Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jul 4, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Pickup for East London as DaimlerChrysler gets the green light

  • India shies away from SA coal

  • Mombasa has strong first quarter

  • International shipping briefs

  • Pic of the day – CMA CGM RIO GRANDE

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

    Pickup for East London as DaimlerChrysler gets the green light

    There was good news for the port of East London as well as the region yesterday when the DaimlerChrysler plant overlooking the port was given the final approval to start production of the new C-Class Mercedes Benz cars.

    The plant has been in limbo for the past four to five months while awaiting the go-ahead from Germany, and as a result the port has been quiet with much less container and car carrier shipping. However, good news is always worth waiting for and DaimlerChrysler South Africa (DCSA) received its share of good news in the early afternoon of Monday.

    Production immediately commenced and the plant will produce an initial 50 units a day of the luxury motor vehicle, ramping up to 230 units per day by the end of 2007.

    The East London plant will produce left and right hand drive vehicles for local and import markets, exporting to the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan and the United States. The first vehicles for export are expected to be shipped before the end of this year.

    Both the port and to some extent the city of East London have come to depend heavily on DCSA, which is a major employer in the city. The Port of East London’s modern car terminal on the West Bank, which is directly below DCSA and is connected by a dedicated road leading to the factory gates, is frequently used as a temporary storage facility for DaimlerChrysler vehicles, such is the close relationship between DCSA and SAPO.

    DCSA is reported to have spent R2 Billion on upgrading the East London plant for the new C-Class.

    With the breakup of the Daimler and Chrysler elements of the company it is expected that the East London plant will shortly undergo a name change and Chrysler will be dropped.

    source - Daily Dispatch and own correspondent

    India shies away from SA coal

    By Alan Kilgour - South African hopes of increasing coal exports to the Indian sub-continent from this year have been dashed at least temporarily as buyers, braced with at least several months of adequate stocks, shy away from high prices.

    Emerging miners in South Africa have looked to India as a potential new market for coal – Europe including Turkey traditionally takes the majority of the 64 – 70 million tonnes currently exported annually but there have been reports that India could take as much as 20mt a year in the short term as it seeks alternate suppliers from Australia and Indonesia.

    Indian buyers initially saw South Africa as a viable alternative particularly as Richards Bay is a similar distance to Australia but now the bargaining period appears to have set in. As demand drops off prices have begun to fall, a trend several traders say they expect to continue in the weeks ahead.

    Coal prices in Europe, South Africa’s traditional export market, rose earlier this year rising from around US $ 52 a ton to $ 70 a ton, a factor that also influenced hopes of good prices from India. Traders on the sub-continent however appear to have other ideas.

    Mombasa has strong first quarter

    Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) reports in its quarterly performance review for January – March 2007 that throughput at the port of Mombasa has increased 10.5 percent compared with the same period in 2006.

    Statistics released by the KPA show the port as having handled 3.8 million tonnes of cargo for the period (3.4mt for 1st quarter 2006).

    For the first quarter 2007 the port handled 139,925-TEU at the container terminal, up from 112,251 in 2006 and just short of a 25 percent increase. Mombasa’s container terminal has been severely congested for much of the period, made worse by boxes not moving out to inland destinations as quickly as needed.

    Transhipment containers increased dramatically by 83 percent to 10,737-TEU, including a considerable number of boxes diverted from Dar es Salaam.

    According to Mombasa’s harbourmaster Captain Twalib Kwamis, all import cargo will shortly be handled on a 24-hour basis in an effort to help clear the port more quickly. The intention is that ultimately all port operations at Mombasa will be operated on a 24-hours basis but interfacing with the various stakeholders is taking longer than anticipated and the programme has therefore been staggered.

    International shipping briefs

    Europe ports face gridlock
    The European Commission director–general of energy and transport, Jean Trestour says that greater use should be made of shortsea shipping between Europe’s smaller ports to avoid congestion on Europe’s overcrowded road systems. “Traditionally, ports have always had business come to them, but they need to go out and take business by encouraging shippers to use them and not the roads,” he told a Coastlink conference being held in Dublin. “There are many ports on European coasts, but very few are used to their full extent.”
    Another speaker said that unless incentives are made available shipping lines, shippers and logistics companies will not use the sea route as an alternate to overland. In addition Europe transport is facing growing pressure on account of CO² emissions caused by the volume of road traffic being generated.

    MOL introduces training ship
    Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) this week launched its first training ship, the SPIRIT OF MOL at a Japanese shipyard near Hiroshima. Practical training on board the vessel is due to get underway later this month. The ship is unique in having a training bridge one floor above the ship’s actual bridge, which will be used by cadets in training. MOL has employed ten full-time instructors for the approximately 180 trainees per session, which will comprise cadets from several nations including Philippines, India, Russia, Vietnam, China and Indonesia who will all train together. The company says it believes that intensive training in a cross-cultural atmosphere will assist students to master maritime skills and also develop a stronger sense of pride and teamwork.
    The 106m long training ship sails on 16 July for Manila with Filipino and Russian students on board – the first onboard course will take between four and six months to complete as it is mainly for cadets without practical vessel experience.
    MOL says the expected shortage of skilled mariners is a motivating factor behind the scheme, particularly in view of the expansion of MOL’s fleet now underway.

    CMA CGM and NYK to open shipping lines’ first inland box terminal
    French shipping giant CMA CGM has combined with Japanese shipping major NYK in a US $ 27 million investment to build an inland container terminal in Germany. The Duisburg-Rheinhausen container terminal will be in operation by 1 January 2008 to consolidate and distribute cargo from the inland centre, and will be called Duisburg Trimodal Terminal (D3T), says Duisburg Port Authority, the world’s largest inland container port. This is believed to be the first time that shipping lines have opened an inland container terminal – Schednet.

    Pic of the day – CMA CGM RIO GRANDE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    Container ship CMA CGM RIO GRANDE in Table Bay harbour in May this year. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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