Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 31, 2008
Author: P&S

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  • Transnet prepares to increase expenditure

  • Navy denies controversial reports over new ships

  • Plans to dock US nuclear carrier in Cape Town

  • USS Theodore Roosevelt prepares for deployment

  • Navigational warning over logs off Cape coast

  • Society of Master Mariners hold AGM in Zululand

  • Death of Durban maritime stalwart

  • Albatross stows away on tug to Durban

  • News from the shipping lines

  • Stowaways handed over to Walvis Bay police

  • African piracy update

  • Another boost for Cape Town container crane fleet

  • Queen Mary 2 to visit Cape Town and Durban

  • Orient Line buys Maxim Gorkiy

  • Pier 1 Container Terminal auto gate goes live

  • Uruguayan Navy frigates leave Simon’s Town

  • Pics of the day – KOTA NAGA and KOTA NABIL


    Watch a short 4.5 minute video clip about ship stowaway searches CLICK HERE and follow the link

    Transnet prepares to increase expenditure

    Transnet, which presented its 2008 annual report to the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises last week (26 August 2008), says it is poised to increase this financial year’s capital investments up to R20 billion (from R16bn) in order to create capacity for customers.

    The R20 billion is to be spent on a variety of projects including buying more than 400 new locomotives; building a new deepwater port in the Eastern Cape (Ngqura); extending the ports of Durban and Cape Town; buying new port equipment; and building a new multi-product pipeline between Durban and Gauteng.

    These projects – most of which are underway – form part of Transnet’s R80 billion capital investment programme.

    At the same time, the state-owned freight transport company also released details of its funding plans for the investment programme. The investment programme is to be funded from the company’s own cash resources, borrowings from the debt capital markets locally and abroad as well as from export credit agencies of the sources of imported component of the capital programme.

    “Investing R20 billion in a single year is a challenge. But we are confident that we have what it takes to achieve this. We have built the necessary capacity internally – people, skills and systems – to be able to spend such large amounts of capital so quickly,” says Maria Ramos, the company’s Group Chief Executive.

    “Our record speaks for itself: in the last few years, we have managed to spend more than 90% on an annual basis of planned investments as agreed with our shareholder”.

    The R80 billion excludes R3,7 billion in capitalised borrowing costs over the next five years.

    Figures supplied by Transnet show a significant acceleration in the levels of the capital invested by the company in the last few years (see the figures below). These are projected to grow in coming years.

    04/05 – R3.726bn
    05/06 – R6.276bn
    06/07 – R11.674bn
    07/08 – R15.780bn

    The capital investment programme is central to Transnet’s growth strategy and to its ability to fulfill its mandate of improving the competitiveness of the country’s freight transport and logistics system. “The capital investment programme is a key enabler of the next phase of our journey – growth”, says Ms Ramos.

    Looking ahead, she says the focus of the expansion programme will be in creating capacity to handle and move by rail containers; container handling capacity in the ports; and to increase the capacity of Freight Rail’s general freight business (GFB) which, for the first time in a decade, has shown growth in the volumes railed.

    Containers are among the key commodities that Transnet has identified as presenting significant opportunities in its four-point growth strategy.

    The capital investment programme is designed to support the focus on the containers. For example, the port expansion programme seeks to beef up the container handling capacity in Durban and Cape Town.

    Almost R17 billion is to be spent on containers over the next five years.

    Unsurprisingly, the bulk of the R80 billion is to be spent on rail, which is Transnet’s largest business division. Of the approximately R40 billion rail-related investments planned in the next five years, nearly R30 billion is being earmarked for creating capacity in the GFB. The GFB is Transnet Freight Rail’s largest business unit.

    Underscoring the focus on the GFB, Ms Ramos says: “The tender process is underway for the acquisition of 212 diesel locomotives with an option to extend to 400 locomotives if supported by a sound business case”.

    The largest single project in the five-year investment programme is Transnet’s New Multi-Product Pipeline. The latest cost estimate for this strategic project is R11,5 billion. Work has commenced after a R2,5 billion construction contract was awarded to a joint venture including South Africa’s Group Five.

    Transnet, which is building the Port of Ngqura, says it is on course to commission the container terminal next year.

    Ms Ramos says she is confident that there is sufficient appetite among financiers to support Transnet’s capital investment despite the tighter global credit markets and the high-interest rate environment in South Africa. “Infrastructure is attractive because of its predictable cash flows and Transnet is a good growth story”.

    Of the R20 billion Transnet is spending this financial year, R13 billion is to be raised in the debt capital markets.

    Capital Projects, the specialist unit, is responsible for implementing the major capital projects – that is, those above R300 million.

    Navy denies controversial reports over new ships

    SAS Isandlwana arrives in Cape waters and is met by strike craft and a lone Shackleton of the Historic Flight. The new frigates have remained embroiled in controversy. Picture SAN

    Controversy surrounds the publication of a paper commissioned by the Chief of the South African Navy, Vice-Admiral Johannes Mudimu which states that the navy requires billions of rand for new and more suitable ships because four frigates and three submarines delivered recently from Germany are unsuitable.

    The staff paper states that the navy urgently requires smaller multi-purpose patrol boats to carry out core functions of patrolling and protecting the South African littoral waters.

    However the navy says the paper has no official status and was merely a working document.

    It has also been privately pointed out that it has been a poorly kept secret that the frigates and submarines ordered from Germany were never the navy’s first choice and were foisted on the SAN by the central government.

    When the order was placed for the seven ships with German ship builders it was stated publicly that the vessels would be employed in coastal patrols including with sea fishery controls. Since their arrival the ship have been deployed on several official visits to other countries including the UK, South America and West Africa, where joint naval exercises took place with ships of the host and other nations. In addition the ships along with other vessels in the SAN have taken part in a surprising number of naval exercises with other navies in South African waters.

    It is not clear whether any sea fishery patrols have taken place. On the other hand the Department of Sea Fisheries operates with its own fleet of four modern sea fishery patrol vessels as well as several other older craft to carry out these duties.

    However there are persistent reports that the navy lacks the finances to maintain its ships at sea.

    In response the navy has issued an open letter replying to the various media reports – the response can be found HERE

    Meanwhile, the South African Navy will host the Presidential Fleet Review on 5 September at the Simon’s Town Naval Base, in which the navy is reintroduced to the Commander in Chief, President Thabo Mbeki and to the public.

    The Fleet Review will be used to demonstrate various ships and the navy’s capabilities. Ships taking part will include SAS Protea (review ship), SAS Drakensberg, SAS Amatola, SAS Isandlwana, SAS Spionkop, SAS Mendi, SAS Charlotte Maxeke, SAS Queen Modjadji I, SAS Galeshewe, SAS Isaac Dyobha, SAS Umkomaas, SAS Umzimkulu, SAS Tobie and SAS Tern.

    Plans to dock US nuclear aircraft carrier in Cape Town

    Plans have been announced for the US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and at least one support ship to visit Cape Town in early October.

    Application has been made to the Nuclear Regulator seeking approval for the visit in terms of environmental and other issues. Previous visits by US nuclear powered ships have been cancelled on account of these issues and it is by means certain that the latest attempt will be any the more successful.

    The dates set for the visit are from 1 – 10 October. Provision will have to be made also for suitable berthing to be made available at a time when the container terminal, one of the more secure areas, can be expected to be busy with container traffic.

    USS Theodore Roosevelt prepares for deployment

    The USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is due to leave Naval Station Norfolk in the USA on 8 September on an overseas deployment, during which application has been made to visit Cape Town.

    Accompanying the nuclear aircraft carrier will be the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey, and the fast combat support ship USNS Supply, which sail from Norfolk and Earle respectively two days later.

    On 12 September the guided missile destroyer USS The Sullivans will sail from Mayport, as will other guided missile destroyers USS Mason and USS Nitze which both depart Norfolk. Completing the deployment is the attack submarine USS Springfield which is based at Groton.

    Navigational warning over logs off Cape coast

    Divers from Svitzer Salvage securing a log in Table Bay before winching ashore

    Report by Capt Nick Sloane

    Cape Town, 29 August 2008 - Svitzer Salvage Africa were contracted at noon on the 12 August, to provide assistance in the search & recovery of some 600+ logs, that were lost overboard from the cargo vessel LOLA, whilst at anchor in Table Bay on the night of the 9 August.

    Over the past two weeks, 489 logs have been recovered from the sea and landed in Hout Bay, Cape Town & Saldanha Bay, with another 145+ logs having been identified along the coastline between Scarborough and Cape Columbine.

    Svitzer are deploying teams along the coastline to recover these beached logs. Access to some of the more remote logs in the nature reserve and sensitive dune areas is being controlled by the department of environmental affairs, to reduce the impact of the recovery operation.

    Zodiac type semi-rigid inflatables, crewed by recovery teams including divers are deployed along the coastline. These shall be directed to the immediate location of the logs by aerial observations from helicopters, and from reportings made by the public.

    With the approaching cold front this weekend expected to bring rough seas and heavy swells, there is a strong possibility that these logs along the shoreline pose a risk to the public.

    In consultation with SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Agency), SVITZER Salvage has been requested to liaise with the NSRI, and local Disaster Management Services, Life Guard Associations and the Port of Cape Town & Saldanha Bay, to warn the public on the dangers that these logs pose.

    The public, small craft users and local fisherman are urged to be aware of the risks that these logs pose to fishing boats, bathers and recreational surfers.

    They should not be approached in the surf zone, and life guards are urged to maintain a lookout and warn bathers of their presence.

    The logs are of Okoume species, of West African origin, and weigh between 8 & 20 tonnes, with a length between 6 – 10m in length.

    • This report first appeared in PORTS & SHIPS on Saturday 20 August

    a number of fishing boats have been contracted to help recover the logs from Table Bay and elsewhere along the Cape coast – here several logs are towed into harbor behind one of the fishing trawlers

    Society of Master Mariners hold AGM in Zululand

    Attending the 2008 agm of the Society of Master Mariner’s were from left (back row) Gerald Schroeder, Capt Ashwin Pathak, Capt Eddie Nielson, Capt Rob Farren-Handford, Capt Colin Flockhart, Capt Ian Fishley and Capt Derek Wood; (front) Capt Graham Mannall - Honorary General Secretary, Capt Roy Martin - President, Capt Gordon Oxley - Branch Treasurer and Capt Jon Lamberg - Branch Master

    The Society of Master Mariners’ of South Africa held its 64th annual congress at the Marrob Lodge in KwaMbonambi outside Richards Bay on 20 and 21 August.

    The congress was attended also by the mayors of KwaMbonambi and uMhlatuze (Richards Bay) as well as members of the local maritime fraternity.

    Among the issues discussed during the meeting were a resolution to institute a mentorship programme for students involved in maritime studies, the allocation of bursary funds, the future of celestial navigation as a required subject for deck officers and the Society’s continued member ship of the International Federation of Shipmasters Associations (IFSMA).

    Captain Roy Martin was re- elected as the National President of the Society, Capt Graham Mannall as the National Vice-President, Capt Simon Pearson as the Outside Vice-President (Cape Town) and Capt Howard Jackson-Moss as National Secretary/Treasurer.

    Death of Durban maritime stalwart

    The death has occurred in Durban of Captain Alan Cooke, a director of ships agency Vulindlela Shipping Services and a stalwart of the Durban maritime industry.

    Capt Cooke suffered a massive heart attack and although admitted to hospital did not recover.

    He spent 11 years with Vulindlela, which was formerly known as Seamaster Maritime and before that worked in a number of other Durban shipping companies including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), Rennies and Barwil Ships Agency.

    Capt Cooke also spent time in East London with South Africa Stevedores, having joined the company after coming ashore from a career at sea with Safmarine.

    A memorial service will be held this Tuesday (2 September) at the Frere Road Presbyterian Church, 339 Frere Road, Durban at 14h30.

    Alan Cooke is survived by his wife Robynne and family.

    Albatross stows away on tug to Durban

    The Black-Browed Albatross on Durban’s New Pier after arriving as a passenger on board the supply tug SEABULK SNIPE, seen in the background. Picture Dennis Henwood

    An albatross made an unexpected visit to the port of Durban last week as a passenger on board the supply tug SEABULK SNIPE.

    The tug had sailed from Cape waters where the bird, a juvenile Black-Browed Albatross alighted on the vessel and remained on board until arrival in Durban, where the bird hopped down onto the quayside but making no effort to fly away.

    Concerned for its safety the ships agents, Transmarine called in conservation organisation CROW who collected the bird and took it to the Crow Centre at Yellowwood Park in Durban. Later the bird was transferred to the uShaka Marine World at the Point where more suitable facilities are available.

    According to ship surveyor Dennis Henwood he saw the bird sitting on the quayside feeling very sorry for itself.

    “Perhaps that how refugees feel when they are turfed off a vessel in a foreign port,” he said.

    The master of the Seabulk Snipe said the bird, which has been identified as a juvenile Black-Browed Albatross and which has an estimated 2m wingspan, had landed on his ship while sailing off the Cape coast.

    As Mr Henwood points out, this is a very rare sight to see in Durban, let alone anywhere else in the world other than on the southern Atlantic Islands.

    “They are of course such graceful birds when sighted at sea, and we see a lot of them off the Cape at this time of year. They are also endangered and many of these birds have been drowned when they are fowled on the long-liners’ fishing hooks.”

    After a period of observation a decision will be made about returning the bird to the wild.

    News from the shipping lines

    Transnet Port Terminals’ Maydon Wharf team welcomed the first-time arrival of the Safmarine Akwaba at the terminal on Sunday 31 August. The vessel is one of two Chinese-built ships serving the new monthly Asia and West Africa multipurpose vessel (MPV) service started by Safmarine recently. Pictured are (left to right): Michael Dladla, Transnet Port Terminals Operations Coordinator at Maydon Wharf, Captain Louis-Paul Bimi of Safmarine, Captain Lukac`s Gyula, Hungarian captain of the Safmarine Akwaba, Asha Thakor, Chief Logistics Manager at the terminal and Ivan Moodley, Operations Manager. The terminal presented a small gift of appreciation to the vessel’s captain. Picture courtesy TPT

    SAFMARINE AKWABA, one of two Chinese-built vessels serving the new monthly Asia and West Africa multipurpose vessel (MPV) service started by Safmarine recently, arrived at the Maydon Wharf terminal on Sunday, 31 August 2008 on her maiden visit into Durban.

    “We congratulate Safmarine on this new route and are honoured to have played a role in welcoming the Safmarine Akwaba into South Africa. Our port terminals are committed to rising to the challenge of efficiently handling the wide variety of commodities which the vessel is able to carry,” said Asha Thakor, Chief Logistics Manager at Transnet Port Terminals’ Maydon Wharf, Agriport & Durban multipurpose terminals.

    The vessel’s maiden voyage from Africa to Asia was made full of eastbound cargo in June and July 2008, before officially starting Safmarine’s new service when it departed from Asia on 22 July 2008.

    The ship will also serve a number of other major West African ports in Angola, the Republic of Congo, Gabon, Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea among others. Safmarine Akwaba departs Maydon Wharf terminal on Monday, 1 September.

    Maersk Line has introduced a direct service between Mumbai and South Africa with the addition of Mumbai–Nhava Sheva to the company’s existing Middle East - India – South Africa relay service.

    The service rotation now covers Salalah, Jebel Ali, Salalah, Mumbai-Nhava Sheva, Durban, Port Elizabeth using five 2,200-TEU ships on a weekly call.

    Go Angola Line (GA Line) is introducing a new East Coast South America – Angola direct service on an intended 20-day rotation with calls at Buenos Aires, Navigantes, Santos, Luanda and Lobito.

    Two chartered ships which include the 1,709-TEU NORTHERN DELIGHT will operate the service. Direct services between Brazil and Angola have increased with GA Line’s addition and include the Clipper Group, CMA CGM-Delmas, Grimaldi, Maersk Line and Niledutch. – source AXS-Alphaliner

    AXS-Alphaliner also reports that Grimaldi has launched a fourth Europe - West Africa roro loop known as ‘Eurocargo Express’ which makes use of two 20,700-DWT ships offering 2,875m of roro and 1,050-TEU each – the appropriately named EUROCARGO EUROPA and EUROCARGO AFRICA.

    The new service rotation links the following ports – Tilbury, Antwerp, Dakar, Banjul, Abidjan, Lorne, Pointe Noire, Boma.

    Hamburg Sûd which operates a joint South East Asia – South Africa – East Coast South America service with Maersk Line will have the benefit of the 4,298-TEU CAP GEORGE, formerly named Northern Genius which has been taken on charter from German ship finance house NVA.

    Safmarine has also taken delivery of SAFMARINE NUBA, the fifth of ten 2,478-TEU newbuilds for either Safmarine or sister company Maersk Line. Safmarine Nuba is assigned to the company’s WAF Europe – West Africa service.

    Stowaways handed over to Walvis Bay police

    Three Tanzanians have been arrested in Walvis Bay after arriving on a ship they boarded as stowaways in Cape Town, reports the Namib Times.

    The three men were discovered hiding on the ship, which has not been named, after it sailed from Cape Town with Walvis Bay as the next port of call. On arrival in harbor the police were summoned and the men handed over.

    A police spokesman said the three stowaways would be held in police cells and repatriated to Tanzania once arrangements had been made with that country.

    African piracy update

    It has been a relatively quiet week off the Somali coast and Gulf of Aden after last week’s shocking statistic of vessels attacked and seized. Reports have however been made to the International Maritime Bureau of alleged sightings of a mother ship which is believed to have several speedboats operating from it. At least two ships claim to have come under attack but were able to make their escape.

    Meanwhile the US Navy Central Command operating in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea has given instructions that a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) be established in the Gulf of Aden and adjacent waters. The new force will operate under the command of Coalition Task Force 150 and will increase the number of ships, aircraft and other equipment available to carry out patrols and escort duties.

    "The MSPA is being established in support of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) ongoing efforts. Coalition actions will give the IMO time to work international preventative efforts that will ultimately lead to a long-term solution,” said the US Navy Central Command in a statement.

    "Coalition ships are in the area as part of our continual presence in this region. While they have conducted routine operations in the area in the past, the establishment of the MSPA will focus the efforts to counter destabilising activities in the region and improve security while long-term initiatives mature."

    The recommended security zone will extend between the Bab Al Mandab and the area where the Somali and Yemeni coasts meet the Arabian Sea. Ships transiting the Gulf are recommended to use a dedicated security corridor bounded within these co-ordinates:
    12 15N 045E, 12 35N 045E, 13 35N 049E, 13 40N 049E, 14 10N 050E, 14 15N 050E, 14 35N 053E, 14 45N 053E.

    In another development ships on charter to the UN’s World Food Programme have been able to deliver much needed food aid cargo to Somali ports without having come under attack from pirates. This follows a system of naval escorts set up by various countries in sequence, with Canada providing the escort at present.

    Another boost for Cape Town container crane fleet

    Cape Town Container Terminal where another two Liebherr super post panamax gantry cranes have arrived for assembly in the open area with a Demag heavy lift crawler crane alongside one of the new crane sections. Picture TPT

    Cape Town, 31 August 2008 - Transnet Port Terminals has introduced two more massive Liebherr Super Post Panamax cranes capable of handling the world’s largest cargo vessels at the Cape Town Container Terminal. This brings the terminal’s tally of new cranes to four since the end of June 2008, promising significant economic spin-offs for the region.

    Oscar Borchards, Business Unit Executive at the terminal, said the latest pair of cranes arrived as unassembled components from Ireland earlier this month. All four new cranes would be fully assembled by the end of November 2008 and are expected to be commissioned at berth 601 in March 2009 when deepening works to the berth are completed.

    “These investments into world-class equipment and infrastructure are part of our overall vision of increasing capacity from 740 000 TEUs to 1.4 million TEUs by the end of 2012 through a rigorous expansion programme costing R4.2 billion,” he said.

    “The cranes will offer benefits for existing customers as cargo can be offloaded more quickly, thus reducing the overall cost of doing business. This, together with infrastructure upgrades including quay refurbishment and berth deepening, will also enable Transnet Port Terminals to take advantage of new trade opportunities, since bigger vessels will be able to call at our port far more easily than before,” said Borchards.

    The Super-Post Panamax crane is the one of the largest modern ship-to-shore cranes in the world, with a span capacity catering for new generation vessels of about 19 container rows wide and six containers high. The cranes have twin lift technology which will enable two twenty foot containers to be either loaded or discharged at once.

    A total of eight new Liebherr Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes will replace the current fleet of four Demag and two Noell cranes at the terminal by the end of the expansion programme.

    Queen Mary 2 to visit Cape Town and Durban

    It’s now official, not only will South Africa host the Soccer World Cup in 2010 but Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 is to visit the country for the first time with port calls scheduled for Cape Town and Durban as part of the liner’s 2010 World Cruise.

    QM2 will be arriving in Durban from Perth and Port Louis on 23 March at 9am, sailing the same day at 6pm and arriving Cape Town on 25 March at 8am.

    After an overnight stay the ship will sail at 5pm on 26 March bound for St Helena and Rio de Janeiro.

    Reservations for the World Cruise including the South African segments open on 4 September at 15h00 – contact Whitestar Cruise & Travel for further details – tel 011 234 5811 or email Sheridan@whitestar.co.za

    Of interest with the QM2’s 2010 world cruise is that she will not circumnavigate the world but instead sails from Southampton for the Mediterranean, passing through the Suez Canal and heading for Dubai and India. From there her cruise takes her to Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Japan then south to Guam and New Zealand, followed by Australia before she heads back across the mid Indian Ocean this time for Port Louis and South Africa.

    The reason why the Pacific is excluded probably has to do with the ship being too large for the Panama Canal. Insteadafter returning across the Indian Ocean she will sail from Cape Town for South America’s east coast and then up through the Caribbean to the east coast USA before making a line crossing of the North Atlantic back to Southampton.

    Orient Line buys Maxim Gorkiy

    MAXIM GORKIY on a visit to Durban in 2005. Picture Terry Hutson

    Orient Lines, the brand last used by Norwegian Cruise Line and owned by Star Cruises, has been acquired by Origin Cruise which last week announced it has purchased its first ship, the MAXIM GORKIY.

    In keeping with the earlier Orient Lines tradition started by British entrepreneur Gerry Herrod in 1992, the ship is to be renamed MARCO POLO II and will sail under this guise as from March 2009.

    The 24,220-gt Maxim Gorkiy, soon to become Marco Polo II carries 600 passengers. She was built in 1969 for the Deutsche Atlantik Line and named Hamburg. She also carried the name Hanseatic for a period before being renamed Maxim Gorkiy and has undergone several refurbishments.

    Pier 1 Container Terminal auto gate goes live

    Pier 1 Container Terminal auto gates outside view

    Working hand in hand with the trucking community, Pier 1 Container Terminal in Durban launched its cutting-edge automated gate on Tuesday, 26 August 2008, becoming the first terminal nationally to introduce the high-tech system. The R15 million auto-gate will be ramped up over a two-month period as customers steadily adopt the new procedure.

    Michelle Phillips, Transnet Port Terminals’ Business Unit Executive at Pier 1, said the new, paperless process would see the end of the cumbersome container terminal order (CTO) form.

    “Pier 1 has conducted extensive testing, prepping and upgrades in preparation for the ramp-up. Currently trucks take in excess of 30 minutes to enter and exit the terminal when collecting or delivering cargo, but this could be reduced to under 15 minutes with the introduction of the auto-gate. Faster truck turnaround times have a huge knock-on effect, by getting goods to our customers more quickly, minimising the cost for them to do business, as well as reducing traffic at the terminal and decreasing drivers’ stress,” she said.

    Other benefits expected from the auto-gate include more accurate data, damage inspection at check-in point, effective track-and-trace, increased security and improved health and safety for truckers and employees who will no longer be exposed to truck fumes outside the vehicle.

    The facility comprises a six-lane drive-through area supported by a computerised operating system, access card scanner, security cameras with optical character recognition (OCR) and integration to the terminal’s Navis operating system. Clerks in the lane are replaced by kiosks and remote operators.

    As trucks move through the gate, data – such as the truck’s licence plate number and container numbers – is captured by the cameras and transferred electronically via OCR to the terminal operating system. The driver then swipes an access card at a self-service kiosk or portal and receives a ticket indicating which area of the stacking yard he should proceed to. The system is supported by a trouble desk for drivers experiencing problems with the system, for example due to human error if transactions are not pre-advised before arrival at the terminal.

    “We are rolling out the issue of comprehensive packs containing information, rules and instructions regarding the new system together with electronic access cards for registered transporters. As the system went live this week, we worked closely with customers like Universal Cargo to ensure a smooth transition for the truck drivers and cargo agents,” said Phillips.

    She said customers were also being encouraged to complement use of the auto-gate with the port operator’s online export pre-advice system, as this would further assist in speeding up gate processing. Support was also essential from other important role players including Transnet National Ports Authority, SARS/Customs, the trucking community and terminal employees.

    The auto-gate technology is manufactured by Camco Technologies, a leading provider of gate automation technology for the maritime and rail sectors. Transnet Port Terminals’ acquisition of this world-class technology further aligns the port operator to the standards of globally competitive ports in Antwerp, Rotterdam, Long Beach, Portsmouth and Sydney.

    the inside view

    Uruguayan Navy frigates leave Simon’s Town

    Saturday 23 August 2008: The three South African Navy tugs Umalusi, De Neys and Tshukudu spray their fire-fighting monitors as a farewell tribute to the Uruguayan Frigate ROU-1, Uruguay as she departs Simon’s Town Naval Harbour. In the foreground are the SA Navy Fleet Support Vessel A-301 SAS Drakensberg and Frigate F146 SAS Isandlwana. Picture by David Erickson

    report by David Erickson

    On Saturday 23 August 2008 the two Uruguayan frigates ROU-1 Uruguay and ROU-2 Comandante Pedro Campbell left Simon’s Town Naval Harbour. The two vessels have been undergoing repairs after a collision in May 2008 during adverse weather conditions whilst en route from Portugal to South Africa for joint exercises.

    They have been at Simon’s Town since May. Both vessels were escorted from the harbour by the tugs Umalusi, De Neys and Tshukudu to thunderous roars from the sirens of the SA Navy ships in the port. The three tugs then sprayed their fire-fighting water monitors as a farewell tribute.

    Both vessels anchored in Simon’s Bay overnight, where they were joined by the SA Hydrographic Survey vessel A324 SAS Protea. The Uruguayan vessels raised anchors at 09h00 on Sunday 24 August 2008 and then headed for home.

    It will be their first homecoming – both ships had been purchased from Portugal just prior to their voyage to South Africa, and they have never been to Uruguay.

    No doubt after many months away from home, their crews will be overjoyed to be reunited with their loved ones.

    With a plume of smoke from her funnel, the Uruguayan Frigate ROU-2 Comandante Pedro Campbell gathers speed as she leaves Simon’s Town Naval Harbour in the company of three SA Navy tugs Umalusi, De Neys and Tshukudu, to thunderous roars from the sirens of the other SA Navy vessels in port – a farewell tribute after a stay of more than three months. Picture by David Erickson

    Sunday 24 August 2008: The two Uruguayan vessels raise anchors in readiness to depart for their long voyage home, with the South African Hydrographic Survey vessel A324 SAS Protea at far right. Picture by David Erickson

    Pic of the day – KOTA NAGA and KOTA NABIL

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The container ship KOTA NAGA makes a colourful sight while manoeuvring in Cape Town harbour last week. Picture Aad Noorland

    Equally colourful is the container ship KOTA NABIL making her maiden visit to Cape Town in September 2007. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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