Terminals says the new cranes were acquired as part of an additional investment of US$80 million (N33.6billion) for the year 2020-2021, bringing the total investment by the company in Apapa since 2006 to US$438million (about N184billion). This, it points out, is the highest by any private terminal operator in Nigeria.

APM Terminals Apapa, located in the nation’s premiere seaport at the heart of Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, is the biggest container terminal in West Africa and the best-equipped port terminal in Nigeria.

While commending the management of APM Terminals for acquiring the new cranes, Bala Usman said, as the ports become more efficient, efforts must be made to enhance cargo delivery processes and free the ports of longstanding cargo.

“We are engaging with the Nigeria Customs Service to remove overtime containers from the port to free vital space for incoming cargo,” she said.

Reducing road traffic pressure

“We are also working with terminal operators to increase the barging of containers to take pressure off the roads. We have noted a significant growth in barging capacity and operations with more containers moved daily by barges from the port,” she said.

Head of Terminals, Africa and Middle East region of APM Terminals, Mr David Skov, commented that this latest acquisition was in addition to previous investments of US$358million (N150.36billion) in port infrastructure development, information technology upgrades and modern cargo handling equipment to improve both quayside and landside operations.

Government Policy supporting growth

Skov said the additional investment APM Terminals was making is to handle the increased trade volumes into Nigeria.

“Trade in Nigeria is growing due to the many favorable efforts and policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria including but not limited to the policy on ease of doing business; stabilisation of foreign exchange; closure of the land borders which has increased the use of our sea ports; and diversification of the economy.

He said the additional investments will create capacity to handle the growth in the economy to support the Federal Government’s efforts on trade growth and improve service delivery across the logistic chain in Nigeria.

Skov said with the acquisition of the new cranes, the terminal now operates with a total of 10 Mobile Harbour Cranes; 23 Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes; six Empty Handlers; 48 specialised Truck Terminals, six Reach Stackers and 11 Forklifts.

Doubling of container volumes

APM Terminals Apapa took over operation of the Apapa container terminal in 2006 under the Federal Government’s port reform programme. Since then, APM Terminals has invested heavily on infrastructure, container handling equipment, yard expansion, modernisation of the terminals’ IT hardware and software systems, and development of additional capacity.

The huge investment has resulted in significant improvements in productivity, reduction in vessel waiting time and a doubling of container volumes at the port.

See related story in our previous coverage: AP Moller replaces Apapa MD over port congestion


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Bulk carrier Top Grace, alongside at the port of Richards Bay. Picture: SAMSA, featured in AfricaPORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Bulk carrier Top Grace, alongside at the port of Richards Bay.    Picture: SAMSA

Remember our two reports concerning a couple of stowaways who were thrown off the ship Top Grace on which they had stowed away, following which SAMSA promised stern action? There has been a sequel in the Durban Regional Court where the ship’s master and a number of his crew faced charges of and plead guilty to attempted murder.

See those two reports




The stowaways, both Tanzanian nationals, stowed away on the…[restrict] bulk carrier TOP GRACE as she lay alongside at Durban’s Maydon Wharf, hiding in the anchor locker. One day out at sea the two were discovered and confined in an empty room after they refused to don face masks.

The crew then built a wooden raft onto which the two stowaways were ordered. Each was given a lifejacket and water and the raft and men were lowered into the water, after which the ship sailed away leaving the men to their fate.

After two days drifting on the current the raft with the two Tanzanians came ashore on a beach near Zinkwazi, which is on the KZN North Coast between Durban and Richards Bay. There they were discovered by the authorities who took them to hospital for a checkup, after which they were detained.

The ship meanwhile was contacted and ordered into Richards Bay harbour where the master and seven crew were arrested and charged.

Having plead guilty to the charges the court found the master and the seven crew members guilty of attempted murder with the master also charged and found guilty of failing to report the stowaways on board his ship.

Captain Cui Rongli was fined R100,000 or four years imprisonment for attempted murder in addition to a fine of R50,000 or 12 months imprisonment for misconduct, suspended for five years on condition he did not repeat the offence during that period.

The seven Chinese crewmembers were each fined R50,000 or two years imprisonment for their parts in the attempted murders of the two men.

The accused were afterwards handed over to immigration officials but were allowed later to return to their ship.

As of yesterday, Tuesday 28 April 2020, the 61,458-dwy bulker Top Grace remained at anchor outside the port of Richards Bay, although according to SAMSA the vessel has been released from detention.

Top Grace is owned and operated by the Hong Kong firm of Fairweather Steamship Co Ltd and is registered under the flag of convenience of Panama where it is registered to Panamanian firm Torrijos y Asociados, which represents more than 30 other shipping companies.[/restrict]


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The Impact of Blank Sailings Starts Kicking In

IAPH-WPSP Dashboard, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Professor Theo Notteboom (Shanghai Maritime University, Ghent University and University of Antwerp)
Professor Thanos Pallis (University of the Aegean and Universidad de Los Andes) 24 April 2020

This is the third of a series of weekly WPSP-IAPH COVID19 port economic impact barometer report, in which the gradual impact of blank sailings by the world’s major container shipping alliances is beginning to be felt by ports. While the average weekly number of container vessels calling remains down with further cancellations, some lines have replaced these by regional feeders with good frequency.

A dashboard is making its debut in this week’s report – visualising the summary of world ports’ responses of the last three weeks.

Container ports

The situation for container vessel calls shows a clear…[restrict] deterioration compared to the previous two weeks. Only 41% of the respondents report a rather stable situation (vs.52% and 54% in weeks 15 and 16 respectively). An elevated 42% of the ports experience moderate declines (minus 5% to 25%) in container vessel calls. Already 1 out of every 10 ports faces significant decreases (in excess of a 25% drop), compared to less than 3% last week.

“We have begun to see a reduction in vessel calls with blank sailings on the main East-West trades,” comments report co-author Theo Notteboom.

“Nonetheless an interesting development we have observed from the responses is that some ocean carriers have replaced these cancellations by regional feeders with good frequency. As a result, the reduced number of long-haul calls has been counterbalanced. There are also some cases in which a slight increase in containerised vessels has been reported with public demand for specific goods on the rise during the lock-down period,” he added.

The Task Force has also reported some of the larger container lines requesting quays to be used for cargo storage for those containers where shippers or forwarders have opted for suspension of transit (SOT), predominantly inbound cargo from Asia to Europe and the Americas.

Reports of transhipment hubs, as well as main line ports having capacity available, has alleviated some destination ports in terms of congestion.

Storage capacity levels on the quayside and in warehousing facilities stabilise in some ports

For some ports, yard congestion is the result of laden imports of non-essential goods including new cars, which remain in port longer than usual. When rules exist to only handle essential goods, the utilisation of storage capacity within the ports has become critical. Therefore respective governments have now allowed the weekly release and acceptance of import / export of non-essential goods on average of 3 days a week; a move that has brought down storage utilisation at some container yards by 60%.

“While on one hand container and general cargo storage area utilisation has increased, the lockdown of major industries has led to serious underutilisation of terminals and storage areas and warehousing for several other cargoes,” comments Thanos Pallis.

“These include black and white breakbulk cargoes, steel, heavy lift cargo, and machinery. Liquid bulk is still suffering from a non-favourable downward trend in market demand. Nonetheless, in some cases, storage tanks for liquid bulk are already full or rented, so no more tank storage is available.”

WPSP-IAPH COVID19 Dashboard debut in Port Economic Impact Barometer Report

In order to provide a visual guide to the data accumulated so far from the world’s ports and to track the impact of COVID19, this third report also includes a dashboard summarising the main findings of the surveys so far.

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven explained: “In the coming weeks, we expect many ports will feel the full impact of the collapse of economic activity in many parts of the world. To help ports adapt to the new normal will not be easy. Having data on precisely what is going on is invaluable, which is why we call out to our members and all other ports to give us their input, even if the status from the previous week is the same.”

IAPH-WPSP Port Economic Impact Barometer

The full report might be downloaded HERE



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WHO banner, displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


New analysis supports the WHO call to minimise disruptions to malaria prevention and treatment services during the COVID-19 pandemic

Severe disruptions to insecticide-treated net campaigns and in access to antimalarial medicines could lead to a doubling in the number of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa this year compared to 2018. This is according to a new modelling analysis released by the World Health Organization  and partners ahead of World Malaria Day which was held on 25 April.

WHO urges countries to move fast and distribute malaria prevention and treatment tools at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak in sub-Saharan Africa, and to do their utmost to safely maintain these essential malaria control services.

Here the analysis considers nine scenarios for potential disruptions in access to core malaria control tools during the pandemic in 41 countries, and the resulting increases that may be seen in cases and deaths.

WHO reports that under the worst-case scenario, in which all insecticide-treated net (ITN) campaigns are suspended and there is a 75% reduction in access to effective antimalarial medicines, the estimated tally of malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa in 2020 would reach 769,000, twice the number of deaths reported in the region in 2018. This would represent a return to malaria mortality levels last seen 20 years ago, it is understood.

According to the World Malaria Report 2019, sub-Saharan Africa accounted for approximately 93% of all malaria cases and 94% of deaths in 2018. More than two-thirds of deaths were among children under the age of five.

A window of opportunity

To date, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa has represented only a small proportion of the global total, though cases are increasing every week. This means that countries across the region have a critical window of opportunity to minimise disruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Who advises that mass vector control campaigns should be accelerated, ensuring protection for both health workers and communities against COVID-19 transmission. WHO and its partners commend the leaders of Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Chad and for initiating ITN campaigns during this pandemic. Other countries are adapting their net distribution strategies to ensure households receive the nets as quickly and safely as possible.

For the vulnerable

Furthermore, preventive therapies for pregnant women and children must be maintained. The provision of prompt diagnostic testing and effective antimalarial medicines are also essential to prevent a mild case of malaria from progressing to severe illness and death.

Tailoring malaria interventions / COVID-19 response

WHO and partners have developed guidance to ensure that those suffering from malaria can safely receive the care they need within the package of essential health services to be delivered in COVID-19 settings. Tailoring malaria interventions in COVID-19 response includes guidance on the prevention of infection through vector control and chemoprevention, testing, treatment of cases, clinical services, supply chain and laboratory activities.

For more information on this topic readers are invited to SEE HERE

In summary

WHO conducted the modelling analysis in close collaboration with partners, including PATH, the Malaria Atlas Project and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Analysis is subject to uncertainties. It does not consider, for example, effects of an interruption in indoor residual spraying or seasonal malaria chemo-prevention (except in Burkina Faso); a suspension of these core malaria prevention tools would also lead to considerable loss of life, it is forecast.

Limited understanding of the spread of COVID-19

In addition, there is limited understanding of the spread of COVID-19, its epidemiology and interactions with malaria. The model will be updated as such data become available, and countries will be provided with relevant information to tailor their responses accordingly.

Related links

Readers are invited to take a look at analysis and quotes from WHO and partners HERE

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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HMM Algeciras, latest 24,000-TEU record holder, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
HMM Algeciras, latest record holder

Records are there to be broken and we can, or will that become ‘could’, have expected an ongoing stream of reports of ‘the world’s largest’ container ship as the shipping lines jockey for position as having the biggest container ship afloat. Whatever perception of prestige that brought, it would have been the case had it not been for the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic that placed a brake on such endeavours – or has it?

Some new ships are already in the pipeline and while there had been a slight pause in the race for bigger ships, that is no longer the case and one or two ships that were…[restrict] nearing completion are being readied for service.

The first of these is the HMM ALGECIRAS, a 24,000-TEU behemoth that has now sailed on her maiden commercial voyage, the first of HMM’s fleet of 12 new 24,000-TEU vessels.

The records, for what that is worth, are broken in batches of a thousand these days – MSC GULSUN which was launched last year held the unofficial record for a short period at 23,000 TEU.

HMM’s newbuild is entering the Far East Europe 4 service with a rotation of Ningbo, Shanghai, Yantian, Suez Canal, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, London Gateway, Suez Canal, Singapore, Ningbo.

No-one could have foreseen the pandemic that has closed borders, forced people indoors and shut down business on a huge scale, with the effect of reducing the demand for shipping activities on all major routes and many of the minor ones.

How quickly that demand returns will be a key factor in the operations of HMM and the other lines.[/restrict]


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Emergency fund of up to £10.5 million to support

Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly transport links

£17 million for Northern Ireland services

Support for UK-Continent services

UK Govt support for ferry services, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly

Vital transport links to the mainland for people living on the Isle of Wight (England South Coast) and the Isles of Scilly (England SW) have been safeguarded during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to an emergency package of up to £10.5 million, granted by the UK government on 24 April.

The funding – agreed jointly by the Department for Transport (DfT) and HM Treasury – will support the continuation of crucial passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight as well as sea and air links to the Isles of Scilly over the next three months it was reported.

More than 140,000 people live on the Isle of Wight and 2,200 on the Isles of Scilly. It is understood that this fund will help ensure these communities continue to have access to vital medical services on the mainland while protecting the flow of supplies to these regions.

This is the latest step in a string of urgent measures being taken forward by HMG to support vital public services, including emergency support to sustain rail, bus and freight links as operators manage the impacts of COVID-19.

It follows the temporary suspension of competition law to allow ferry operators in the Isle of Wight to work together to continue to run essential services despite reduced usage during the virus, maintaining a vital route for those who cannot work from home and those needing medical treatment.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps commented: “Lifeline transport services remain fundamental to everyday lives, and by taking action today, we are helping ensure communities can access healthcare and essential goods and services.
We should all be inherently grateful to transport operators who are providing vital services across the country at this difficult time and we will continue to back them and the critical work they carry out.”

UK ferry grants featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Additional measures: Northern Ireland

There will be, in addition, £17 million funding to safeguard ferry routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland during COVID-19 outbreak.

The package is being funded by the UK government and the Northern Ireland Executive and will be made available to operators so that they can continue running freight services on five sea routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shapps further announced on 24 April that funding, worth tens of millions of pounds, will also be made available to support more routes across the UK, subject to discussions with operators.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, said: “This is excellent news for Northern Ireland and the connectivity of the entire United Kingdom.

“Although this coronavirus outbreak has reduced travel demand, this support package from the UK government and Northern Ireland Executive will ensure that essential ferry routes are kept open and vital transport links across the entire UK are safeguarded – guaranteeing the continued supply of critical goods, such as food and medical supplies.”

The NI Minister for Infrastructure, Nichola Mallon, added: “Keeping our critical routes open across these islands for the supply of foods, goods and medicines is absolutely critical in our fight against COVID-19. This support package will protect our ferry operators and ensure that vital supply chains are maintained.”

UK ferry grants featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Irish and Continental services

On 24 April it was further announced that the UK, French and Irish governments have pledged to work together on temporary measures to ensure COVID-19 does not threaten vital freight routes between the countries.

Grant Shapps with Irish Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, and French Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, said the nations are united by trade which has thrived through the most difficult of times, and that they will continue to engage closely to help keep freight moving between the nations.

In conclusion it was stated that the UK is working closely alongside French and Irish partners and has pledged in a joint statement to: ‘strengthen partnership and share best practices’, to ensure the continued movement of freight across the continent. There are twenty-six maritime freight routes between Britain, France, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden, including Eurotunnel.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

Westminster circa 1930s, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


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TFR container train in KZN Midlands. Picture by Charles Baker, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
TFR container train in KZN Midlands. Picture by Charles Baker

Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) said on Friday (24 April) that it was warning the public about fraudulent Requests for Quotations (RFQs) or proposals that are being sent under the guise of it being official TFR documents.

Since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, it has emerged that fraudulent proposals have been issued for the supply of personal protective equipment (hand sanitiser, masks and non-powdered surgical gloves) sent to unsuspecting suppliers using the TFR name, logo and employees email addresses.

“The fraudulent requests are sent via email to suppliers, requesting them to send quotations or to deliver goods.

“After the submission of a quote by a supplier, communication is then sent to such a supplier, that the quote has been accepted and delivery may take place or goods will be collected from the premises of the supplier,” said TRF in a statement.

“TFR would like to caution that no Transnet employee, other than a procurement official, is allowed to manage a procurement process. Even a member of the Transnet Board of Directors, executive leadership team or company secretary does not have the authority to manage a procurement process.”

It clarified that its tendering process is as follow:

Tender is advertised through National treasury tender portal>250k.

Check if the tender appears on either the National Treasury eTender website or the TFR website

Download tender or collect at tender office (payment only necessary when the tender is collected).

Attend briefing session / site visit, where necessary (Ensure that attendance certificate is signed).

Assemble the relevant documents, information, costing and complete the tender form.

Deliver the tender on or before the closing date and time in the tender box or email.

If successful, the award of business will be communicated and a contract a will be signed.

Unsuccessful tenderers are informed who got the business and on what aspect they had failed (Price, B-BBEE and Technical).

Provide goods and / or services as tendered.

Transnet Freight Rail also urged the public to be on the lookout for fraudulent tender proposals and not fall victim to such scams.

Members of the public are advised to report fraudulent tender scams by either calling the Tip-Offs Hotline: 0800 003 056; email: or to contact their nearest police station.

To validate if a RFQ is valid or not, email


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Durban Container Terminal, Pier 1, DCT Pier 2 in the background, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Durban Container Terminal, Pier 1, DCT Pier 2 in the background

There has been another fatality at one of southern Africa’s port terminals. This time it happened at Pier 1, Durban Container Terminal.

Transnet Port Terminals announced that with deep regret it was reporting the unfortunate fatality of a 47-year old male port worker at the reefer yard in…[restrict] the Durban Container Terminal Pier 1.

This took place on Thursday night, 23 April but only became known later on Friday 24 April 2020.

According to TPT operations were immediately stopped following the accident.

“The cause of the incident is unknown at this stage and we can confirm that the SAPS have opened an inquest. Employees on duty at the time of the incident are receiving counselling,” said the TPT in a statement.

Operations resumed once the scene had been released by the relevant authorities.

“A full investigation is underway to identify the root cause of the occurrence. The terminal and its leadership extend their deepest sympathies to the family of the deceased during this difficult time.”

Earlier this month a stevedore was killed in an accident involving the discharging of a truck at the port of Walvis Bay.

Transnet Port Terminals operates 16 terminals in seven of South Africa’s ports, the exception being at Mossel Bay, and at three inland terminals. The state-owned company employs over 9,000 personnel.[/restrict]


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Maersk Sheerness, which became the largest ship to call at Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Sheerness, which became the largest ship to call at Walvis Bay

The Namibian Ports Authority on Friday 24 April had reason to feel proud of its new container terminal, after receiving the largest vessel to ever dock in Namibian waters.

The 335.41 metre long, 43.16 metre beam, 7,500 TEU capacity Maersk Sheerness, which is the equivalent of a 9000 TEU class vessel, called at the Port of Walvis Bay and departed later in the day after completing her cargo working.

The arrival of this vessel is of great significance, not only for the Ports Authority but to the entire country, as it demonstrates that Walvis Bay is no longer…[restrict] simply a feeder port but capable of handling some of the biggest ships to call along the African coast.

The arrival of Maersk Sheerness also places Namibia in a more competitive position as it can now accommodate bigger vessels.

According to Namport this is consistent with its values and drive to becoming Africa’s Number 1 Port Authority.

In a statement Namport said the shipping industry has over the past months adopted a new modus operandi of using bigger vessels as opposed to multiple small vessels to transport cargo. This is with the aim of saving operational costs and consolidating resources.

For Walvis Bay to be able to compete with other ports, Namport last year officially inaugurated its state of the art New Container Terminal valued at N$4 billion (R4 billion) and it is due to this that the country is now in a position to accommodate such large vessels.

Namport says that in addition, a milestone of this nature shows the significance of its investment into the future by equipping and preparing its staff members with the required skills for similar jobs ahead of time.

The plans to bring Maersk Sheerness began in mid-2019 and for Namport and the port it was an historic achievement worthy of celebration.[/restrict]


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US Coast Guard monitors increased presence of tankers

US Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal patrols the coast of Southern California, 23 April. The Coast Guard is the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security and environment stewardship in US ports and waterways. US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney, US Coast Guard District 11. USCG ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
US Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal patrols the coast of Southern California, 23 April. The Coast Guard is the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security and environment stewardship in US ports and waterways. US Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Aidan Cooney, US Coast Guard District 11. USCG ©

USCG reports 27 tankers off the coast of Southern California on 23 April

The Coast Guard is the principal federal agency responsible for maritime safety, security and environmental stewardship in US ports and waterways.

Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach coordinates operations in an area of responsibility spanning more than 350 miles along the California coast, from Morro Bay to San Clemente and encompassing the nation’s largest port complex.

Here the Vessel Traffic Service provides anchorage assignments based off…[restrict] physical requirements, such as a vessel’s draft, length, type, as well as logistical requirements such as duration of stay and intentions while at anchor.

Commander Marshall Newberry, from Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles/Long Beach commented: “Due to the unique nature of this situation, the Coast Guard is constantly evaluating and adapting our procedures to ensure the safety of the vessels at anchor and the protection of the surrounding environment.

“Coast Guard watchstanders, in partnership with the Marine Exchange of Southern California, are closely monitoring each anchorage to manage the increased number of tank vessels we are seeing off the California coast.”

Vessel Traffic Service Los Angeles-Long Beach is jointly operated by the US Coast Guard and Marine Exchange of LA/LB from the Vessel Traffic Center located in San Pedro. The VTS assists in the safe navigation of vessels approaching the ports of LA/LB in an area extending 25 miles out to sea from Point Fermin.

The (US) Maritime Transportation System is an integrated network that consists of 25,000 miles of coastal and inland waters and rivers serving 361 ports. The MTS supports $4.6 trillion of economic activity each year and accounts for the employment of more than 23 million Americans.[/restrict]

Edited by Paul Ridgway


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ICS banner featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have jointly called on governments to take urgent measures to facilitate crew change flights for seafarers.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, seafarers are having to extend their service onboard ships after many months at sea, unable to be replaced following long tours of duty or return home.

Shipping is vital to the maintenance of global supply chains, but the current situation is unsustainable for the safety and wellbeing of ships’ crews and the safe operation of maritime trade.

Each month about 100,000 merchant seafarers need to be changed over from the ships on which they operate to ensure compliance with international maritime regulations protecting safety, health and welfare.

ICS logo, displayedin Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

As a result of government-imposed travel restrictions due to COVID-19, flights to repatriate or position marine personnel are unavailable. Immigration and health screening protocols are also hampering the ability of merchant ships to conduct vitally necessary crew changes. IATA and ICS are working together to come forward with safe and pragmatic solutions that governments can implement to facilitate crew changes at certain airports.

“Seafarers are unsung heroes who everyday throughout this COVID-19 crisis are going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that countries are kept supplied with the goods they need,” said ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten. “We are working with the airlines to come forward with solutions. We now need governments to support our seafarers and facilitate safe passage for them to get home to loved ones and be replaced by crew members ready to keep supply chains open.”

“Airlines have been required to cut passenger services in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. But if governments identify airports that seafarers can use for crew changes and make appropriate adjustments to current health and immigration protocols, airlines can help keep global logistics moving, said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO.”

Designated Airports

ICS and IATA have called on all governments to designate a specific and limited number of crew change airports for the safe movement and repatriation of crew. This would achieve critical mass for the resumption of crew change flights to these airports, keeping global supply chains open.

Priority airports should include those close to major shipping lanes which also have direct air connections to principal seafarer countries of residence, such as China, India and the Philippines as well as destinations in western and eastern Europe.

Facilitating Movement of International Transport Personnel

IATA banner, displayed in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Aviation and shipping companies face common challenges in carrying out crew changes while complying with immigration and quarantine restrictions introduced by most governments around the world.

As authorities continue to battle COVID-19, international transport personnel operating aircraft and ships, or transiting international borders for duty, are often affected by national restrictions designed for passengers and non-essential personnel. When applied to crew not interacting with local communities, these restrictions unnecessarily jeopardise the ability of airlines and shipping companies to keep global supply chains operating.

IATA and ICS are working with their global regulators – the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – on recommendations to governments for standardised procedures and protocols for positioning crews whilst preventing the further spread of COVID-19.

Keeping Global Supply Chains Operating

The aviation and maritime transport industries are the lifeblood of the global economy, moving the world’s goods and products which are necessary to allow society to continue to function efficiently throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

• By volume, some 90% of global trade is delivered by ship, including food, energy, raw materials and manufactured products.

• Airlines carry, in addition to passengers, some 35% of global trade by value, including critical medicines and medical supplies.

G20 governments, at their recent emergency meetings, committed to “minimise disruptions to trade and global supply chains” and identified the need to prioritise keeping air and sea logistics networks open and functioning efficiently.

Shipping companies and airlines are cooperating to meet this priority by ensuring that reliable operations continue throughout the pandemic. However, these networks will grind to a halt if replacement crews are unavailable for duty. Governments must take urgent action now to avoid further damage to the battered global economy, the two organisations said.


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map of Ghana, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
map of Ghana. Map CIA

The rollout of Ghana’s UNIPASS, now Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) introduced at the port of Takoradi is presenting challenges for clearing & forwarding (C&F) agents as well as importers.

That’s the word from the President of the Ghana Institute of Freight Forwarders (GIFF), Edward Akrong, who has gone on record as saying that…[restrict] the UNIPASS/Integrated Customs Management Systems (ICUMS) as introduced at the port of Takoradi, has failed to provide the end to end package as was envisaged.

Mr Akrong said that the operators of the system were instead having to mix the manual with the electronic process to release cargo at the port, and this was resulting in delays with the clearance of goods.

Akrong, who was being interviewed on the City TV’s Face to Face programme, claimed the shipping lines had also resorted to the manual release of goods because of the problems with UNIPASS/ICUMS.

This did not reflect well on the country or its clearing agents, he said.

“Our members cannot use the UNIPASS/ICUMS system because the system is problematic. Some importers have still not been able to clear their goods since 9 April 2020. We are losing a lot of revenue as a result of the failing system.”

As a result about 80 per cent of clearance was currently being done through the GCNET and West Blue systems.

However this created problems and in one instance a customs officer on the Paga border with Burkina Faso prevented an export cargo from leaving the country because the exporter used the old GCNet, West Blue system. source: Ghanaian Times.[/restrict]


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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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