Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 14 March 2021

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

Stay Well, Stay Safe, Stay Patient, don’t become one

Advertise here. For a Rate Card email us at


Join us as we report through 2021



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

Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return



The Sunday masthead features the Port of Walvis Bay




News continues below


Maersk Taasinge. Picture by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk Taasinge. Picture by Keith Betts
Clara Maersk. Picture by Keith Betts, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Clara Maersk. Picture by Keith Betts

We’ve become so used to witnessing container ship designs that become larger by the year that we may tend to overlook the ongoing need for smaller box ships to continue calling at those ports that are incapable of handling large, deep draught vessels of up to 360m or more in length. Usually referred to as feeder vessels, or coasters, these smaller vessels form an important, in fact vital, cog in the world of container and breakbulk shipping and are found in use in all parts of the world – in African waters, Asian, European coastal seas and along both North and South American coasts. In fact the true transshipment ports, like Singapore or Tanger, rely of the feeder vessels for their very existence. Here with these photographs we have two examples, both of a similar design.
The top picture shows the recent arrival in Durban port of the 29,700-dwt MAERSK TAASINGE (IMO 9064384), which was built in 1994, is 190m in length x 27.8m wide and has a container capacity of 1827-TEU. The lower picture is of CLARA MAERSK (IMO 8820016, built two years earlier to slightly smaller dimensions, 176m in length x 27.8m wide and 25,275-dwt with a container capacity of just 1658-TEU. Clara Maersk, which is shown here on a visit to Durban in late 2017, has since been decommissioned and scrapped.
A notable feature of these ships are their swivelling moveable gantries for their own crane or ‘gear’. Maersk operated several ships using this style of ships gear.       These pictures are by Keith Betts

Added 7 March 2021



News continues below


MSC Lirica on fire in Corfu harbour Friday afternoon, 12 March 2021, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Lirica on fire in Corfu harbour Friday afternoon, 12 March 2021

A fire has broken out on the starboard side of the cruise ship MSC LIRICA in the port of Corfu, Greece. The fire, which appears to be in two of the cruise ship’s lifeboats, started on Friday afternoon, 12 March and soon there were large clouds of black smoke issuing from the vessel.

UPDATE: Friday 21h30 SAT – MSC Cruises reported Friday evening that the fire was confined to a fibreglass lifeboat on the starboard side of the Lirica and has not entered the interior of the ship, although parts of the hull and deck in the vicinity have been charred or discoloured by the fire.  With the ship in warm layup (no pun intended) there are no passengers however there are 51 crew ip does have 51 crew on board. 

There are no reports of any injuries being reported nor are there any passengers on board, as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions. This is a developing story.

MSC Lirica entered service in 2003 becoming the first newbuild cruise ship for MSC Cruises. In 2015 she underwent a lengthening process completed in November 2015, the remainder of the Lirica class following thereafter. The ship is now 275 metres long and 28.8m wide and accommodates up to 2548 passengers across 992 cabins.

Her sister in the class ships are MSC OPERA, MSC ARMONIA and MSC SINFONIA.

Added 12 March 2021


News continues below

PIRACY: Tanker Davide B boarded, 15 crew kidnapped

The chemical tanker Davide B, reported to have been boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Picture: Vesselfinder As reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The chemical tanker Davide B, reported to have been boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea. Picture: Vesselfinder

Yet another ship, the tanker DAVIDE B (IMO 9721750) is reported to have been boarded by nine armed pirates while sailing 213 nautical miles south of Cotonou in West Africa.

This is the latest pirate attack to be reported and comes after a short interlude in irate activity in the Gulf of Guinea.

The attack occurred yesterday (Thursday 11 March 2021) at 15h12 with the tanker in position 02° 48N 002° 36E which is a noted hotspot – in 2020 there were at least five pirate attacks on ships within 30 n.miles of the latest incident.

The chemical tanker Davide B has a length of 155 metres by 25m wide. She has a crew of 21 seafarers, made up of Ukrainian, Romanian and Philippine nationals, of which 15 are reported to have been taken away by the pirates for ransoming.

The vessel is Maltese-flagged.

According to Dryad Global, the vessel was seen to be transiting ENE at 9.6kts, course 65° before her speed fell to 2.9kts and the AIS signal was lost.

The incident appears to have occurred 9nm SE of the edge of the Nigerian EEZ and is near to where a number of vessels will look to rendezvous with Nigerian Security Escort Vessels (SEV). Vessels within this area are at a unique vulnerability in that they are generally operating within waters beyond the operational footprint of regional security forces.

Dryad Global issued a warning to ships operating in the region that the risk to vessel and crew is SEVERE. “As such all vessels are recommended to ensure full compliance with BMP5 recommendations and ensure maximum hardening and mitigation are employed for operations within this area.”

Added 12 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Ships seen or reported at the Cape

OOC Sapphire in Cape Town harbour. Pictures by Dockrat, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
OOC Sapphire in Cape Town harbour. Pictures by Dockrat

It was difficult to miss this offshore supply vessel OOC SAPPHIRE (IMO 9664445) with its bright yellow colour scheme. Built by Damen, Romania, in 2013 this versatile DP2 diesel-electric driven ship has until recently been working off Mossel Bay at the Total gas exploration sites.

OOC Sapphire sailed from Cape Town today, 11 March, at 15h00 bound for Walvis Bay. She had been in Cape Town since 2 March after arriving from Mossel Bay. I am guessing she is now off contract from Total offshore Mossel Bay and now heading north to take up her new area of supply work.

Further digging shows OOC Sapphire was awarded a 3-5 year term contract by Total to support their Angola offshore drilling programme, commencing November 2019. It would appear that due to Covid, this contract may have been suspended and she has ended up being assigned from one contract to another.

The OSV originally arrived in Cape Town on 28 October 2020, from Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo where she had completed a short 60 day contract supporting Total Congo. Her stay in Cape Town was only an 11 hour bunkers and supplies stop and she sailed direct for Mossel Bay, where she remained in support of the Total operation there, until arriving back in Cape Town on 2 March 2021.

There is some indication that she was previously to have been ‘positioned’ to Walvis Bay to await other contract award deployments, and she is possibly heading back there for the same reason.

The OOC Sapphire is owned by Opielok Offshore Carriers of Hamburg, Germany, hence the OOC name prefix.

With a length overall of 80.03 metres and a breadth of 19.13m the OSC has a carrying capacity of 3514-dwt and gross tonnage of 3832. Her current draught is reported as 4.1 metres and she flies the flag of Liberia.

commentary by Jay Gates
Photographs by ‘Dockrat’

OOC Sapphire on her berth in Cape Town this week. Picture: Dockrat, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
OOC Sapphire on her berth in Cape Town this week. Picture: Dockrat
Added 11 March 2021


News continues below

Tanzania ready to test SGR electric railway system

Part of the Tanzanian SGR under construction between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Part of the Tanzanian SGR under construction between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro

It’s full steam ahead, except there won’t be a steam locomotive in sight or action, as Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) stands by the begin testing its new Standard Gauge Railway system.

Admittedly it’s only a few hundred kilometres long at this stage but when completed the SGR will run for over 1400 kilometres and will connect the port of Dar es Salaam with Tanzania’s hinterland and lake regions as well as two neighbouring countries, Uganda and Rwanda. With the addition of the extension to link with Uganda and Rwanda the Tanzanian SGR will measure just over 2500km.

The railway is or will be under construction in five phases, with the first, a stretch of 300km linking Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, now ready for the testing phase. The electrified line, with four sub-stations inserted along the 300 kilometres, each at 50kms, supported by 19 transformers.

According to Energy Minister Medard Kalemani, construction of the first phase to Morogoro is complete and 7W of energy is available to the railway to begin operations.

Elevated section of the SGR under construction in Dar es salaam, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Elevated section of the SGR under construction in Dar es salaam

“Construction of power lines between Dar es Salaam (Kinyerezi) and Morogoro (Kingorwira) is complete and the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) is now ready to power the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) locomotives,” the minister said.

Following a period of testing the first section of the railway should be ready to commence operations with a few months.

This first section was contracted to a 50/50 consortium comprising Yapi Merkezi of Turkey and Mota-Engil of Portugal. Construction began in April 2017.

The same consortium won the contract for Phase 2 for the 426km section between Morogoro and Makutopora which also takes in the capital city of Dodoma. Funding for this section came from a soft loan issued by Standard Chartered Bank, amounting to US$1.46 billion. Construction is well underway.

Phase 3 takes the railway from Makutopora to Tabora and measures 294km. Phase 4 will be a 130km section between Tabora and Isaka, and Phase 5 from Isaka to Mwanza on Lake Victoria of 249km.

In the latest news it is announced that two Chinese companies, China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC), have won the contract for Phase 5, between Isaka and Mwanza.

Tanzanian railway map of metre and Cape gauge, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tanzanian railway map of existing metre and Cape gauge railways. The SGR will closely parallel the Central metre gauge railway to Lake Victoria The Cape gauge in lighter orange extands from Dar es Salaam into Zambia
Added 11 March 2021


News continues below

Troubled days ahead for Bolloré Group over claims of Port of Lomé bribes

Port of Lomé in Togo, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Lomé in Togo

France’s Bolloré Group, which has extensive port, terminals and logistics operations throughout West, Central and Eastern Africa, has been fined an amount of 12 million euro ($14.5 million) after striking a plea bargain deal with French crime prosecutors at the end of February 2021.

The deal was subsequently ratified in a French court.

The Bolloré Group remains liable for another €4M fine unless it can show conformity to French anti-corruption standards over the next two years.

The matter goes back a decade involving alleged undercharging the Togo government for consultancy in order to be awarded the concession to manage and operate the port of Lomé.

It was reported that the company channelled funds to Togo’s President Faure Gnassingbé to support his candidacy for re-election in 2010 and was subsequently awarded the concession to take over the port of
Lomé on favourable terms.

Bolloré was also charged with using a similar strategy involving management of the Guinea port of Conakry – how these charges were later withdrawn owing to the statute of limitations.

Chairman Vincent Bollore and two other senior company executives, Gilles Alix and Jean-Philippe Dorent, negotiated a separate plea deal with prosecutors in order for charges against them being personally dropped, in return for a fine of 375,000 euros ($455,000) and an admittance of guilt.

Bollore Group Banner

When they appear in court to have the deal ratified the presiding judge, Isabelle Prévost-Desprez, rejected their part of the agreement, calling the corruption allegations against them as too serious to be allowed to go away.

The fines suggested by the prosecutor and accepted by the three accused, said the judge, were too lenient, given the image that France presents to the world, and that their actions had “seriously harmed the public economic order” as well as Togo’s sovereignty.

The judge recommended that the three should stand trial under criminal charges and a decision will now have to be taken by an investigating magistrate.

Coming at about the time when former President Nicolas Sarkosy has been sentenced to three years in jail, of which two years are suspended, and the reported unearthing of evidence involving the Mitterand Administration just ahead of the genocidal Civil War in Rwanda, France’s Establishment remains in a state of some shock.

Added 11 March 2021


News continues below

US$ 31 Million Loss for Nacala Logistics

The magnificent countryside through which Nacala Logistics coal trains operate between Moatize and the coal-port at Nacala-a-Velha, Picture: Nacala Logistics, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The magnificent countryside through which Nacala Logistics coal trains operate between Moatize and the coal-port at Nacala-a-Velha. Picture: Nacala Logistics

Nacala Logistics, which includes the companies CDN, CLN and CLA in Mozambique, and CEAR and VLL in Malawi, and covering rail and port operations in Mozambique and rail in Malawi, ended the 2020 year with a net loss of US$31 million.

This was announced by way of a press release.

The financial result was strongly affected by the reduction in revenue resulting from the low volume of transport and handling of coal and general cargo in the Nacala Corridor.

“The Production and Financial Report for the 4th quarter of 2020 indicates that the transportation of general cargo decreased by about 40%, while the transportation and shipping of coal saw a decrease of about 20%, compared to the previous year,” the press release reads.

“In the fourth quarter, Nacala Logistics recorded an operating result of US$84 million, a 27% drop against the same period in 2019.”

Financial Administrator, Fábio Iwanaga said the performance of the coal and general cargo logistics business was affected by the retraction in demand caused by the pandemic. “For 2021, a gradual recovery of the sector is expected, in line with the recovery of the world economy,” he said.

The release from Nacala Logistics said that despite an unfavourable economic context, Nacala Logistics continues to invest in modernisation, as is the case with the introduction of the express container transport service.

“This service has a great impact on safety and cost reduction and allows operators to track cargo in real time, the statement said.

A Central East African Railways (Malawi) locomotive operated as part of Nacala Logistics, as reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
A Central East African Railways (Malawi) diesel-electric locomotive operated as part of Nacala Logistics

Nacala Logistics

Nacala Logistics is made up Nacala Corridor companies Northern Development Corridor (CDN), the Integrated Logistics Corridor of Nacala (CLN), Central East African Railways (CEAR), the Companhia Logistica de África (Africa Logistics Company, CLA) and Vale Logistics Limited (VLL).

Nacala Logistics is responsible for the management and operation of the more than 900km of railways connecting the Moatize coal mine through Malawi to the Nacala-a-Velha Multipurpose Port Terminal.

Added 11 March 2021



News continues below

Carriers have a chance to break the cycle. Will they take it?


alixpartners 2021 Container Shipping Report, featured and available with Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
AlixPartners 2021 Container Shipping Report

Long the sick man of the transportation ecosystem, the container-shipping industry stands on the brink of a new era of sustainable profitability.

For at least 30 years, the container shipping industry has been in a recurring boom-and-bust loop. During times of strong macroeconomic growth, shipping rates skyrocketed.

Using these profits, container ship operators would invest in new, ever-larger vessels. With each boom comes a bust, and without fail, the economy would slide into a downturn, demand would plunge, rates would tumble, and operators would find themselves burdened with heavy debt and idle vessels. During these times, overcapacity kept rates low, leverage would expand, revenues would fall, and ship operators would tumble into bankruptcy—or stay out of court thanks only to amend-and-extend agreements with their creditors.

Today, however, the fundamentals that would support a break away from that cycle are in place. But will carriers take their chance to break the cycle?

But can container-ship operators really step off the boom-and-bust treadmill of past decades and continue to balance capacity against demand? Moreover, what happens as more and more people get vaccinated and consumer spending starts to swing back to services, how will the industry react as the pandemic-driven surge in goods delivery moderates? And, carriers how might carriers’ current, abysmal reliability record come back to haunt them?

All those questions and more are addressed in AlixPartners’ 2021 CONTAINER SHIPPING OUTLOOK: – which was released today (Wednesday).

Also included in the report: advice for forwarders and shippers in today’s new world as well as carriers.

To download and read the PDF report CLICK HERE

Added 10 March 2021


News continues below

Round Table shipping organisations

Image: courtesy Round Table of International Shipping Associations (RT), featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Image: per

Key issues highlighted for the maritime industry

On 9 March it was reported that leaders of the Round Table of International Shipping Associations: BIMCO, INTERCARGO, International Chamber of Shipping and INTERTANKO had met virtually the previous week to debate key issues facing the maritime industry today.

At the meeting, the associations affirmed the industry’s commitment to universal recognition for seafarers, the decarbonisation of shipping and addressing the threat to shipping from piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Seafarer recognition

High on the agenda was the continued lack of universal recognition for seafarers as key workers. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a raft of issues, including lack of access to medical services, the need for an efficient, consistent and prioritised worldwide vaccination programme, and the ongoing need to resolve the crew change crisis in preparation for a global reboot of the world’s economy.

Dimitris J Fafalios, INTERCARGO Chairman, and chair of the meeting commented: “It is time for UN Agencies, governments and global organisations to coordinate a worldwide vaccination programme for seafarers in line with the timescales recommended by the World Health Organisation.

“Government leaders must commit to collective action and take to task their counterparts who fail to appreciate that the welfare of seafarers is not only a humanitarian issue, but that the world’s seafarers are responsible for keeping global trade moving.”

GHG emissions

Addressing the climate emergency and reducing emissions remains a key priority for the industry. Members of the Round Table highlighted the importance that the shipping industry places on its environmental stewardship, and on controlling and reducing its GHG emissions. They also, stressed that a large-scale investment in research and development is paramount for real progress towards a zero-carbon industry by 2050.

To this end, members also confirmed their commitment to the industry-wide Maritime Research and Development Board (IMRB) initiative to accelerate the introduction of zero-emission technologies for maritime transport. Decarbonisation can only be achieved with the immediate acceleration of the development of zero-carbon fuels and technologies, and the IMRB is a crucial vehicle for driving the progress needed to build a zero-carbon shipping industry.


The piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea continues to escalate. It was recognised that Nigeria has invested in law enforcement capabilities, but these are likely to take some time before having a significant effect.

Effective maritime law enforcement in both territorial and international waters in the region is long overdue, and enforcement by able and willing naval forces is needed urgently to counter the deadly threat to seafarers.

Members of the Round Table were unanimous in their agreement to continually review options and to take all necessary actions to reduce the Nigerian piracy threat.

Attending the meeting were President Sadan Kaptanoglu from BIMCO; Chairman Dimitris J Fafalios from INTERCARGO; Chairman Esben Poulsson from ICS and Chairman Paolo d’Amico from INTERTANKO.

Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent, Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 10 March 2021


News continues below

Maersk pioneers first Japan-UK block train via Trans-Siberian railway

Maersk's block train from Japan to UK carried sportswear and accessories., reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Maersk’s block train from Japan to UK carried sportswear and accessories.

As part of its intermodal solution and building on its experience with intercontinental rail deliveries between Asia and Europe, Maersk has run a block train from Japan to UK carrying sportswear and accessories.

The Maersk´s forty x 40′-container consignment has arrived at Felixstowe, UK, on March 2nd, after its departure from Yokohama, Japan in January and having crossed Russia by both land and sea.

This first-ever product – operated together with railway provider Modul- is part of Maersk´s AE19 service which has connected Asia and Europe via the Trans-Siberian railway and the ports of Vostochniy and St. Petersburg since 2019.

“Since its start two years ago, this is the first time that our AE19 services is making the full-size container train shipped with goods solely from Japan,” said Zsolt Katona, Head of Maersk Eastern Europe.

“Transit from Asia to Europe via Russia is becoming a more and more attractive alternative to shipping goods via the Suez Canal, even for such sea-borne routes as Japan to the UK. We are confident that the progress we made jointly on AE19 expansion last year, together with Russian Railways and our partners Modul, will continue the growth trajectory of Trans-Siberian transit in 2021,” he said.

“This Maersk train service to transport goods from Japan is a bright example of synergies between ocean and rail transport,” commented Alexey Shilo, Deputy Director of Russian Railways. “Russian Railways is fully committed to continue providing our international customers the highest standards of service, speed and safety on this transcontinental route.”

Transit shipments from Japan to Europe were one of the biggest container flows via the Trans-Siberian railway 30 years ago. Today, Maersk´s AE19 service is helping to re-open this important transit route for shippers in Asia and Europe.

“Meeting our customers’ expectations is always a priority for Maersk. Being able to offer solutions such as AE19 to our customer base in Japan represents the possibilities that Maersk can bring across many transport modes. I am extremely pleased to see our customers’ support and look forward to making this into a choice for more and more customers,” added Toru Nishiyama, Area Managing Director of North East Asia, Maersk.

Nishiyama said that being able to offer solutions such as AE19 to Maersk’s customer base in Japan represents the possibilities that Maersk can bring across many transport modes.

AE19 is now offering three weekly departures and mainly carries goods between North East Asia and Northern Europe. Due to the current pressure on the Asia-Europe Ocean networks, Maersk expects that transit shipments between Japan and Europe through the highly reliable Trans-Siberian operation on AE19 will continue expanding in 2021.

Added 10 March 2021


News continues below

Shippers & Forwarders driving the surge in air cargo, not airlines

Cargolux reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

A report carried in Loadstar suggests that it is shippers and freight forwarders who are driving the surge in air cargo, and not so much the airlines. It said this was by way of full or part charters and recurring dedicated operations.

The report cited Dachser USA, which it said has added a weekly flight on its Frankfurt-Chicago route following increased demand, in part owing to major challenges in sea freight.

“Many of our customers are shifting their shipments to air freight because of the uncertainty surrounding ocean transport right now,” said Dachser USA vice president Andy Frommenwiler.

He said that as volumes increase, their recently launched dedicated Frankfurt-Chicago air freight service continues to attract clients and is now operating at full capacity.

“In order to serve the growing demand for reliable and predictable service levels, we launched our new weekday service, which is already drawing new customers.”

Senator International has expanded its air services and now is offering customers direct flights from Mexico to Europe with MasAir on a 767-300F. It already offers a comprehensive service between Greenville-Spartanburg, Rockford International, Frankfurt, Singapore and Johannesburg.

“By serving an important market with a dedicated controlled capacity, Senator is able to offer a stable and reliable service to its customers,” said Senator CEO Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum.

Meanwhile, it was reported that AirBridgeCargo has begun operating something of a garment express, touching down regularly in apparel capital Dhaka and Zaragoza, the home of Inditex, before going on to Tokyo.

“We are using the 77 for ad-hoc charters for a limited number of customers,” said parent Volga-Dnepr Group’s chief commercial officer, Konstantin Vekshin. “We are still learning the ropes, as it’s new. It’s reliable, flexible and based on the needs of a special customer, a very special application.” sources: Shipping Gazette & Loadstar


Emirates resumes flights to Johannesburg, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Emirates resumes flight to Johannesburg. Image courtesy Emirates

In other news, Emirates has announced that while the airline’s passenger flights from South Africa remain suspended until 20 March in line with UAE COVID-19 regulations, daily passenger flights from Dubai to Johannesburg will resume from tomorrow (Thursday 11 March 2021). Outbound passenger flights from Johannesburg remain suspended but will carry cargo.

In addition to this development, Virgin Atlantic has extended its ban on flights to and from South Africa and may not resume them until April.

British Airways international flights to and from South Africa remain suspended until mid April.

Added 10 March 2021


News continues below


UPDATED – see below

Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588 aground on the northwest coast of Mauritius. image physorg, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588 aground on the northwest coast of Mauritius. image physorg

Another vessel has gone aground off the coast of Mauritius. The Chinese trawler LU RONG YUAN YU 588 with a crew of 16 on board, went aground on Sunday on the reefs of Pointe-aux-Sables, on the north-west of the island, causing a “minor spill” into the ocean.

Mauritius’ Fisheries Minister Sudheer Maudhoo said on Monday that local forces had immediately responded after receiving a distress call from the trawler on the Sunday afternoon. Local people also reported the incident after seeing distress flares from the vessel.

Video footage taken from a drone revealed dark patches in the water around the stricken ship, although Maudhoo said divers had found no leaks or breaching of the hull.

Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588 is carrying 130 tons of fuel oil and five tons of lubricants, leading to fears of another contamination of the island’s waters and reefs. Local residents said they have seen fuel oil lapping the waters of the seashore opposite the trawler.

Authorities say they are working to remove the fuel oil in case the vessel’s hull becomes ruptured. This will take four or five days. The crew of the fishing vessel have meanwhile been taken off the ship and placed in quarantine ashore.

UPPDATE:  The Lu Rong Yuan Yu 588 was successfully refloated on Thursday 11 March and has since been towed to Port Louis for further evaluation.  Earlier the crew had been taken ashore and placed in a 14-day quarantine.


The latest grounding took place while efforts at removing the stern section of the Japanese bulk carrier WAKASHIO continue further along the coast. Wakashio went aground on a coral reef off the coast on 25 July 2020, eventually breaking in two and spilling a large quantity of fuel oil into the sea, which contaminated parts of the nearby marine reserve and its beaches.

The front part of the ship was towed away and controversially sunk in deep water. The master of the ship has since confessed he sailed the ship close to the coast in order to benefit from the WiFi signal on the island. He also acknowledged he had been drinking to celebrate one of his crew’s birthday.

YouTube video footage of the Lu Rong Yuan 588 aground off the Mauritian coast.

Added 10 March 2021


News continues below


The first two CRRC diesel-electric locomotives to arrive from China were welcomed with much acclaim, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The first two class 45 diesel-electric locomotives to be delivered by CRRC (CSR) were greeted with great acclaim

“It is argued that given the nature of the kick-back agreements concluded by the parent company of CSR and CNR, they cannot claim to be innocent”.

Transnet and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) said on Tuesday (9 March) they have launched an application in the High Court of South Africa to review and set aside four contracts concluded by Transnet in 2014 with Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to acquire 1,064 locomotives.

The contract value was for R54.4 billion, making it one of the largest single procurement events undertaken by a State-Owned Company.

The contracts were concluded in March 2014 with the following OEMs:
– Bombardier Transportation South Africa (Pty) Ltd (BT)
– China South Rail, now called CRRC E-Loco Supply (Pty) Ltd)
– China North Rail, now called CNR Rolling Stock South Africa (Pty) Ltd)
– General Electric South Africa Technologies (Pty) Ltd (GE)

Since the appointment of the new Transnet Board, led by Dr Popo Molefe, and under Group Chief Executive Ms Portia Derby, detailed forensic investigations have been initiated into the conclusions of various contracts, including the contract for the supply and award of the 1,064 new locomotives.

Transnet and the SIU in their court papers show that the procurement was based on a flawed market demand strategy (MDS) and that the laws, government instructions and Transnet policy were deliberately ignored to make the tender awards, conclude the contracts and effect payment to some of the OEMs.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) require state-owned companies to conduct procurement processes that are fair, equitable and competitive. The papers filed today show that the transactions concluded by the previous Transnet management and Board failed to meet the minimum standards prescribed.

In December 2018, Transnet invited the four OEMs to agree to enter into negotiations for a just and equitable remedy. Transnet was unable to reach a negotiated agreement with BT, CNR and CSR, and the remedy agreed with GE requires supplementation in order to address Transnet’s obligations and the public interest.

Accordingly, Transnet and the SIU are asking the High Court to set aside the locomotive supply agreements and to impose a just and equitable remedy.

The key argument in the application is that the OEMs are not entitled to benefit from locomotive supply agreements that were awarded to them in an irregular and illegal manner, and particularly not when the OEMs conducted themselves in the manner that CSR and CNR did, in respect of agreements its parent company concluded with Regiments Asia / Tequesta.

It is argued that given the nature of the kick-back agreements concluded by the parent company of CSR and CNR, they cannot claim to be innocent. The factual basis is established in the affidavit that neither can the other two OEMs, BT and GE, claim that they did not or could not reasonably have known that the procurement process and subsequent contracts were irregular and unlawful.

The application by Transnet and the SIU is lengthy. The founding affidavit is over 800 pages and the annexures stretch into many lever arch files. The application is based on the extraction and analysis of over 29 million documents.

Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

Nigeria’s Allied Air has first B737-800SF aircraft redelivered

Allied Air's first B737-800SF which has just been redelivered after conversion into a freighter, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Allied Air’s first B737-800SF which has just been redelivered after conversion into a freighter

Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. (AEI) has redelivered the first B737-800SF Freighter Conversion to Nigeria-based Allied Air.

Allied Air had earlier entered into an agreement with AEI to provide the company with two B737-800SF Freighter Conversions with an option for two additional conversions. The delivered freighter (MSN 38646) is the youngest 737-800 in the world converted to date. Additionally, Allied Air is the first airline in Africa to own and operate a B737-800SF on the continent.

Allied Air has recently used its existing fleet of freighter aircraft to assist the Nigerian government in distributing much needed medical supplies to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic – helping to save countless lives in the nation. Supplies transported include masks, PPE, and ventilators. Allied Air has provided this service to the Nigerian government free of charge.

A statement by the airline said that the technologically advanced cargo aircraft would be deployed to COVID-19 vaccines distribution across Nigeria as one of its first missions, as it is fitted to deliver medical supplies safely.

Allied Air's first B737-800SF which has just been redelivered after conversion into a freighter, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

All modifications were completed at the authorised AEI Conversion Center, Commercial Jet in Miami, Florida. Commercial Jet’s Dothan, Alabama facility conducted the aircraft painting at their state-of-the-art North American Exterior Refurbishment facility.

The AEI converted B737-800SF freighter offers a main deck payload of up to 23,904 kg and incorporates eleven full height 88″ x 125″ container positions, plus an additional position for an AEP/AEH. The conversion also incorporates new floor beams aft of the wing box, a large 86″ x 137″ Main Cargo Door with a single vent door system, and a flexible Ancra Cargo Loading System. Additionally, the AEI B737-800SF includes a rigid 9g barrier, five supernumerary seats, a galley and full lavatory.

When combined with proven reliability, the AEI converted B737-800SF will allow Allied Air to keep their aircraft in the air, generating revenue.

Allied Air

Allied Air's first B737-800SF which has just been redelivered after conversion into a freighter, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Allied Air was founded in 1998 by Valentine Tongo, the current MD/CEO and principal shareholder of Allied Air Limited. Captain Tongo is a seasoned airline pilot who has operated various aircraft types including the Boeing series 747, 707 and the DC-10. He has also operated BAC 1-11 and the HS-125 aircraft. Over a period spanning more than 30 years he has acquired a wealth of experience and know-how in management and flight operations in the aviation industry.

Allied Air commenced operations over twenty years ago and has successfully established a brand identity as an outstanding Cargo Airline with an exemplary air safety record.

The Airline is fully authorised and recognised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority as a National Flag Carrier and is the first IOSA certified cargo airline on the continent, as well as the Designated Cargo Airline on numerous routes across Africa under the Bi-Lateral Services Agreement.

Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

Latest from Transaid: Sarah is smashing stereotypes


Transport and logistics industry in Zambia

* Truck drivers’ safety from Covid-19

* Vaccine distribution

Distance learning with Sarah

Sarah (pictured) coordinates distance learning at the Industrial Training Centre (ITC), in Zambia. She also delivers training of trainers for defensive driving. Based in Lusaka, the ITC has been delivering driver training in partnership with Transaid since 2008.

Sarah is one of the few female lecturers in this field, but she is trying to change that by encouraging other women to take engineering programmes. Of her work she comments: “We have few women at the ITC. In class, I give priority to female students and encourage them to sit at the front, at the few tables that we have… we prioritised women to sit at the tables to motivate other women to come. It may be a small action, but it might have an impact somewhere.

“Most of the people surrounding me are male. I look at myself amongst men, making a positive impact not only to the ITC, but also in Lusaka and in Zambia, through my work marking examinations nationally. It makes you think that women can change the world: when we put in what we can, we can really change things. I feel I am making an impact.”

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Transaid shone the spotlight on some of the women working on its programmes.

This year’s IWD theme is: ‘Women in leadership: achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.’

Leadership comes in many different forms. More than a job title or officially-held position, leadership is about inspiring others and making a change in your community.

With that in mind Transaid spoke to a range of women – from trustees to driver trainers – to hear their thoughts on what this year’s theme means to them, and how Transaid’s programmes are benefitting from female leadership.

Truck drivers’ safety from Covid-19

To appreciate Professional Driver Training – Uganda (PDT-U’s) Covid-19 awareness campaign for heavy good vehicles drivers conducted in 2020 with local transport unions readers are invited to see the following video [2:33]

Vaccine distribution

With regard to Transaid’s insights into vaccine distribution and how it will look in Sub-Saharan Africa there is now an insight paper regarding the challenges ahead and how they might be overcome.   SEE HERE

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


Reported by Paul Ridgway


Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

African Export-Import Bank acquires US$1 billion to offset AfCFTA revenue losses


AfCFTA map f Africa featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

The African Export-Import Bank is reported to have made an adjustment provision of US$1 billion to offset revenue losses for those African countries that reduce their cross-border tariffs as they enter into the Africa-wide free trade area.

African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretary general Wamkele Mene said they will be able to go to global capital markets and development finance institutions to mobilise more resources, but at the moment, it is a fund of a facility of $1 billion.

Mene said they were making very good progress on the facility, and countries would be able to draw on it before the end of the year.

The free trade area came to life on 1 January and aims to bolster intra-African trade by lowering and eliminating cross-border tariffs on 90 per cent of goods.

A World Bank report shows short-term tariff revenues would be less than 1.5 per cent for 49 out of 54 African countries. Total tax revenues are set to decrease by less than 0.3 per cent in 50 countries under the deal.

Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

NSRI in medical rescue off Cape coast at Yzerfontein

NSRI Yzerfontein Rotary Onwards: Picture: National Sea Rescue Institute, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
NSRI Yzerfontein Rotary Onwards: Picture: National Sea Rescue Institute

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Station 34, Yzerfontein, was called into action shortly after 6pm on Monday, 8 March, following a request from a fishing trawler out at sea off the Cape coast.

According to Junre Marais, NSRI Yzerfontein duty commander, the NSRI was activated by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) which reported a 74 year old Cape Town fisherman on the trawler was suffering a medical complaint that required him to be evacuated to hospital.

The fishing vessel had alerted Maritime Radio Services and MRCC arranged for a WC Government Health EMS duty doctor to evaluate the patient’s condition in communications with the vessel’s crew.

It was decided that the patient’s condition was serious and he needed to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible.

The trawler was then instructed to head towards the nearest harbour which happened to be Yzerfontein.

The NSRI launched their sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards, and with a Swartland Fire and Rescue Services rescue paramedic on board, they rendezvoused with the fishing vessel 10 nautical off shore.

After the rescue paramedic and two NSRI rescue crew had gone on board the fishing vessel, the patient was secured to a trauma board and transferred onto the sea rescue craft with the assistance of the crew of the fishing vessel.

Rotary Onwards then returned to the sea rescue station at Yzerfontein harbour where the patient was been taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

The operation was completed at 20h20.

Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

LOC awarded Alexandria port expansion contract

Port of Alexandria. Picture: Flickr, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Port of Alexandria. Picture: Flickr

It was announced earlier today (Tuesday, 9 March 2021) that marine engineering consultancy LOC – part of London-headquartered AqualisBraemar LOC – has been awarded a contract by EGMPT (Egyptian Group for Multi-Purpose Terminals, part of the Egyptian Ministry of Transport), to provide engineering services related to the Alexandria Port navigation channel expansion.

Under the contract, LOC’s Egyptian operation will provide consulting and engineering services to deliver simulation modelling of Egypt Pier 55-62 in the Port of Alexandria, to support an expansion of the navigation channel.

The expansion will be conducted to accommodate large container vessels calling to the proposed container terminal, which was recently awarded to the French shipping company, CMA CGM*.

* Go here to see that report, CMA CGM to operate & manage new multi-purpose terminal at Alexandria

Tamer Gamill, LOC Country Manager, Egypt, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Tamer Gamill, LOC Country Manager, Egypt

LOC’s services will include a real-time desktop navigation study, full mission ship simulation study, metocean and hydrodynamic studies, amongst others.

“We are really pleased to support an Egyptian Ministry of Transport company with their important expansion of the Port of Alexandria. The contract signing is recognition of the high quality of work and the relationships we have built with our clients in the Egyptian maritime market in the short time since our office opened,” says Tamer Gamil, LOC’s country manager in Egypt.

LOC, which is part of AqualisBraemar LOC Group, established an office in Cairo in 2017. It supports clients with marine assurance, marine warranty, marine engineering consulting, and engineering services to projects across offshore oil and gas and maritime markets.

For the Alexandria port expansion project, LOC in Egypt will also receive support and specialised engineering, design and analysis capabilities from the wider AqualisBraemar LOC group, including support from Longitude Engineering.

Added 9 March 2021


News continues below

Green financings concluded for six large container ships on order

Picture per ©, featured in report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture per ©

* Syndicated loan of US$ 417 million and lease financing of US$ 472 million agreed

* Both transactions fulfil the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association

* Compliance with relevant requirements certified by DNV GL

Hapag-Lloyd reported in recent weeks that it is breaking new ground in financing by concluding two debut transactions according to the Green Loan Principles of the Loan Market Association (LMA). This has also been verified by an independent expert in the form of a secondary party opinion of the DNV GL.

Both transactions are associated with the financing of six ultra-large 23,500 TEU container ships, which were ordered in December 2020.

The syndicated green loan in the amount of US$ 417 million has a 12-year maturity and will be used to finance three of the six container ships on order. The credit facility is being backed by the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-SURE), and the syndicate consists of eleven banks. KfW IPEX-Bank and BNP Paribas were in charge of structuring and coordinating the transaction.

It is understood that the lease financing for the remaining three newbuildings is in the amount of US$ 472 million, has a maturity of 17 years plus construction-phase financing, and has been structured by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Leasing (ICBC Leasing).

In the words of Mark Frese, Chief Financial Officer of Hapag-Lloyd: “Our first green financings are a major milestone for us, as we are breaking new ground in the container shipping segment by financing newbuilding projects geared towards sustainability. The transactions will help us to modernise our fleet while further reducing our CO2 footprint at the same time.”

Thanks to their extremely fuel-efficient high-pressure dual-fuel engines, the new buildings, it is reported, will be able to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 15% to 25%. This indicates that in addition to the requirements of the LMA’s Green Loan Principles, the ships will also satisfy the EU Taxonomy’s technical screening criteria for sea and coastal freight water transport.

These advanced concept vessels are being built in South Korea and are scheduled to be delivered in 2023.

About Hapag-Lloyd

With a fleet of 234 modern container ships and a total transport capacity of 1.7 million TEU, Hapag-Lloyd is one of the world’s leading liner shipping companies.

The company has around 13,200 employees and 388 offices in 129 countries.

Hapag-Lloyd has a container capacity of approximately 2.7 million TEU – including one of the largest and most modern fleets of reefer containers. A total of 121 liner services worldwide ensure fast and reliable connections between more than 600 ports on all the continents. Hapag-Lloyd is one of the leading operators in the transatlantic, Middle East, Latin America and intra-America trades.

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


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 8 March 2021


News continues below

French Naval ship FS Jean Bart in drug intercept in Arabian Sea

Pictures courtesy FS Jean Bart D615, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture courtesy FS Jean Bart D615

In a report issued by the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), the French Navy anti-aircraft frigate, FS JEAN BART has successfully intercepted an almost three tonne haul of narcotics being smuggled towards the African coast on board a motorised dhow.

2960 kgs of hashish (cannabis resin)were discovered on board the dhow described by CHF as ‘suspicious’ causing the naval ship to intercept, board and carry out a search. This took place on 12 February but has only been disclosed now.

The haul might have been even larger except those on the dhow were observed throwing multiple packages of suspected contraband overboard after the French ship’s Panther helicopter began flying near the dhow.

The value of the hashish seized on the dhow is estimated to be over US$1.5 million.

report continues below….

Pictures courtesy FS Jean Bart D615, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Picture courtesy FS Jean Bart D615

Captain Ouk, commanding officer of the Jean Bart said he was proud that his ship and her crew “could contribute to the coalition fight against illicit trafficking that feeds international crime and terrorism.

“This seizure results from the good co-operation amongst Combined Task Force 150 and our good knowledge of this area where French units operate on a regular basis,” the captain said.

After checking and weighing the seized packages containing the hashish, the drugs were destroyed at sea.

The successful operation follows several others in recent weeks that have been reported                in Africa PORTS & SHIPS.

Added 8 March 2021


News continues below

DHL on track as 676 passenger coaches are moved to Egypt

One of the 676 railway coaches manufactured in Hungary, being loaded onto the ship transporting the order from the Sovenian port of Koper, to Alexandria
One of the 676 railway coaches manufactured in Hungary, being loaded onto the ship transporting the order from the Sovenian port of Koper, to Alexandria

DHL Industrial Projects, a unit of DHL Global Forwarding, is on track to support Hungary’s Dunakeszi Járműjavító Kftand Magyar Vagon Zrt, with one of DHL’s largest ever projects, that of transporting a batch of 676 railway coaches from the production site in Dunakeszi, Hungary to Egypt.

The delivery of the coaches is taking place over the next 32 months with the DHL team facilitating end-to-end transport including packaging, customs clearance, and pre-carriage. This constitutes part of the largest order ever of rolling stock in the history of Hungary.

The first coaches about to enter the hold of the ship in the port of Koper, featured ina report in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The first coaches about to enter the hold of the ship in the port of Koper

Each coach weighs 48 tons and measuring 24.5 metres in length, as well as 4.5 metres in height. Packaged for export, the coaches are transported via rail to the port of Koper, Slovenia, where DHL is integrating the cargo via its charter carriers. From there DHL will deliver the cargo via sea directly onto the railway network in Egypt at the port of Alexandria. The first batch arrived safely in Alexandria on 23 February 2021.

The coaches are manufactured by the Hungarian company Dunakeszi Járműjavító Kft, owned by TMH International AG and Magyar Vagon Zrt. Delivery is to the Egyptian National Railways and is part of the final batch of an order of 1,300 coaches from 2018.

The order placd with the manufacturer is for 500 third-class units with forced ventilation, 500 third-class units with air-conditioning, 180 second-class units with air-conditioning, 30 second-class units with air-conditioning and buffets, and 90 first-class units with air-conditioning.

Gradually, the production of coaches in Dunakeszi will ramp up to reach 25 vehicles per month by mid-2021 and with the first cargo due to be transported within the first quarter of 2021.

The size of the coaches presents a particular challenge in ensuring delivery via sea and rail freight.

Added 8 March 2021


News continues below

WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala hits the ground running

Her first week in office

WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala hits the ground running, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS
WTO DG Okonjo-Iweala hits the ground running

Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala finished her first week at the World Trade Organization by meeting ambassadors and groups of members to find ways for the organization to deliver results in 2021 and beyond. She commenced her tenure by attending the General Council session from 1 to 4 March.

On 5 March, the new Director-General met the Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) as well as the Friends of the System, an alliance of small and mid-sized members from different regions and development levels that are committed to a well-functioning multilateral trading system.

DG Okonjo-Iweala also addressed the first meeting of the Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, at the invitation of the 53-member group that is exploring ways trade and the WTO can better contribute to achieving environmental goals.

In her discussions with the LDC Group, the Director-General noted that the COVID-19 pandemic had reversed one or even two decades of development progress for many LDCs, and that it continued to disrupt key LDC exports, whether of tourism services, commodities or manufactures. Trade and the WTO had a critical role to play, she said, both in making COVID-19 vaccines more affordable and accessible, and in driving a global recovery in living standards. “We are here to make life in LDCs better,” she added. “If we don’t succeed with LDCs, we will not have succeeded.”

Speaking to the Structured Discussions on Trade and Environmental Sustainability, the Director-General expressed agreement with the group on the “need to harness the power of trade for the environment”, drawing particular attention to climate change and the potential to create jobs in sectors such as renewable energy.

She suggested the group could look at issues including trade in environmental goods and services, how trade could help meet net-zero carbon targets, ways WTO rules could foster circular economies, and options for addressing environmentally harmful subsidies. At the same time, DG Okonjo-Iweala emphasised that “the green transition must be just and fair”, with support for countries that need it, and care to ensure that environmental measures are not misused to discriminate against the exports of developing and least-developed countries.

She thanked the Friends of the System for their efforts to help the wider membership find workable compromises on issues that have long been at an impasse.

Since taking office, DG Okonjo-Iweala has met bilaterally with a large number of ambassadors in Geneva and has spoken to heads of government, ministers and her counterparts at other international organisations. She has also started meeting with regional and issue-based groups, including the Group of Latin American and Caribbean members earlier in the week.

In all of these discussions, the Director-General has urged members to engage with each other, show flexibility and work towards concrete deliverables at the Twelfth Ministerial Conference to be held in Geneva in the week of 29 November.

According to the WTO median service a top priority for her will be to continue her meetings with individual ambassadors and groups, including the African Group, the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific states, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in week commencing 7 March.

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


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 8 March 2021


News continues below

New RoRo service connects Morocco with Poole, UK

United Seaways article which appeared in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

United Seaways intends starting a RoRo service between Tangiers in Morocco and the UK port of Poole. This weekly service is being introduced in order to bypass any possibility of post-Brexit friction over Moroccan produce arriving via Europe.

The service will be direct between Tangiers and Poole with no intermediate calls.

A spokesman for United Seaways said the new service should cut journey times on Moroccan goods from more than six days by road, to less than three by sea.

It was hoped that this would encourage British importers to purchase more cargo from North Africa. Managing Director Zeyd Fassi Fehri said it would create a sustainable and environmental alternative to sing road services across Europe to the UK.

The service would be competitively priced even though the ship is likely to return empty at least in the beginning.

“The speed and efficiency of the vessel ensures a longer shelf life for fresh products whilst the reduction of road congestion, tolls and additional import procedures that have arisen since Brexit brings wonderful added value,” he said.

The majority of Morocco’s exports to the UK consist of fresh produce with UK imports totalling a modest £180 million in 2020.

Full border checks on EU imports are due to begin in July and are expected to introduce a level of disruption not seen for generations, according to Fresh Produce Consortium CEO Nigel Jenney. He welcomed any solution that eases trading and makes imports into the UK more effective. source:

Added 8 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Durban Port Bulletin News

Moshe MOtlohi, general manager at the port of Durban, appearing in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Moshe Motlohi, Transnet National Ports Authority General Manager reports:

In his regular report to the staff and personnel of the port, general manager Moshe Motlohi drew attention to the tragic news of the death of a truck driver at Durban’s Pier 1 Container Terminal, and an incident which took place on Bayhead Road involving a light vehicle and a motorbike.

“I encourage all of you to be very vigilant on the roads and in your various operational spaces,” he said.

Tug Challenges

Motlohi said he noted that the past week presented challenges around tug availability with the result that port operations were affected. “TNPA has put in place a recovery plan focussing on the availability and reliability of the tug fleet. By the end of the week, we should be sitting at four tugs to service vessels calling our port.”

Port Master Plan

He said that during the week Transnet had tabled the Proposed Port of Durban Master Plan to the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council, led by the Premier Sihle Zikalala. “The council welcomed and pledged their support in ensuring that all municipalities and stakeholders are fully behind the plans. The council emphasised the importance of fast tracking the execution of the plans and seeing them to realisation, as such MECs responsible for the Infrastructure Sub-committee have been assigned to work with TNPA,” Motlohi reported.

He said more consultations with key stakeholders and statutory structures are still underway.

report continues below……

Salisbury Island at right and Island View Liquid Bulk Terminal to the left at the base of Durban's Bluff, featured in Africa PORRTS & SHIPS maritime news
Salisbury Island at right and Island View Liquid Bulk Terminal to the left at the base of Durban’s Bluff


This refers to what is likely to become a controversial matter in which only now is information becoming available. A Durban newspaper, after being granted an interview, described a major facelift for the port as being on the cards. This apparently aims at fast-tracking the further development of the port as a container port in which its capacity will be raised from 2.9 million TEUs to 11.3 million annually.

According to the newspaper, this would involve transferring the SA Naval Base on Salisbury Island as well as the Island View liquid and dry bulk terminals to the Port of Richards Bay, with the filling in of parts of the Durban harbour to facilitate greater container handling capacity.

Reefer and Grain Seasons Approach

Turning to more immediate affairs, Motlohi wrote in the Bulletin: “As we approach the reefer season, we have received indication from our partners to anticipate and plan for an increase in volumes on citrus and grains. With this said, stakeholders are encouraged to work with the Port and the City in preparation for the predicted influx in road traffic volumes.”

Turning to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Motlohi said everyone was well aware that the country has been moved to COVID-19 alert level 1.

“We need not let our guard down. I encourage each and every one of you to continue observing the necessary COVID-19 protocols and curb the spread of this virus. It has not been an easy period for everyone. With those words, I wish you all a great week ahead and implore you all to continue to remain positive and safe during this time.”

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Durban Volume and Vessel Call Performance

The 190-metre bulk carrier SFL HUDSON (IMO 8525821) of 57,000-dwt, which was at Maydon Wharf this past week. Picture, Featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The 190-metre bulk carrier SFL HUDSON (IMO 8525821) of 57,000-dwt, which was at Maydon Wharf this past week. Picture

Containers were above budget this reporting week by 10%. Exports drove good performance at 23% above budget due to the high export of empty containers and raw materials. Transshipments also performed well above budget by 49% as a result of a high demand for transshipment goods. Imports were below target by 22% budgeted and 4,855 handled on average, were within budget for the reporting week.

The Automotive sector has spiked in this reporting week after an average low of 5,700 units handled in the last two reporting weeks. Imports drove volumes in the period with a total of 6,343 units landed. Exports also fared well registering a total throughput of 5,602 units with major OEMs handling more than 1,400 units upward with the highest recording just more than 2,000 units for the week.

Dry Bulk volumes were below budget for the week. This sector is down on cumulative volume since the previous reporting week. We note that only chrome ore exports was dominant for the week with the port handling a total of 96,977 tons with wheat imports coming in second at just over 34,000 tons. Manganese for the week was marginal.

Break Bulk volumes were above budget. This commodity performed extremely well in this reporting week as we note that cement imports were the dominant commodity pushing up volumes at just over 29,000 tons landed.

Steel imports were also in healthy territory with just over 22,000 tons landed with bagged rice also bolstering volumes with two parcels of an average of 7,000 tons handled.

Liquid Bulk volumes performed below budget this reporting week. This sector is under budget due to one of the oil major refineries closing its operations (Engen). Nil imports of crude oil volumes and nil exports vessels/volumes were handled as result of the refinery’s processing department being destroyed by fire. Only chemicals volumes have performed above budget due to the high demand from the manufacturing and mining sectors.

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Ship Movements at the Port of Durban

FS Floreal, a French Navy patrol frigate based at Reunion, which will be calling at Durban this week, ETA 8 March 2021. Picture courtesy French Embassy, South Africa, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
FS Floreal, a French Navy patrol frigate based at Reunion, which will be calling at Durban this week, ETA 9 March 2021. Picture courtesy French Embassy, South Africa


You can follow the daily ship movements at Durban as well as other South African ports and certain of the regional ports by Clicking here on our SHIP MOVEMENTS page



News continues below

WHARF TALK: Cape Town Ships in port, Sunday 7 March 2021

The offshore tug Cronus Z which arrived off Cape Town on Sunday towing a large barge from Ceuta in Spain. Picture MCT, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The offshore tug Cronus Z which arrived off Cape Town on Sunday towing a large barge from Ceuta in Spain. Picture MCT

Cape Town still has a similar number of container ships waiting for a berth to come available at Cape Town as compared with a week ago. It’s the names that have changed with none of the vessels reported last week remaining at anchor outside. The last of those ships to berth was COSCO AQABA ex Durban on 4 March 2021.

Maersk ships were gathering at the Mother City port and approaches as though to a Maersk Line Conference.

Ships at anchor off the Milnerton coast as of Sunday 7 March 2021

MAERSK LUZ from Durban – arrived 2 March 2021
MAERSK INDUS from Cotonou – arrived 4 March 2021
RHONE MAERSK from Cotonou – arrived 6 March 2021
MAERSK COPENHAGEN from Lagos – arrived 6 March 2021
COSCO KOREA from Singapore – arrived 4 March 2021
AKADIMOS from Durban – arrived Sunday 7 March at 12h00

Ships at anchor off the Sea Point coast

NEW JERSEY TRADER from Durban – arrived 4 March 2021
MSC MAUREEN from Durban – arrived 4 March 2021
MOL ENDOWMENT from Durban – slow steaming off coast from 4 March 2021

Commercial Ships in Port 7 March 2021


UPDATE: The RoRo vessel. LIEKUT loaded with what appears to be mostly previously-owned vehicles, arrived on Monday from Walvis Bay and berthed on arrival at the Duncan Dock bunker berth. (see WHARF TALK: Walvis Bay report below for photo and story).


Container Terminal: SANTA ROSA (602), MSC MARINA (603), COSCO AQABA (604).

V&A Harbour: SA Amandla, SA Agulhas.

What has been noticeable this week has been the constant turnover of arrivals and departures in the Ben Schoeman (Container) Dock, with in most instances as one vessel departs the new arrival passes close by. On other occasions at the container berth there has been up to a four-hour delay before the new arrival is berthed in the unoccupied berth.

The container berths in the Duncan Dock have been in constant use this week with the smaller cargo container vessels berthing there and at times also discharging at the old ‘A’ Berth, which appears to have helped with relieving the delays.

A interesting arrival into Table Bay on Sunday 7 March was MCT’s tug/offshore supply vessel CRONUS Z (IMO 9377614) which departed from Ceuta in Spain on 31 December 2020, towing a very large ‘low barge’ type vessel. The Panamanian-flagged Cronus Z, which has a length of 65 metres and a width of 16m, has a bollard pull of 85 tons and was built in 2007.

report by John Hawkins
Cape Town

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Cape Town Ship Movements


Follow the daily ship movements at Cape Town and other South African and regional ports by Clicking here on our SHIP MOVEMENTS page


Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: Walvis Bay a ‘bee hive of activity’

Roro ship Liekut on the cruise terminal quay, with the bulk carrier Dynamic Striker nearby on the general bulk wharf and further along the quayside is the pure car carrier Glovis Cougar. Picture courtesy of Namport, as featured in report carried by Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Roro ship Liekut on the cruise terminal quay, with the bulk carrier Dynamic Striker nearby on the general bulk wharf and further along the quayside is the pure car carrier Glovis Cougar. Picture courtesy of Namport

No longer is the African south west coast port of Walvis Bay a quiet backwater, and since the establishment of the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport), Walvis Bay has taken on a much more important role in ship and cargo movements, as well as with ship repair.

The port has a modern new container terminal able to handle large ships requiring deep water berthing and safe navigation, a cruise terminal consisting of a dedicated quay, a number of general bulk and break bulk cargo berths, and ship repair facilities including three floating docks and ample other repair facilities.

This past week the port has indeed been a hive of activity with, apart from normal shipping activity, two RoRo vessels and a dry bulk ship all docked at the port at the same time.

The bulk carrier is the 57,000-dwt DYNAMIC STRIKER (IMO 9493652) which called to discharge 30,000 tonnes of sulphur from the United Arab Emirates, destined for Zambia. Her previous port was Richards Bay and the vessel was expected to remain in Walvis Bay for five days while her cargo is discharged.

Interesting to note is that the sulphur will be bagged at the Port of Walvis Bay before being transported by trucks to Zambia.

The RoRo callers were the LIEKUT (IMO 9869966) and the more conventional pure car carrier, GLOVIS COUGAR (IMO 9451898) which discharged 389 and 159 vehicles respectively. Liekut has sailed for Cape Town where she is due on Monday (8 March) while the Glovis car carrier is currently sailing along the Cape coast bound for Durban. Both ships carry vehicles from Europe and bound for the markets of Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

One of the conveniences of Walvis Bay is its strategic position on the south west coast placing the port in a favourable place for neighbouring countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and the DRC, all of which make frequent use of the seamless offerings of the port and its accompanying trade corridors.

Naval Visitor from Across the South Atlantic

BNS Araguari P122 immedately prior to delivery from the UK featured here in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
BNS Araguari P122 immedately prior to delivery from the UK’s BAE Systems Maritime in Portsmouth

A Brazilian Navy Amazonas-class patrol ship, BNS ARAGUARI P122 is expected in Walvis Bay on Tuesday, 9 March 2021.  One of three ‘Amazonas’ class ships of 90m length BNS Araguari is equipped with a 30 mm cannon and two 25 mm machine guns, as well as two inflatable hard boats and a helicopter deck.

The ship’s movements prior to arriving in Walvis Bay or immediately afterwards are not known but Luanda, Angola seems a good bet.

Namdock floating docks at Walvis Bay, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Namdock’s three floating docks at Walvis Bay

Namport invests over N$2.8 million in social projects

In other news Namport has announced that it invested over 2.8 million Namibian dollars (R2.8 million) in the past year in various social community projects. Several of these were covered in our news reports and we won’t detail these now.

The latest beneficiary is the Five Rand Primary School in the Otjozondjupa region which received a donation of two new classrooms with a price tag of N$300,000.

Since its inception in 2006, the Namport Social Investment Fund, with the main objective to be a good corporate citizen, has ploughed 35 million Namibian dollars back into the 14 regions of Namibia.

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

WHARF TALK: The wandering Camelot

Aerial view of Camelot. The lower picture shows the heave telescopic gangway in use. Pictures courtesy of Intership, featuring in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Aerial view of Camelot.   Pictures courtesy of Intership

In an earlier edition we reported the arrival off the Cape coast of the accommodation barge CAMELOT (IMO 9446221), which is being towed by the tug THOR 1 and departed Lomé on 9 January this year, bound for….. wait for it, Lomé. That’s what all the AIS services are showing, and time only will have the answer.

The 190m x 45m Camelot and Thor 1 are currently off the Mozambique coast heading north of the port of Maputo and heading into the Mozambique Channel. The vessel carries accommodation for up to 836 persons and has an open or clear work deck area of 3,500m². The vessel employs two auxiliary deck cranes and a Ringer crane and has a helideck capable of accepting Sikorsky S61 or S92 helicopters or equivalent. In addition there’s a heave telescopic gangway to connect with other vessels or with rigs at sea.

The owners of Intership, the company operating Camelot obviously have a fondness for the romantic classics including Sir Walter Scott and others in the telling of the legend of King Arthur and his knights of Camelot Castle, for two other accommodation barges in the fleet are named Lancelot and Guinevere. A further two carry the somewhat less romantic names of Olympia and Offshore Olympia.

– trh

Aerial view of Camelot. The lower picture shows the heave telescopic gangway in use. Pictures courtesy of Intership, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Camelot. The picture shows the heave telescopic gangway in use. Picture courtesy of Intership
Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

MSC Cruises places a second ship in the Mediterranean

MSC Seaside, heading to the Mediterranean, reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
MSC Seaside, heading to the Mediterranean

* MSC Seaside to join MSC Grandiosa from 1 May with a newly-designed itinerary

* MSC Grandiosa to also extend her current West Mediterranean itinerary through to the end of May

* MSC Cruises confirms planned East Mediterranean itineraries from May and in the West Mediterranean from June

MSC Cruises on Friday (5 March) announced that one of its most innovative ships, MSC SEASIDE, will be deployed for the first time in Europe since her launch in 2017. She is joining the Company’s flagship MSC GRANDIOSA in the Mediterranean from 1 May.

MSC Seaside will cruise the summer months in the Mediterranea for the first time since her launching in 2017. This is reported in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

MSC Seaside will be performing a brand-new itinerary featuring 7-night cruises calling Genoa, Valetta in Malta and Civitavecchia or Naples with two first time ports of call – Siracusa in Sicily and Taranto in Puglia.

For the protection of its guests and crew MSC Cruises’ health and safety protocol, which has been tried and tested since August 2020, will be implemented. Measures include universal testing at embarkation as well as mid-cruise, weekly testing of crew, social distancing, the wearing of masks in public areas, only protected shore excursions as well as enhanced deep sanitation and ongoing cleaning procedures.

MSC Grandiosa’s current successful itinerary will be extended through to the end of May with the ship calling at the Italian ports of Genoa, Civitavecchia, Naples, Palermo as well as Valetta in Malta.

MSC Grandiosa has been welcoming guests for a holiday at sea from August of last year and has since safely carried more than 40,000 guests.

MSC Seaside and MSC Grandiosa itineraries are currently available to residents from Schengen* countries and Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania. [*Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland]

Other Itinerary Updates

MSC Cruises on Friday also updated the itineraries for the start of its summer season as a result of the delay in the return to availability of certain ports across Europe and is cancelling all other itineraries in the West Mediterranean for April and May, with cruises there resuming from June as planned.

Similarly, in the East Mediterranean cruises are cancelled for April, with cruises resuming from May as planned. In Northern Europe, all itineraries are cancelled in April.

Finally, in the Caribbean all itineraries are cancelled through to 31 May. Guests impacted by these changes will be able to rebook on another cruise – including MSC Seaside and MSC Grandiosa in the Mediterranean – and should check with their travel advisor for specific updates to their ship or visit HERE

Further information on specific itineraries is available at

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

Dachser South Africa expands coastal cross-docking facilities

DACHSER logistics warehouse, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

Cross-docking, where inbound cargo is unloaded from an incoming container, sorted and then loaded directly to outbound carriers, is an important logistics strategy that keeps supply chains moving in a productive, effective manner. Logistics leader, DACHSER South Africa, has recently expanded its Durban operations to a new 3600sqm warehouse in Pinetown, Durban.

Detlev Duve, DACHSER South Africa, Managing Director, said the facility provides a dedicated central site for products to be sorted for delivery to multiple destinations in the most productive way, saving costs. “Ultimately, our customers benefit from a more efficient supply chain, ” he said.

“The new off-loading and loading bays have increased our capacity to handle a number of containers at a time, enabling us to offer excellent turn-around times,” he added.

Deidre Smith, DACHSER Sea Freight Imports Manager, explained that DACHSER is able to consolidate shipments, or even break down larger shipments into smaller loads, for easier delivery.

“Storage and handling costs can be reduced as products spend less time in the warehouse. Cargo also typically reaches its final destination faster, giving our customers a competitive edge,” she said.

Further to a spacious, well-equipped warehouse, Smith said that experienced staff and effective planning are the foundations of a successful operation. “Skilled staff are vital to the operation and management of the warehouse. From expert inventory control using Warehouse Management Systems, through to our material handling equipment operators and cargo handling teams, we ensure that all our staff are well-trained and clear on the different goods and requirements of our customers.”

She said the goods that are most conducive to cross-docking are those that are in steady demand, usually higher volume, fast-moving products scheduled in regular dispatches to pre-planned destinations. DACHSER also has the experience to handle large or complex items.

The preferred cargo to handle is stackable, palletised cargo that fits neatly into racks and can be easily transported, but Smith says they’ve become experts in handling the odd and awkward cargo too.

“Taking care of customers cargo and avoiding damages is our top priority, and our Durban handling team has the experience to load the trucks safely and correctly. We also ensure that the appropriate handling equipment is available when off-loading a container and manoeuvring the cargo around the warehouse.”

DACHSER handles both Pre-Distribution, where goods are unloaded and despatched according to set distribution instructions, and Post-Distribution processes, usually for retailers, which entails flexible picking and packing according to demand, based on in-store inventory, sales forecasts and trends.

Duve pointed out that it is also essential to partner with reputable transporters that offer a regular and reliable service to move the goods from warehouse to customer door.

“With all the right foundations in place, cross-docking has become part of the seamless supply chain solution DACHSER South Africa offers to our customers, which further includes contract logistics, value-added warehousing, customs clearance and customs warehousing services,” says Duve.


DACHSER is a family-owned company headquartered in Kempten, Germany, and is a leading supplier of logistics services worldwide, offering comprehensive transport logistics, warehousing, and customer-specific services.

The company has 30,995 employees at 393 locations all over the globe and is represented in 44 countries. With a revenue of 5.66 billion euros in 2019, the logistics provider handled a total of 80.6 million shipments weighing 41 million tonnes. Find out more at

Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing

MIN report

On 2 March the (UK) Maritime & Coastguard Agency issued the eleven-page document entitled: MIN 656 (M): Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing.

This Marine Information Note (MIN) provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

The document provides information on the potentially long-lasting and far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing. It provides guidance for ship owners on the stressors which have been created or exacerbated by the conditions throughout the pandemic and provides some mitigating strategies.

In this document the term ship owner is used in the sense that it is used in health and safety regulation, as the person responsible for the operation of the ship.

This is often the same organisation as the ‘company’ referred to in the ISM code.

This is a notice to all ship owners, ship operators, shipping managers, shipping agents and Masters.

This MIN expired 1 March 2022.

The document MIN 656 (M) Understanding the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on seafarer wellbeing can be found HERE

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


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 7 March 2021


News continues below

TRADE NEWS: eTradeHubs Portal launched:
to Empower Women Traders & Entrepreneurs in Africa

eTradeHub portal personalitiesfeatured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news

…Promoted by ICC, West Blue, UPS, and TRALAC

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in partnership with West Blue Consulting, United Parcel Services (UPS) and Trade Law Center (TRALAC) have unveiled a digital trade solutions platform, tagged eTradeHubs portal, to expand market access and economic opportunities for micro, small and medium enterprises in Africa – especially women owned businesses.

The eTradeHubs portal ( ) developed by two indigenous African technology providers – Global Trade Solution (GTS) and West Blue Consulting, provides a 24/7 interface for women traders and entrepreneurs in Africa (along with their male peers) to connect and access timely and up to date information, skills and operational tools, offered by the various service providers within the supply chain.

Designed to leverage on the benefits arising from the operationalization of the AfCFTA Agreement, the eTradeHub portal aims to reduce the time and cost of doing business by supporting enterprises at all levels – from micro to multinational.

The portal features include a multi country tariff and trade information tool as well as a Duty Calculator.

Read the rest of this report in the TRADE NEWS section available by CLICKING HERE

Added 7 March 2021


HMS Queen Elizabeth departs Portsmouth

The warship’s bridge team is seen with her CO Captain Angus Essenhigh (right). Image: MoD Crown Copyright 2021, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
The warship’s bridge team is seen with her CO Captain Angus Essenhigh (right). Image: MoD Crown Copyright 2021 ©

The Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth sailed from Portsmouth for a routine period of trials and training at sea after a maintenance period and will be conducting training ahead of the Carrier Strike Group 21 Deployment.

The carrier is the Fleet Flagship and the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy. She is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.

Pictured is HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth on 1 March. Image: MoD Crown Copyright 2021 ©, featured in Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news
Pictured is HMS Queen Elizabeth leaving Portsmouth on 1 March. Image: MoD Crown Copyright 2021 ©

As well as advanced weaponry and communications systems, Queen Elizabeth carries five gyms, a chapel and a medical centre.

Captain Essenhigh took command in January 2020. He joined the Royal Navy in 1992 and is Queen Elizabeth’s fourth CO having previously commanded HMS Daring and HMS Protector.

During his spell in Daring, his ship’s company provided humanitarian assistance to the Philippines following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 for which work he was appointed OBE.

While in Protector Essenhigh, then a Commander, was promoted Captain in 2016 and took the ice patrol ship on two lengthy missions to Antarctica.

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


Edited by Paul Ridgway


Added 7 March 2021


News continues below


in partnership with – APO

More News at

News continues below


Request a Rate Card from


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  CLICKING HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

News continues below


QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section.

Naval News

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories here in the general news section.



 “When you reach the heart of life you shall find beauty in all things, even in the eyes that are blind to beauty.”

– Kahlil Gibran




For a Rate Card please contact us at

Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome. Email to


Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.
Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.P O BOX 809, CAPE TOWN, 8000, SOUTH AFRICA