Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 3, 2009
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – ARIES VOYAGER

  • Shipping line woes – CMA CGM and ZIM receive lifesaving injections but Maersk says it will diversify

  • Cruise shipbuilders back in business as Carnival places new Dream order

  • DOULOS fails Singapore safety check – to be scrapped after 95 years

  • Japanese ice-breaking Antarctic observation ship on maiden voyage

  • Durban’s Bulk Connection takes top international award

  • ICS to provide Legal and Insurance ICS courses in January

  • SA beefs up border ports of entry

  • New vehicle sales show signs of recovery

  • Damco opens Maputo office

  • Today’s good read – Africa’s trade with BRIC countries multiplies

  • Pic of the day – AQUARIAN


    First View – ARIES VOYAGER

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    The American crude oil tanker ARIES VOYAGER (320,870-DWT, built 2006) riding light and at anchor off Sea Point, Cape Town yesterday. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Shipping line woes – CMA CGM and ZIM receive lifesaving injections but Maersk says it will diversify

    CMA CGM to receive bail-out from French state investment corp

    The financially-troubled French shipping giant CMA CGM is to receive a bail out by way of a substantial investment from French state investment arm, Fonds Strategique d'Investissement (FSI).

    CMA CGM is due to meet repayments of a USD5.6 billion debt this month and had asked creditors for a moratorium. CMA CGM also plans to defer or cancel delivery of up to 60 new ships while selling off or otherwise disposing of older tonnage. The company is also looking to sell off various minority holdings in order to raise cash.

    A statement from the French investment group said that CMA CGM fitted in with France’s Strategic Investment Fund mission, which was established by the French state to meet the capital requirements of companies that bring growth and competitiveness to the economy.

    Meanwhile CMA CGM, which lost USD515m in the first half of this year on a revenue of USD4.8 billion, reports that its Asia-Northern Europe services, which account for almost a quarter of CMA CGM volume, have returned to profitability during November.


    Substantial investment for Zim and new chairman appointed

    Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping Services, which is also troubled with crippling losses, has replaced Idan Ofer as chairman with Nir Gilad, after Ofer’s five year term of office ended.

    Gilad, who is a former Accountant General and Deputy Head of the Budget Division of Israel’s Ministry of Finance, is the current CEO of Israel Corp, one of Israel’s largest investment companies and now a substantial investor in Zim Integrated. Zim, which reported a loss of USD208 million for the third quarter of 2009, received a cash injection of USD450 million from Israel Corp a month ago, in exchange for stock rights.

    The Ofer family are the largest shareholders in Israel Corp.


    Moller-Maersk looks to diversification as a cure

    AP Moller-Maersk, parent company of Maersk Line and Safmarine, says it will make three areas outside of its core shipping interests as the priority for future investments and to dilute expected continued losses by its shipping interests.

    CEO Nils Smedegaard Andersen in an interview with London’s Financial Times said that the company would be targeting spending on its oil and gas business, its container-handling terminals and on retailing. AP Moller-Maersk may also consider selling off distressed assets, he said.

    AP Moller-Maersk owns 67.7% of the company running Fotex and Netto Supermarkets and has a 37.7% share in two departmental stores.

    The company faces the prospect of a loss for the first time in its 105-year history as a result of the losses at Maersk Line and Maersk Tankers. Maersk Line itself made post-tax losses of USD1.54 billion for the first nine months of 2009.

    Maersk Dresden - CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    Cruise shipbuilders back in business as Carnival places new Dream order

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    CARNIVAL DREAM at Palma, Majorca on 30 October 2009. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    US cruising giant Carnival Corp & Plc announced this week that it has placed an order with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri Monfalcone for a new cruise ship – its first newbuild order since December 2007.

    The new ship, which will sail in the Carnival Cruises brand, is to be the third in the Dream class – catering for 3,690 passengers and costing USD738 million.

    The as yet unnamed ship will enter service in the northern spring of 2012 and will follow CARNIVAL DREAM which entered service in September this year, and the second of the class, CARNIVAL MAGIC which is due to enter service in May 2011.

    DOULOS fails Singapore safety check – to be scrapped after 95 years

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    The world’s oldest floating bookshop, the DOULOS in Richards Bay during a 2002 visit. Picture by Terry Hutson

    The famous library ship DOULOS (6,818-gt, built 1914) has failed a safety check while in Singapore’s dry dock and is to be scrapped.

    That’s the news from OM Ships chief executive officer, Peter Nicoll. “Doulos will not leave the waters of Singapore,” he said in a farewell message posted yesterday on YouTube.

    He said that the dry docking just undertaken by the Doulos had revealed that far more repairs were necessary than were financially viable and the hard decision had to be made to retire the 95-year old ship and send her for scrapping.

    Nicoll said that OM Ships hoped to place the 300 crew and volunteers on board the Doulos or another ship or ships. Ministry leaders (the Doulos is part of a Christian ministry programme) were discussing options with each of the 300 for their next stage, but all future port visits had been cancelled, he said.

    The organisation said that plans were also being discussed about how to replace Doulos both in the short and long term.

    “The Doulos has had 32 years of ministry and 95 years on the waves,” Nicolls said in his message.

    A video of Peter Nicoll’s 3 minute recording can be watched HERE.

    Japanese ice-breaking Antarctic observation ship on maiden voyage

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    SHIRASE at Fremantle. Picture by Chris Gee

    by Chris Gee, Fremantle

    Japan’s new Maritime Self Defence Force icebreaker and Antarctic observation vessel, SHIRASE (AGB-5003) arrived recently in Fremantle, Australia on her maiden voyage.

    This is her first Antarctic deployment and replaces the previous SHIRASE (AGB-5002) which was retired in April 2008 after 25 years of annual supply and observation deployments from Japan to Japanese bases in Antarctica via Fremantle.

    The new SHIRASE is slightly larger than her predecessor and was built by Universal Shipbuilding, Maizuru, Japan, and was launched in April 2008. Specifications: 12,500 standard displacement tonnes; 138m LOA; 28m beam; service speed 19 knots; can break ice up to 1.5m thick @ 3 knots; 170 crew.

    Note the above deck cellular container guides for storage of the green 20ft containers with supplies and equipment for landing in Antarctica with the two ship's cranes. Is this the first icebreaker with container cell guides onboard?

    The ship departed Fremantle on 29 November for Antarctica.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Picture by Chris Gee

    Durban’s Bulk Connection takes top international award

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    Bluff Connections bulk terminal in Durban

    At the end of November, one of the widest circulated bulk publications, International Bulk Journal held a competition to see who was the best in their class across various categories relating to the shipping and handling of bulk commodities. These ranged from the best specialist dry bulk port, the most innovative technology award, best ship loading/unloading system and many others.

    Bulk Connections, a bulk handling terminal in Durban was the only organisation out of a long list of world-wide entries to reach the finals in three categories.

    These were “Best Specialist Dry Bulk Terminal”, “Information Technology Solutions” award and the “Environmental Protection” award. At a glittering awards ceremony held in Amsterdam, Bulk Connections won the title of having the best environmental protection campaign.

    This outstanding achievement was due to a transformation that began several years ago which changed the facility from being one of the least environmentally friendly terminals to a standard that is now recognised as one of the best in the world.

    Four of Bulk Connection’s management went over to the ceremony to receive the award and visited some of the other bulk terminals in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
    Left to right: Wim Vlemmix, Managing Director, Infrastructure and Environmental Affairs, Port of Amsterdam, Iain Geldart, Managing Director, Bulk Connections and Ray Girvan, Publisher of International Bulk Journal

    ICS to provide Legal and Insurance ICS courses in January

    To meet workplace operational needs, The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) TETA08-137, is running the following maritime Legal and Insurance courses on Saturdays, beginning January 2010:

  • Demonstrate the basic legal principles applied to shipping – US 117667

  • Know and understand the basics of marine insurance – US 117655

  • Register soon to secure your place. Call Carol on 082 351 6614 or mail a href="mailto:carol@ics.za.org">carol@ics.za.org

    SA beefs up border ports of entry

    by Nthambeleni Gabara (BuaNews)

    South Africa’s ports of entry are to be beefed up with additional immigration officers to ensure the free movement of people to and from the country during the festive season.

    “This will cater for the expected spike in the movement of people from the neighbouring countries who will be coming to the country to buy goods for the festive season, departure of South Africans on holiday as well as those foreign workers who will be returning to their respective homes for the holidays,” Deputy Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said.

    He said all ports of entry will be beefed up with extra staff and more than 150 additional immigration officers will be deployed to priority areas.

    “We are doing this to encourage people to use legally recognised ports of entry to and from our country,” he said.

    According to Gigaba, mobile units will also be deployed to Beit Bridge, Kopfontein, and Lebombo to address issues of congestion.

    He also announced that Maseru Bridge, Ficksburg, Skilspadhek, Kopfontein, Ramatlabama, Beit Bridge and Caledonspoort will start to operate 24 hours, seven days a week from 6 December until 15 January 2010.

    Oshoek and Lebombo will start to operate 24 hours on 4 December until 18 January 2010.

    Services will also be enhanced at OR Tambo International Airport, Durban International and Cape Town International, while Lanseria will be put on standby.

    New vehicle sales show signs of recovery

    New vehicle sales are showing signs of recovery from the recession, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa).

    “The latest new vehicle sales figures reflected a continuation of the consolidation in the overall sales cycle coincident with the South African economy moving out of recession during the third quarter of 2009,” Naamsa said yesterday (Wednesday). The association said that factoring in aggregate vehicle sales reported by the AMH/AAD Group, the year on year decline amounted to 6.3 percent.

    Export sales had encouragingly registered further improvement in November this year recording the best monthly performance for the year. This was in line with increased demand for cars in the international markets due to recovery of the economic crisis.

    “In the event, November, 2009 industry export sales at 22,969 had recorded an improvement of 2,018 vehicles compared to the 20,951 vehicles exported during the previous month of October 2009,” the association said.- BuaNews

    Damco opens Maputo office

    Damco, the combined branding of the AP Moller-Maersk Group’s logistics activities, has announced its intention of opening an office in Maputo on 15 December 2009 to improve its presence and service levels in South East Africa. For the past 18 months Damco has operated in Mozambique from offices in Beira, providing support to exporters and importers in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

    “Beira is mainly served by feeder vessels via Durban (draft restrictions prevent larger vessels from calling the port) and this generally implies longer transit times,” said Christian Roeder, Damco Mozambique Country Manager. “Damco has made a conscious decision to improve on its existing service by facilitating sourcing and exporting directly through the port of Maputo.

    “We will now offer inland transport solutions and stuffing services in Maputo and direct access to one of the most industrialised regions in Sub-Saharan Africa via the Maputo Corridor (which serves mainly South Africa’s Mpumalanga, Gauteng/Johannesburg and Limpopo provinces).

    “The port of Maputo has recently experienced an increasing number of shipping lines offering direct calls from the Far East, making it a great time to expand our operation. Maputo is also a cost-effective alternative to Durban and Beira for many of our customers in Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Swaziland.”

    Today’s good read – Africa’s trade with BRIC countries multiplies

    Africa’s trade with the world’s four largest emerging markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) – has grown from USD20.3 billion in 2001 to about USD162 billion in 2008, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) said in an economic report on Wednesday. Read more HERE.

    We welcome suggestions for a good or interesting read, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the opinions being stated. Send the link to info@ports.co.za and put GOOD READ in the subject line.

    Pic of the day – AQUARIAN

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    The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) bulker AQUARIAN (25,768-gt, built 1985) which called in Durban to take bunkers at the weekend is one of 46 IRISL ships renamed and reflagged in the past year. The Hong Kong-flagged Aquarian is the former DIGNIFIED and before that Iran Dignified, both for IRISL.

    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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