Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 26, 2005
Author: P&S

MCLI highlights achievements on Maputo Corridor

At an open meeting with the Exporters Club held in Gauteng today (Wednesday), Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative (MCLI) used the opportunity to highlight and inform members of developments along the corridor between Gauteng and the port of Maputo since 2003.

MCLI chief executive Brenda Horne pointed out that Maputo remains the closest port from Gauteng to the international market which made sense for Gauteng businesses to consider Maputo as their first option.

“Effective logistics is an enabler for growth and development and MCLI’s aim is to be the first choice for the region’s importers and exporters. Awareness of the potential of the corridor has increased significantly since the formation of the MCLI, she said.

Horne advised that investments worth US0 million have so far been made in the corridor, although a lot still remains to be done. She stressed the need for cargo owners to work together to create the required economies of scale and said a true public-private partnership needed to be created between the public and private sector.

Cruise ship Madagascar due on Saturday

The cruise ship Madagascar (formerly the Viking Bordeaux, ex-Stella Maris II) is due to arrive off Durban during Friday night and will most likely enter port early on Saturday morning.

The cruise ship, which has been acquired by a Durban-based development company the elan Group, trading as Indian Ocean Cruises, will undertake a few one day cruises from about 4 November to allow staff to become familiarized with their new ship before cruising proper begins on 11 November.

Hospitality and entertainment manning of the ship is in the hands of the well-known Three Cities Hotel Group.

Durban Clipper in lead as race restarts

The round the world Clipper 2005-2006 yacht race restarted on its third leg yesterday from the Brazilian port of Salvador, with the ten competing yachts heading out into the South Atlantic on a 4,500 miles crossing to Durban, South Africa.

And leading the race at this very early stage of the leg is Durban Clipper, the yacht bearing the name of the South African port and city and skippered by a Durban man with a strongly South African crew.

With the fleet heading south of the great circle route it promises to become a technical battle of wits as each yacht gambles on finding the best wind conditions for the long crossing to the Cape before heading up along the South African east coast to the next mandatory stopover at Durban, where the yachts are expected from approximately 16 November.

Coega lands another big ‘un

Coega Development Corporation landed another big investor this week – its third - with the announcement that a chlorine refinery and desalination plant would be built at the industrial development zone close to the new port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape.

The latest investor, a joint South East Asian and South African company by name of Straits Chemicals wants to build the plant at Coega because of its strategic proximity to growing African markets, according to a Straits spokesman. He said the plant would interface with upstream and downstream industries at the IDZ.

Construction time before the plant is up and running would be between 18 – 24 months during which about 600 people would be employed during the construction phase, with another 250 employed on a permanent basis once the plant is completed. The Coega Development Corporation would assist with the employment of suitable people.

Navy goes to Bonny

The Nigerian Navy is to establish two new operational stations at Bonny and Egwuama in a concerted effort to reign in unlawful activities including outright piracy.

The area had become rife with gangster activity and smuggling, particularly involving oil products. The area is also noted for outright extortion and corruption at the terminals, with foreign shipping lines being enticed to pay bribes before their ships can be worked.

In other instances oil is smuggled or stolen ashore or from ships and resold back, sometimes to the original companies, while recognised foreign operators including shipping lines or their agents play along with the extortion and thievery by adopting an attitude that this is simply part of the cost of business in West Africa.

Mombasa trade zone gets a new lease of life

Extra land has been acquired by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for the proposed free trade zone linked to the port of Mombasa.

KPA managing director Brown Ondego said the additional 12 acres would double the amount of land available for the zone, which will operate on a similar basis to that at Dubai. KPA will provide much of the infrastructure including buildings and fencing of the property to create a customs controlled area but would seek other stakeholders as partners in the project.

He said the free port was covered in the protocol of the East African Customs Union and that construction of the site would begin in the new year.

OPINION - Congestion outside Durban Container Terminal

Road congestion outside the Durban Container Terminal is leaving road hauliers angry and frustrated this week following the one-day strike at the terminal by members of the trade union COSATU.

According to truckers delays of five hours and more meant huge losses for their businesses, which are often one-man operations. The bottleneck outside the terminal is nothing new but with a day lost on Monday a domino effect has taken place, further exacerbating the problem.

Part of the problem seems to lie with road hauliers having to collect their loads during daylight hours despite the terminal remaining open 24 hours a day. This is because private depots and warehouses receiving or dispatching containers observe ‘office hours’ of 7 or 8am until 5pm.

At the very least the National Port Authority and SA Port Operations along with the road hauliers associations need to find urgent solutions to the problem, which is overflowing onto Durban streets and impacting on the private citizen. Durban’s streets are not truck stops or parking places for heavy duty lorries.

A form of regulated truck stop system is now urgently required – everyone seems to acknowledge this although no-one seems prepared to make it happen. Perhaps Transnet together with the eThekwini Municipality need to stop talking about the problem and take action.

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