Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 3, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – AUTUMN WAVE

  • Maersk Line introduces new direct service to Maputo

  • East Africa reacts cautiously to EU trade deal after fresh issues introduced

  • SAMTRA holds bridge course for pilots

  • Trade News - Yara South Africa awards five year contract to Wilhelmsen Ships Service

  • Naval News – CSIR researching frigate helicopter operations

  • Pic of the day – SKY TETHYS


    First View – AUTUMN WAVE

    If you believe in such stories, there could be a pot of gold in one of those containers! The reefer vessel AUTUMN WAVE (13,077-gt, built 1993, the former Dominica) under heavy rainfilled skies in Cape Town harbour,with a rainbow appearing to point directly on the ship. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Maersk Line introduces new direct service to Maputo

    Shipping lines are gradually beginning to move into Maputo with direct calls. The latest is Maersk Line, which welcomed last week the arrival of the first ship of its new M-Express service connecting the Far East to Maputo.

    The first vessel SUNMAN (18,997-gt, built 1995), which berthed at Maputo on Tuesday last week, commenced the service from Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia.

    The service rotation of the new service is: Tanjung Pelepas – Port Louis – Toamasina – Maputo – Tanjung Pelepas.

    In a local statement Maersk Line says the company name is a watchword for schedule reliability and the M-Express service will continue this tradition.

    “This new service offers a reliable and competitive product directly to and from Maputo. We will deliver unparalleled vessel reliability and excellent customer service to our valued customers.”

    M-Express service benefits & features

  • Specifically designed for the Mozambique local and transit markets
  • Unparalleled transit time to Maputo
  • Allowing access to landlocked countries through Maputo
  • Direct access to Far East market for raw materials from Southern Africa
  • Excellent transit times
  • schedule reliabilityy
  • Dedicated own office set up to increase ease of doing business
  • From global transshipment hub in Tanjung Pelepas, Maersk Line is able to connect to multiple strings giving extensive coverage.

    Details are available from the Maersk Line Mozambique office:

    Maersk Mozambique, Lda
    Phone: +258 21 30 8131/5
    Email: mozsaldir@maersk.com

    Information is also available on the Maersk Line website
    www.maerskline.com for detailed route maps, start dates, new schedules, and port rotations.

    East Africa reacts cautiously to EU trade deal after fresh issues introduced

    The East African Community (EAC) has reacted with caution to additional issues being added to the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) due to be signed between the EAC bloc and the European Union.

    According to Tanzania’s Trade Minister, Mary Magu, negotiations were meant to conclude on 31 July, “but that will not be achieved because of EU introducing other voluntary trade-related issues,” she said last week.

    The Economic Partnership Agreement is intended as a replacement for current preferential arrangements that have been struck down by the World Trade Organisation. In the Southern African Development Community zone (SADC) both South Africa and Namibia have refused to sign the EPAs, citing several issues that they cannot agree with. Other SADC members have however signed the agreement.

    Issues of concern to the EAC include government procurement, environment and sustainable development, which the EAC wants added to the agreement.

    “East African Community member states, including Tanzania, do not agree with this, as they are yet to be agreed on under the World Trade Organisation," Nagu said in her budget speech presented last week.

    The EAC has a combined gross domestic product of US$60 billion and a population of slightly more than 126 million.

    SAMTRA holds bridge course for pilots

    Pilot boat BALLITO in Durban harbour. Picture by Terry Hutson

    The Simon’s Town based SA Maritime Training Academy (SAMTRA) recently conducted its first Bridge Resource Management for Pilots course, which has been developed in accordance with the STCW 95 convention, IMO Resolution 960 and USCG Code of Federal Regulations.

    This three-day course consists of theory instruction, case studies, and group work alternating with a number of bridge resource management simulator exercises focusing specifically on the role of the pilot.

    The purpose of the simulator exercises is to illustrate and accentuate the Bridge Resource Management principles while developing the skills of the participants. The learning experiences are enforced through de-briefing and instructor-led peer group discussions.

    The course focuses on human factors, how they affect the performance of the pilot within a bridge team and the team’s effective operation of the vessel in its various environs. The objective is to increase knowledge, understanding and focus on how human factors affect the working of a vessel’s collective operation as well as the basis for developing and using BRM skills both in routine operations and in critical situations.

    This is achieved through effective task organisation, planning, execution and controlling.
    Simulation exercises and lectures cover the following aspects

  • Preparedness to respond effectively to changing circumstances within the Bridge operation
  • Effective team operation and crew synergy
  • Effective utilisation of integrated bridge systems and ECDIS
  • Decision making strategies and situational awareness
  • Working with multicultural crews.

    The course covers the competence requirements as outlined in the STCW’95 convention, table A-II/2 and section B-VIII/2 part 3-1, as well as US Code of Federal Regulations, 46 CFR 10.205 and 10.209 and IMO Resolution 960 (XXIII) Annex 1 Par 5.3.

    This course has been accredited by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).
    SAMTRA’s first course was attended by harbour masters and pilots from the Mauritian and Tanzanian port authorities. – source Cape Business Report

    Trade news - Yara South Africa awards five year contract to Wilhelmsen Ships Service

    Wilhelmsen Ships Service (South Africa) (PTY) Ltd has signed a significant five year contract with Yara South Africa, one of the country’s biggest fertilizer companies. Almost 2 million tons of fertilizer was imported into South Africa in 2008.

    Yara, a dominant player in the sale, import and export of fertilizer in South Africa awarded Wilhelmsen Ships Service the contract to provide them with logistics services. These services include agency, clearing and forwarding, shore side supervisory and monitoring, and tally. The supervisory element is the same as Owners Protective agency whereby the company will look after Yara's interest for all shipments such as parcel loads where Yara is not involved in nominating the vessel agent.

    This contract is a significant milestone in a relationship going back many years. Wilhelmsen Ships Service has handled many agency appointments for Yara in the past which slowly developed into offering additional services such as clearing and forwarding. Anton Coetzee, Trade Manager, was instrumental in the signing of this contract.

    "Working closely with the customer allows us to constantly monitor and review the supply chain, finding better solutions. I am very pleased that Yara is happy with our service,” he said.

    Prean Pather, General Manager, Wilhelmsen Ships Service South Africa believes that this contract marks the start of a good solid partnership with the customer. “We believe that being customer-centred is one of the key fundamentals to being a shaper in the industry,” said Pather.

    “This is a classic example of how we can work closely with a customer to find better logistics solutions in the supply chain. These relationships take years to build and develop, but once you earn the customer’s trust, you can offer innovative ideas and tailor-made services. We hope to extend our good logistics practice here in South Africa to other ports in East Africa for Yara.”

    Sean Roberts, Sales Manager South Africa added, “Yara SA is a major role player in South and East Africa with regard to chartering and movement of cargo. We are extremely proud that they have shown their confidence in WSS to handle and oversee their activities in this tough economic time.

    “We look forward to the years to come where we can continue to build on our relationships and service our customer in a way that we can both grow in our markets,” he continued.

    Wilhelmsen Ships Service is part of Wilhelmsen Maritime Services, a Wilh. Wilhelmsen group company. It has the world’s leading maritime services network, with the ability to service 2,200 ports in 115 countries. The company’s main focus is to deliver improved vessel operating efficiency to the merchant fleet. In 2008 the company made 208,000 product deliveries to 21,000 vessels and handled 53,000 port calls. Wilhelmsen Ships Service has 4,400 employees operating out of 310 offices in 71 countries.

    Naval News – CSIR researching frigate helicopter operations

    Picture by David Erickson

    30 July 2009 - Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) engineers in the aeronautics domain are investigating the effects of the wake behind a ship on helicopter landings.

    In its latest newsletter the CSIR says the work stems from general research into helicopter wake effects that assessed the aerodynamic influence on a helicopter encountering the wake from an upwind helicopter. “Wake effects can result in fatalities if not properly understood and accounted for,” the newsletter adds.

    Helicopters are routinely operated off ships and oil rigs. Wake encounters in the landing phase lead to greater risk, due to the lack of time for the pilot to react before impact. Extreme cases may result in the helicopter crashing overboard instead of on the ship.

    The CSIR says the Australian Defence Force recently lost a helicopter in such a way that resulted in fatalities.

    CSIR expert Peter Skinner explains that anything flying and/or moving in front of you has a wake that influences the handling of the aircraft you are in. “The wake has an effect,” he says, adding that aircraft have been designed to fly in clean air and that wakes disturb their aerodynamics. “If an aircraft encounters a wake vortex near the ground, it may spell disaster.”

    This risk impacts airport operations where minimum aircraft separation distances or times are specified for safety reasons.

    He continues: “The flow distortion and turbulence of the wake phenomenon changes everything. We measure the aerodynamics of model helicopters in the wind tunnel and test them as if they were airborne in the presence of wakes.”

    According to Skinner, much research on this has been done internationally to “reduce the risk of helicopters crash-landing on moving ships”. The CSIR's research into helicopter wakes, which started in 2003, was presented at the European Rotorcraft Forum in 2005.

    Now, Skinner and his group are researching the changes produced by a moving ship on the helicopter's aerodynamics. “This is where simulation may be used to complement flight testing,” he says, adding that sea trials are extremely costly, time consuming, and can compromise the lives of the crew. “In this way, we can identify the more challenging test points and prepare test pilots for what to expect.”

    This, he says, has to be done each time the navy acquires new types of helicopters and ships. “Typically, each helicopter type has to be cleared for operations onboard a frigate.”

    Skinner says that the experimental techniques were largely established doing the helicopter-on-helicopter research. “Through a relatively simple extension of this test technique we were able to perform research in another area,” he says.

    “Our results from helicopter formation flying have quantified potential power savings (i.e. fuel savings) that may be made by adopting a particular formation,” says Skinner, referring to wind tunnel test results. – source CSIR e-Newsletter

    Pic of the day – SKY TETHYS

    The Hong Kong-owned semi-submersible heavy load carrier SKY TETHYS (12,124-gt, built 1979), the former Dock Express 12 arrived in Cape Town last week. In the top picture the anchor handling tug MAERSK CHAMPION is visible near the submersible’s stern. 
    Pictures by Aad Noorland

    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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