Ports & Ships Maritime News

Oct 21, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – MAERSK DRYDEN

  • SA, Namibia and Botswana to introduce Shengen type border crossings

  • Large container terminal planned near Apapa

  • Rotterdam loses nearly 12 percent cargo this year

  • Durban Picture Parade

  • Last African gathering before Copenhagen climate summit kicks off

  • News clips – Keeping it brief

  • Today’s Good Read – Getting to grips with Bric

  • Pics of the day – TAHITIAN PRINCESS


    First View – MAERSK DRYDEN

    The German-owned and managed, Liberian-flagged container ship MAERSK DRYDEN (53,481-gt, built 2006) of Maersk Line which called at Cape Town this past week. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    SA, Namibia and Botswana to introduce Shengen type border crossings

    South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are intending to introduce a borderless system that will make it possible for travellers to move about the three countries free of hindrance at border crossings, reports New Era.

    Based on a system said to be similar to the ‘Schengen’ visa in use in many of the European countries, the system is intended to free up trade and tourist opportunities among the region.

    In practice travellers using the system will go through immigration at one point only instead of having this process duplicated at each crossing. The introduction of the one-stop borders will speed up trade along the road corridors between the three countries. For instance travellers using the 1500-km Trans-Kalahari Corridor linking the port of Walvis Bay with South Africa via Botswana will clear themselves at a single point in Botswana instead of at multiple stops at each country’s border post.

    Cargo transporters on the corridor will undergo a single customs clearance in Namibia.

    The Trans-Kalahari Corridor Secretariat says it is hoping that an electronic single document for immigration clearance and vehicle will also be introduced.

    South Africa, Namibia and Botswana introduced a tri-lateral agreement in 2003 for use on the Trans-Kalahari Corridor and have already implemented harmonised cross-border procedures including a single administrative document, border crossing hours and axle load limits for cargo transportation.

    Namibia’s Minister of Works, Helmut Angula said the Trans-Kalahari Corridor was already proving highly successful. He said Namibia understood the need for the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region to become truly economically integrated and the Port of Walvis Bay and Walvis Bay Corridor development initiative represents an important contributor in the context of such anticipated regional integration. – source New Era

    Large container terminal planned near Apapa

    Plans to build an inland container terminal (depot) with a stacking capacity of 7,000-TEU have been announced for Ondo State in Nigeria.

    Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pacific International Lines (PIL) and Hull Blyth UK to develop the US$15 million terminal which will be connected by rail to the Apapa port container terminal.

    According to media reports approval has been granted by Nigeria’s Ministry of Transport for the bonded terminal and the railway line which will be operated by Nigerian Railways Corporation. The line will connect with the existing rail line between Apapa and Ondo State.

    Hull Blyth’s James Baldwin is quoted as saying that the purpose of the new terminal, to be known as Stellar Container Terminal, is to help decongest the port terminal in Apapa. “This is out of the box thinking, to have a bonded terminal outside the city of Lagos, where most of the inland depots are within the city,” he said.

    The reports says the project has the approval of Nigeria’s Customs and its Ministry of Transport.

    Rotterdam loses nearly 12 percent cargo this year

    The Port of Rotterdam in northern Europe lost 11.9% of its cargo in the first nine months of this year, when compared with 2008.

    During the period the port handled 283 million tonnes of cargo, which included 7.2 million TEU, the equivalent of 73 million tonnes of the total. In TEU terms containers were down by 13 percent.

    “Like all ports, Rotterdam is feeling the effects of the overall decrease in container transport. The rationalisation of the Asia services in particular has affected the port much less, and 'feedering' is experiencing a healthy growth,” the port authorities said in a statement.

    Almost every commodity reflected this decrease, with the exception of petroleum products which rose 21% to 22 million tonnes.

    Durban Picture Parade

    It’s turning out to be a slow week for news and to compensate a few additional pictures of shipping are included today for your interest. If you have anything newsworthy to share or pass on, in particular any trade news, please feel free to send it to info@ports.co.za

    The bulker IMPERIUS (15,934-gt, built 1997) has been a visitor to the African coast over a number of years. Scenes like this one taken in 2002 showing the pilot being lifted off the departing ship, may soon be available once more as the completion of the harbour entrance widening and deepening project fast approaches. On Monday this week several of the last remaining dredger vessels left Durban, signaling the end of that portion of the programme and leaving mainly finishing off work still to be completed. It is hoped that Durban’s North Pier will be reopened to the public early in 2010, giving visitors to the FIFA Soccer World Cup one of the best vantage points to admire the beachfront and city, with Durban’s iconic new soccer stadium in prominent view.

    A container ship, the ALBERTA (21,053-gt, built 1992) on charter to China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) was just one of about 4,500 ships to pass along this narrow entrance into Durban Bay back in 2003. The ship currently sails as the Captain Costas.

    Another container ship that same year was the CARIBBEAN CHALLENGER (18,451-gt, built 1994), then operating with the Japanese MOL company. The Hong Kong-owned ship is currently named Tasman Endeavour. All pictures by Terry Hutson

    Last African gathering before Copenhagen climate summit kicks off

    Negotiators and experts from Africa, the continent most vulnerable to global warming, have converged in Ethiopia for their last United Nations-backed meeting before December’s summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, where nations are set to conclude negotiations on a new climate change agreement.

    According to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Africa has a limited capacity to adapt to global warming. The region’s key economic sectors are vulnerable to climate change, and this vulnerability is compounded by existing challenges including poverty, disasters and conflicts.

    The week-long meeting which kicked off in Addis Ababa today is a joint initiative of the African Union (AU) and the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (ACMEN), along with ECA and UNEP.

    Participants are expected to update the common negotiating position at the Copenhagen talks for Africa, which hopes for an inclusive, fair and effective pact to come out of the summit in the Danish capital. Any agreement must both recognize the continent’s need for adaptation support and understand that the solution to climate change must take its development obstacles into account.

    Failure to reach an equitable agreement in Copenhagen will have dire consequences for Africa, warned ECA, which also underscored the need for South-South transfer of knowledge to combat climate change. – UN News Service

    News clips – Keeping it brief

    Nelspruit renamed

    It’s not exactly a maritime matter, but the Mpumalanga town of Nelspruit was this week renamed to Mbombela. Nelspruit/Mbombela is the main city and business area for the province which borders on Mozambique and plays a leading role in the development of South African cargo for the nearby port of Maputo.

    Other towns in the area to lose their so-called colonial tags are Machadadorp, named for the Portuguese engineer Joaquim Machado who acted as surveyor when the railway from Pretoria to the then Lourenco Marques (now Maputo) was built. The small town is now called eNtokozweni. Similarly Belfast has become eMakhazeni and Waterval Boven is now Emgwenya.


    Trans-boundary marine World Heritage Site created

    Mozambique has declared its first Marine Protected Area which effectively links with the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly St Lucia) in KwaZulu-Natal to create Africa’s first transfrontier marine conservation area. The declaration has created 300 kilometres of unbroken coastline and pristine beaches (apart from the odd shipwreck!) stretching from Maputo Bay in Mozambique to the town of St Lucia, the southern boundary of South Africa’s iSimangaliso Park. The Mozambique park includes Inhaca and Portuguese Islands, favoured by visiting cruise ships, and extends three kilometres out to sea. The declaration probably ends any speculation about building a new deepwater port along this section of coast south of Maputo.

    “Activities like semi-industrial and industrial fishing, fishing on the coral reefs, fishing with explosives, driving of motorised vehicles on the beach and building other than camps for artisinal fishing are now prohibited,” said park CEO Andrew Zaloumis. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was listed as South Africa’s first World Heritage Site in December 1999. – source Zululand Observer.

    Read the full report in the Zululand Observer HERE but hurry as the page refreshes.

    Today’s Good Read – Getting to grips with Bric

    While economists at a prominent South African bank are excited about burgeoning investment by Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) in Africa, they are vague on the question of the extent to which it will benefit the majority of Africans. Ensuring this, they believe, is the responsibility of African states themselves.

    Standard Bank economist, Jeremy Stevens says that a country like China is also a developing country, so things like corporate social responsibility are novel ideas for Chinese companies. He was speaking at a briefing the bank held yesterday on BRIC-Africa relations.

    Read the full article HERE. As with all these highlighted links, to return to this page use your RETURN button.

    If you have any suggestions for a good read please send the link to info@ports.co.za and put GOOD READ in the subject line.

    Pics of the day – TAHITIAN PRINCESS

    Princess Cruises’ ship TAHITIAN PRINCESS (30,277-gt, built 1999) arrived in South Africa at the weekend for a first time visit and cruise in these waters. During her current cruise the ship has visited Luderitz, Cape Town (seen here), East London (today) and Durban (tomorrow) before going on to Nosi Bé in Madagascar. The 680-passenger ship was once named the R-4 of Renaissance Lines. Pictures 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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