Ports & Ships Maritime News

Apr 17, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Chinese ship carrying arms for Zimbabwe refused entry to Durban

  • Mauritius Ports Authority has positive financial year

  • Durban port authority reacts to loadshedding

  • Saboteurs close down Nigerian flow stations

  • SAAFF prepares to tackle freight forwarding issues

  • NSRI alert as flares fired from sinking vessel

  • Pic of the day – SEA PRINCE


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    Chinese ship carrying arms for Zimbabwe refused entry to Durban

    The Cosco general cargo vessel AN YUE JIANG (11,115-gt) was refused entry by Durban port authorities this week after failing to comply with regulations relating to ISPS procedures and arms control measures for in-transit cargo. The vessel has instead gone to anchor outside the port while awaiting instructions.

    The Chinese vessel is reported to be carrying a cargo of arms and ammunition destined for Zimbabwe, which is thought to have originated in China. Port manager Ricky Bhikraj earlier today confirmed the ship had been turned away saying this was the usual course of action when a ship fails to be cleared in advance as per the ISPS code. He could not confirm the nature of the cargo but said the mater was in the hands of the relevant authorities.

    In addition to the ISPS code requirements South Africa’s National Conventional Arms Control Act requires any person or ‘vehicle’ carrying arms or weapons onto South African territory, even if in transit, to declare the cargo and obtain permits in advance.

    In June 2005 a P&O Nedlloyd container ship was arrested in Port Elizabeth harbour for violating the Act. The arms in that incident consisted of Brazilian manufactured ammunition en route to Mauritius and Saudi Arabia and wasn’t intended to be taken off the ship while in a South African port. Nevertheless the shipping company and the South African ships agent were fined R50,000 in a local court because the paperwork was not been done ahead of the ship’s call.

    The Durban incident has resulted in a rash of rumours and claims regarding the purpose of the alleged weapons, along with reports that Zimbabwean refugees living in Durban intend protesting against the presence of the ship and its cargo if it is allowed to enter port.

    Mauritius Ports Authority has positive financial year

    Report by Alain Malherbe (AeroShip - Port Louis)

    Mauritius Ports Authority (MHA) reports a total of 5,92 million tons of cargo was handled at Port Louis during the financial year 2006-2007, showing a growth of 6,2 percent.

    Imports increased from 4.3 million tons in 2005-2006 to 4.6 million tons in 2006-2007 showing a growth of 7.5 perent.

    Exports grew 1.6 percent from 1, 22 million tons to 1.24 mt for the same period.

    The sudden growth in imports is essentially due to a massive import of coal and containerised cargo. A total of 510,764 tons of coal was imported in 2006-2007 against 420,174 tons in 2005-2005, showing a net growth of 21 percent.

    Containerised cargo increased by 14.7 percent reaching 1,914,669 tons in 2006-2007 against 1,670,030t during financial year 2005-2006.

    Exports rose by 1.6 percent in 2006-2007 (1,243,468 tons) against 1,223,454 tons during financial year 2005-2006.

    However, there has been a substantial decrease in general bulk exports of -7.2 percent to 689,757 tons during financial year 2006-2007 compared to 2005-2006. Export of sugar also decreased from 448,903 tons in 2005-2006 to 422,624 tons in 2006-07. Molasses exports reflected a considerable drop of 34.7 percent from 110,875 tons in 2005-06 to 72,383 tons for 2006-07.

    Cement exports also decreased, from 6,358 tons to 2,600 tons in 2006-2007 while fish transshipment operations increased by nearly 85 percent.

    Container transshipments, representing nearly 36.8 percent of the entire transshipment operation of the port increased from 80,720 TEUs to 103,310 TEUs, almost a 28 percent rise.

    The leading transshipment operator was Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) which handled 62 percent of the total, followed by Maersk with 27 percent.

    PORT FIGURES 2006-2007

    Global Commerce               (6,2%) 5.9 millions tons
    Containerised Cargo           (14.5%) 2.4 millions tons
    Bulk Liquid cargo               (-3.6%) 1.3 millions tons
    Dry Bulk Cargo                  (4.6%) 1.9 millions tons
    Container Ships                 (4.8%) 572 calls
    Fishing Vessels                  (10.6%) 817 calls
    Cruise Ships                      (-25.4%) 6295 passengers
    Total Container Traffic        (10.2%) 280,381 TEU


    Status      2005-2006        2006-2007      Difference    %
    Imports     4,358,241         4,684,695       326,454      7.5%
    Exports     1,223,454         1,243,469         20,015      1.6%


    Type                   2005-2006      2006-2007     Difference    %
    Container Ships      546                572                26          4.8
    General Cargo        241                247                  6          2.5
    Bulk                       82                 93                 11         13.4
    Tankers                 94                  81               -13 -       13.8
    Fishing Vessels       691                817                126        18.2
    Cruise Ships            26                  14                -12       -46
    Others                  679                568               -111      -16.3


    Shipping Lines         TEUs
    Med Shipping Co.    64304
    Maersk                  27927
    CMA CGM                5360
    MOSK                     1699
    Coraline                  1553
    Delmas                   1027
    PIL                         120
    DAL                        332
    Others                    998

    Durban port authority reacts to loadshedding

    The following communiqué from the port manager Ricky Bhikraj has been circulated among Durban port users.

    “You are by now no doubt already thoroughly familiar with the latest load shedding schedule from the eThekwini Metro as this has a profound impact on ALL electricity users.

    “The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) – Port of Durban owns and operates a comprehensive electricity supply network within the boundaries of the Port. All electricity supplied to Port Users through this network is sourced from the eThekwini Metro via feeds from Block C (northern precinct – Point) and Block G (southern precinct – Bayhead) and to a lesser degree Block A (being Bayhead Road which is fed directly from the eThekwini Metro network).

    “The TNPA has formulated and implemented an Electrical Masterplan in consultation with high consumption Port Users to mitigate the impacts of any blackouts through load shedding. This masterplan comprises, inter alia:

  • Energy saving initiatives and targets in line with the national target of at least 10 percent saving per user against baseline consumption. Baseline consumption for all major users have been quantified since September 2007 and detailed plans have been implemented resulting in a 7.8 percent saving against the overall Port baseline consumption to date. Through the commitment of all Port users, we are confident that the 10 percent target will be achieved in the next 6 to 8 weeks

  • Standby power for mission critical systems such as Vessel Traffic Services. This is already in place and operational

  • Generation capacity in order to maintain a minimum level of operation in priority areas. 75KVA and 500KVA generators are on site at certain installations

  • Redistribution of any available power to priority areas in the Port within an internal load shedding and prioritization schedule. This has assisted in keeping the feeds continuous on the first day of load shedding however the integrity of this approach is dependent on the load experienced and continuity of supply from the respective blocks mentioned above

    “Whilst Island View has been exempt for load shedding, we are currently in consultation with the eThekwini Metro with a view to ensure that electricity to the Port as a whole is not disrupted. I trust that your commitment through a positive contribution to what is indeed a national challenge will be evident in the achievement of energy saving targets in your own operations within the Port. These will be monitored using the SCADA electricity management system being the IT system which controls Port electricity distribution.”

    Saboteurs close down Nigerian flow stations

    Flow stations at Ogbainbiri and Tebidaba in Nigeria had to be shut down on 11 April following a decrease in pressure levels on both stations’ delivery lines due to sabotage, reports GAC World.

    Aerial surveys failed to assess the extent of the damage and operators say that it has been impossible to access the sites although field teams will be deployed as soon as possible.

    “In view of the above developments/situation, the Operator hereby restates that the ‘Force Majeure’ declared on the Swamp Area operations remains in force.”

    In a separate incident the Etelebou flow station was occupied by protesters at about the same time as the damage to Ogbainbiri and Tebidaba. Shell says it is working at resolving the dispute.

    SAAFF prepares to tackle freight forwarding issues

    The spotlight will be on the freight forwarding industry with the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) Congress from 4 - 5 June 2008 at Emperor's Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa.

    The congress is headline sponsored by Lombard Insurance Group and a host of support sponsors and will focus on critical issues facing the industry including customs affairs, security, port matters, industry training, Black Economic Empowerment and carrier issues.

    With a solid line-up of heavyweight local and international speakers and panelists from government and industry, the congress will provide a crucial platform for the freight forwarding industry to engage with decision and policy makers in an open forum for debate and engagement.

    “Freight Forwarding plays an essential role in international trade and our members are dedicated to facilitating this activity through their involvement in the management of transportation, customs clearing, documentation, third party payments and many other elements of international supply chains,” says Paul Cheetham, Chairman of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF).

    “We call the freight forwarder the ‘architect of transport’. Globalisation and the need to reduce costs over the entire supply chain have re-focused the freight forwarder in ways that are innovative and functional. Global pressures on world markets are impacting on our members and the congress is an ideal platform to really get to grips with the realities and challenges of our current trading environment.”

    The SAAFF Congress will provide a central hub of expertise, knowledge and best practice case studies covering issues of both global and national importance impacting on the Freight Forwarder's business.

    “With an estimated five hundred agents operating in the country in an industry estimated to be worth several billion rand, Lombard Insurance Group is one of the big four players, providing customs and excise related guarantees required by importers and exporters, clearing agents, freight forwarders, warehouseman and transporters,” says Rina Belcher of the Lombard Insurance Group.

    “Typically these include all the different customs bonds and guarantees required by the Port Authorities and IATA airlines.

    “It is a strategic imperative for us to be where the action is in terms of our core client base and events such as the SAAFF Congress are ideal platforms to get a bird’s eye view of exactly the issues and challenges facing the industry and how we can best find solutions to meet those needs.

    “SAAFF is a highly respected industry association encouraging the highest level of moral and ethical conduct of its members and one which we will happily associate our brand with,”.

    About SAAFF

    SAAFF is a national association with members throughout the Republic of South Africa.

    While it attends to matters of national interest, its constitution permits regions to form chapters of the association to deal with local issues. Five regions have qualified to establish their own chapters - Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape, the Western Cape and the Border.

    The Association is a non-profit organisation governed by a constitution which provides for a board of directors, with a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. Its directors are highly experienced, senior managers from member freight forwarding companies, who are nominated and voted for by these members. An Executive Officer administers and manages the Association's daily affairs. SAAFF is also a member of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), and derives benefit from FIATA's international standing, its participation in many trade-related world forums, and its knowledge of international forwarding affairs.

    NSRI alert as flares fired from sinking vessel

    The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), St Francis Bay Station was involved in another dramatic rescue of crew off a sinking chokka boat yesterday. Bob Meikle, NSRI St Francis Bay Station Commander reports:

    “At 19h46 (16 April) NSRI St Francis Bay were activated following eye-witness reports of red distress flares sighted ½ nautical mile off-shore of the St Francis Bay lighthouse.

    “It was confirmed that the chokka (squid) fishing vessel Bandido was sinking with 16 male crew members on-board and the crew were firing off emergency red distress flares.

    “The vessel may have run onto a reef (not confirmed) causing her to sink in 6 to 7 metre breaking swells and 25 knot South Westerly winds.

    “We launched our NSRI rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and Private Care Ambulance Services, Metro Ambulance and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and a Police helicopter and NSRI Port Elizabeth were activated.

    “Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert for any vessels in the area to respond to the emergency and the chokka fishing vessel Erongo responded to the call.

    “On arrival on-scene the crew aboard the Erongo found the casualty vessel sinking with just one end of the vessel still out of the water but going down.

    Erongo recovered 11 crew men from a life raft some with injuries ranging from fractures, lacerations, bruising, hypothermia and near drowning symptoms but all were reportedly in stable and satisfactory medical conditions with no immediate life threatening injuries.

    “NSRI’s rescue craft found a further five men scattered still in the water and all were rescued. Immediately NSRI medics attended to the five crew they rescued from the water for injuries ranging from fractures, lacerations, bruising, hypothermia and near drowning symptoms.

    “All 16 crew were found wearing life-jackets attached with emergency flashing strobe light beacons activated. The flashing strobe lights worn on the men’s life-jackets assisted the NSRI rescue craft crew to locate and rescue the men who were still in the water.

    “All 16 men were brought to our NSRI rescue base, 11 on-board Erongo and five on-board Spirit of St Francis II.

    “Our NSRI station doctor, Dr Jahn Malan was taken out by our rescue craft while Erongo was still making its way to our rescue base. Dr Malan was transferred aboard Erongo to medically assess and treat patients on-board for injuries while the vessel made her way to port.

    “All 16 crew have been transported to hospital for further treatment by Private Care ambulances and Metro ambulances. Eleven men are all in stable condition while two are stable but serious and three stable but bordering on serious.

    “The vessel Bandido has sunk.

    “When this call was activated St Francis Bay was experiencing load shedding electricity power cuts and although our rescue craft had already launched and was en-route to the emergency the local councilor Ilse van Lingen, after being informed of the emergency operation, arranged for the Municipality to turn St Francis Bay’s electricity back on to aid with the running of the operation.”

    Pic of the day – SEA PRINCE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The wood chip carrier SEA PRINCE (38,852-gt) at Cape Town earlier this month. Picture by Robert Ravensberg

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