Ports & Ships Maritime News

May 13, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Tanzanian shippers rise up over raised port charges

  • Developing professional capacity for the shipping sector in Mauritius

  • Jo Tankers celebrates 25 years trading with South Africa

  • Korean trawler Ocean burns out on Berkley Sound

  • India gets tough on older ships

  • Tanzania to re-examine port and railway contracts

  • Southern Africa – beefing up for a revolution

  • Pic of the day – BNS INDEPENDENCIA


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    Tanzanian shippers rise up over raised port charges

    Tanzanian shippers have rejected a proposed increase on storage charges for containers overstaying their welcome at the port of Dar es Salaam, which they described as unjustified.

    An increase of 100 percent and more has been proposed by the Tanzanian Ports Authority (TPA) as a measure aimed at easing congestion at Dar es Salaam, where boxes often remain well beyond the stipulated period.

    “All we want to do is discourage customers from turning the port into a storage facility,” explained TPA Director-General Ephraim Mgawe.

    The proposal calls for charges on domestic containers to be increased from the current USD 20 per day to USD 40 per TEU per day – while transit containers mainly for landlocked neighbouring countries would go up from USD 20 to USD 50 per day after expiry of the allocated free periods.

    TPA has also proposed rebates on containers cleared from the terminal within 72 hours of clearing the imports amounting to USD 15 per 20ft container and USD 25 per 40 ft box. – source The Citizen (Tanzania)

    Developing professional capacity for the shipping sector in Mauritius

    Report by Alain Malherbe (AeroShip - Port Louis)

    The shipping sector is in crisis, both at national and international levels, with the drastic fall in the number of people inclined to join the industry. This statement was made by the Mauritian Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping, Dr R Beebeejaun. He was speaking last Wednesday (7 May) at the opening of a workshop on developing professional capacity for the shipping sector at the Mauritius Maritime Academy.

    Dr Beebeejaun explained that the scarcity of labour faced by the shipping industry can have adverse effects on the sector in the long run.

    “We must study the profile of careers of those who choose to embark upon the profession and find ways and means to encourage them,” he said.

    He said that youngsters should be made aware of careers prospects and possibilities in the shipping industry. He proposed to use the recommendations of the workshop in career guidance programmes in schools in order to increase interests about the sector.

    The shortage of seafarers is a worldwide problem. According to figures from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), there would be a shortage of 46,000 officers by 2010. In Mauritius, since 1998, the number of seafarers has decreased by 81 per cent from 3,300 to 628.

    The objective of the one and a half day workshop organised by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping was to assess scarcity of skills and competence and make appropriate recommendations and propose corrective measures to address the problem of shortage of professionals in the shipping industry.

    The Mauritius Maritime Academy was set up in October 2006 to provide training to seafarers in a proper environment, with all the necessary amenities and equipment. The duration of courses offered range from 4 to 24 weeks. They pertain to basic safety training, crisis management, personal survival techniques, fire prevention and fire fighting. Those targeted are seafarers in service, new recruits and hotel staff.

    Jo Tankers celebrates 25 years trading with South Africa

    Jo Tankers management who were visiting South Africa for the celebration are from left Duncan Keenleyside, Jeremy Skeen, Dag Bjaarstad, Michael Sangolt, Kjell Ove Breivik, and Johan Odvar Odfjell. All pictures here by Russell Cleaver

    Durban, 12 May - Norwegian tanker company Jo Tankers recently celebrated 25 years of trading with South Africa with a function for clients at the Hilton Hotel in Durban.

    The celebration was organised for the company by King & Sons, one of South Africa’s longest established ships agencies, which has represented Jo Tankers since the company started trading with South Africa.

    enjoying the party are John Jones (King & Sons), Carmen Jones, Dag Bjaarstad (Jo Tankers) and Carol Dalton.

    Senior management from Jo Tankers responsible for the Africa desk travelled to Durban from Norway for the occasion, including Mr Johan Odvar Odfjell, the owner and managing director of the company who gave a short history of Jo Tankers. He told how his family began shipping activities in 1915 and that in 1979 his grandfather had branched out by forming his own company Jo Tankers, which today has one of the modern chemical tanker fleets.

    All ships are named after trees preceded by the prefix Jo, such as Jo Sycamore.

    also at the party were Willem Kruk (Elgin Brown & Hamer), Kjell Ove Breivik (Jo Tankers) and Jeremy Skeen (Jo Tankers)

    Korean trawler Ocean burns out in Berkley Sound

    Stanley (Falklands) - A fire on board a Korean fishing vessel OCEAN 8 was finally brought under control after the vessel’s crew of 36 had been evacuated and taken to Stanley, reports the Falklands Island News Network.

    The fishing vessel was operating in Berkley Sound when a fire broke out in a control panel in the ship’s engine room. Although small it quickly got out of control and spread through the engine room and into the vessels accommodation and bridge area, extending even along the mast. It later spread to other areas of the ship including the fish hold.

    Once the fire went out of control crewmembers were transferred to another fishing vessel and fire and rescue services from Stanley went out to the burning ship where they eventually brought the fire on deck under control while opting to allow the accommodation section to burn itself out. There was some concern about the amount of water taken on board the Ocean 8.

    The vessel’s crew have been taken ashore where they have been cared for at the Lighthouse Seamen’s Centre which has fed and clothed the men. The mission was reporting later that as a result of the sudden influx of a large number of seafarers in need it was running low on emergency supplies and appealed for donations. – source FIRS and SARTMA.com

    India gets tough of older ships

    Mumbai, 12 May – India’s Director General of Shipping (DGS) has placed a ban on all ships older than 25 years from operating within India’s territorial waters during periods of bad weather.

    The announcement was made in a circular issued by India’s maritime regulator and follows suggestions initially made in 2007 by the country’s Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways to undertake a study of increasing marine accidents in Indian waters.

    The document stated that at least 19 marine accidents took place during the monsoon period in 2007.

    The ban extends to all cargo ships, oil or product tankers and dredgers older than 25 years. The ban also applies to gas carriers older than 30 years. In terms of the decree vessels of this vintage may not sail in the Bay of Bengal along the east coast for a period of seven months from 1 May until 30 November. In the Arabian Sea along the west coast the ban extends for a shorter period between 1 June and 31 August.

    “Since analysis of the accidents over the last three years showed a significant correlation between the age of vessels and the break-downs that caused these casualties, the committee recommended the revision of guidelines to restrict the age of vessels and a tighter regime of survey and inspection,” said Deputy DGS Samuel Darse.

    India’s fleet stands at 800 ships with a gross tonnage of 900 million-gt and an average age of 18 years.

    Tanzania to re-examine port and railway contracts

    Tanzania is having another look at concession contracts involving the port of Dar es Salaam and the Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC).

    The contracts will come under further scrutiny by Tanzania’s parliament from 10 June when the contracts are tabled. TRC was concessioned for 25 years to Indian rail firm Rites (Rail India Technial and Economic Services) Ltd which includes as its shareholder the Indian government.

    The dispute with the rail company involves performance levels arising from accusations that Rites was not provided with accurate information during the due diligence process leading up to the concession. In one instance Rites was reportedly advised that TRC had 92 locomotives available for service whereas there were only 55 in service. As a result the railway company has been unable to provide the level of services agreed or to obtain necessary loans from the World Bank and other investors for new infrastructure

    At the port of Dar es Salaam the only section concessioned concerns the container terminal, leased to International Container Terminal Services (TICTS). The dispute here concerns a 10-year lease that was suddenly extended to 25 years in secret. The former minister of Energy and Minerals, Nazir Karamagi is quoted as being a 30 percent shareholder in TICTS.

    According to reports in Tanzania the cabinet never discussed or agreed to the extension. - source East African

    Southern Africa – beefing up for a revolution

    Johannesburg (IRIN) - African farmers, particularly those in southern Africa, can benefit from the global boom in the demand for meat says new research that suggests several options for ensuring that the “livestock revolution” does not pass them by.

    More effective ways of controlling foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), direct exports to large retailers in the European Union (EU) and targeting the emerging meat market in Asia are some of the proposals suggested by a four-country study in Southern Africa to help beef up exports.

    Namibia, Botswana and South Africa - and until recently Zimbabwe - are models for the rest of Africa in setting up a successful livestock export system, according to the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) based at the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, which coordinated the research.

    “This means meeting increasingly stringent international standards, set according to importing country requirements and the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement of the WTO (World Trade Organisation), and overseen by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE),” said an IDS outline of the studies.

    Southern Africa has been hit by frequent FMD outbreaks, negatively affecting the region's trade with the EU, whose “zero-tolerance” policies insist on disease-free standards being maintained.

    Preferential trade agreements with the EU have ended, giving way to Economic Partnership Agreements. Ian Scoones of IDS said these had “uncertain consequences for the beef industry, and global supply and competition continues to increase”. An interim duty-free and quota-free agreement with the EU is in place.

    According to a working paper written by Scoones and freelance researcher William Wolmer, Southern African countries like Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo, “where the region ought to have a competitive advantage”, are facing competition for Asian and European markets from South American countries.

    Struggle with FMD outbreaks

    FMD is a viral disease carried by wild buffalo, which does not affect humans but has devastating effects on animals with cloven hooves, such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and deer, as well as by anthrax, a disease caused by the bacillus anthracis, which can also infect humans.

    Steadily rising inflation, which has reached well over 100,000 percent, and an inability to fight FMD outbreaks led to the “rapid unravelling of the large-scale, commercial Zimbabwean beef industry”.

    “A few years of disruption to movement control, breaching of veterinary fencing, and lack of funds for vaccines meant that FMD ran rampant from 2001, cutting off EU markets at a stroke,” said Scoones and Wolmer. The government's failure to address bovine diseases has reduced Zimbabwe's commercial herd from 1.4 million in 2000 to about 250,000 head of cattle at present.

    Poor farmers in Namibia have been unable to access the lucrative EU markets because, 15 years after independence, the country is still divided in two, largely along racial lines: a ‘diseased’ area behind a ‘red line’ fence, where most of the black population live; and a ‘disease free’ area on the other side, where mostly white ranchers enjoy the benefits of a well-funded veterinary service and access to lucrative markets, said the researchers.

    “In Botswana, too, the vulnerability of the beef industry is also increasingly evident, with an estimated USD 38 million of revenues having been lost as a result of the 2003 FMD outbreak,” Scoones and Wolmer noted.

    “In South Africa, meanwhile, the contrasts between the largely white-owned commercial sector and the livestock production systems of the former homelands remain as stark as ever. FMD outbreaks in 2003 and 2004 were contained, but only at significant cost to the government, which implemented a large-scale vaccination campaign and a rigorous implementation of movement control.”

    Attempts to control outbreaks by setting up fences along country borders in the region have often proven to be controversial and ineffective.


    Poor farmers are unable to put in place measures to control the FMD or comply with the stringent EU standards. The new research suggests adopting measures to ensure the safety, quality and processing of meat products. “Milk, butter, cheese and deboned beef can be traded safely if processing methods are effectively regulated, instead of the country's disease status,” according to the IDS.

    “Most supermarket buyers are not concerned with the disease-freedom status of the country of origin, but of the safety of the meat they put on the market, and so most expertise and focus in private standard setting is focused on the product, rather than disease-control systems overall,” Scoones and Wolmer pointed out. They recommended targeting supermarkets in the EU.

    Researchers have suggested that the region explore the growing markets in Asia, which have less stringent quality-control issues. “These [Asian markets] are increasingly competitive markets, where bilateral deals based on political connections may be fairly transient in the face of global competition.”

    However, with rising prices, particularly for feedstuffs, given the strong demand for grains for biofuels, it was “unclear whether such demand will continue to grow at such a pace, and whether this will focus on red meat or other sources of animal-based protein, particularly in Asia,” Scoones told IRIN.

    “It is also unclear whether the growing demand will result in greater supply in Asia or whether this will be satisfied through imports from outside, including Africa. However, global concern about climate change and the impacts of different agricultural practices may make meat derived from rangeland, rather than intensive feeding systems, a more acceptable product in certain markets and southern African producers may be able to capitalise on this.”

    (This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations)

    Pic of the day – BNS INDEPENDENCIA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Brazilian Navy frigate BNS Independencia arrives in Cape Town harbour on 29 April to refuel before heading round the peninsular to Simon’s Town naval Base. This past weekend the ship returned to ‘show the flag’, together with her sister frigate BNS Defensora, two Indian Navy vessels and two South African Navy frigates. The ships were on display and open to the public at the V&A Waterfront but have since sailed for naval exercises off the Cape coast. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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