Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 26, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Mbeki and Blair plan to boost north-south trade

  • New ferry for Dar es Salaam

  • ICTSI chalks up good first quarter results

  • SOMALIA: Heavy fighting rages on in Mogadishu

  • Management restructure for P&O Ports

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    Mbeki and Blair plan to boost north-south trade

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair and South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki have announced two trade programmes aimed at boosting trade between the UK and South Africa, and between South Africa and its southern African neighbours.

    The two leaders met in London for talks this week.

    The UK has agreed to provide funding of R56 million to help kickstart the trade programmes. The first will focus on helping emerging farmers in Zambia to export produce that meets stringent British and EU supermarket standards.

    The second programme called One-Stop Border Posts aims at reducing time spent crossing international borders between South Africa and Lesotho, SA and Mozambique, and Zambia and Zimbabwe, the region’s three busiest crossings.

    This programme aims at cutting border crossing times at these three posts by at least 30 percent by 2010.

    Delays at the region’s various border crossings have long been identified as disruptive to business and trade efficiencies but little or nothing seems to have been achieved in overcoming one of Africa’s curses - bureaucracy. In a report back issued yesterday by the Mozambique Corridor Liaison Initiative (MCLI), participants experienced at first hand the frustrations of red tape when the vehicle carrying the group’s equipment, valued at a paltry R43,000 was delayed for hours at the South Africa-Mozambique border, leading to its separation from the remainder of the group. This was despite the high profile of the visit attended by senior government people from both countries.

    A similar experience awaited the group on its return to South Africa a few days later when other importers reported having spent even longer waiting to complete the crossing.

    “Now we can sympathize with the many business travellers who have to spend extremely valuable time at the border and why the South African Community is not so keen to participate in trade fairs (in Mozambique), etc,” reports the MCLI.

    New ferry for Dar es Salaam

    Dar Es Salaam, 24 May 2006: Tanzania is to invest USD 5 million in a new cargo and passenger ferry for the Dar es Salaam-Kigamboni creek to alleviate a lack of transport facilities, reports the East African Business Week.

    The arrival of the new ferry later this year will allow two existing ferries, MV Kigamboni and MV Alina to be withdrawn for refurbishment. Both vessels are subject to frequent breakdowns at present but the service schedule allows very little time for either to drop out of service.

    The new and as yet unnamed ferry will have the capacity to carry 60 motor vehicles and 2,000 passengers at a time. The two older vessels are smaller and the Alina requires re-engining. Both vessels are also in need of sand-blasting and general maintenance overhauls.

    Another government ferry, MV Usiwe Kupe, which could carry 500 passengers plus cargo, sank near Dar es Salaam’s Kivykoni beach in 1999 during a windstrom.

    The ferries serve approximately half a million residents of Kigamboni – the government had intended building a one-mile long toll bridge connecting Kigamboni with the rest of Dar es Salaam but all efforts to raise the necessary capital have so far failed.

    - source East African Business Week (Kampala)

    ICTSI chalks up good first quarter results

    International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) reports a 41 percent rise in consolidated net income for the first quarter of 2006 compared with the same period for 2005.

    Foreign operations (non Philippine) contributed 53 percent of this quarter’s consolidated net income, as compared with 35 percent in the first quarter of 2005, and 34 percent for the full year 2005.

    Commenting on the company’s performance, Enrique K Razon Jr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “ICTSI is off to a strong start in 2006. A somewhat disappointing performance at our flagship terminal in Manila caused by weak volumes was more than offset by excellent contributions from our international units. Strong expense controls, particularly in Manila and Brazil, also contributed to the improvement in financial results.

    “Our terminal in Toamasina, Madagascar is off to a good start, and with the recent acquisition of a terminal in Makassar, Indonesia, we look forward to further future success in the international marketplace. From a standing start in 2002, ICTSI has built or acquired five terminals in Brazil, Poland, Madagascar, Japan and Indonesia, and these operations are now contributing the majority of the company’s earnings. This is a terrific accomplishment in today’s highly competitive marketplace.”

    ICTSI handled 459,403 twenty foot equivalent units (TEUs) during the first quarter, an improvement of 4 percent compared to the 443,373 handled in the first quarter of 2005.

    Domestic operations accounted for 292,487 TEUs, or 64 percent of consolidated volumes, for the quarter in review. This is a 6 percent decline over the volumes handled in the 2005 first quarter. The decline however was offset by the 25 percent growth of the foreign operations to 166,916 TEUs, which now account for 36 percent of consolidated volume as compared with 30 percent in the first quarter of 2005. Tecon Suape, S A (TSSA) in Brazil and Baltic Container Terminal in Poland both registered 9 percent volume growth over the prior year period.

    In the first quarter, ICTSI invested considerably to continue to expand the handling capacity and improve the operating efficiency of MICT, TSSA and Madagascar International Container Terminal Services Ltd. ICTSI says it expects to make further investments in its facilities throughout the remainder of the year, and to continue to pursue the acquisition and development of additional terminals to add to its portfolio.

    SOMALIA: Heavy fighting rages on in Mogadishu

    Nairobi, 25 May 2006 (IRIN) - Thousands of people have fled their homes in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, as heavy fighting between rival groups continued in the city on Thursday afternoon, witnesses and medical sources have said.

    The violence has claimed the lives of at least 22 people and wounded dozens of others over the past two days.

    "The fighting has been very heavy today, mainly in the southern part of the city," Mohamed Moallim Abukar-Ganey, head of the non-governmental agency, Hiraan Relief and Development Organisation, said by phone from Mogadishu.

    Clashes erupted on Tuesday night between militiamen loyal to the Islamic courts and members of the newly created Alliance for Peace and the Fight Against International Terrorism, forcing people to flee from the Daynille, Galgalato, Yaqshid and Karan neighbourhoods of the city.

    Most of those affected fled to areas around Lafoole and Afgoy, some 20 km outside Mogadishu, on foot, because public transport services had stopped. Women carried children and belongings on their backs as they left the city, where militias were trading artillery, machine gun and small arm fire. The fighting also trapped many residents in their homes.

    "Many of the dead are civilians," he added. "Thousands of other people have left their homes and are going to safer areas."

    The clashes started in the northern Sii Sii area of Yaqshid District and intensified on Thursday morning in Taleeh District near the Mogadishu stadium, also known as 'Taraabunka'. It spread to Daynille and Galgalato later.

    Fighting between militia loyal to Nur Daqle of the anti-terror coalition and those led by Shaykh Sharif Shaykh Ahmed, the chairman of the Islamic courts, first broke out in Mogadishu on 7 May and continued for a week, killing almost 200 people.

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Management restructure for P&O Ports

    The first steps in restructuring P&O’s business units have been announced. P&O was acquired by Dubai-based DP World two months ago

    DP World’s terminal business will consist of seven regions headed by CEO Mohammed Sharaf, while P&O’s other businesses P&O Ferries, P&O Maritime Services and P&O Estates will be managed by DP World’s parent company, P&F Maritime Services with Jamal Majid bin Thaniah as group CEO.

    P&O chief executive and co-CEO of DP World Robert Woods will retire from both positions in September but will continue with the company in a senior advisory role, in particular overseeing P&O North America until that company has been disposed of. Woods will also serve as chairman of P&O Ferries and chairman of P&O Maritime Services in addition to remaining as non-executive chairman of Southampton Container Terminal and Tilbury Container Terminal.

    There has been no official announcement about the southern African operations of DP World/P&O Ports, which operates stevedoring companies in South Africa and the Maputo Container Terminal in Mozambique. However, a representative of DP World recently visited Durban to reassure personnel that it was business as usual.

    - source MGN and own

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