Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 2, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Mombasa port fees to go up 15 percent

  • East African rail concession signed

  • Further setbacks for Tanzania rail concession

  • Truckers boycott new Djibouti facility

  • Fast track customs clearing in the pipeline

  • Picture of the day

  • Ports & Ships has introduced a new column called The Shipping World which will carry comment and analysis, as well as a collection of interesting facts, figures and explanations about shipping and transport in general and of the people who make it tick. In fact anything that goes into making up the Shipping World. The topics will not be news as such, more the background to the news.
    The column can also be utilised to highlight companies that have made their mark in this industry, or who do things differently from the rest. Get in touch with us if you have an interesting story to tell or a success to share. Contact us at info@ports.co.za

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
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    Mombasa port fees to go up 15 percent

    Port fees at Mombasa are set to increase by at least 15 percent from April, says Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director Abdullah Mwaruwa.

    Speaking in Kampala last week the MD told stakeholders the new tariffs were necessary to meet the rising costs of managing the port, which serves not only Kenya but also several Great Lakes region countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

    He said the KPA was busy reviewing the current tariff which has not changed since 1995, whereas the cost of doing business had gone up in line with inflation rates.

    From April 2007 pilotage on all vessels will be increased by 22 percent. Increases will also apply on other marine services plus there will be a new security tariff on ships based on a rate of US $ 3 per 100grt.

    A new formula for wharfage is to be introduced becoming a common rate and a reduced charge will apply on landbased 6m container moves.

    The KPA plans to widen and deepen Mombasa’s port entrance channel and turning basin and also hopes to expand the Mombasa container terminal with an additional berth by 2015.

    - source The East African

    East African rail concession signed

    The concession agreement between the railway administrations of Kenya and Uganda and the South African-led consortium known as Rift Valley Railway was finally signed on schedule on Monday night, removing fears of another postponement or even abandoning of the concession.

    As of yesterday (1 November) the two former railways that in colonial days were operated and managed jointly as East African Railways are again a single entity. Rift Valley Railway now faces the challenging task of turning round the railways of both countries and not only providing an efficient service but also generating a profit.

    Uganda’s Minister for Finance Ezra Suruma said at the signing ceremony that with the partnership signed and sealed the respective governments were confident of the concessionaire meeting its commitments and providing an improved service.

    Uganda and Kenyan economies had suffered because of inadequate and inefficient transport facilities, particularly rail transport, he said.

    The privatisation process has taken four years to reach finality and Rift Valley Railway will operate with a 25 year concession which includes paying lumps sums to the governments of Uganda and Kenya and annual concession fees equivalent to 11.1 percent of gross revenues per year in each country plus a fee of $ 1m per year to Kenya for passenger operations.

    RVR’s successful concession proposal included a turnaround and development programme designed to lead to increased freight volumes on the railway within five years.

    Among the beneficiaries from an improved rail service is the port of Mombasa.

    Further setbacks for Tanzania rail concession

    It wasn’t such rosy news for another East African country this week with Tanzania looking to call a halt to concessioning of the Tanzanian Railway.

    All had seemed well earlier this year after previous delays derailed the concession process. In April Rites Ltd, which is owned by the Indian Government, was given a Letter of Agreement to begin operating the Tanzania Railways Corporation from August this year, coinciding with the original timeline for Rift Valley Railway in neighbouring Kenya and Uganda.

    Like the northern neighbours, the concessioning of TRC was delayed because Tanzania said it needed to safeguard national interests. Now Tanzania’s government wants a further delay to review the 25-year concession documents

    In an unrelated matter Tazara – the Cape gauge railway extending from the port of Dar es Salaam into Zambia where it links with the railway systems of southern Africa and that of the Democratic Republic of Congo is to receive a capital injection of US $ 5 million which is aimed at helping improve operations.

    The capital will among other things be used to provide new rolling stock and spares as well as mobile cranes and other equipment. A Chinese company is expected to be awarded the concession to operate the railway but has yet to be identified and appointed.

    Truckers boycott new Djibouti facility

    A new truck stop facility in the port of Djibouti is being boycotted by truckers from Ethiopia because of poor finishing to ground surfaces, says a report in the Ethiopian newspaper Addis Fortune.

    The truck stop was built by a Chinese company to alleviate the problem of hundreds of heavy trucks arriving and parking illegally all around the port area (sounds familiar, South African ports?).

    However, the construction contract, awarded to a Chinese contractor, failed to call for adequate compacting of the surface area of the truck stop. A spokesman for Ethiopia’s Federal Transport Authority said the truckstop was not graveled or asphalted because it was felt that Djibouti received little rain and wouldn’t experience any problems.

    However the number of trucks arriving and using the facility soon changed all that and the ground area was churned up into fine dust, leaving trucks sinking up to their rims. After that truckers began avoiding the facility saying that had no wish to park there.

    The truck stop is about 12km from the port and contains restrooms, showers, a meeting hall, warehouse and a radio operating office. The Federal Transport Authority says it will allocate more money to fix the problem.

    - source Addis Fortune

    Fast track customs clearing in the pipeline

    A new system of fast tracking customs clearing for selected cargo is in the pipeline, according to SARS Commissioner Pravin Gordhan.

    He said this week that SARS intended introducing the system which works on the World Customs Union principle of authorised economic operators. This allows cargo to pass through the ports of authorised operators without customs documents having to be submitted apart from the manifest and would allow for containers to be delivered straight from the ship to the client.

    For cargo such as motor parts which operates on the Just in Time principle this would have immediate benefits, speeding up an already tight logistics chain.

    Picture of the day
    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Saudi livestock carrier Mawashi Tabak at Dormac’s repair quay in Durban. Picture Terry Hutson

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