Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002
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Come with us as we report through 2020
TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS
These news reports are updated on an ongoing basis. Check back regularly for the latest news as it develops – where necessary refresh your page at www.africaports.co.za
Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return
- Front Page: GSL CHRISTEL ELISABETH
- TPT says Cape Town Terminals remain operational – UPDATE
- Cape ports crippled by closures and congestion
- SA seafarers may now freely join or leave ships in local ports under Level 3
- Angola extends concession tender for Luanda Multi-purpose Terminal
- Infection prevention for the maritime industry
- Canadian Satellite System Supports CMF Operations
- Stolen railway materiel found in Beira foundry
- Earlier News (headlines in Blue)
- South Africa must get ready for an inevitable loosening of trade ties with the US
- AMSOL completes anchor leg replacement at Durban SBM
- Shipping lines continue with Cape sea route
- Indian Navy ship INS Kesari (L15) visits Madagascar and Comores
- MSC Sixin (23,656 TEU) maiden call at Barcelona
- Uganda backs away from mandatory use of Standard Gauge Railway
- Another Wild Coast environmental disaster averted as giant tanker arrives in Durban
- Yuan Hua Hu berths safely in Durban: SAMSA
- Introducing the (UK) Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB)
- Svitzer anchors position in Africa: Nacala and Egyptian LNG contracts strengthen position
- OSI’s remote services keep East Africa cable project on track
- Ngqura helping make green energy possible
- Study shows rate of improvements through ICT at the port of Cotonou
- Navies strengthen partnerships through strategic plan
- Imperial renews major automotive logistics contract
- The latest from Transaid: Heroes and Hostility
- Ship movements on South African coast
- WHARF TALK: News & Views From Along the Coast
- EARLIER NEWS CAN BE FOUND AT NEWS CATEGORIES…….
- The Sunday masthead is of the Port of Saldanha (futuristic projection)
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Entering the port of Durban is the container ship GSL CHRISTEL ELISABETH (IMO 9280641). Built in 2004 and sailing until 2019 under the name CMA CGM STRAUSS, the 73,235-dwt vessel is owned by Greek interests. The ship’s ISM manager is Technomar Shipping Inc of Athens, Greece and commercial manager Conchart Commercial Inc of the same address. GSL Christel Elizabeth flies the Liberian flag. This picture is by Trevor Jones
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In a statement issued earlier today (Friday) Transnet Port Terminals responded to reports concerning the Cape Town port terminals, saying the Cape Town Container Terminal (CTCT) and the Cape Town Multi-Purpose Terminal remain operational.
This, said TPT, is despite the increasing number of positive COVID-19 cases in the Western Cape. These terminals have been moving import and export cargo since Level 5.
“As a responsible employer vested in the health and safety of our employees, we continue to ensure adherence to all health protocols to ensure the wellbeing of those waking up daily to serve South Africa,” said Acting Terminal Manager, Oscar Borchards.
Despite allowing periods of self-quarantine while awaiting results, the loading and offloading of cargo continues, TPT continued.
The terminal operator said the terminals have maintained communication with all its customers since the beginning of the national lockdown and will continue to engage them on day-to-day matters.
We continue to monitor on a daily basis shift performance as well as compliance to standard COVID -19 preventative measures that the terminals have put in place, the statement concluded.
Earlier Africa PORTS & SHIPS reported that the port terminals at Ngqura and Cape Town have had operations severely hampered by closing the port (Ngqura) for disinfection and lack of sufficient staff (Cape Town), all related to the COVID-19 pandemic. – See that report immediately below this article.
Port stakeholders complained of a lack of communication saying they were being left in the dark and that Transnet ought to communicate better with its customers. They maintain skeleton staff are struggling to handle the work load and that berthing delays of between 13 and 15 days have resulted, while the container terminal has a plug point capacity and reefer occupancy both at 100%.
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Two of the three container ports in the Cape, Ngqura and Cape Town have had operations severely hampered by closing the port (Ngqura) and lack of sufficient staff (Cape Town), all related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday (Thursday 4 June) the port of Ngqura container terminal closed between the hours of…[restrict] 09h00 and 15h00 so that the container terminal could be disinfected against the coronavirus.
The disinfection process was applied to all areas of the terminal, waterside, landside, gate and ancillary buildings, according to a SMS sent out to stakeholders. This occurred a few days after the final Carnival cruise ship sailed from the port and Algoa Bay.
Meanwhile, in Cape Town where the container terminal is already battling with congestion – caused not by too many containers but too few personnel – it now faces a further escalation of congestion following an instruction sent out to Cape Town port stakeholders that no exports through the container terminal will be permitted for the whole of today (Friday 5 June).
This unexpected move comes during the peak of the citrus export season and amid reports that all reefer boxes through the port have been stopped not just for a day but indefinitely.
Exporters complained they were not consulted over the ban and are left to guess the reasons for this dramatic and crippling move.
It is understood that a percentage of staff at the terminal have been told to remain at home because they live in so-called ‘hot spots’ or high-risk areas.
Cape Town and the Western Cape has the highest rate of COVID-19 infection, roughly two thirds of the entire country, and much of that is in the Cape Town metropolitan area, with certain areas identified as ‘hot spots’ of infection.
Stakeholders say that while they have sympathy for Transnet over a predicament not of its own making, Transnet nevertheless ought to communicate better with its customers who are left in the dark.[/restrict]
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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has issued a statement regarding COVID-19 Lockdown regulations under Level 3, which is now in effect across the country.
“Consistent with revised Government regulations for the national lockdown for Level 3 announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa a week ago, and effective on 01 June 2020, South African seafarers are now allowed to freely embark and disembark vessels in South Africa or abroad.”
In addition, clarity has also been provided on restrictions under national lockdown under the different levels, affecting the operations of small vessels.
This is according to two Marine Notices No.30 and No.31 issued by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) in Pretoria this week as promised by Minister of Transport, Mr Fikile Mbalula at the weekend.
According to SAMSA in terms of Marine Notice No.30 (Crew Changes) “All South African seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels either in South Africa or Internationally. Returning seafarers will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
“South African seafarers wishing to join a vessel, should preferably self-quarantine for 14-days prior to embarking. It is further recommended that seafarers undergo a Covid-19 test prior to joining a vessel.”
Giving context to the periodically revised regulations SAMSA says: “Shipping is vital to the world supply chain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that all personnel involved are protected from infection, including those onboard ships and shore personnel who may need to temporarily go onboard ships or interact with seafarers.
“Many seafarers on board ships (and personnel in the offshore industry) have been on enforced extended contracts during the COVID-19 pandemic, with restrictions on travel making it difficult for crew to leave ships and for new crew to join ships. These extended stays on board could have significant repercussions for crew wellbeing as well as for safe ship operations.”
Restriction on foreign seafarers remains
However, with South Africa effectively still under national lockdown due to the global war against the Covid-19 pandemic, according to SAMSA, foreign seafarers continue to be prohibited from disembarking on South African soil in terms of the newly revised regulations.
The Marine Notice reads: “No foreign Seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels in South Africa, unless prior arrangements have been agreed upon between the seafarers’ Embassy and Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Health.”
The notice further sets out guidelines on various other aspects relevant to the national lockdown such as medical evacuations, health declarations and international travel regulations, and about which the shipping community is urged to closely study for understanding and compliance with.
Small and fishing vessel regulations
Meanwhile, Marine Notice No.31 SAMSA’s risk-based response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Small Vessels and Essential Fishing Vessels brings about clarity on regulations governing the activities of small vessels during the national lockdown, according to the five levels.
According to SAMSA: “This Marine Notice covers the services that will be provided to vessels under the survey region by SAMSA. This does not preclude any operations which may be prohibited by other Government Departments and Disaster Management Regulations (DMA).
“Owners and vessel operators are to ensure that they have a full understanding of any DMA regulations issued by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).”
In a table containing a list of 13 vessel operations related activities, the notice outlines which of these permitted under each of the national lockdown five levels.
In addition, it also gives clarity on regulations with respect to certificates of fitness, safe manning, and related matters: “SAMSA requests all stakeholders within the small boating fraternity to abide by the lockdown protocol as detailed in this Marine Notice and any regulations published in terms of the DISASTER MANAGEMENT ACT, 2002. The relevant risk level will change as determined by the DMA and may be different in the various provinces depending on the spread of the virus,” states the notice.
Short Video showing the towing of the COSCO tanker Yuan Hua Hu away from the beaches of the Wild Coast [1:34]. Source: SAMSA
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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the tender for the concessioning of the Luanda Port Multi-purpose Terminal has been extended until 30 June.
This was announced by the country’s Concession Evaluation Commission which said this was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic which has restricted travel between countries and disrupted business plans.
See our earlier report on this tender process by CLICKING HERE
The winning concession is…[restrict] for a period of 20 – 25 years.
The Port of Luanda Multi-purpose Terminal handles general cargo as well as containers. It has a quay that is 610 metres in length with depth alongside of -12.5 metres and an adjacent land area of 181,070 square metres.
The terminal’s capacity is indicated as 2.6 million tonnes of cargo annually.
According to the commission the main aim of the tender is to promote development and improve efficiency of the port activity through the participation of seasoned private firms in this sector.
On that understanding, local and international companies with experience in port management have been invited to take part in the international tender.
The tender was launched on 16 December 2019 with 30 March set as the deadline for the opening of the bids, however that was until the outbreak of the pandemic crisis brought so many plans to a halt.[/restrict]
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* Genting Cruise Lines is the first customer working towards certification for its Explorer Dream vessel under the Dream Cruises brand
* New CIP-M programme is built on DNV GL’s healthcare expertise in infection risk management and accrediting and certifying more than 640 hospitals worldwide
On 2 June DNV GL announced from Hamburg that it had launched a new certification in infection prevention for the maritime industry.
Release of this custom certification aims to help the maritime industry resume operations better prepared for COVID-19 or other emerging pathogens.
Genting Cruise Lines – www.gentingcruiselines.com – is the first client working towards the CIP-M certification for their vessel EXPLORER DREAM under the Dream Cruises brand.
As the COVID-19 crisis begins to recede, the world was looking to return to business. For the cruise industry, passenger safety has always been the priority and the current pandemic has sharpened this focus. To help vessel owners and operators resume safer operations, DNV GL has developed CIP-M certification, which enables them to demonstrate they have procedures and systems in place for the proper prevention, control, and mitigation of infection, to protect their customers and crews.
“The COVID-19 crisis has been unprecedented in its impact on the maritime industry, and on the cruise lines in particular,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO of DNV GL – Maritime. He added: “But I hope that with innovative ideas like CIP-M we can help the industry get moving again in a way that gives passengers and crew confidence that exacting measures are in place to enhance the cruise industry’s already rigorous health and safety standards.”
Infection risk management
CIP-M builds on DNV GL Healthcare’s work in infection risk management in which it has been operating since 2008. With more than 4,000 audits performed in US hospitals, this work, which is inherent to the company’s accreditation program, helps organisations improve their management of infection risk.
Experts from DNV GL’s Cruise Center in Miami customised the healthcare CIP for use in a maritime setting in cooperation with DNV GL – Business Assurance.
CIP-M also integrates maritime specific standards, such as the US CDC Vessel Sanitation Program, as well as incorporating national and industry guidelines. The certification surveys and audits are performed by DNV GL surveyor teams comprised of DNV GL – Healthcare infection prevention and control experts together with experienced maritime auditors.
In the words of Luca Crisciotti, CEO of DNV GL – Business Assurance: “The ability to demonstrate trusted infection risk prevention and mitigation is a must to win back trust from consumers.
“Building organisational vigilance against infection risk today requires a level previously common to hospitals only. CIP-M is unique in that it builds on proven hospital standards but is specifically tailored to the context of passenger vessels, while incorporating national requirements to enable a robust immediate and long-term response.”
“At Genting Cruise Lines, the safety and well-being of our guests and crew are of paramount importance to us.” said Mr Kent Zhu, President of Genting Cruise Lines.
He added: “From the onset of the pandemic, Genting Cruise Lines has been at the forefront in enhancing its preventive and safety measures with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind. We were the first in the industry to launch and introduce our enhanced measures, which we will adopt as the new safety norm for our fleet and we hope for the industry too.”
As part of the CIP-M certification, DNV GL assesses vessel operations, including enhanced sanitation procedures, food preparation and handling, physical distancing requirements, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by crew members, maintenance of public health essential systems, emergency response plans, pre-boarding screening, embarkation and debarkation processes, and itinerary or port planning protocols.
Annual surveys onboard and company audits ashore are conducted to verify continued compliance and improvement.
The CIP-M assessment of Genting Cruise Lines has already commenced with a pre-assessment of the company’s management system, to be followed by a certification survey of Explorer Dream. The company is targeting successful completion of the certification programme by the end of June.
Edited by Paul Ridgway
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Satellite imagery is sent to Combined Maritime Forces (CMF*) Headquarters from ‘URSA’ (the Unclassified Remote-Sensing Situational Awareness system).
Since being deployed in Bahrain in 2016 URSA continues to provide CMF with valuable, strategic-level information used to ensure maritime security across the area of operations, including…[restrict] the Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Gulf.
URSA is a satellite imagery receiver system and is a self-contained workspace for the collection, production and utilisation of imagery. The system gathers operational and strategic level data which informs ship movements and pattern of life data across the required area of operation.
The Canadian Air Force run and manage several of the fixed locations which receive downloads from a satellite orbiting the Earth approximately every 90 minutes. A download location was moved to Bahrain to facilitate smooth and timely information flow from Space to the Commander within 30 minutes if required. An area of interest is identified and a computer system decides the most effective way of gathering the information.
The team ensuring the smooth operation of the system consist of Canadian Military Image Analysts who also have engineering training.
Twice per day, the satellite passes over Bahrain and the Canadian military team ensure the data is downloaded correctly. Once the successful pass has been completed the image analysts can assess the latest data.
This information is then transferred to CMF Headquarters and distributed across the CTFs and the relevant units. The information is used by CMF and CTF commanders to assess the success and impact of previous operations and in the planning of future operations. source: CMF
* CMF is a unique multi-national collective of 33 like-minded nations, dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all.[/restrict]
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According to a report in O País a large quantity of stolen railway materiel has been discovered in a Beira foundry.
Some of the items at the Beira foundry allegedly stolen from the Machipanda or Sena railways
Acting on a tip-off Mozambican authorities went to the Beira foundry owned by Chinese interests, and after some difficulty gained access to the site where they discovered large amounts of railway items that they believe to be stolen from the Beira-Machipanda and Beira-Sena railways.
The Machipanda railway is the strategic line from…[restrict] the port of Beira to the Zimbabwe border and from there connecting with the general southern African railway network.
The Sena railway connects the port at Beira with the coalfields at Moatize, branching off the Machipanda line at Dondo.
The report suggests that most of the railway materiel discovered at the foundry was taken from the section between Beira and Dondo, and said that in the last two years large amounts of materiel was stolen from both lines.
Included among the railway items discovered at the foundry were pieces of 40 and 45-kilogram rails and various fastening materials for securing the rails to sleepers.
On another occasion coal was discovered at the foundry which was identified as coming from the Moatize mines for which the operators of the foundry were unable to account. However, nothing came from this for lack of evidence of theft.
On this occasion a lawyer for the Chinese-owned company said it was too early to make accusations that steel rods manufactured at the foundry were made using stolen railway property. He admitted though that the managers of the foundry may have been deceived as to the origins of the steel and suggested they may have unwittingly purchased the materiel in good faith.
The matter is still being investigated by the police. Source: O País[/restrict]
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In six months’ time the world’s gaze will be trained on what is gearing up to be a contentious and hotly contested presidential election in the US. Irrespective of who emerges victorious between the incumbent President Donald Trump and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden South Africa needs to start thinking about what it stands to lose – or gain – from the new administration’s stance.
This is especially so in the area of economic relations. Since 1994, trade and investment ties between the US and South Africa have evolved against the backdrop of a complicated political and diplomatic setting. This has ranged from:
- US disagreements with the Mandela government over its links with Cuba, Libya and the Palestine;
- to the huge promise of the binational commission chaired by Al Gore and Thabo Mbeki;
- to the bitter rancour over the Mbeki government’s HIV/Aids policies;
- to the deadlock over government-sponsored land invasions in Zimbabwe; and
- to the rifts over United Nations resolutions against Israel.
In 2003, the two countries failed to conclude a trade agreement amid mutual recriminations.
There have been successes along the way. These include America’s support of South Africa’s breakthrough in preventing bloodshed in Burundi and Pretoria’s leading role in the establishment of the African Union. But these have been outweighed by the low points.
Economic cooperation is the linchpin of the bilateral relationship. South Africa is America’s largest trade and investment partner in Africa. Over 600 American firms operate in South Africa. In 2017, US direct investment to South Africa was $7.3 billion, while the latter’s outward investment to the US amounted to $4.1 billion.
Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), trade between the two countries has thrived. Introduced by the Clinton administration in 2000, it allows African countries to export duty-free to the US market, provided these countries meet certain governance criteria. In 2018, total two-way trade was $18.9 billion, with South Africa recording a trade surplus of $2.1 billion.
But these fair winds might not blow forever. In light of the global shifts since the inception of Agoa two decades ago, US policy towards South Africa might in future be less generous and accommodating. South Africa would do well to make wise use of the remaining years of Agoa, which expires in 2025, to diversify its export markets and retool its economy.
Tetchy trade links
Agoa has been a boon for South African exports. Before its implementation, South African exports to the US consisted mainly of minerals and metals. Under Agoa exports have become diversified, including platinum, aluminium, steel, vehicles, wine and beer, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, and essential oils.
Despite this progress, trade links have remained tetchy. The fractious relationship came under scrutiny when then Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies met with his American counterpart, Michael Froman, in Paris in 2015 to seek a solution to a dispute that represented a litmus test in the changing trade dynamics between the two countries.
Dubbed the “chicken wars” the dispute centred on a demand by American chicken producers for their government to withdraw South Africa’s participation in Agoa. The call had been in response to the imposition by Pretoria of anti-dumping measures on US imports of chicken portions. Such measures are allowed under World Trade Organisation rules and are designed to protect domestic industries from unfairly priced imports.
Despite vociferous lobbying by chicken farmers against South Africa’s inclusion in a renewed Agoa agreement, the US senate approved a bill extending Agoa for 10 years, with South Africa included. In return, South Africa agreed to allow 65 000 tonnes of poultry imports from the US. Excluding South Africa from the new Agoa dispensation could have harmed the country’s trade.
Washington’s belligerent stance
Yet America’s trade policy towards South Africa is changing. This is underscored by the fact that although the US included South Africa in the revised Agoa it did so with stringent conditions. These included a stipulation that South Africa’s trade and investment policies would be subject to a review within 30 days of Agoa’s implementation. If the review found that the South African market was not sufficiently open to US products, the US could limit South Africa’s Agoa benefits or suspend its participation in the scheme. Significantly, the revised Agoa did not provide for increased access for South African products to the US market.
Washington’s increasingly belligerent stance had also been reflected in the array of demands it had made in its trade talks with Pretoria. Besides the row over chicken exports, the US pushed strongly for the withdrawal of the Private Security Industry Regulation Amendment Bill. The bill required foreign-owned security companies to sell at least 51% of their domestic businesses to South Africans.
The change in America’s trade posture towards South Africa is a consequence of global shifts as well as factors specific to South Africa. Agoa came into existence during globalisation’s finest hour and at the height of US economic boom. Since then, the global economic environment has deteriorated, and this has strengthened the influence of trade protectionists in the US.
Also, the US has been shaken by the rise of China as a formidable competitor. The US has used trade as a tool to reassert its position as the pre-eminent global economic power. The Trump administration’s debilitating trade war with Beijing should be viewed within that context.
In the case of South Africa, the Clinton administration’s rationale for including the country in the original Agoa scheme was to support its democratic consolidation and integration into the global economy. The US has, however, historically never regarded South Africa as a developing country in the same way it has viewed other African countries. This American view of South Africa dates back to the post-war years when the country was seen as a part of the developed “western bloc” that shaped the new world order. It is for this reason that when South Africa, in the early 1990s, applied to the World Trade Organisation for reclassification as a developing nation the US, supported by the European Union and Japan, objected.
Early this year the Trump administration revived this historical position on South Africa and revoked the country’s “developing country” status. This followed a similar decision by the US in respect of China and India. It means that these countries will no longer enjoy the preferential trade treatment extended to poor nations. A Biden electoral victory is unlikely to deviate from the path set by the current administration. Trade is one of the very few areas on which there remains strong bipartisan support.
Even self-proclaimed democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders have opposed free trade deals. Hilary Clinton, who lost against Trump in the 2016 poll, has a history of espousing inconsistent and ambivalent positions on trade. The outbreak of the coronavirus global pandemic, and the resultant damage it has inflicted on the US economy, will most likely reinforce bipartisan consensus on American trade policy.
What this means is that South Africa can no longer rely on Agoa as the centrepiece of its economic partnership with the US. Agoa is not a negotiated, reciprocal agreement: it is an American initiative that provides non-reciprocal trade preferences to African countries. The US can arbitrarily suspend or withdraw its benefits to participating nations.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
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In a recent account concerning the towing of the COSCO tanker Yuan Hua Hu to Durban it was reported that the tug involved, PACIFIC DOLPHIN, had just completed a project at the Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) off Durban’s Isipingo Beach and had gone on to Cape Town when the call to return to KZN came.
The SBM is where AMSOL provides specialised marine and terminal management services at the offshore terminal for client SAPREF- a joint venture between Shell Refining South Africa and BP Southern Africa; the largest crude oil refinery in the country.
Earlier in May, AMSOL completed an Anchor Leg Replacement Project at the SBM for which project preparations had been underway over a 12 month period.
Routine diver inspections of the chains indicated that a replacement of components of the mooring system was necessary. A replacement plan, which included the use of local SBM expertise to minimise costs and maximise existing resources, was drafted in 2018. Part of this plan included initially replacing the four northerly and southerly legs as these lie in the direction of the most environmentally induced stress in the mooring system.
According to AMSOL’s Terminals, Harbour Towage & Subsea Executive Norman Jensen, the planning and preparation work the project team conducted was vital in ensuring the successful completion of the project
“The project methodology was developed in early 2019 and finalised at a joint operations workshop in July last year. May 2020 was identified as the best time to do the replacement project as it is statistically the best weather month for marine operations offshore Durban.”
The project included several local subcontractors and suppliers to ensure maximum local content, with engineering consultants ‘ZAA EPNA’ engaged to design working platforms for the SBM, which were cast in Durban. Glass reinforced plastic members were extruded in Tshwane, and the steel elements were fabricated in Durban.
In October of 2019, a Hazard And Operability (HAZOP) study workshop was held at the SAPREF Training Centre, bringing together key project stakeholders to ensure alignment and understanding of the complex nature of the project in the offshore environment; ensuring that safety standards were met to prevent harm to people, assets and the environment.
A few months later in March of 2020, a Methods Workshop was held and attended by the full Project ensemble of Client SAPREF, Contractors and Subcontractors, including representatives from Swire Pacific Offshore, EBH Shipyard and AMSOL.
SAPREF then took on the responsibility for the procurement of the anchor and chain, assisted in system design by Shell technical authorities in The Hague. Shell requirements for Marine Assurance, Project Methodology Assurance, Diving Assurance and Dynamic Positioning Operational Assurance were successfully met thereafter. Activity Specific Operational Guidelines and Activity Marine Operational Guidelines were also developed and implemented on board the Project Vessel Pacific Dolphin.
After COVID-19 Lockdown began in South Africa on 27 March 2020, the Project was declared an ‘Essential Service’, supporting the Transport, Energy and Oil Refining industry.
Despite constraints, the project was able to commence after all personnel involved were tested for the virus and were thereafter subject to strict hygiene and safety protocols
The fleet, which included the chartered DP2 anchor handling vessel Pacific Dolphin and AMSOL’s tug Siyanda, were mobilised and sailed for the SBM field on 26 April to begin the execution phase of the project. For the duration of the replacement works, the Siyanda managed the hoses and supported the day shift SBM team whilst the Pacific Dolphin accommodated the night shift dive team.
A priority for AMSOL’s Norman Jensen was completing the project safely and within the scheduled time frame to meet client expectations.
“We were extremely fortunate that from 1 May and for the next eight days we had very favourable weather and sea conditions. The old chains and anchors were recovered to the Pacific Dolphin and the new ones installed. The fourth anchor leg was safely secured in the SBM stopper on 8 May, and the project was safely completed to client satisfaction ahead of schedule.” source: AMSOL – read original article by CLICKING HERE
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In spite of the reaction by large-scale shippers like IKEA in Europe concerning the re-routeing of container ships around the Cape in avoidance of Suez Canal fees, even more shipping lines have adopted the practice.
See our report concerning shipper IKEA’s objection HERE
The container lines are…[restrict] taking advantage of lower bunker costs and weakened demand to offset the canal fees that can be as high as US$700,000 for a fully laden mega-sized container ship.
The Suez Canal Authority has offered additional discounts to woo the container lines back onto the shorter route but so far without the expected effect.
IKEA warned that it would not book slots on any ships taking the Cape route, out of respect for environmental concerns over additional emissions produced on the longer journey round the Cape.
According to analyst Alphaliner the number of these ships using the Cape route has risen to 35, almost doubling the number of vessels known to have sailed via the Cape in our previous report.
There have been ships on the Cape route sailing west to east as well as from Asia to Europe or North America. In previous years when container lines adopted using the Cape route it generally involved sailing back to Asia from northern Europe with smaller cargoes, while using the traditional shorter route in the opposite direction.
This latest practice involves all three major shipping alliances. The use of the Cape route has been reported to be temporary measure likely to revert once cargo levels build up with the reopening of warehouses and businesses in Europe and North America.[/restrict]
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An Indian Navy tank landing ship INS Kesari (L15) has paid visits to Antsiranana, Madagascar and the Port of Moroni in the Comores.
INS Kesari is a Shardul-class amphibious warfare vessel and was deployed on the navy’s Mission Sagar. As part of this mission the ship delivered a consignment of COVID-19 related essential medicines for the people of Madagascar.
An official ceremony was held on 29 May for the handing over of the medicines from the Government of India to the Government and people of Madagascar, attended by…[restrict] Madagascar’s Foreign Minister, M. Tehindrazanarivelo Liva Djacoba and India’s Ambassador to Madagascar, Mr Abhay Kumar.
The deployment highlights the importance accorded by India to relations with the countries of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Following the visit to Madagascar INS called at the port of Moroni in Comoros, bearing a similar consignment of COVID-19 related essential medicines as part of Mission Sagar and intended for the people of the Comores islands.
In addition, a 14-member specialist medical team comprising Indian Navy doctors and paramedics is also embarked on board the ship to work alongside their counterparts in Comoros, and together render assistance for Covid-19 and dengue fever. The medical team comprises specialists including medical and community specialists and a pathologist.
The official ceremony for handing over the medicines from the Government of India to the Government of Comoros was held on 31 May.[/restrict]
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The largest ship to berth at any Barcelona terminal
“The arrival of MSC Sixin at Barcelona is the start of a new era in our container sea trade,” said Guillermo Belcastro, CEO of Hutchison Ports BEST*.
He continued: “MSC Sixin operating at BEST is symbolic of the effort of both shipping lines and port operators who continue to work together, in spite of the current social and economic world situation, pushing efficiency levels to even higher standards to enable goods to arrive at their destination.”
This was…[restrict] reported by BEST on 1 June.
Belcastro added: “Our terminal’s location and state-of-the-art equipment enables us to efficiently handle vessels of this size in the swiftest time possible. We are delighted to become the first ever terminal in Barcelona to welcome a 23K+ vessel. We would specially like to thank MSC as the ship owner, and all the partners within the 2M alliance (MSC and Maersk), for trusting in BEST to accomplish this historic milestone.”
The operational differentiating factor enabling BEST to welcome these vessels, is not only the physical dimensions of the terminal – Hutchison Ports BEST is the only container terminal in Barcelona with a depth of at least 16 metres – the whole length of its 1,500 metres berth – but also the vessel operating rate.
Loading and discharging containers involving almost 10,000 moves requires a high number of mega cranes working at the same time with a very high performance rate per crane, and these operations also need to be controlled by a highly efficient operating system.
Hutchison Ports BEST is used to operating with up to eight cranes simultaneously which under the control of nGen, Hutchison Ports’ proven terminal control system, can achieve productivity per crane of over 40 moves per hour.
Usually, operations of 10,000 moves can be completed in a couple of days, a huge contrast when compared to more than four to five days in other ports, representing significant reductions in terms of transit time, port costs and the CO2 emissions due to fuel consumption, to arrive on time at the ship’s next port of call.
About Hutchinson Ports
Hutchison Ports BEST is the first semi-automated terminal in the company and the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain. It is capable of serving many very large container vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track railway facility, the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean, connecting it to traffic coming from and destined for Southern Europe.
Hutchison Ports BEST is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited one of the world’s leading port investors, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 27 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
* Barcelona Europe South Terminal.[/restrict]
Edited by Paul Ridgway
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After initially having gone along with the decision that all cargo coming from the port at Mombasa must be railed as far as the standard gauge railhead at Naivasha, Uganda now says this should not be mandatory but optional to cargo owners.
The move was touted as a means of preventing socialising or interfacing along the route by truck drivers in view of COVID-19 concerns, but the more cynical believe…[restrict] the move is to enforce more traffic onto the railway.
The decision to use rail as far as the Naivasha Inland Depot (ICD), where the standard gauge railway from Mombasa currently ends, is reported to have been made during a virtual meeting of the presidents of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
From Naivasha cargo could be moved by metre gauge Rift Valley Railway or by road. But now Uganda appears to have reconsidered and wants the matter to be optional.
In a letter to his Kenyan counterpart, Uganda’s Works and Transport Minister, Katumba Wamala said the truck drivers would still be driving to Naivasha and crossing borders which would not eliminate human interaction.
He said the question of using the Naivasha ICD was a long-term infrastructure development, should remain optional.
Uganda traffic accounts for approximately 30% of the Mombasa port business, but whether Uganda has sufficient influence to convince Kenya to allow Ugandan trucks to drive the full distance to the port remains questionable.
The Ugandan authorities are thought to be coming under considerable pressure from the Ugandan trucking sector as they face significant losses if required to travel no further than Naivasha.
The Kenyan transport authorities say the decision to use rail as far as the ICD was agreed by all four heads of state but added they were engaging with all stakeholders on the matter.[/restrict]
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The disabled VLCC tanker YUAN HUA HU has been safely towed to Durban, arriving on Monday and entering port during the morning of Tuesday, 2 June 2020. No less than four harbour tugs turned out to assist in the operation of bringing the 308,663-dwt tanker into port without mishap.
The tanker has been berthed on Pier 1, berth 103 where repairs to her engine and stern tube will be carried out.
The tow along the Wild and KZN South Coasts was carried out by the AMSOL chartered tug PACIFIC DOLPHIN assisted by a second AMSOL anchor handling tug, SIYANDA, with the tow being picked up from a position just to the north of Port St Johns. Yuan Hua Hu was sailing in ballast bound for Kaombo off the coast of northern Angola when she experienced her problems.
The tanker will go down as one of if not the biggest ships to have entered Durban harbour – all depending on how you do your measuring! If length is considered important then she remains down the list at a mere 333 metres loa (mere being used tongue-in-cheek), but on the other hand she’s 60 metres wide and that takes some beating. For most people her deadweight is the deciding factor although some may even think in terms of gross weight, although we won’t go there.
In terms of length we’ve seen a number of 366-metre long container ships in Durban port – the 14,694-TEU MSC RAVENNA in December last year currently tops that list, but her deadweight is 165,517 tons, putting her well down on that criteria. We’ve even seen a cruise ship in Durban that exceeds her length, Queen Mary 2 has about 12 metres over the Chinese tanker but the Queen’s deadweight is one of her unmentionables – cruise and passenger ships are measured by gross weight and QM2’s gross tonnage is 149,215 tons for those interested.
So what is, or perhaps that should be ‘was’, the biggest ship to enter Durban? The late Capt Tony Pearson in his book ‘African Keyport’ quotes the 230,284-dwt FINA BRITANNIA which took repairs in Durban in January 1977. Two other tankers came close to this but none of them are anywhere near the 308,630-dwt of Yuan Hua Hu.
As a matter of interest the Shell tanker MACTRA, which suffered an explosion in one of her tanks during cleaning in December 1969 and was towed to Durban for repairs, is often uppermost in the minds of many when on this topic – perhaps a result of the publicity the Mactra attracted at the time – but she remains a little down the list at around 210,000 tons deadweight.
We cannot leave this subject without another reminder of a record that is beyond dispute, the world’s largest (then) tanker, the 506,000-dwt Norwegian giant of a ship, JAHRE VIKING, which twice sheltered in the Durban outer anchorage for lengthy periods, during some onboard repairs and maintenance. The late Durban businessman, agent and shipping representative Mr Thorleif Lunde had a part in the decision for Jahre Viking to remain off Durban on each of those occasions.
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The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) that the VLCC YUAN HUA HU has been successfully berthed alongside Pier 1 in Durban.
The Safety Authority said that on Tuesday morning (2 June 2020) at 05h00 a chemist attended the vessel offshore and completed a gas-free test to ensure that the tanker posed no risk to the port. The chemist cleared the vessel and the tanker was allowed to approach the pilot boarding station with the tugs Pacific Dolphin and Siyanda in tow.
The towing tugs subsequently handed the tanker over to four Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) tugs, and two TNPA marine pilots who executed the berthing of the tanker.
The tanker ran into difficulties off Port St Johns on 27 May 2020 and was immobilised. She was unable to use her engines while drifting towards shore and her drift was arrested when 0.4 nautical miles from the beach. The vessel was not carrying any cargo and all 27 crew on-board the casualty vessel are reported to be safe and no injuries were reported.
Since berthing at 103 the vessel has been boomed off to prevent any pollution while she undergoes repairs by a team of specialists. To ensure that due diligence is carried out, a SAMSA Port State Control Inspector conducted an inspection on the tanker later on Tuesday to verify that the tanker complies with all international regulations.
SAMSA said it would like to specifically thank the master and crew of the Siyanda and the Pacific Dolphin who successfully towed the vessel to Durban from Port St Johns.
“SAMSA also acknowledges the exceptional teamwork displayed among the multi-disciplinary team, comprising some of South Africa’s top maritime experts, including the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), AMSOL, Transnet National Port Authority(TNPA), Smit Marine South Africa, P&I Associates, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC) and SAMSA first responders.
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In the UK the purpose of a Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) investigation is to improve railway safety by preventing future railway accidents or by mitigating their consequences. It is not the purpose of such an investigation to establish blame or liability.
Accordingly, it is inappropriate that RAIB reports should be used to assign fault or blame, or determine liability, since neither the investigation nor…[restrict] the reporting process has been undertaken for that purpose.
Duty to investigate
RAIB has a duty to investigate all railway accidents in the UK classified as ‘serious’ in the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) Regulations 2005 (the 2005 Regulations). This definition covers all derailments and collisions of rolling stock resulting in the death of one person, serious injuries to five or more persons, or extensive damage to the rolling stock, infrastructure or environment.
There is a similar duty for incidents and accidents which, under slightly different circumstances, could have resulted in serious accidents, and which have an obvious impact on railway safety regulation or the management of safety.
Open, transparent and independent
RAIB operates, as far as possible, in an open and transparent manner. While its investigations are completely independent of the railway industry, it maintains close liaison with railway. If it discovers matters that may affect the safety of the railway RAIB makes sure that information about them is circulated to the right people as soon as possible, and certainly long before publication of its final report.
The RAIB’s findings are based on its own evaluation of the evidence that was available at the time of the investigation and are intended to explain what happened, and why, in a fair and unbiased manner.
Documents produced by RAIB, although particular to the UK will be of interest to all who are concerned with railway safety wherever it may be.
Summaries of learning
RAIB has produced a series of summaries of the learning that has come out of its investigations into accidents and incidents in six topic areas:
Topic 1: Design and operation of user worked level crossings
Topic 2: Protection of track workers from moving trains
Topic 3: Managing risk at the platform-train interface.
Topic 4: Safe management of abnormal train-operating events
Topic 5: Freight train derailments
Topic 6: Safe design, operation and maintenance of on-track plant and trolleys
These may be found HERE
Freight train derailments
The purpose of this document (Topic 5 above) is to provide a repository of some of the most important areas of learning identified in RAIB’s investigations to date, cross-referenced to relevant reports. It therefore provides a reference source for those looking to understand real-world railway safety issues and potential control measures.
See also: CLICK HERE
The integrity of the interface between freight wagons and the tracks they run on is crucial to safety. The derailment of a freight train can threaten the safety of people on other trains, on stations, and on land adjoining the railway. A collision between a passenger train and derailed freight vehicles may have disastrous consequences. Derailments can have a number of causes.
Some of these relate to the condition of the wagon: the way it has been loaded, the maintenance of the running gear and braking system, the wear and profile of the wheel treads and flanges. Other factors can include the design of the vehicle (particularly the suspension), the geometry of the track, the condition of the rail head, or the effects of a combination of faults.
RAIB Annual Report 2020
During the period from 1 January to 31 December 2019, RAIB received 381 notifications of railway accidents and incidents from the industry. These resulted in 51 preliminary examinations.
As a result of the analysis of the information gathered, the Branch started 13 full investigations and 10 safety digests.
Seventeen full investigation reports were completed and published in 2019.
While the aim is to publish reports and safety digests within 12 months of the date of occurrence, the length of individual investigations can sometimes extend beyond this because of the complexity and scale of the investigation, late notification by the industry or the need to address complex issues raised during formal consultation.
In 2019 the average time taken to publish full reports was 10.7 months from the date of occurrence. RAIB also issued one interim report, 10 safety digests and one urgent safety advice notice. For more see HERE
Collated by Paul Ridgway
London based on material at www.gov.uk/government/news/
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Svitzer has taken an important couple of steps towards strengthening its presence in Africa by signing a five-year contract with Nacala Logistics in Mozambique for harbour towage, occasional pilot transfer and potential salvage work in the Port of Nacala.
At the same time, Svitzer also secured a five-year extension of its current contract with Egyptian LNG assisting the land-based Idku LNG plant with four tugs, two mooring boats and one pilot boat.
In 2019 Svitzer also secured a 10-year contract, its second in Egypt, with Suez Canal Authority and managed to do a quick turnaround with start-up within 9 months of contract signing.
Svitzer’s towage services are very much a local service, delivered with the high standards, competency and professionalism of a global organisation. With its global network, a strong presence on the African continent and years of expertise and experience, Svitzer is able to offer solutions tailored to local conditions and customer needs in Africa.
“We see great potential and opportunities on the African continent and I am therefore very pleased that we succeeded in securing the contracts with Nacala Logistics and Egyptian LNG,” said Nicolai Vinther Friis, Managing Director of the AMEA region for Svitzer.
“We have had close collaboration and strong relations with both Nacala Logistics and Egyptian LNG and the contracts are of great strategic importance to us and will support our efforts and ambitions to further strengthen our presence and operations on the continent.”
Friis said a key priority for Svitzer is to ensure that its operations contribute to growth and prosperity in the communities in which Svitzer operate – meaning investing in local communities by providing training and professional development for members of the local workforce.
“We understand that with size and scale comes responsibility; responsibility to all those we engage with, especially our employees and customers. We therefore go to great lengths to ensure that our operations bring jobs and long-term prosperity to the communities in which we operate.”
On the African continent, Svitzer is now operating in Egypt, Angola, Morocco, Liberia and Mozambique.
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Ocean Specialists, Inc completes Phase 1 (Engineering) for Speedcast Communications cable project
It was announced from Stuart, Florida, on 27 May that Ocean Specialists, Inc (OSI)’s Project Management Team, in partnership with Speedcast Communications, Inc had completed Phase 1 (Engineering) for a private communication cable system offshore East Africa. This marks an important milestone for the Speedcast communications project.
Speedcast awarded the Master Services contract and the release of the Phase 1 work order to OSI in early January.
This work order included…[restrict] Project Management and Design/Engineering support for the communications cable system and cable landing station, along with the commencement of the Environmental and Permitting activities that OSI has subcontracted to CSA Ocean Sciences, Inc (CSAOS).
The private cable system will serve the Oil & Gas industry onshore and offshore East Africa.
It is reported that OSI implements a seamless approach to project management and has the in-house resources to deliver the highly integrated services and customer support needed to help clients mitigate against risk and, where necessary, make certain important adjustments throughout the process.
One such adjustment was necessary due to the unforeseen threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Perry Wright, OSI’s project lead: “The normal controls for a project of this nature involve numerous face-to-face meetings, workshops, and site visits which, in this case, had to be adapted to facilitate the participation of multiple stakeholders located in the US, Europe and East Africa. It is a tribute to the flexibility and commitment of the entire project development team that this was managed with no impact on the completion schedule for this phase or the quality of the work delivered to customer.”
For the implementation phase of the project, OSI will continue to provide support that includes project management, design oversight for the integrated cable solution, specification for the Landing Station and co-location facilities, system installation support, which incorporates route development and installation methods oversight, and commissioning and acceptance monitoring.
About Ocean Specialists, Inc (OSI)
Based in Stuart, Florida, OSI specialises in the development and execution of complex marine projects, ranging from undersea cable systems to deployment, testing, and evaluation in the telecoms, oil and gas, renewable energy, subsea mining and undersea defense markets on a global basis.
For more information readers are invited to visit www.oceanspecialists.com
Edited by Paul Ridgway
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The Port of Ngqura, as the only port with a green status in the Southern African port system, has established itself as the ideal partner for bringing green energy to the country by providing a safe gateway, temporary storage and an accessible distribution point for wind turbine components imported from Spain.
Since 2012 these components – consisting of wind turbine tower parts, blades, etc – have been destined for various windfarm projects throughout the country. They include…[restrict] the Golden Valley Wind Farm, the Nxuba Wind Farm between Bedford and Cookhouse in the Eastern Cape and the Roggeveld Wind Farm in the Karoo, spanning both the Northern Cape and Western Cape.
The majority of wind farms are located across the Eastern Cape. The port has been a major player since the Department of Energy has approved these projects as part of the Independent Power Producer (IPP) process in 2012.
“The port is uniquely positioned to accommodate these special projects cargo or abnormal cargo, classified as General Cargo, at its Finger Jetty,” says said Nozipho Booi, New Business Development Manager: Port of Ngqura.
“It also has a dedicated laydown area of 80,000 m² to store these massive components. The port’s ideal location and accessibility to the national freeway, makes road-haulage of the components to its destination easier, compared to a city-locked port. The surrounding infrastructure linking the port to the hinterland is also ideal – no restrictive bridges and the road can handle the abnormal cargo size and weight.”
What is a green port?
A green port status means that it is a port that was subjected to environmental legislation during its entire development – from pre-construction, during its current operation and will be during its future development.[/restrict]
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Maritime and port activities are becoming increasingly facilitated by communication and information technologies (ICT).
This is equally true in sub-Saharan Africa where ICT contributes to ensure security and the ease of traffic through the port system.
The port of Cotonou in Benin, in competing with other West African ports, has engaged in reforms in which the communication and information systems occupy a vital role in ensuring safety requirements and the facilitation of an efficient flow of cargo.
A recent study* has been carried out in Cotonou with the objective of providing an overview of the ICT and an analysis of ICT’s impact on port operations, using Cotonou as an example of what is happening in African ports.
According to the studies, from 2007 to 2016 the average stay of container vessels decreased from 46 hours to 23 hours, while for RoRo vessels the average stay decreased from 35 hours to 15 hours.
Similarly, studies show that from 2010 to 2017 the average time spent by these ships at the outer anchorage went from 46 to 16 hours for container vessels, and from 36 hours to 8 hours for RoRos.
In addition, says the study, from the fourth quarter of 2012, the period of passage of a container to the port of Cotonou has decreased from 19 days on average to less than 6 days with better visibility for transshipment operations.
None of these results would have been achieved and observed without ICT, the study says.
*Les TIC et la facilitation des opérations au port de Cotonou (Bénin): In M Lihoussou, Gouverner ports, transports et logistique, Edition EMS, France, 2020, pp 69-90
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US Coast Guard, US Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy strengthen partnerships through strategic plan
The US Coast Guard, US Navy, and Royal Canadian Navy signed a five-year strategic plan on 26 May, laying the foundation for future coordination and joint operations. This news was released by the US Coast Guard the same day from US Coast Guard Pacific Area in Alameda, California.
Vice-Admiral Linda Fagan, Commander Coast Guard Pacific Area; Vice-Admiral Scott D Conn, Commander Navy Third Fleet; Royal Canadian Navy Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific; and a…[restrict] small delegation of their staffs participated in a Three-Party Staff Talks (TPST) meeting via video-conference which culminated in the signing of this strategic plan.
In the words of Admiral Fagan: “Whether it’s combating criminal activity by international drug cartels in the eastern pacific, or strengthening maritime governance and the rule of law to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific, we rely on our Navy and Canadian partners to maximize success. This strategic plan improves interoperability and coordination across our sea services, allowing us to more effectively secure our countries’ shared maritime safety, security, and economic interests.”
Staff from the three services collaborated in February ahead of the 26 May TPST during a multi-day working group where the teams focused on joint operations, exercise planning, and communications.
TPST meetings and working groups provide a face-to-face forum for discussions and planning opportunities for improving defence readiness, homeland security, fisheries enforcement, counter-drug law enforcement, and search-and-rescue operations between the services.
Admiral Conn added: “We routinely operate together across many different mission sets. However, we are always looking at ways to improve our interoperability and strengthen our partnership. Our staff talks provide a valuable forum to discuss and plan how we will continue working together to defend the homeland while ensuring a secure and stable maritime environment.”
Edited by Paul Ridgway
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Imperial, whose origins are in South Africa, has announced that Imperial Logistics International, one of three divisions alongside the South Africa and African Regions divisions, has been appointed through its UK organisation to to provide JIT (just in time) and JIS (just in sequence) logistics for a major car manufacturer.
The renewed contract comprises three elements: nationwide transport, collecting components and assemblies from 19 suppliers and delivering to a central storage facility; operating shuttles between the remote body panel production site and the main assembly location; and the management and operation of 51,500 sqm of component warehousing, along with sequenced supply of parts to the assembly track.
TO read the rest of this article turn to our new TRADE NEWS section.
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In the UK, COVID-19 highlighted the importance of truck drivers as key workers
In East Africa, the pandemic is having the opposite effect
In the UK, HGV drivers are being rightly praised as heroes for keeping shelves stocked and delivering vital supplies amidst a nationwide lockdown. In East Africa, however, truck drivers are facing increasing hostility as they are blamed for the spread of the virus. This was reported from London by Transaid* on 29 May.
In an article published in the CILT** COVID-19 Bulletin 04, Transaid explored the effects of national governments’ travel restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of COVID-19. The article is available CLICK HERE
In East Africa with reports of drivers being turned away from their usual rest stops, one concern is that these restrictions could lead to drivers taking fewer breaks, increasing the likelihood of fatigue. Limited access to basic wash facilities could also affect drivers’ ability to regularly wash their hands in compliance with national guidelines.
Transaid and local partners, Safe Way Right Way, are developing driver specific sensitisation materials to ensure that drivers and their employers have access to guidance on how to limit the threat of exposure. This will be combined with the provision of hand-washing equipment and masks to protect drivers. The charity is are also partnering with transporter associations to extend the reach of these messages.
Transaid has been working to improve professional driver training standards in the EAC since 2010 in both Tanzania and more recently in Uganda, having also supported the development of the EAC standardised curriculum for drivers of large commercial vehicles.
The charity’s supporters were instrumental to the success of Transaid’s MAMaZ Against Malaria (MAM) programme, helping the charity’s efforts expand into a fifth Zambian District.
Help is needed to enable the charity to rise to the new challenge of COVID-19. Communities like those in rural Zambia are likely to be amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Readers may help them prepare for COVID-19 by DONATING HERE
Edited by Paul Ridgway
* Transaid transforming lives through safe, available and sustainable transport. For more details see: www.transaid.org
** Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport
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The movement of the passenger ships along the South African coast continues to attract much attention in a manner seldom seen even in those days of open cruise ship arrivals. For example the arrival of CARNIVAL DREAM in Durban at the weekend attracted a fair number of excited onlookers out for their morning exercise along the beach promenade, which incidentally offers a grand view of the harbour entrance.
Earlier the residents of Port Elizabeth were able to witness the unusual but pleasing sight of three large cruise ships riding their anchors in Algoa Bay, where they had…[restrict] arrived to refuel from offshore tankers. A further surprise followed when one by one they began to enter the Ngqura harbour – Carnival Dream first, then CARNIVAL LIBERTY and CARNIVAL CONQUEST and now CARNIVAL ECSTASY which has arrived from St Helena Bay. Ngqura is not known for cruise ship visits, until now.
Approaching Algoa Bay on Monday afternoon but not expected to stop at Ngqura is CARNIVAL FASCINATION, showing Durban as her destination with an ETA of Wednesday 3 June.
Meanwhile, further up the east coast at Durban, Carnival Dream completed her business in port and sailed late on Sunday bound for Jakarta in Indonesia. Waiting outside on Monday afternoon was Carnival Liberty having arrived from Algoa Bay and out in the anchorage opposite Umhlanga is MSC ORCHESTRA, on layby pending the lifting of universal bans on cruise ship activity.
The passenger ships are repatriating cruise sector staff back to their homes in India and S-E Asia. An estimated 100,000 plus staff were caught up in places far from their homes when the ban on cruising came about, together with a halting of most airline services. The cruise ship companies have responded by using their ships to ferry their former staff back home.
Other unusual but interesting ships movements involved the towing of the Chinese VLCC tanker, YUAN HUA HU which lost engine power and the use of her stern tube and came to anchor a short distance from the coast near Port St Johns. The AMSOL tug based at Durban, SMIT SIYANDA went to her aid followed by the larger AMSOL tug, SA AMANDLA which had sailed from Cape Town. With SA Amandla taking the tow assisted by Siyanda the trio reached Durban earlier on Monday and by mid afternoon were offshore of the port and likely to enter early today (Tuesday 2 June).
Other shipping activity does take place
While all this activity involving the glamour of the cruise ships and the drama of salvage tugs racing to save a tanker from possible grounding, it’s possible to overlook for a moment the wide variety of shipping activity taking place along the coast and in our ports.
These involve container ships, general cargo and bulk cargo vessels, large cumbersome-looking RoRo car carriers, literally hundreds of fishing vessels both large and small, local and foreign, service vessels and work boats, even strange mysterious high speed vessels making their way around the southern tip of the continent, all reporting in to the authorities and being monitored electronically as they go.
And let’s not forget the huge 360 and 400-metre long mega container ships now using the Cape route instead of the Suez canal in increasing numbers.
Ships in port
As a reflection of all this activity, the following number of ships were present in several of South Africa’s eight ports on Monday afternoon.
15 ships inside port; 27 outside at the anchorage.
16 ships inside port; 33 outside at the anchorage.
13 ships inside port; 14 outside at the anchorage.
These numbers are constantly changing as ships arrive and sail.[/restrict]
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It has certainly been a week of interest and some drama along the southern Africa coast, with cruise ships keeping us all guessing as to their movements and intentions, a fire on the Cosco container ship SÃO PAULO (IMO 9484388) – a very frightening occasion for those onboard, and a 360,000-dwt supertanker becoming immobilised along the Wild Coast of all places.
Whilst not all of the above scenarios have as yet played out, it appears that there are happy or pleasing endings ahead thanks to efficient systems in place to deal with these unexpected developments.
TANKER YUAN HUA HU ADRIFT ON WILD COAST
As has been previously reported HERE and CLICK HERE, the Chinese VLCC YUAN HUA HU (IMO 9723588), owned and operated by COSCO Shipping, suffered main engine and stern tube failure, leaving the tanker close to the coast opposite Dome Bluff, which is a little to the north of Port St Johns, where she went to anchor one nautical mile offshore.
Fortunately the weather and sea conditions were fair and the 333-metre long, 60-metre wide tanker was in no immediate danger. With the MRCC and SAMSA having been alerted, arrangements were made with AMSOL for the offshore supply tug Pacific Dolphin (IMO 9631400), which has a bollard pull of 220 tonnes, to proceed to the scene from Cape Town and to tow the tanker to Durban for repairs.
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Ironically, Pacific Dolphin had only recently been working in Durban where she assisted with the single buoy mooring (SBM) opposite Isipingo Beach.
A second smaller anchor handling tug, AMSOL’s Smit Siyanda was meanwhile despatched from Durban to hurry to the stricken tanker and to assist until the larger tug could arrive.
Smit Siyanda arrived on Thursday evening and was able to place a line aboard the tanker and take up a static tow, with the tanker at anchor and being held steady.
On Saturday 30 May Pacific Dolphin arrived on the scene and has connected a towline to the tanker and is now towing the VLCC tanker to Durban, accompanied by Smit Siyanda. The tow is taking place between 10 and 20 n.miles offshore.
According to SAMSA which is coordinating the operation, arrangements between the owner and insurer are underway to enable Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to berth the tanker on arrival, which is expected to be either later today or Tuesday 2 June. The weather remains favourable.
SA AMANDLA IN RESCUE OF ABANDONED FISHING VESSEL IN SOUTH ATLANTIC
In related news the DoT Emergency Towing Vessel, AMSOL’s supertug SA AMANDLA (IMO 7385215) has been deployed to the middle of the Atlantic to tow the abandoned 1,353-dwt fishing vessel KOSTAR (IMO 9202687) to Cape Town. Kostar, owned and managed by Sunwoo Corp of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, suffered a rudder and mechanical failure 2,200 nautical miles SW of Cape Town.
Due to the exceptionally bad weather conditions in the South Atlantic, the crew of the fishing vessel transferred to a sister ship, leaving the Kostar to drift in the South Atlantic.
SA Amandla and her tow of the fishing vessel Kostar are expected to reach Cape Town on 5 June.
UNPRECEDENTED INCREASE IN MARITIME CASUALTIES
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) points out that since March this year, South Africa experienced an unprecedented increase in maritime casualties, more so than any other previous year during the same period.
The MRCC conducted 59 Medical Evacuations from ships, which is a 150% increase over the same period last year. At the same time, SAMSA responded to two near groundings, one abandoned vessel (see story above), one container ship fire, one fishing vessel grounding, and the infamous attempted murder of two stowaways THE TOP GRACE STOWAWAY AFFAIR – SEQUEL.
As the safety authority points out, this once again shows the urgent need for South Africa to have a modern multi-resourced maritime rescue response and monitoring capability to enable it to respond to any type of emergency and pollution incident along the South African coast.
The 360,000-dwt Very Large Crude Carrier Yuan Hua Hu required one tug from Durban and one tug from Cape Town to respond to the casualty in order to prevent it from running aground (story above).
CARNIVAL OF CRUISE SHIPS & OTHERS
The parade of cruise ships along the southern Africa coast continues to fascinate (no pun) and intrigue. Two of the eight ships in last week’s Wharf Talk have now left our shores, Holland America’s ZUIDERDAM and VEENDAM, which departed from Cape Town on Friday evening half an hour apart and are now on their way east with Reunion listed as their next stop and where they are due on the early morning of 5 June 2020.
Which leaves us with five Carnival Cruise ships to account for. CARNIVAL DREAM was the first to arrive and continues to lead the flock. Having called at Algoa Bay with CARNIVALS CONQUEST and LIBERTY, we were surprised when Dream, after remaining at anchor in Algoa Bay for several days, suddenly entered the harbour at Ngqura, not previously known as a cruise ship port of call or attraction for that matter. Now Ngqura is about to have multiple cruise ship visits!
On Saturday Carnival Dream departed the port and headed along the Wild Coast bound for Durban to take supplies, where she arrived early Sunday morning 31 May. After a quick turnaround the ship sailed early Sunday evening, bound for Jakarta. Meanwhile, Carnival Liberty has taken her place in Ngqura after which she too will sail for Durban, leaving Carnival Conquest to move behind her in sequence.
The next two Carnival ships, FASCINATION and ECSTASY also kept us guessing. Sailing several days behind the other three, they never left the Atlantic for the Indian Ocean, with Fascination unexpectedly altering course and sailing up the Namibia coast almost to the Angolan border before reversing direction and coming to anchor outside the port of Walvis Bay.
Carnival Ecstasy meanwhile took up shelter in St Helena Bay, adding to the bright array of night lights out on the water of the sheltered bay, which has dozens of fishing vessels at anchor, as well as several cargo vessels. When last did St Helena Bay play host to a large modern cruise ship, one wonders?
A further surprise was in store when Carnival Fascination left the outer anchorage and entered the port at Walvis Bay. This indeed was a mystery but all was soon revealed following information received from the Namibian Ports Authority explaining the unexpected behaviour.
It turns out that Fascination was carrying 182 Zimbabwean and seven Namibian nationals who had been employed among the Carnival cruise ships. It therefore made sense, that with delays anticipated in Algoa Bay where weather conditions were not helpful to a speedy bunkering of ships, to call at Walvis Bay and disembark not only the Namibians but those staff from Zimbabwe as well.
This required arranging for suitable aircraft to be available to fly them to their respective destinations. The first 100 Zimbabweans disembarked at 12h00 on Friday 29 May and were escorted to the Walvis Bay Airport for their flight at 13h00. The remaining personnel disembarked later for a 17h00 flight.
Stringent conditions applied to this process, including those disembarking having to wear full protective clothing and gear, consisting of masks, goggles, gloves and full body suits. Buses to carry them to the airport had to be in the port prior to the ship entering harbour; likewise at the airport the aircraft had to be ready ahead of their arrival at the airport. Buses were completely disinfected afterwards, all this despite the departing ‘passengers’ having been in effective quarantine for more than 14 days before arriving in Walvis Bay.
All went as planned including Fascination being required to sail as soon as all those disembarking had left the ship. By Saturday evening she had reached South African waters and was heading along the West Coast towards the Cape of Good Hope, with her destination showing as Durban and an ETA of 3 June.
Carnival Ecstasy has also left her anchorage at St Helena Bay and on early Saturday evening was passing Cape Town, with her ETA at Algoa Bay showing as 1 June.
POLLUTION IN THE V&A WATERFRONT HARBOUR
The pictures show a portion of the V&A Waterfront on Saturday morning, 30 May, with evidence of the litter that is casually tossed aside at tourist attractions and beauty spots by a careless population, despite there being ample bins available.
Recently we featured pictures showing an oily sludge that appeared to have been deposited in the same V&A harbour from the Robinson dry dock. Queries sent to Transnet National Ports Authority received a response that the area had been inspected ONE WEEK LATER and nothing was found to be amiss.
With the port authority seemingly not too concerned we may expect that this further example of disrespect for our environment will be similarly ignored however the V&A is one port area in South Africa where the public continues to have free access and, armed with the ubiquitous smart cell phone camera, has also the means of recording what is seen.
NSRI IN MEDICAL EVACUATION FROM SHIP
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), a purely voluntary organisation, is owed a huge debt by the people of South Africa for the unstinting service provided to those venturing out on the ocean or the inland waters of the country. In respect for the work they do all we can do is publish just a few of the many acts of assistance and rescue carried out at all hours by the men and women of this organisation.
On Wednesday, 27 May 2020 Port Elizabeth Station 6 was called out to launch their sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft and rendezvous with an ore carrier vessel passing along the coast and there to evacuate a 25-year old Indian seafarer with a medical condition requiring hospitalisation. This was not COVID-19 related.
Station 6 had been alerted the night before to prepare for the arrival of the bulk carrier which had altered course and was approaching the coast.
According to station commander Justin Erasmus, the rendezvous was made in Algoa Bay in swells of between 3 and 4 metres and a 12 to 15 knot South Westerly wind, which required the ship to provide a lee against the swells and wind.
An EMS paramedic and a NSRI swimmer went on board the vessel where they took over care of the patient from the ship’s medical crew.
The patient, in a stable condition and ‘walking wounded’, was secured into a harness and supported by a safety rope line as he walked down the gang plank and climbed down a ladder to the sea rescue craft. He was then taken to the sea rescue station and transported to hospital for further medical care.
HAPAG-LLOYD’S MONTPELLIER COMPLETES HER QUARANTINE
The Hapag-Lloyd container ship MONTPELLIER (IMO 9314973), on which two seafarers tested positive for the coronavirus, will complete a 14-day period of quarantine at the Durban outer anchorage on Sunday, 31 May and be allowed to enter port, which is scheduled for 2 June.
Montpellier is deployed on Hapag-Lloyd’s Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) service and is on voyage 2017w. See our original report HERE
ONE VIEW OF SOUTH AFRICAN PORT TERMINALS
This update issued by Ocean Network Express (ONE), the unified Japanese carrier consisting of NYK Line, K Line and Mitsui OSK (MOU) Line, reflects their experience of the South African port terminals as it was on Friday 29 May 2020.
Force Majeure declared at Cape Town
Durban and Ngqura/Port Elizabeth terminals continue to perform well with no significant delays, although increased vessel deployment and move count volume is starting to increase with strong export volumes.
Cape Town Container Terminal continues with reduced resource and limited night shifts. Transnet have declared force majeure effective 1 June for this terminal due to the increasing numbers of Covid-19 related infections. This will mean, all vessels will berth on a first arrived – first served basis with berthing windows suspended. Berthing delays are now increasing to 8-12 days.
On Friday 29 May this was how ONE reported the terminal situation:
|Cape Town Container Terminal||3||3-4, Force Majeure in effect 1 June|
|Cape Town Multipurpose Terminal||1||2|
|Ngqura Container Terminal||2||5-6|
|Port Elizabeth Container Terminal||1||2|
|Durban Pier 1 Container Terminal||2||4|
|Durban Pier 2 Container Terminal||4||12|
|Durban Multi-Purpose Terminal||2||4|
Compiled from reports by Keith Betts, John Hawkins, NSRI, Richard Crockett, Richard Vashan, Terry Hutson.
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QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman
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