Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 4, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • SADC calls for more efficient transport corridors

  • Saldanha oil spill agreement reached

  • News from the shipping lines

  • Kei Rail to create over 29,000 jobs

  • Pic of the day – BOW PIONEER


    SADC calls for more efficient transport corridors

    A call has gone out for efficient, seamless and cost effective transport corridors throughout the Southern African Development Community (SADC) zone.

    Addressing the SADC Council of Ministers in Lusaka, Zambia last week, SADC Acting Chief Director Remmy Makumbe said that having efficient corridors was now more urgent than ever ahead of the launch later this year (August) of the SADC Free Trade Area and the SADC Customs Union in 2010.

    At a meeting of SADC in 2007 the secretariat was directed to formulate a regional master plan for infrastructural development aimed at achieving regional integration and improving transport logistics throughput SADC countries. According to Makumbe the SADC Secretariat formulated and adopted a “holistic corridor strategy to facilitate corridor development which would also ensure performance of all corridors within acceptable standards and norms.”

    Despite this the performance of the corridors has been shown up by poor levels of efficiency, poor turnaround and higher costs of transportation. Makumbe said it was being hampered by infrastructure bottlenecks such as “poor roads, bridges, curves, border infrastructure layout and logistics, as well as lengthy and unnecessarily complicated and non-harmonised customs border procedures and documents.”

    The result is that high costs are passed on to the consumer which has given rise to a relatively lower quality of life for the majority of SADC citizens, he said.

    According to Makumbe SADC has initiated a study aimed at creating best corridor practices for the region based on local and international best practice performance as part of a programme aimed at modernising each of the SADC corridors.

    These include the Beira Corridor, Nacala Development Corridor, Dar es Salaam Corridor, Mtwara Development Corridor, Shire-Zambezi Waterway, Limpopo Corridor, Maputo Corridor, Lebombo Development Corridor, Lesotho Railway, Trans-Kalahari Corridor, Walvis Bay Corridor, Trans-Caprivi Corridor, North-South Corridor, Trans-Kunene Corridor, Lobito Corridor, and the Malanje Corridor.

    Makumbe said the proposed Kazungula Bridge across the Zambezi River which will connect Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe will have an impact that will be felt across the SADC region. The three countries are currently linked by a ferry.

    source - The Namibian

    Saldanha oil spill agreement reached

    Transnet National Ports Authority in Saldanha has reached an agreement with Oil Pollution Control South Africa (OPC SA) formalising procedures in response to an oil spill.

    The agreement became effective as of 21 December 2007 and will last for three years after which time it will be reviewed.

    In emphasising Transnet’s commitment to environmental issues, Transnet Chief Executive Khomotso Phihlela said he welcomed the finalisation of the agreement.

    “It is hoped that by formalising our long-standing relationship, stakeholders can be reassured that capacity and capability exists to provide a swift oil spill response in times of emergency.”

    The agreement signed this week covers all shipping activities in the port of Saldanha. OPC SA becomes the primary service provider with Enviro-serve Waste Management and the Transnet National Ports Authority (Port of Cape Town) as back-up service providers, depending of the magnitude of the incident.

    The Port of Saldanha has introduced certain pro-active measures

    * Recently Upgraded Port control vessel tracking equipment - Automatic Identification System.
    * Dedicated Pollution Control Officer - inspects each vessel upon entering the port, performs tanker watch during loading/offloading at the tanker berth.
    * Terminals operate according to international standards & codes of practice.
    * Certified ISO 9001 Docking and undocking procedures.
    * Competently trained staff and well maintained equipment.
    * Weather restrictions for vessel handling and loading/offloading operations.
    * Oil operations – ‘no boom no pump’ policy.

    News from the shipping lines

    Bunker Surcharge Revision

    The bunker surcharge for the Europe – Southern Africa – Europe service operated by member lines of SAECS has undergone review with revision applying as from 1 April 2008. On that date the revised bunker surcharge will become:

    USD 400,00 per TEU for general purpose cargo
    USD 570,00 per TEU for reefer cargo.

    EWATA Congestion Surcharge

    After reviewing the congestion situation in West African ports, EWATA lines* have announced the following adjustments for Southbound congestion surcharges:

    Luanda € 425/850 per 20’/40’

    Tema € 125/250 per 20’/40’

    Containerised Cargo € 125/250 per 20’/40’
    Conventional Cargo € 6 per frt

    Cotonou € 100/200 per 20’/40’

    Containerised Cargo € 325/650 per 20’/40’
    Conventional Cargo € 16 per frt

    Containerised Cargo € 375/750 per 20’/40’
    Conventional Cargo € 18 per frt

    Containerised Cargo € 200/400 per 20’/40’
    Conventional Cargo € 10 per frt

    Dakar € 100/200 per 20’/40’

    Containerised Cargo € 300/600 per 20’/40’
    Conventional Cargo € 15 per frt

    Congestion surcharges at Lagos, Pointe Noire and Lome remain unchanged.

    * CSAV, Delmas, Libra, Maersk Line, Niledutch, OT Africa Line, Safmarine

    AWATA fixes BAF surcharge

    The Asia-West Africa Trade Agreement (AWATA) has announced that member shipping lines have implemented their own bunker adjustment factor (BAF) quantum, which will be reviewed monthly.

    For April, the BAF has been fixed at USD 612 per TEU.

    AWATA members consist of CMA CGM, China Shipping Containers Lines, Delmas, Gold Star Line, MOL and Pacific International Lines.

    Three major carriers link arms to cut costs

    Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM, the world’s three largest container lines, are linking together to form two common services between China and the US West Coast as from April.

    The first service called the Eagle Express will cover Central China and South China, calling at Hong Kong, Yantian, Kaohsiung, Shanghai, Qingdao, and Los Angeles.

    The second service called the New Orient Express will cover Central and North China, calling at Dalian, Tianjin Xingang, Shanghai, Ningbo, Long Beach, and Oakland.

    Each of these two new services will deploy five 8,000 TEU vessels with four vessels operated by Maersk Line, four vessels operated by MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and two vessels operated by CMA-CGM.

    In addition MSC and CMA-CGM will slot charter on Maersk Line's service which will cover ports in Korea and Japan to North America. This service will be operated by five 4,000 TEU vessels.

    This service called the Sunrise will call at Kwangyang, Busan, Kobe, Shimizu, Nagoya, Yokohama, Los Angeles and Oakland

    This new initiative will allow MSC, Maersk Line and CMA-CGM to rationalise their existing Trans Pacific US West Coast services, while providing customers with extensive port coverage in China, Japan and Korea with weekly direct connections and shorter transit times.

    “Given the rising cost of bunker fuel and the distances traveled, a post-Panamax level of efficiency and cost base is needed in the trans-Pacific,” said Robert Kledal, Maersk’s Vice President of Route Management. “This new agreement will maintain capacity in this trade, reduce environmental impact and will demonstrate significant other advantages to both the shippers and consumers. With a schedule built around efficient speed, this VSA (vessel sharing agreement) will minimise the impact of fuel cost increases on the Pacific trade.”

    NYK undergoes management cleanout

    Japan’s NYK Line has undertaken sweeping changes in management with directors removed and new appointments announced. The changes take place as from the end of March when NYK Executive Vice Presidents Minoru Sato and Takao Manji will resign their directorships while a third executive, Naoki Takahata will leave at the expiry of his term of service.

    Two new directors have been appointed – Hidenori Hono and Hiroshi Hattori who become directors as from 1 April. Hattori will also continue in his existing post as NYK’s chief representative for China. The shake-up sees a considerable number of other directors being moved into new positions.

    Kei Rail to create over 29 000 jobs

    by Bathandwa Mbola (BuaNEws)

    Mthatha 3 March 2008 - The newly unveiled Kei Railway Project will create more than 29,000 jobs in the Eastern Cape, according to Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

    “About R133 million has been invested in this project with as many as 29,000 job opportunities to be created in the long term,” Minister Radebe said at the start of the operating services on Sunday (2 March).

    It has been projected that Kei Rail will transport 1.4 million metric tonnes of timber a year from the Ugie, Langeni and the Nyibeni areas for the next 30 years which will create thousands of jobs, particularly with the construction of the timber mill.

    At just R30 a one way trip, the (passenger) service will initially be a weekend service which will operate during the day.

    Tickets are available for sale at the East London, Amabele, Komga, Butterworth and Mthatha stations two hours before the train leaves.

    Launched in August 2003, the R117 million project will link the former Ciskei and Transkei, as part of a wider plan to stimulate socio-economic development in the Border Kei region.

    It is expected to lay a firm foundation for future economic expansion in the impoverished eastern areas of the province.

    “We strongly believe that this project will boost passenger and cargo services within the Eastern Cape Province and will also stimulate tourism growth - and prove once again that rail transportation is a mass mover of our people and a backbone of our economic growth,” Minister Radebe said.

    He said the project will revitalise eight lines running from the province to KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Free State and the Northern and Eastern Cape.

    “The project will stimulate economic activities where transport constraints and market access are the primary barriers to the sustainability and viability of businesses.”

    Adding to that it will also provide an improved transport option for existing economic activities and thereby allowing for increased profit and sustainability.

    Radebe reminded the public that “the success of the project will also depend on local communities who must treat Kei Rail with dignity and pride.”

    The new Eastern Cape Railway Police was also deployed on the Kei Rail line to ensure the safety and security of passengers.

    Passengers would initially be transported by bus between the East London and Amabele stations.

    In addition, there would be a bus service between King William’s Town and Amabele for Kei Rail ticket holders.

    Once passengers reached their desired station, they would be transported to the nearest public transport pick-up point - if it is far from the station - to make it easier for them to reach their final destinations.

    In striking to balance the road and rail transport, the department is implementing the National Freight Logistics Strategy.

    It seeks among other things to integrate first and second economies, as well as supporting the integration of marginalised local economies with the main logistics corridors.

    “Our key objective is to reduce the costs of doing business and removing inefficiencies and reducing the impediments that the logistics system has placed on businesses and their long-term sustainability.

    “Through these interventions we are also attempting to improve the living conditions of those isolated by geographic locations from the mainstream economies,” said the minister.

    The department has also embarked on an initiative to revitalise the branch lines across the country particularly within the small towns as a way of activating the economic potential in remote areas.

    The department has identified seven other of branch lines to be revived. These are the KwaZulu-Natal midlands timber cluster; Nkwalini line (Empangeni to Nkwalini); Eastern Free State maize cluster; Belmont to Douglas; Krugersdorp to Ramatlabama; De Aar to Nakop; and the Natal South Coast.

    The basis for choosing these lines, Minister Radebe said was on their social and economic significance in the areas where they pass.

    “As a result, our intervention is already breathing life to small towns that were otherwise neglected - thus opening up access to social and economic opportunities.

    “We therefore strongly believe that the refurbishment of branch lines will help boost the economic participation of small communities,” said Radebe.

    Pic of the day – BOW PIONEER

    Odfjell's products tanker BOW PIONEER arriving off Durban. Picture Terry Hutson

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