Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 3, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Hapag-Lloyd sails to South Africa

  • Salvors begin lightening Safmarine Agulhas

  • New congestion surcharge for Matadi

  • SOLAS amendment obligates nation states to assist ships that rescue people at sea

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

    Hapag-Lloyd sails to South Africa

    Southern and West Africa represents an attractive market for container transport and had considerable development potential, says Adolf Adrion, executive board member of Hapag-Lloyd AG.

    Adrion was explaining that his company intends starting a service linking ports in Northern Europe with ports in West and Southern Africa as from October.

    “We will thus be serving all five continents for the first time in our company’s history,” he said.

    Hapag-Lloyd will come into the fortnightly service using four ships of approximately 1,200 TEU capacity and each equipped with 200 reefer plugs. The first departure of the South Africa Express (SAX) from Hamburg is scheduled for 15 October 2006. Ports of call will be Hamburg, Antwerp, Le Havre, Lisbon, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Cape Town, Dakar, Lisbon, Thamesport, Hamburg on a round trip rotation of 56 days. Each vessel will cover approximately 15,000 nautical miles per rotation.

    Dakar in Senegal will function as a central transhipment hub serving additional West African ports, including Tema, Abidjan and Lagos. Hapag-Lloyd’s Europe-East Coast South America service also calls at Dakar.

    To facilitate the new services Hapag-Lloyd will establish its own South African offices in Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, headed by Gudrun Feil, who has a long international experience in shipping for Hapag-Lloyd.

    Area South Africa falls under the Region Southern Europe headed by Glenn Hards.

    In Dakar Hapag-Lloyd is represented by the agency Somicoa.

    Salvors begin lightening Safmarine Agulhas

    With Safmarine Agulhas resting on a sandbank barely five metres from East London’s western breakwater, salvors this weekend began removing the fuel and diesel oil as the first step in lightening the ship before making any further attempts at pulling her clear into deep water.

    By 11am Sunday morning about 120 tonnes of fuel had been removed from the ship into rail cars propelled onto the breakwater, which fortunately possesses railway shunting lines. The container ship remains connected to the tug Smit Amandla which is holding her from being subjected to excessive wave action against the breakwater.

    Harbour tugs from the port remain on standby to assist Smit Amandla should weather conditions deteriorate.

    On Sunday morning Smit Salvage said it hoped to begin removing some of the containers within 24 hours, making use of a giant crane that was expected in East London later today. The crane when placed on the breakwater will have the required reach across the ship and will be able to work the cargo onto the breakwater.

    This cargo lightening operation remains subject to good weather and sea conditions and will continue only as long as it is deemed safe for those involved.

    The safety of the environment also remains a priority and several anti pollution vessels remain on standby. In addition overflights by a patrol aircraft are taking place each day.

    In the meantime the structural condition of the Safmarine Agulhas is being closely monitored by the salvage team, who remain on the ship with the vessel’s master, officers and crew.

    Safmarine Agulhas is a container ship owned by F.A Vinnen & Co Gmbh & Co and deployed on the Europe/South Africa Intermediate service. The vessel is currently on charter to Safmarine Container Lines N.V. Shipping operations are continuing as normal in the Port and are not impacted on by the current situation.

    Members of the public have been requested to stay away from the casualty for their own safety. The presence of wires, cables and vessels being used in the salvage operation could pose a threat to the safety of innocent bystanders not acquainted with this kind of operation.

    This request extends to members of the public who fly microlights for recreational purposes. In addition, salvage divers kindly request members of the public who use recreational boats to stay away as the presence of boat propellers threatens their safety.

    New congestion surcharge for Matadi

    A congestion surcharge has been imposed at Matadi port in the Democratic Republic of Congo by members of the Europe West Africa Trade Agreement (EWATA – CSAV, Delmas, Hapag-Lloyd, Libra, Maersk Line, Nile Dutch Africa Line, OT Africa Line and Safmarine).

    The surcharge is a result of the recent strike previously reported in this column, which led to berthing delays. The new surcharges are £ 445 per TEU and £ 3 per freight ton for conventional cargo ( € 650 and € 5 ).

    They take effect from 5 July 2006 (Wednesday).

    SOLAS amendment obligates nation states to assist ships that rescue people at sea

    Amendments to the IMO convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and for Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) which came into force on 1 July require nation states to assist ship masters who have rescued people in distress at sea.

    According to the SOLAS amendment "Contracting governments shall co-ordinate and co-operate to ensure that masters of ships providing assistance by embarking persons in distress at sea are released from their obligations with minimum further deviation from the ships' intended voyage."

    According to the IMO this is the first time that such an obligation has been placed on nation states. Ship’s masters have been under duty to rescue people in peril at sea regardless of the consequences to their intended voyage but have often run into obstacles when trying to place those rescued ashore.

    This was highlighted in 2001 with the Tampa incident when refugees from a sinking ship were refused entry into Australia, which led indirectly to the SOLAS amendment.

    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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