Africa PORTS & SHIPS maritime news 17 June 2022

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The week’s mastheads:

Monday: Port Elizabeth Container & Car Terminals
Tuesday: Port of Walvis Bay
Wednesday: Port of Ngqura
Thursday: Port of Ngqura Container Terminal
Friday: Port of Mombasa
Saturday: Port of Apapa
Sunday: Port of East London




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COSCO Aqaba. Picture by Keith Betts, in Africa Ports & Ships
COSCO Aqaba. Picture by Keith Betts
COSCO Aqaba. Picture by Keith Betts, in Africa Ports & Ships
COSCO Aqaba. Picture by Keith Betts

The COSCO container ship COSCO AQABA (IMO 9518359) seen arriving in Durban Durban April this year with an almost full load of containers.

The 49,980-dwt ship, which was built at the Jiangsu New Yangzijiang Shipbuilding yard in China in 2013 as the final vessel in an order for 20 sister ships, has a container capacity of 4,250 TEU.

The Panamax ship is 261 metres in length and 32m wide and has a draught of 11.3 metres.

These pictures are by Keith Betts





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Beira port sees a 5% drop in cargo throughput – blames Ukraine war

Port of Beira. Picture: Cornelder de Mocambique in Africa Ports & Ships
Port of Beira. Picture: Cornelder de Mocambique

The Port of Beira in Mozambique has seen a 5% decrease in cargo generally over the five plus months of 2022, when compared with the same period of 2021.

A report in the Portuguese language newspaper O Pais says this is a result of the Russian war with Ukraine.

The report said the war was affecting activities in the port, though it did not elaborate.

However, there was a decided drop in throughput coming through the port as compared with last year for the same period.

In 2021 the Beira port handled 3.3 million tonnes of cargo, against 3.1 million tonnes in 2020.

Containers handled last year totalled 278,000 TEUs. In 2020 the number of containers handled at the port was 255,000.

Cornelder de Moçambique, which holds the concession to manage and operate the port, was obviously anticipating a steady increase in all areas of cargo handling, until the European war broke out in late February.

As a result, certain commodities, including wheat, corn and sunflower seed as well as fertilisers from Ukraine and also from Russia have been affected, with little crossing the Black Sea. African countries have been big buyers of these commodities from the Ukraine.

A spokesman for Cornelder told O Pais that new cargo handling equipment and the C-Gate computer system worth a combined US$ 10 million had arrived and will provide a new dynamic in cargo handling at the port of Beira, he said.

The C-Gate system allows for a fully automated access control of trucks arriving at the port gates.

The new equipment went into operation on Friday at a ceremony led by the Minister of Transport and Communications. source O Pais

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WHARF TALK: X-Bow anchor handling tug – ALP SWEEPER

Alp Sweeper arriving in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrát' in Africa Ports & Ships
Alp Sweeper arriving in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

To some purists, a traditional ship’s bow has to have some flare and, preferably, a bulbous bow. These same purists, if pushed, may even stretch to accepting the modern trend of having a bluff bow, as long as there is a hint of a bulb at its base. To the more radical thinkers, both of those concepts are simply old-fashioned. That is because, to them, you simply can’t beat an X-Bow.

On 11th June at 15h00, the large Anchor Handling and Oceangoing Tug ALP SWEEPER (IMO 9737254) arrived off Cape Town from Maputo in Mozambique. She entered Cape Town harbour and proceeded into the Ben Schoeman Dock, going straight to the Dormac repair quay, located at berth 502, to begin a period of maintenance.

Alp Sweeper has an appointment in the Cape Town dry dock. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Alp Sweeper has an appointment in the Cape Town dry dock. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2017 by Niigata Shipbuilding at Niigata in Japan, ’Alp Sweeper’ is 89 metres in length, on a beam of 22 metres, and with a deadweight of 4,186 tons. She is powered by no less than four MaK 9M32C 9 cylinder 4 stroke main engines, each producing 6,100 bhp (4,500 kW), giving a total of 24,400 bhp (18,000 kW) to drive two, nozzled, Caterpillar BCP1330F controllable pitch propellers for a service speed of 13 knots, or an emergency tasking speed of 19 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Caterpillar C32 generators providing 940 kW each, and one Caterpillar C9 emergency generator providing 200 kW. She is a Dynamic Position Class 2 (DP2) vessel, and to achieve her precise manoeuvrability for her DP status, she has two high performance Becker rudders for each propeller, and she has two Caterpillar BTT625, bow transverse thrusters providing 1,500 kW each, and two Caterpillar BTT419, transverse stern thrusters providing 1,050 kW each.

Alp Sweeper was arriving from northern Mozambique where she was assisting with the FLNG Coral Sul. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Alp Sweeper has been working in northernMozambique where she was assisting with the FLNG Coral Sul. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

One of four sisters built, and the third to be completed, with all of them named after positions on a football team, namely Striker, Defender, Sweeper, and Keeper, ‘Alp Sweeper’ is an SX157 ‘Future’ class vessel, designed by Ulstein Design and Solutions AS, of Ulsteinvik In Norway. Her Ulstein pedigree and design has given her, and her sisters, the famous Ulstein X-Bow.

The Ulstein X-Bow, which is the inverted bow concept, redefined marine engineering when the bow concept was introduced in 2005, with the first X-Bow equipped vessel launch coming in 2006. Since then, there have been over 100 X-Bow vessels built, ranging from Anchor Handlers like ‘Alp Sweeper’, to many types of offshore vessel, private mega yachts, and even expeditionary passenger ships, one of which, ‘Greg Mortimer’, called into Cape Town, in October 2019, whilst enroute on her maiden voyage from her builders in China, to Ushuaia in Argentina, to begin her programme of Antarctic cruises.

The technical aspect of the X-Bow, is that when comparing fore ship volumes with more conventional, bulbous bow shapes, the X-Bow has more displacement volume, starting from the waterline. So instead of just rising on the waves, and then dropping with colossal force, the X-Bow is able to distribute the force more evenly across its surface.

Alp Sweeper's large aft open work deck. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Alp Sweeper’s large aft open work deck. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Thus the X-Bow enables the vessel to remain more stable during poor weather conditions, which gives increased comfort for crews and passengers. Because its wave piercing properties are smoother, an X-Bow vessel also uses less fuel to get through the waves, which results in better overall fuel efficiency.

The design of ‘Alp Sweeper’ was specifically to enable her to tow very large structures, mainly for the oil and gas industry, such as oil rigs and FPSO/FLNG units. Her anchor handling capacity enables her to assist with the installation and hook-up operation of the structure that she has towed into position.

For that reason, she has an immense bollard pull of 303 tons. Her aft working deck provides an area of 550 m2 to conduct anchor handling, and she has two Rolls Royce towing winches, each loaded with 2,000 metres of 86mm towing wire, with a third reel storing a further 2,000 metres of 86mm towing wire.

The tug's bridge and accommodation area. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The tug’s bridge and accommodation area. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Owned, operated and managed by Alp Maritime Services BV, of Rotterdam in Holland, ‘Alp Sweeper’ is in Southern African waters because she, and two of her sisters (Alp Striker and Alp Keeper), towed the Coral Sul FLNG unit from the Samsung shipbuilding yard at Geoje, in South Korea, to its final position in Area 4, in the Rovuma Basin, offshore Northern Mozambique.

The tow began on 16th November 2021, and ended 51 days later, on 5th January 2022 at the Rovuma Basin site. The design of ‘Alp Sweeper’ is such that she has a bunker capacity of 3,400 m3 of IFO/MGO, which allows her to conduct a long oceanic tow, over a 45 day period, whilst operating at full power for the duration of the tow.

Whilst the other towing vessels were released, Alp Sweeper remained to assist with the installation and hook-up of the FLNG unit. It is expected that the Coral Sul FLNG will start producing natural gas, from the six wells in the Coral Field, by the second half of 2022. The FLNG was anchored in a water depth of over 2,000 metres.

With Table Mountain as a backdrop, Alp Sweeper has been securely berthed. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
With Table Mountain as a backdrop, Alp Sweeper has been securely berthed. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

The major partner in the Coral Sul project is Italy’s ENI company, with the gas field having an estimated reserve of 16 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas. The full production of gas, over the full life of the field, will be purchased in its entirety by BP.

The arrival of ‘Alp Sweeper’ at the Dormac repair facility, in Cape Town harbour, to begin a maintenance programme is a precursor for her forthcoming drydocking, in Cape Town’s Sturrock Drydock, where she will undergo a major maintenance period, and conduct her annual surveys, prior to her next contract.

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News and tidbits from around the ports of Africa

Silverfjord in Cape Town last May. The ship has subsequently been renamed MSC Silver 1, in Africa PORTS and ships
Silverfjord in Cape Town last May. The ship has subsequently been renamed MSC Silver 1.  Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Silverfjord changes hands

The general cargo/container ship SILVERFJORD (IMO 9225249), which has been calling at Durban and Cape Town for a number of years, has changed hands and is now renamed MSC SILVER II. The transfer of Silverfjord from the German company Maritime Carrier Services GmbH (MACS) of Hamburg, to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) of Geneva, took place this past week while the vessel was in Durban, having arrived from Port Elizabeth on 5 June and emerging this week with her new name.

MSC Silver II has a deadweight of 37,548 tons and a container capacity of 1,878 TEU. The ship, which was built in 2002 at the Shanghai Shipyards in China, has a length of 186 metres and a width of 29 metres.

Navy’s patrol ship P1571 commissioning today

Staying in Durban, the SA Navy’s newest ship, the Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessel (MMIPV) SAS KING SEKHUKHUNE 1 (P1571)is being commissioned at the Salisbury Island Naval Base this morning. The first of three similar patrol ships, King Sekhukhune 1 was built at the Damen Cape Town Shipyard and will enter service under the command of Commander Jabulani Donald Mashamba.

The three MMIPVs will be based at Salisbury Island from where they will perform the duties of inshore patrolls from the former missile strike craft now operating as ordinary patrol ships. Only one of the original nine former strike craft, SAS MAKHANDA (P1569) remains in active service, with another one in reserve.

Full House for Durban port

Whilst in the Durban port, it was interesting to note yesterday (Tuesday 14 June) how full the port was, with almost every available berth taken by working ships. Without including the fishing vessels, both local and
international, or the vessels at ship repair and in the graving and floating docks,or the service craft such as dredgers, tugs and workboats, there were 38 ships in port later that afternoon.

All five tugs that were available for duty – Lotheni, Pholela, Umsunduzi, Lufafa, and Umkhomazi, along with pilot boat Ballito, had occupation of the N-shed berth (the former passenger terminal). This is presumably on account of the construction work going on at the tug basin where a new quay or jetty is being built.

Approximately 30 ships were at anchor or drifting outside at the port’s outer anchorage. So, with about 70 ships either in port and working cargo, or waiting outside, it looked almost like the good times are back. Time will tell but it is still a hopeful sign.

Suez Canal in Africa Ports & Ships

Suez Canal to remain Egyptian

Moving away from South African ports to the opposite end of the continent, The Suez Canal Authority, which administers the canal, has rejected reports on some websites and social media that the management of the canal is about to change hands with a foreign company taking over.

In a statement issued on Friday 10 June, the SCA emphasised that the Suez Canal and its administration will remain firmly in the hands of the Egyptian state.

Livestock carrier overturns, 16,000 sheep drown

Finally, there is a disturbing report of another livestock-carrying vessel sinking off the African coast while carrying approximately 16,000 sheep.

The ALBADRI 1 was on her berth in the Sudanese port of Suakin on Sunday night when she began taking in water before capsizing. About 700 sheep were able to escape but the rest numbering an estimated 16,000 animals were drowned.

It appears the crew were able to abandon the ship safely.

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Eastern and Southern Africa: Women’s opportunities in the Maritime Sector

Picture courtesy IMO© in Africa Ports & Ships
Picture courtesy IMO©

IMO Kisumu Conference

The Association for Women in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa region (WOMESA) celebrated the IMO International Day for Women in Maritime in the margins of its tenth annual conference and workshop in Kisumu County, Kenya held from 25-27 May.

The event reported by the IMO media service in the last week of May concerned Women in Maritime: Opportunities and Milestones Achieved and took stock of WOMESA’s activities since its establishment by IMO in 2007.

Mentorship and targeted programmes

This conference provided the opportunity for 70 delegates from 16 member countries of the association in Eastern and Southern Africa, cutting across the ports and shipping sectors, to examine the challenges and opportunities available to women in the region in maritime, including at leadership levels. Participants emphasised the need for mentorship and targeted programmes to encourage the younger generations to take up maritime professions.

UN Office Nairobi

Mr Xiaojie Zhang, Director Technical Cooperation Division took the opportunity to pay courtesy visits to Mr James Macharia, Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Transport, as host government of IMO Regional Presence Office, and Mrs. Zainab Hawa Bangura, Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON).

Under IMO’s auspices, eight Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) have been established in Africa, Arab States, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific, covering some 152 countries and dependent territories and some 500 participants.

Access to these regional maritime associations for women provides members with a platform to discuss a number of issues, not just about gender, but also technical issues. These associations go some way to bridging the gap in narrowing some of the institutional barriers facing women who enter the maritime industry.

To read more readers are invited to SEE HERE

Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent for Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Gordhan pleased with Transnet over progress made with Durban rail & road flood damage

Looking into the Silt Canal at Durban's Bayhead, where the bridge over the combined Umbilo and Unhklatuzane rivers was washed away. Picture TNPA, in Africa Ports & Ships
Looking into the Silt Canal at Durban’s Bayhead, where the bridge over the combined Umbilo and Unhklatuzane rivers was washed away. Picture TNPA

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan has commended Transnet over the progress made with flood damage repairs across KwaZulu-Natal – principally the greater Durban area.

The province was declared a National Disaster.

The repair work relates to four major areas – eleven serious areas damaged on the railway line which had to be reconstructed between Durban and Cato Ridge and the reconstruction of parts of Bayhead Road where 60 metres of the road, which carries a large proportion of the container and liquid bulk traffic for the port, had collapsed.

In response to this Transnet created a new access road to the Port of Durban and maintenance of the railway line which was brought forward, was carried out.

Significantly, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has – with effect from Monday 13 June 2022, reopened a single line on the Container Corridor between Durban and Cato Ridge, where operations had been suspended since 11 April 2022.

This means that rail operations on the Container Corridor – a key economic node which moves freight between Gauteng and Durban – will now resume on the single line. Additional capacity will be unlocked on the mainline in September, when repairs on the second line are completed and it is reopened to traffic.

On Friday, 10 June 2022, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at the Port of Durban successfully commissioned the fourth lane on Bayhead Road, as part of the second phase of the rehabilitation project. Bayhead Road, which leads to the Durban Container Terminals and the Island View Precinct in the Port, was heavily impacted when parts of the road were washed away by the floods.

TNPA had successfully executed Phase 1 of the road’s rehabilitation project on 16 April 2022, a few days after the flooding. This included the stabilisation and opening up of the road with one lane going in each direction. By 8 May 2022, a third lane had been opened.

To ensure that Bayhead Road is relieved of congestion going forward, an alternative bypass road leading to the Durban Container Terminals and the Island View Complex was identified. A great deal of work has already taken place to clear this road for the development of the new access pathway.

Bayhead Road flood damage in Africa Ports & Ships

The removal of existing rail tracks and clearing of the bushes has since been completed, with earthworks and placement of pioneer layers currently in progress. Work on the alternative bypass road is expected to be concluded towards the end of November 2022.

TFR is currently moving staged loads between Durban and Cato Ridge, which were prevented from reaching their destinations during the floods. Once completed, which was estimated to be by the end of Tuesday 14 June, flows between City Deep and Durban will be able to commence.

The opening of the line took a workforce complement of 2,673, working 1,924,560 person-hours over 60 days to achieve this milestone. As a testament to Transnet’s internal capabilities, 90% of the rehabilitation work comprising of design and construction was executed by Transnet’s Rail Network Construction (RNC) division and only 10% was outsourced.

TFR was able to take advantage of this period and brought forward the annual planned maintenance shutdown on the Container Corridor by three months and executed this in the last week of May 2022.

The corridor achieved a 98% execution success rate in the shutdown, which will lead to significant improvement on the efficiency and reliability of the infrastructure, network renewal, removal of speed restrictions, theft prevention, and resilience to adverse weather.

The benefits of this work will be fully realised once the second line is open and the entire network is operational.

The recovery from the damage caused by the flooding in Kwazulu-Natal will enable exporters and importers that utilise the port of Durban to return to normality, and Transnet says it will endeavour to ensure that all shipping lines continue to service the Port of Durban.

Much work still needs to be done in the south basin area, and Transnet is continuing to work with the province, municipality and other stakeholders in that area to ensure this work is concluded speedily.

One side of the road bridge over the combined rivers took the brunt of the flooding and collapsed, taking out three of the four lanes. Picture: TNPA.
One side of the road bridge over the combined rivers took the brunt of the flooding and collapsed, taking out three of the four lanes. The Bluff is in the background.  Picture: TNPA.

KZN Growth Coalition

In a related matter, the KZN Growth Coalition has welcomed the urgent steps taken by Transnet SOC Ltd to repair damage caused by the recent floods, which it says will make a substantial difference in restoring economic activity in the province.

“Transnet’s interventions – which include repairing and reopening the line on the container corridor between Durban and Cato Ridge – have resulted in the reinstatement of freight traffic between Gauteng and Durban harbour, and have provided great relief to both the provincial government and business in the province.

“At the same time, the KZN Growth Coalition welcomes Transnet’s decision to provide additional facilities in Durban’s Bayhead Road, ensuring that delays are avoided when moving traffic to the Durban Container Terminals and Island View Precinct.”

The KZN Growth Coalition said it has been impressed by the speed at which Transnet moved to repair flood damage to its rail and port facilities, and is confident that the reopening of rail links and the restoration work at the port will enable substantially increased economic activity in the province.

“We are more than satisfied with the leadership shown by Transnet in getting the wheels of our economy moving again.

“This was a massive task, the scale of which should not be under-estimated, and Transnet’s rapid and effective response is to be commended.”

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SA Port Statistics for the month of May 2022

Aerial view of Port of Cape Town container terminal, in Africa Ports & Ships
Aerial view of Port of Cape Town Ben Schoeman Dock (container terminal) and Duncan Dock

Port statistics for the month of May 2022, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available.

The statistics below show port cargo throughputs, ships berthed and auto and container volumes handled together with bulk and dry bulk volumes.

Motor vehicles are measured in vehicle units and as of May are no longer included in tonnage.

Containers are counted in TEUs, with each TEU representing 13.5 tonnes, which is probably an under-calculation.

For comparison with the equivalent month of the previous year, May 2021 CLICK HERE

Figures for the respective ports during May 2022 are:

Total cargo handled by tonnes during May 2022, including containers by weight

PORT May 2022 million tonnes
Richards Bay 6.044
Durban 6.314
Saldanha Bay 2.611
Cape Town 1.539
Port Elizabeth 1.189
Ngqura 0.784
Mossel Bay 0.110
East London 0.180
Total all ports 18.771 million tonnes

CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during May 2022
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by Transnet Port Terminals (TPT)

PORT May 2022 TEUs
Durban 192,901
Cape Town 74,774
Port Elizabeth 10,652
Ngqura 28,621
East London 4,930
Richards Bay 15
Total all ports 311,893 TEU

MOTOR VEHICLES RO-RO TRAFFIC (measured by Units- CEUs) during May 2022

PORT May 2022 CEUs
Durban 40,539
Cape Town 1
Port Elizabeth 13,220
East London 7,807
Richards Bay 0
Total all ports 61,567 CEU

SHIP CALLS for May 2022

PORT May 2022 vessels gross tons
Durban 234 7,809,638
Cape Town 175 3,470,683
Richards Bay 113 4,663,608
Port Elizabeth 73 1,973,609
Saldanha Bay 57 4,124,810
Ngqura 50 1,841,458
East London 27 956,314
Mossel Bay 38 152,073
Total ship calls 767 24,962,193
— source TNPA, with adjustments regarding container weights by Africa Ports & Ships
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WHARF TALK: a Handy/MR1 tanker named – BASSILEVOUSA

The Handy size MR1 oil products tanker Bassilevousa arriving in Cape Town harbour. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The Handy size MR1 oil products tanker Bassilevousa arriving in Cape Town harbour. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

As the approach of midwinter’s day comes ever closer in the Southern Hemisphere, so the flurry of products tankers is increasing in their delivery schedules around the South African coast. One of the outcomes of Putin’s wretched imperial opportunism in the Ukraine, is the predictable increase of the cost of all fuels.

The increases in the cost of fuel in South Africa have been made worse by the fact that after two years, two of the three largest oil refineries in the country are still shutdown, and are producing no fuels whatsoever, with one refinery possibly never to reopen, and so you get the double whammy of having to import fuel, together with the increased costs in transportation, due to the same fuel increases, which has done little to make a difficult situation any easier.

The requirement for some fuels are not too obvious to the general public, but for an international port, which offers a bunkering operation, they are vital commodities. Over the last two years, most of the imported fuels have been brought in by the larger MR2 tankers (up to 55,000 tons deadweight), and the even larger LR1 tankers (up to 80,000 tons).

The high utilisation of these larger product tankers is mainly due to the great distances that the cargoes have had to be brought to South Africa and the economics of using a smaller tanker. However, that said, every now and again, just to spice up the ship spotters life, a smaller Handy or MR1 tanker (up to 45,000 tons deadweight) turns up instead.

On 10th June at 21h00 the Handy/MR1 tanker BASSILEVOUSA (IMO 9295335) arrived off Cape Town, initially from Abidjan in the Ivory Coast. She entered the Duncan Dock and proceeded to the tanker berth on the Eastern Mole, which is where most parcels of fuel products are discharged directly into the oil storage facilities of FFS Refiners, which are adjacent to the berth.

The tanker was in Cape Town to discharge a parcel of VLSFO into the adjacent FFS Refiners tanks. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker was in Cape Town to discharge a parcel of VLSFO into the adjacent FFS Refiners tanks. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

However, Abidjan was merely another discharge port of ‘Bassilevousa’, as she had also called into Conakry, in Guinea, before that to discharge other parcels. For Cape Town, she had arrived with a parcel of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO), which is used by the vast majority of vessels that call into Cape Town to uplift fuel bunkers. She also had a parcel of MTP for discharge.

Her loading port was in the Botlek-Vondelingenplaat harbour, within the Rotterdam port complex in Holland, which houses one of Europe’s largest petrochemical storage complexes, including those of the Anglo-Dutch Shell oil company.

Part of the tanker's superstructure with a mannequin observing the onshore operations. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Part of the tanker’s superstructure with a mannequin observing the onshore operations. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2005 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard at Ulsan in South Korea, ‘Bassilevousa’ is 183 metres in length and has a deadweight of 37,467 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6S50MC-C7 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 12,880 bhp (9,466 kW), to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14 knots.

For added manoeuvrability she also has a Kawasaki KT-88B3 transverse bow thruster providing 800 kW. She is classified as Ice Class 1B, which means that she can operate in moderate ice conditions, with the assistance of an icebreaker. When she was built, she was launched with the name ‘Baltic Action’, which gives an indication as to why she was built to that ice classification.

Bassilevousa on the tanker berth. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Bassilevousa on the tanker berth in Cape Town, with the Tsakos Group houseflag proudly displayed on her funnel, Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Her auxiliary machinery includes three Hyundai 6H21/32 generators providing 740 kW each. She has a single Kangrim exhaust gas boiler, and a single Alfa Laval Aalborg oil fired boiler. She has 12 cargo tanks, and she has a cargo carrying capacity of 41,393 m3.

Presumably to guard against the unwanted attention of pirates when on her voyage south, and whilst transiting through the Gulf of Guinea, ‘Bassilevousa’ had a number of the now traditional ‘anti-pirate’ ruses of placing permanent lookouts on duty, on both her port and starboard sides. The mannequins were extremely well constructed, and very lifelike.

Nominally owned by Xenofon Shipping Co. Ltd. of Athens, who are a part of the Tsakos Group, and whose houseflag she proudly wears on her funnel, ‘Bassilevousa’ is operated within the Copenhagen based, Maersk Tankers AS Handy Pool, and she is managed by Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (TCM) SA, of Athens.

Bassilevousa's accommodation and bridge area. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
Bassilevousa’s accommodation and bridge area. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

As with many other maritime organisations around the world, the Tsakos Group have a great reputation, and presence, for charitable, and social, responsibility and support, mainly in West Africa. Their London Office, Tsakos Shipping (London) Ltd. is responsible for managing all group projects in West Africa, and especially their flagship project, which is the funding of the St. Nicholas Preparatory School, in Tema New Town, just outside Accra, in Ghana.

The charitable arm of the Tsakos Group, the Maria Tsakos Foundation, provided the grant funding for the construction of the St. Nicholas Preparatory School, on land donated by the Tsakos Group. The aim of the school was to provide a free education to the underprivileged children of Tema New Town. The school opened in 2012, with just 25 pupils, all aged between 4 and 6 years old.

The tanker on her berth with Table Mountain overlooking the scene. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The tanker on her berth with Table Mountain overlooking the scene. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Ten years later, by 2022, the school had grown to 135 pupils, with additional classrooms and buildings built through the Maria Tsakos Foundation, and the age of the pupils now ranged from the nursery ages of 4 years old, up to Junior High School age of 14 years old. The school has received Charitable Organisation status by the Commissioner of Charities, in London, and been granted Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) status by the Government of Ghana.

The school operates with all funding coming from donations, mainly derived from the maritime sector, and provides uniforms, books and teaching aids, plus two hot meals per day, to all of their pupils. The funding also pays the salaries of the 20 teaching staff employed at the school.

The pupils lean heavily towards the maritime ethos of the school, and have a Navy Cadet Force at the school, with the Ghana Navy providing the training officers. As some seafarers will know, it just so happens that the Patron Saint of Seafarers is Saint Nicholas, hence the appropriate name given to the school.

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BOOK REVIEW: Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles


Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles
By Nick Robins

Hardback, published by Seaforth Publishing,
192 pages, with more than 120 black & white illustrations, price £25.00.
ISBN: 978 1 84832 112 0

At the beginning of the twentieth century it was possible to sail from London to Glasgow with port calls at the south coast ports and Belfast in Northern Ireland, returning along the east coast from either Dundee or Leith for as little as five pounds. Another service offered passage from Belfast to the Tees, north about for six pounds return.

Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles, in Africa Ports & Ships

Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles tells a broad story over twelve chapters supported by a page of references to sources and further reading. As with many of the titles published by Seaforth Publishing and Pen & Sword Books here are a set of thirteen pages by way of appendix. These form simple fleet lists providing the shipping company’s name, ship names, years in service, gross tons and some brief comment.

Names to conjure with indeed: The Aberdeen, Leith & Moray Firth Steam Shipping Company Limited; The City of Cork Steam Packet Company Ltd; Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Company Limited (James Currie & Sons, Leith) to name but three. Sadly a number suffered wartime losses. Thirty coastal passenger and cargo liners are listed herein as lost in the First World War.

Those coastal passenger liner services saw 300 passengers landed twice weekly at Grangemouth or Dundee from the London boat, and the coastal passenger and cargo liner was in its heyday, catering both for the first class tourist as well as offering keenly priced second class fares for the like of football fans following away matches.

Sadly, these wonderful steamer services are now largely forgotten but this book will stir fond memories of the ships and their coastal voyages. The Depression of the 1930s, coupled with competition from both railway and the motor coach, were to spell the end for many of the coastal liners, while heavy losses incurred in the Second World War left only a few ships each offering just a handful of passenger berths.

The story of their one hundred years of service is accompanied by numerous fascinating anecdotes, and the book focuses as much on the social need for coastal passenger services, the men and women who provided the services and the passengers who used them, as it does on the details of the ships themselves. This book delivers a well-presented approach to a valuable part of the British maritime business, alas no longer with us. It also makes an essential contribution to the social history of the times.

As one reviewer put it Coastal Passenger Liners of the British Isles provides a good overview of the history of the liners that served the British travellers down the years. Those years saw the birth of the steam ship to the demise of the coastal liner services.

Author Nick Robins is a geologist by profession. He is acknowledged for setting maritime history within the bigger social and political picture, a method which he achieves with this title. Without doubt his books describe the evolution of a variety of shipping themes, ranging from tugs and tenders to excursion steamers and cruise ships.

This was covered in The Cruise Ship: A Very British Institution. It was a pleasure to review recently his Wartime Standard Ships in Africa Ports & Ships.

This is not a new book as it was published in 2011. It is still available from Seaforth Publishing –

Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent for Africa Ports & Ships

Reviewed by Paul Ridgway
London Correspondent Africa Ports & Ships

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Algoa Bay Bay oil spill cleanup concluded


The bunkering tanker Lefkas, which was involved in last month's oil spill in Algoa Bay in Africa Ports & Ships
The bunkering tanker Lefkas, which was involved in last month’s oil spill in Algoa Bay

In an update on the situation at Algoa Bay where an oil spill occurred recently as two tankers were transferring bunker oil fuel, the South Africa Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) announced on Monday (13 June) that the cleanup operation as been concluded.

SAMSA said in a statement that the incident has been closed and response and monitoring of Algoa Bay will return to normal status.

The conclusion follows days of monitoring of the St Croix Island group by the SANPARKS rangers following the oil spill involving the bunkering tankers UMNENGA II and LEFKAS on Monday 23 May 2002.

Both vessels are operated by Minerva Bunkering.

The last monitoring exercise was done on Thursday 9 June 2022 and there were no oiled birds reported.

The beaches that form part of the Addo Marine Reserve have also been inspected with no reports of oil or oiled wildlife.

Meanwhile, both vessels have been cleaned and returned to service.

SAMSA said a debrief has been concluded with the responders to assess how the response can be improved in the future.

The investigation into the course of the spillage is ongoing by the relevant authorities.

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Lowering containership emissions through Just In Time arrivals

Just in Time arrivals Picture: IMO© in Africa Ports & Ships
Just in Time arrivals  Picture: IMO©

Just In Time (JIT) arrivals allow ships to optimise speed during their voyage to arrive in port when berth, fairway and nautical services are available.

Containerships can reduce fuel consumption and resulting carbon dioxide emissions by 14% on a per voyage basis using JIT arrival, according to a new study[1], commissioned by the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (Low Carbon GIA). This was reported by the IMO media service on 7 June.

JIT is an important tool that can contribute to a ship attaining its required carbon intensity indicator (CII) and associated CII rating in accordance with IMO’s short-term GHG reduction measure, which will enter into force later this year.

Furthermore, JIT can be taken up, together with other operational measures, in the enhanced Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) which will play a central role in the implementation of IMO’s recent energy efficiency measures.

Global implementation

This latest study, undertaken by MarineTraffic and Energy and Environmental Research Associates (EERA), explores the global implementation of JIT in the container sector. Using AIS data from the calendar year 2019 (pre-pandemic), the impact of JIT on fuel consumption and emissions was assessed by optimizing all voyages in three scenarios:

1. Over the entire voyage,

2. Over the last 24 hours, and

3. Over the last 12 hours.

The results show that while optimising speed over the entire duration of a voyage offers the greatest saving opportunity (displaying a mean fuel saving per voyage of 14.16%), there were benefits in all scenarios with savings of 5.90% (24 hours scenario) and 4.23% (12 hours scenario), respectively. This indicates that implementing JIT over the last 12 hours of a voyage can already greatly contribute to fuels and emissions savings.

To quote Captain Andreas M van der Wurff, Port Optimisation Manager at A P Moller-Maersk and Chair of the Low Carbon GIA Ship-Port Interface workstream: “In fighting climate change, global shipping has a steep mountain to climb, and we need to pull all levers to deliver in line with the Paris Agreement. The study underlines that while we work to accelerate and scale the availability of the future green fuels, in the short-term significant emissions reductions can be achieved by bringing vessels, terminals and ports together to exchange standardised data and facilitate Just In Time arrivals.”

The Low Carbon GIA is a public-private partnership with the aim to develop innovative solutions to address common barriers to decarbonising the shipping sector. It has been actively exploring the concept of JIT through various research projects and several industry stakeholder roundtables. In 2020, it published the Just In Time Arrival Guide – Potential Barriers and Solutions[2], providing guidance to stakeholders towards the implementation of JIT Arrivals.

The Low Carbon GIA was established in 2017 under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloMEEP Project and now continues to operate under the framework of IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project.



Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent for Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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CMA CGM orders additional two Boeing 777 freighter aircraft

CMA CGM Air Cargo Boeing 777 in Africa Ports & Ships
CMA CGM Air Cargo Boeing 777

CMA CGM Air Cargo has taken delivery of its second Boeing 777 freighter, the first having been delivered on 31 May.

These two aircraft were ordered last year, with a further two 777s having been ordered recently. This will create a fleet of Boeing and Airbus freighters, of which four 777s will have come from Boeing. By 2026 CMA CGM Air Cargo expects to own a fleet of 12 or more such aircraft in its dedicated air cargo division.

Readers will recall the announcement in February 2021 that the French shipping and logistic giant intended to operate its own airfreight division.

Then on 18 May this year CMA CGM and Air France-KLM joined forces and signed a major long-term strategic partnership in global air cargo. The statement said the partnership will see both parties combine their complementary cargo networks, full freighter capacity and dedicated services in order to build an even more competitive offer.

CMA CGM Air Cargo CEO Olivier Casanova said the reception of their first two Boeing 777 freighters, together with an order for two additional aircraft, was a milestone in their fleet expansion.

“With four Boeing 777 freighters by 2024, complementing our existing fleet of four aircraft, CMA CGM Air Cargo will enlarge its network, linking Europe, Asia and America and provide a tailor-made range of transportation and logistics solutions to our clients, thanks to a modern, technically and environmentally efficient fleet,” he said.

The CMA CGM Air Cargo fleet now consists of six aircraft. By 2026, it will go up to 12 including the four B777 freighters.

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TPT & TFR introduce rail solution to solve trucking difficulties with citrus exports at Durban Container Terminal

50-wagon amboent reefer train replaces road trucks having to enter the port. Picture: TPT in Africa Ports & Ships
50-wagon ambient reefer train replaces road trucks having to enter the port. Picture: TPT

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) has effected a mass rail evacuation system at the Durban Container Terminals (DCT) Piers 1 and 2, which it says will reduce truck congestion on Bayhead Road, the main access to DCT.

This development comes just as South Africa’s citrus season enters its second month out of six across KwaZulu-Natal.

After reviewing the past year’s challenges, TPT realised a solution was required for the inability of cold stores and transporters to secure truck appointments consistently.

This was due to the high volumes of citrus fruit which needed to enter the terminals and depots in order to be exported as soon as possible. Late finalisation of refrigerated container stack dates also prevented timeous logistics coordination for reefer packing.

The mass rail evacuation system involves creating a back of port facility within the Durban Port vicinity to ease the movement of produce. This has been achieved in collaboration with the cold storage logistics chain and Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).

As a result, a single 50-wagon train now replaces 53 road trucks that previously called at the terminals, involving 53 separate transactions at different times of the day.

Refrigerated containers being loaded. Picture: TPT, in Africa Ports & Ships
Refrigerated containers being loaded. Picture: TPT

The successful piloting of an ambient refrigerated container train to DCT Pier 2 earlier this month proved to be the basis of convincing logistics service providers of citrus exports to make use of the operation involving railing 50 ambient refrigerated containers a day.

The initiative of railing refrigerated containers into the terminal from an outside depot comes at a time when some of the city’s road infrastructure remains compromised following heavy rains in April and May which has incentivised customers to make use of the system.

TPT manages Durban, Gqeberha and the Ngqura container terminals and this year it has placed particular focus on maintaining stack fluidity as a result of last year’s record 12% volume increase which saw South African citrus fruits reach over 100 markets worldwide.

Prior to the April floods in KZN, industry experts estimated this year’s citrus volumes would be 10% above last year. However, the floods across parts of the province and especially across Durban has had an adverse impact on the logistics chains affecting the citrus exports.

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WHARF TALK: MR2 oil products tanker – BRITISH CHIEF

The oil products tanker British Chief entering port at Cape Town, from Singapore. Picture by 'Dockrat' IN Africa Ports & ShipsThe oil products tanker British Chief entering port at Cape Town, from Singapore. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Story by Jay Gates
Pictures by ‘Dockrat’

There was a time, not a long time ago, that every one of the major oil producers, and their subsidiaries, owned their own fleets of tanker vessels to be able to move their own products around the world. Tankers owned by the likes of Shell, Eagle, Texaco, Chevron, Caltex, Esso, Exxon, Mobil, Fina, and BP, were regularly seen in ports all around the world, including South Africa.

Many of the big VLCCs of these companies were regular callers off port limits, especially off Cape Town, to receive a helicopter, or ship service, to take on stores, conduct crew changes and undertake minor maintenance with a technician flown aboard for a few hours.

Most of these great shipping companies have now shrunk to the point that they have either completely disappeared, or they maintain small, small fleets scattered around the world. Very occasionally, a products tanker, of one of the fleet of these once great companies, calls into a South African port.

On 11th June at 08h00 the MR2 products tanker BRITISH CHIEF (IMO 9724726) arrived off Cape Town from Singapore, and entered Cape Town harbour, proceeding to the Tanker Basin in the Duncan Dock. Her name prefix gives a good indication of her maritime pedigree.

With the harbour tug Enseleni leading the way, the tanker British Chief arrives in the port of Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
With the harbour tug Enseleni leading the way, the tanker British Chief arrives in the port of Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Built in 2017 by Hyundai Mipo Dockyard at Ulsan in South Korea, ‘British Chief’ is 183 metres in length and has a deadweight of 45,999 tons. She is powered by a single HHI MAN-B&W 6G50ME-B9.3 6 cylinder 2 stroke main engine producing 14,031 bhp (10,463 kW), to drive a fixed pitch propeller for a service speed of 14.2 knots.

Her auxiliary machinery includes three generators providing 900 kW each. She has 14 cargo tanks and a cargo carrying capacity of 50,500 m3.

The modern markings on her hull of where the tug needs to push are one such non-traditional marking that tells you that she is a vessel of today. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
The modern markings on her hull of where the tug needs to push are one such non-traditional marking that tells you that she is a vessel of today. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Nominally owned by Hai Kuo Shipping 1516 Ltd., ‘British Chief’ is operated and managed by BP Shipping Ltd. of Sunbury-on-Thames in the UK. She is one of a series of nine sisterships, ordered by BP Shipping, and all named after a rank, or position, on a merchant vessel. These include Navigator, Seafarer, Sailor, Officer, Cadet, Engineer, Captain, Mariner and Chief. Sadly, there is no Sparks! She was the last of the series to be built.

She has the traditional BP funnel colours of red, white, green and black, and she carries a traditional BP name. The modern markings on her hull of where the tug needs to push are one such non-traditional marking that tells you that she is a vessel of today.

Back in November 2015, China’s leasing company ICBC Financial Leasing entered into an US$869 million (ZAR13.78 billion) agreement with BP Shipping, to lease 18 tankers, all built to the order of BP in South Korea, for a period of 10 years.

The ship's accommodation and bridge area, also the funnel with BP colours. Picture by 'Dockrat', in Africa Ports & Ships
The ship’s accommodation and bridge area, also the funnel with BP colours. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

This was the first business deal signed between ICBC and BP Shipping, and was signed during a 2015 visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Great Britain.

ICBC Financial Leasing, are a subsidiary of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (ICBC), who currently manages a fleet of over 200 vessels, and which includes bulk carriers, offshore (oil and gas) vessels and tankers. The shipping lease assets of ICBC are currently valued at around US$7 billion (ZAR111 billion).

With the purchase of these BP vessels, which included ‘British Chief’, they were subsequently all registered in the ownership of Hai Kuo Shipping, of Shanghai, but they remained under the full operational control, and management, of BP Shipping as the lessee.

British Chief beginning her turn towards the tanker terminal off the Duncan Dock. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
British Chief beginning her turn towards the tanker terminal off the Duncan Dock. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Hai Kuo Shipping is a subsidiary of ICBC, who hold a great swath of one ship shell companies, with each shell company having the name Hai Kuo Shipping, followed by a number to differentiate it from the next Hai Kuo company. Which is why ‘British Chief’ is owned by Hai Kuo Shipping 1516 Ltd. Similarly, the product tanker ‘Maersk Altus’, which is a former BP Shipping vessel, and was also part of the original ICBC deal, is nominally owned by Hai Kuo Shipping 1521 Ltd, also of Shanghai.

The tanker had arrived from Singapore with a cargo of fuel. Picture by ‘Dockrat’
BP Shipping Ltd. has a great company history. Back in 1913, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company made the world’s first significant oil discovery at Masjid-i-Suleiman in Persia (now known as Iran). The company realised that marketing the oil was one thing, but getting that oil to market was another, and they had no means to transport the oil to where it was needed to go.

British Chief in the Duncan Dock at Cape Town. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
British Chief in the Duncan Dock at Cape Town. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

So the Anglo-Persian Oil Company formed the British Tanker Company (BTS) in 1915, as their own shipping arm, to carry their oil. Their first vessel, built specially for BTS was named ‘British Emperor’ and had a deadweight of 5,500 tons, almost one tenth the size of the current ‘British Chief’.

From that start, all tankers built for BTS service had the prefix ‘British’ to their name. The Anglo-Persian Oil Company changed their name to British Petroleum (BP), and BTS also became BP Tankers, and then BP Shipping.

British Chief being manoeuvred into position before going alongside the tanker berth. Picture by 'Dockrat' in Africa Ports & Ships
British Chief being manoeuvred into position before going alongside the tanker berth. Picture by ‘Dockrat’

Jurong, in Singapore, where ‘British Chief’ had loaded for Cape Town, is the result of a reclamation project, of the Singapore authorities, that joined seven other islands together. The project was completed in 2010, and from the initial islands that had an area of 10km2, the newly formed Jurong Island is now 32km2 in area. It is now the largest of Singapore’s outlying islands.

There are three oil refineries located on Jurong Island, as part of a much larger petrochemical complex, and they process 882,000 barrels of oil per day, refining the crude oil into the fuel products needed to keep South Africa going, such as petrol, diesel and jetfuel.

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SA Navy’s patrol vessel SAS King Sekhukhune to be commissioned in Durban on Wednesday

SAS King Sekhukhune I, the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs) I in Africa Ports & Ships
SAS King Sekhukhune I, the first of three Multi Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels (MMIPVs)

The first of three Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol Vessels, pennant number P 1571, SAS KING SEKHUKHUNE I was delivered to has arrived at the Durban Naval Base on Salisbury Island for the commissioning ceremony on Wednesday, 18 June 2022.

The new Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol (MMIPV) vessel, which was built at the Damen Cape Town Shipyard as the first of three MMIPVs, is replacing one of the former strike craft, now operating as offshore patrol ships and based at Durban.

SAS King Sekhukhune I is named for the Paramount Chief of the Pedi empire in what was later known as the North Eastern Transvaal (1814 – 1882), now known as Limpopo province.

The naval vessel is the first to be built locally since 1986.

The three MMIPVs will replace the last of the existing Warrior class patrol ships, which were converted from the former missile strike craft. The new vessels are also being named after South African warriors that made a significant impact on the history of the country.

According to a navy spokesman, the Ship’s Company of SAS KING SEKHUKHUNE I, have received intensive training on the operation of the vessel and Commander Jabulani Donald Mashamba will be charged with command of the vessel during the Commissioning Ceremony. This Multi-Mission Inshore Patrol vessel will considerably strengthen the inshore patrolling capability of the SA Navy although the earlier Warrior class vessels gave and are giving sterling service to the navy.

Attending the commissioning ceremony on Wednesday will be a representative of the Bopedi Lekwebepe Kingship and Senior Management of Damen and Armscor.

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Sandock Austral Shipyards acquires rights to build self-propelled port feeder barge

German-designed self-propelled container barge in Africa Ports & Ships
German-designed self-propelled container barge

Durban-based shipyard Sandock Austral has acquired the rights to build German-designed self-propelled port feeder barges.

Designed by the Hamburg company named Port Feeder Barge, Sandock Austral will be able to build versions of the self-propelled barge for interested parties.

There is currently in hand a project to introduce a feeder-type barging service in Durban port, in which containers will be moved across the bay from say the multipurpose terminal at the Point to a landing position probably in Bayhead from where the containers can be trucked to depots across the southern parts of the city, or to cargo owners inland, thus avoiding the needs to move the boxes along the busy Esplanade.

The statement from Sandock Austral says the concept can also be used in circumstances such as recently experienced during the April floods that blocked access by road to the Durban Container Terminal. “The Port Feeder Barge is independent from quayside equipment and can be used to move containers from different handling facilities shifted from road to waterway.

“Compared to trucking, the Port Feeder Barge does not cause any additional work for the deep-sea terminal. Instead of carrying a container to the pick-up area for the trucks a terminal vehicle carries it to any quayside zone in terminal’s option.”

Speaking about the barge, which is a product of his Hamburg company also known as Port Feeder Barge, Dr Ulrich Malchow said that Durban, like Lagos or even Hamburg, has a lot of container movement within the port from one terminal to another which requires the use of trucks.

“Furthermore, containers need to be carried for stuffing and stripping activities to off-dock facilities which often have their own (shallow) water access, but no cranes, resulting in additional road haulage. The Port Feeder Barge eliminates this so there is less traffic congestion and moreover reduces the carbon emissions,” he said.

Port Feeder Barge in Africa Ports & Ships

“As a whole, the Port Feeder Barge is environmentally friendly and economically cost effective.”

The key element of Port Feeder Barge concept is its own full-scale container crane.

“While it looks like a standard shipboard crane, all its mechanical components have been especially designed for continuous operation, Malchow says.

Due to its nature, the Port Feeder Barge is continuously in port – seven days a week. Hence the load cycle requirements are even higher than for many quayside cranes, which have significant consequences on the layout of its mechanical components.”


The Port Feeder Barge concept is a self-propelled container pontoon with a capacity of 168 TEU (completely stowed on the weather deck), equipped with its own state-of-the-art heavy-duty container crane mounted on a high column.

The crane is equipped with an automatic spreader, retractable from 20ft to 45ft, including a turning device. A telescopic over height frame is carried along on board. The barge is of double-ended configuration, intended to make it extremely flexible in connection with the sideward mounted crane.

Due to the wide beam of the vessel there are no operational (stability) restrictions for the crane. The crane has a capacity of 40 tons under the spreader, at an outreach of 27 metres (maximum outreach: 29 m). The unique vessel is equipped with 2 electrically driven rudder propellers at each end in order to achieve excellent manoeuvrability and the same speed in both directions.

While half of the containers are secured by cell guides, the other half is not, enabling the vessel to carry also containers in excess of 40ft as well as any over dimensional boxes. The vessel fulfils the highest environmental standards. A diesel-electric engine plant with low exhaust emissions has been chosen to supply the power either for propulsion or crane operation. The vessel can be operated by a minimum crew of three.

Déjà Vu

Ironically, the forerunner of what is now the Sandock Austral Shipyard, Barens Shipbuilding, made proposals to the former Transnet for a barge service across Durban harbour, which was ignored. Similarly, in later years Africa Ports & Ships reminded readers of the late Mr Barens ideas, and further suggested not only a barge service on the bay, but that this be extended via a canal into the Bayhead as far as Clairwood and a series of container depots and as a means of avoiding truck congestion on Bayhead Road. That was also ignored.

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U.S. President Biden calls for law to reduce shipping rates

Port of Long Beach, California, one of the heavily congested US West Coast ports in Africa Ports & Ships
Port of Long Beach, California, one of the heavily congested US West Coast ports

U.S. President Joe Biden has repeated his call for shipping rates to be reduced by the major container shipping lines.

Identifying nine shipping companies responsible for carrying the bulk of merchandise from Asia to America, he accused them of raising prices by as much as 1,000%.

That’s outrageous, he said on national television. He said that the nine shipping companies who raised their prices exponentially will be investigated if the proposed law if the law is approved.

At the time of his repeated call for shipping lines to reduce their rates, the White House released a video of the president speaking with CEOs of retail companies who imports via the shipping companies, and asking the House of Representatives to pass the Shipping Reform Act of 2022, which was passed in the Senate in March.

“There are only nine shipping companies, nine, n-i-n-e, big shipping companies shipping from Asia to the United States.

He said one of the reasons prices have gone up is because this handful of companies who control the market have raised shipping prices by as much as 1,000%.

“It’s outrageous — and I’m calling on Congress to crack down on them,” President Biden said.

“We’ve got to change this. I asked the Congress to pass a piece of legislation to remedy this. Democrats and Republicans voted for it, it’s over in the House of Representatives. I expect it to be voted on fairly shortly, and I expect it to pass. And I’m looking forward to signing it because we’ve got to bring down prices. The underlying elements of our economy are incredibly strong, stronger than any other nation in the world. But inflation is a problem. This won’t solve it all, but it will solve a big piece of it.”

The video ends with Biden calling on Congress to pass the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, which the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on as early as this week. “I expect it to pass. And I’m looking forward to signing it,” says Biden.

According to the White House, in the last ten years the nine largest ocean carriers have increased their control of the market and now account for 80% of global container shipping by volume and control 95% of critical trade lanes between East and West.

Watch and listen to the White House video [1:36]:

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INTERCARGO: Shipping industry suffering from Long Covid

Picture: Unsplash, in Africa Ports & Ships
Picture: Unsplash

The shipping industry is facing its own version of Long Covid said INTERCARGO, following warnings received from members.

In the words of Dimitrios Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO, reported at the end of May: “Seafarers worldwide continue to face major issues with crew change, port entry and changing vaccination requirements.

“New waves of infection continue to affect ports, and once again we are seeing local authorities creating their own interpretation of the rules.

“This is happening today at ports around the world, and governments and administrations seem not to have learned the lessons of the past two years, as they move to a post-Covid agenda.”

INTERCARGO is concerned that the crisis in Ukraine has distracted from the very real shockwaves that are still affecting the maritime sector as a result of the pandemic. In a number of ports globally seafarers are finding access to shore leave restricted, and in some cases are finding it difficult to access non-emergency medical assistance.

The Association urges consideration by national governments at the highest level for the issue to remain at the top of their agenda.

Fafalios concluded by saying: “The situation is ongoing and requires pan industry commitment. Our efforts to highlight the plight of the seafarer must not stop, and the industry must never consider what is happening to seafarers today in any way normal.”

Paul Ridgway, London Correspondent for Africa Ports & Ships

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Port Louis – Indian Ocean gateway port

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

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