Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 9, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • DP World shows its hand over Maputo

  • Nacala Corridor reopens to traffic

  • Maersk Line cuts 2,000 to 3,000 jobs

  • Maersk Logistics ‘goes it alone’

  • New loco fleet for Tanzania Railways

  • Pic of the day – LNG CROSS RIVER


    DP World shows its hand over Maputo

    Dubai, 8 January 2008 – International port operator DP World yesterday confirmed reports of its joint venture with South African shipping and logistics company Grindrod Group at the port of Maputo.

    See our related report on 7 January Grindrod and DP World take charge of Port Maputo CLICK HERE

    Announcing that DP World will invest US$32 million in the port, CEO Mohammed Sharaf said the group was pleased to have the opportunity to invest in Maputo. “The port is the backbone of the economy and we look forward to helping develop the infrastructure there and contribute to the growth of Maputo and Mozambique.”

    Pointing out that Maputo is also one of the main corridors for the Southern African hinterland, Sharaf said DP World planned to invest further in container handling facilities.

    “We also believe there is potential to grow commodity traffic as well, and with our expertise in general cargo, bulk and breakbulk handling we believe we can contribute significantly to fast tracking the growth in this cargo sector through Maputo.”

    DP World holds 60 percent of MIPS – Maputo International Port Services, which operates the port’s container terminal, with CFM, the government-owned transport company owning the remaining 40 percent. The container terminal has a capacity of 100,000 TEU but is currently handling considerably less volume.

    Following the new deal DP World and Grindrod each hold 48.5 percent of Portus Indico, with local company Gestores owning the other 3 percent. Portus Indico – Sociedade de Servicos Portuarios SA, to give its full name, in turn owns 51 percent of Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC), the company operating the concession for the twin ports of Maputo and Matola, both situated in Maputo Bay. CFM owns the other 49 percent but takes no active part in port operations.

    The Portus Indico/MPDC concession is good until 2018 with a further ten year option available.

    Nacala Corridor reopens to traffic

    After excessive rains damaged and closed the railway line, the northern Nacala Corridor between the port of Nacala and the Malawi border has been reopened to traffic.

    The line was closed for a period of six days after heavy rains caused a large 15 metre long washaway in the district of Nampula Province. With a 4m deep hole beneath the track no trains were able to traverse the line – up to six trains a day were reportedly affected. Two trains – one of either side of the washaway were prevented from completing their journeys.

    The closure led to shortages of foodstuffs and other commodities in the northern region of Mozambique which usually relies on trains to bring produce to the local markets. Import and export cargo to and from Malawi was also curtailed.

    According to a spokesman for CDN, the consortium that operates the railway, the repairs were carried out by driving large wooden stakes into the crater to support the tracks and then infilling the washaway.

    The Nacala railway has been subject to numerous washaways over the years and has frequently been closed after heavy rains. Much of Mozambique has experienced heavy falls in recent weeks.

    Maersk Line cuts 2,000 to 3,000 jobs

    Maersk Line, the container shipping division of AP Moller-Maersk Group, yesterday announced that it intends cutting up to 3,000 jobs from a total workforce of 25,000. In addition a number of other measures will be introduced with the intention of turning round the fortunes of the Danish company.

    Maersk Line’s new CEO Eivind Kolding said that Maersk Line has a strong ambition to reinforce its leading position in the market and to return to long-term profitability.

    “The reality is that a leaner and simpler business requires fewer people and this means there will be fewer positions in Maersk Line, mainly in the middle management layer. This strategy will drive us towards these goals. Maersk Line will be dependable, customer-focused and highly competitive. The new management team, which will drive the strategy, has the experience and proven ability to deliver results.”

    The reorganisation is expected to be completed by April 2008.

    Other measures being introduced include reducing regional organisations into smaller teams and pushing decision-making out to the countries and therefore closer to the customers.

    In a statement the company said the future lay with a Maersk Line delivering a highly reliable service focused more closely on customers needs. “The core elements of the strategy are filling our ships with profitable cargo; providing the most reliable product demanded by our customers; providing a faster, more responsive service closer to customers; and reducing complexity and cost.

    “Further, a thorough process excellence project will reduce bureaucracy and streamline processes – to the benefit both for customers and internal efficiency.”

    Maersk Line will also be separated from container inland services (trucking, rail and stevedoring etc) and logistics activities (Maersk Logistics and Damco) to concentrate on its core business (see following article). The shipping line’s structure will be reduced from 14 to 11 divisions to further simplify the global organisation. A new management team led by Kolding has been appointed to drive the strategy.

    Maersk Logistics ‘goes it alone’

    Following the shakeup within the Maersk Line operations of AP Moller-Maersk, Maersk Logistics will be charting its own course in future under the direction of CEO Henrik Ramskov.

    Previously the logistics arm formed a part of Maersk Line which will now concentrate on its core business of container shipping (see above). Under the new structure Maersk Logistics will operate as a more independent business within the AP Moller- Maersk Group.

    “In Maersk Logistics, we have an aspiration to be the best logistics company in the market - to our customers as a supply chain and forwarding services provider and to our colleagues as an attractive place to work, said Ramskov.

    “We want to do that by delivering truly excellent supply chain and forwarding services focused around our customers’ needs. The higher degree of independence will enable us to design a much better organisational setup for executing our strategy. It will minimise internal bureaucracy and enable much faster and more customer-focused decision-making processes to the benefit of everybody.”

    Among the changes being wrung are the reduction of the logistics organisational structure from 14 to 12 divisions and the creation of an independent sales force to serve customers wanting supply chain management solutions.

    The reorganisation is expected to be completed by the end April 2008.

    New loco fleet for Tanzania Railways

    Tanzania Railways Ltd (TRL) is to lease 15 reconditioned diesel-electric locomotives from Rites, the Indian rail company.

    The locomotives will be provided on a five-year lease basis at a cost to TRL of US$30 million with the first five units due to arrive in mid-January.

    One of the advantages of obtaining reconditioned locomotives is the earlier delivery – new diesel locomotives face lengthy delays from order to delivery and Tanzania Rail’s need is desperate.

    The country’s central system where the first locomotives will be employed has the potential for five million passengers and 20 million tonnes of cargo, according to TRL managing director Narasimhaswami Jayaram. He said the railway company at present was being frustrated by its lack of reliable motive power – in 2007 TRL carried 700,000 tonnes of cargo but projections are that the railway can expect to carry 5 million tonnes within the next five years.

    In addition to the Indian supplied locomotives that are on order, Tanzania is refurbishing an additional 15 diesel-electric locomotives previously owned by the government-owned Tanzanian Railways Corporation (TRL holds the concession to operate Tanzania’s railway network). The World Bank has made $33 million available and the International Finance Corporation $44 million to refurbish 90 locomotives, 1280 rail freight wagons and 100 passenger coaches and to improve existing tracks.

    Tanzania has a metre-gauge rail network of about 2,600 km extending from the port at Dar es Salaam to Lake Victoria (Mwanza). A regional line between Tabora and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika is used to carry freight for landlocked Burundi. In the south the 3ft 6ins gauge (Cape-gauge) Tazara railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia is operated by a separate company.

    source – East African

    Pic of the day – LNG CROSS RIVER

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    aerial view of the LNG CROSS RIVER at Cape Town late last year Picture by Steve McCurrach

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