Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 25, 2005
Author: P&S

French frigate in Durban for repairs

The French Navy patrol frigate has arrived unexpectedly at Durban’s Salisbury Island Naval Base for unspecified repairs. The ship, which is based at La Reunion on the Indian Ocean and has become a regular caller at both Durban and Simon’s Town in recent years, is expected to sail early next week, according to sources.

Eleven ships affected by yesterday’s strike

A total of 11 container ships were affected by yesterday’s one-day strike at the Durban Container Terminal by members of COSATU, with each vessel likely to be delayed by an extra day.

According to SA Port Operations (SAPO) between 80% and 90% of the work force at the terminal did not report for work on Monday, forcing the terminal to stop operations on the rail and cartage side due to unavailability of straddle carrier drivers and cargo controllers.

SAPO has extended the stack closing times and free storage for each of the affected vessels. The ship are understood to be Ever General, MOL Niger, MOL Oueme, Safmarine Tugela, MOL Volta, MSC Angela, MSC Gina, Terra Bona, Trave Trader, MSC Gabriella and P&O Nedlloyd Teslin.

Grindrod’s winning way

Grindrod Group became a winner in the recent Standard Bank KZN Business Growth Awards function in the Listed and Large National & Multinational Corporate sector.

Durban-based Grindrod achieved this recognition following a phenomenal growth in size and international stature over the last six years, during which the JSE listed company’s share price rose from R1 in 1999 to R29 this time last year and has reached a present mark of around R55.

“We’re very proud to be part of Grindrod, a dynamic KZN-based company and it is a privilege to be part of this awards programme,” said Ivan Clark, Grindrod’s chief executive.

Since taking the helm in 1999 Clark has modernized operations and rid the company of bureaucracy, while introducing an entrepreneurial decision-making approach. International and local partners have been brought in including black economic empowered initiatives.

“We focused on getting the right people on board, people with the expertise and skills to get it right,” said Clark.

Among the changes was Grindrod purchase of the Safmarine shareholding in Unicorn, although the turning point was not only the purchase of Island View Shipping, which gave the group two good shipping brands, but the calculated decision to order or take on long-term charter 27 ships at a time when shipping markets were low.

Many of these ships have since been chartered out at a substantial profit while others are still waiting delivery.

“On the shipping side the group’s strategy is to diversify risk through having a mix of ships with contracted income and others employed in the spot market and to continue to look for opportunities to lock in further contracted earnings when the time is right,” said Clark.

But in positioning Grindrod to provide the full range of logistical services for its significant customer base, and to increase profits from freight operations, the landfreight division has been making significant progress, particularly during 2005, to expand through the acquisition of new businesses.

Clark forecasts further growth for the group, which will derive from profits from new investments, including rail and terminals in public private partnerships, together with contracted shipping profits, a low fleet cost and profits from the new bulk product trading operations.

MSC doubles up on west coast service

Four months after commencing a west coast service between Cape Town and Angola with a single ship - the 900-TEU MSC Sheila - Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has found it necessary to double up by introducing a second and larger vessel, the 1,300-TEU MSC Toulose. As a result the service now becomes weekly on the same rotation of Cape Town – Walvis Bay – Luanda – Lobito – Cape Town.
Cargo ex Johannesburg will continue to be railed direct to Cape Town with cargo ex Durban and Port Elizabeth transhipped on existing MSC services.

See our previous News report dated 10 May 2005.

MACS bring on extra ship/B>

The German MACS line (Maritime Carrier Shipping) which operates an independent service between Northern Europe and Southern Africa and another between North America and Southern Africa has acquired two additional vessels that have long histories in South African waters.

The former SA Marine /Enterprise Shipping vessels Algoa Bay and Stellenbosch were each built in 1978 and are self geared for breakbulk, bulk and container cargo with a 1,200-TEU capacity.

The fleet deployed on the South Africa – Northern Europe service will now consist of Amber Lagoon, Grey Fox, Diamond Land, Green Cape, Purple Beach, Golden Isle and Algoa Bay operating on what is expected to be a nine-day frequency.

MACS is the only operator that calls at both Maputo and Walvis Bay in Namibia in addition to South African ports on its regular scheduling.

New service for Safmarine

Safmarine, better known as a North – South trade operator, has begun promoting an enhanced Transpacific service, where the shipping service between Asia and North America is expected to herald a new focus for the shipping line.

With seven Transpacific strings Safmarine will offer direct weekly calls to over 30 ports. The line says it expects significant growth to come from Vietnam, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand in the future. At present the highest volumes of cargo move between China and the United States followed by Japanese to the USA.

“We offer exporters and importers an industry-focused service. Companies particularly involved in the furniture, garments, textiles, electronic goods and footwear trades want a tailor-made service that offers long-term commitment, high quality container equipment, combined with the personal touch,” said Peter Ehrenreich, Safmarine’s regional executive for Asia.

Holgate team reaches Somali border

The Kingsley Holgate African Rainbow expedition has reached the Kenya-Somalia border concluding the first stage of its epic adventure of delivering anti-malaria awareness along the East African Coast.

An updated report will be appearing in the PORTS & SHIPS Sea Stories column tomorrow, Wednesday 26 October. Don’t miss this absorbing episode from the Holgate logbook.

Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast

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