Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 14, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Maputo scanner row simmers on

  • Durban International Boat Show opens today

  • SATAWU’s Randall Howard in running for vice presidency of ITF

  • NPA goes high tech with port security

  • Ore line to close for maintenance

  • CSAV introduces new South Africa Middle East service

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
    WEB SITE: www.hugheship.com

    Maputo scanner row simmers on

    The row over the use of the electronic scanner installed at the Maputo port continues to simmer.

    As a result of protests from Mozambique shippers the first of several scanners to be installed in Mozambique has not entered service.

    The dispute arose when the private company awarded the contract to operate the scanner at the port of Maputo, Kudumba, announced a series of charges for its use, including a fee of US $ 100 per container.

    Importers and exporters and other industry leaders immediately slammed the tariffs, saying the charges were exorbitant and unnecessary. A spokesman for the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA), Kekobad Patek said the CTA was not opposed to having the scanners but objected to the costs.

    Peter Lowe, CEO of the Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), which operates the port of Maputo, called the proposed fees ‘entirely unrealistic’ and ridiculous. He pointed out that such charges were not levied in any other port in the world.

    “If any tariffs are to be imposed it should only be after consultation with the port operators and users,” said Lowe.

    He claimed the proposed tariffs had not been approved by Alfandegas (the Customs company) or the Minister of Finance.

    The CTA’s Patel pointed out that the scanners (others are to be installed at Beira and Nacala as well as Ressano Garcia on the border with South Africa) were intended for inspecting potentially dangerous cargo and to be used in the fight against terrorism, as well as being used to detect guns and drugs.

    He said that if these charges were levied the costs would end up being passed on to the consumer which would reduce the competitiveness of Mozambique’s rail and port corridors.

    Patel said that there might have been less fuss had there had been some discussion before the event.

    According to a report in a Maputo newspaper Mediafax, the Mozambique Customs is supportive of the tariffs and was claiming that the scanners would significantly improve the time it takes to release containers.

    See our earlier reports on this story in the News Bulletin dated 29 June and 5 July.

    Durban International Boat Show opens today

    The Durban International Boat Show starts today and will run for three days ending Sunday 16 July at Wilson’s Wharf, the Yacht Mole and at the Rod & Reel Club on the East Hard.

    This is the third year in a row that the International Boat Show has been held and has all the makings of being the biggest and most successful so far. Last year the Show was held over three successive weekends with sailing, power boats and fishing each taking turn.

    This time round however all three activities will take place simultaneously for added impact but operating from three different centres in close proximity along Durban’s Waterfront. Wilson’s Wharf will feature the powerboat and watersport element of the show, the Yacht Mole will host the sailing fraternity and will feature a number of yachting races on Durban Bay, and the Durban Gamefish Classic fishing competition will operate from the Rod & Reel Club on the East Hard which is along Boatman’s Boulevard. All fishing takes place deep sea.

    The banking group ABSA has entered the Show this year as one of the main sponsors and will have specialist finance consultants on duty over the weekend to assist anyone tempted into splashing out on a new boat.

    Parking at the waterfront is likely to be at a premium but arrangements have been made to use Devonshire Garage along the Victoria Embankment. Springbok Atlas buses will operate a ferry service from the parking garage to the show and water taxis are available for the public to move from one area to another.

    Enquiries can be made to 083 255 2815 or 082 404 0298.

    SATAWU’s Randall Howard in running for vice presidency of ITF

    SATAWU’s strongman Randall Howard is in the running for the vice presidency of the International Transport Federation (ITF) when it meets in Durban next month.

    The ITF represents 624 trade unions from the transport world in 142 countries and the congress, which starts at Durban’s ICC on 2 August and runs until 9 August, will be attended by an anticipated 5,000 delegates.

    The ITF claims to represent 4.5 million members.

    The Durban congress is being regarded by trade unions as a milestone for the trade union movement in Africa. Howard’s intention of standing for the vice presidency also marks the first time that an African has been a serious contender for an executive position of the federation.

    The ITF is headquartered in London and has offices in Nairobi, Ouagadougou, Tokyo, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Georgetown, Moscow and Brussels.

    NPA goes high tech with port security

    South Africa’s National Ports Authority (NPA) says it is beefing up its security around the ports it administers to enhance security and compliance with international maritime anti-terrorist measures.

    According to Nozipho Sithole, NPA General Manager for Port Operations, the security measures included erection of fencing, securing port entrance control and installing closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras.

    She said that in addition, the NPA national control centre in Johannesburg had installed sophisticated equipment to enable it to monitor port security via live video streaming. This project, which was being done on a pilot basis with the Port of East London, will soon be rolled out at other ports.

    “These new measures are obligatory in terms of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code introduced under the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to which South Africa is a signatory,” she said rebutting an article published in Business Report last week suggesting that NPA was invoking apartheid laws to tighten port security.

    Sithole said an upsurge in international terrorism has transformed the concept of port security and the ways of implementing security counter measures as ports are extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

    “Because South Africa’s ports operate in a global economy, they have to adhere to international regulations. This factor has become pertinent in the present global environment as a consequence of the terrorist conflicts that now plague the planet.

    “It is against this background that shipping countries, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recognised the need to strengthen security at ports.”

    She said that South African ports are now fully compliant with IMO regulations and in order to maintain high standards set by IMO, the NPA is working with the South African Defence Force (SADF), South African Police Services (SAPS), the Department of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence in order co-ordinate port security operations.

    Sithole said while the role of a port was to move cargo quickly and efficiently, it was imperative to coordinate risk management into its activities, including reviewing all employees as part of the security system and empowering them through education, development, joint planning and awareness.

    She said another driver behind security being a business imperative was the realisation that a vessel can carry materials that are explosive or dangerous or that can be used in terrorist attacks.

    “Ports have often been called the ‘lungs’ of international trade. Attacks or incidents at ports can have devastating effects on the port authority and trade generally.”

    She said the low cost high impact manner in which a mode of transport was used in the September 11 events in the US had further heightened awareness of the threat throughout the transport sector.

    In order to comply with the ISPS regulations, NPA undertook extensive staff training and developed security plans for all its ports. The Department of Transport approved the plans to ensure that South Africa was compliant with ISPS code to the IMO.

    “A port that complies with the code and that focuses on facilities and regulations of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) on supply chain security will be able to trade with other countries such as the US, Japan and European Union ports with ease.

    “Supply chain security is based on the principle that cargo must be secured from the point of origin to final destination. Security has to be tightened particularly at all points where cargo stops, and ports are one such area. Certain ports such as Tacoma in the US have installed cargo tracking devices that monitor cargo from the point of origin to destination. Containers of cargoes that do not have the US Department of Homeland Security’s approval will be delayed as a result of checks and checks before or at the port of destination,” she said.

    Sithole said it was possible that if cargo from South Africa was not certified, it would be subjected to delays, and this could result in the port in question losing its competitive edge as customers look for alternative export ports.

    Saldanha ore line to close for maintenance

    The iron ore railway line between Sishen in the Northern Cape and the port of Saldanha will be closed to all trains for ten days between 14 and 24 August 2006 to allow general improvements to the line.

    Once the line reopens Spoornet intends carrying out a test on 27 August with another superlong ore train consisting of 342 wagons. The massive train will operate with no less than 12 locomotives spread though the train. Six of the locomotives will be electric class 9E locos and the other six class 34 diesel locos.

    The standard length of a train on this railway is 216 wagons.

    South Africa is a founder member of the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) and Spoornet has successfully carried out experiments and tests with other super long trains on this route in the past. The IHHA exists not for the purpose of establishing or breaking records but to share knowledge gained from running long trains as a means of reducing transport costs. Where an individual railway such as the Saldanha ore line, or Orex as it is known, has to carry close to 30 million tonnes of ore each year, and the Richards Bay coal line (CoalLink) carries 70 million tonnes annually, such efficiencies obviously have added impact.

    In 1989 a rain consisting of 660 loaded wagons and measuring more than seven kilometres in length was successfully operated along the line. On that occasion nine electric and seven diesel locomotives provided the traction. However it was not for purposes of setting up a regular service but to show that such a long train could safely operate.

    In 2001 an even longer and heavier train consisting of 682 wagons and measuring 7.4km was subsequently operated successfully in Western Australia over a distance of 275km.

    CSAV introduces new South Africa Middle East service

    This month sees the start of Compania SudAmericana de Vapores’ (CSAV) new service known as the Marco Polo service, operating between South Africa and the Middle East.

    The service rotation involving direct calls is Cape Town, Durban, Jebel Ali, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town on a weekly frequency using new 1100-TEU ships chartered in for the purpose.

    The first two vessels announced are the Vega Fynen and the Tampa Bay – a further two will be announced shortly.

    In addition to the direct service CSAV says the Marco Polo service will offer an efficient transhipment facility for cargo between the east coast South America and the Middle East.

    The four ships form part of CSAV’s intention of adding 22 new vessels by the end of 2007.

    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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