Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jan 26, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

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  • First View – ATLANTIC ELAND

  • News from the shipping lines

  • Marcus expected to leave repo rate unchanged

  • Tanzania will revoke railway concession in February

  • Piracy report – Frustration builds at world’s impotence

  • News clips – Keeping it brief

  • Today’s recommended Read – CMA CGM cancellations hurt Korean yards

  • Pics of the day –MOL HONOR


    First View – ATLANTIC ELAND

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    The Astrakhan type Ro-Ro multi-purpose freighter ATLANTIC ELAND (16,075-gt, built 1990) arrived in Durban recently on her first visit to South Africa wearing the colours of Canada States Africa Line (CSAL). Together with three sister ships, the Russian-owned Atlantic Eland operates a service between Canada and South Africa, with a rotation of Montreal, Baltimore, Savannah, New Orleans, Houston, Walvis Bay, Durban, Richards Bay and Cape Town.

    Each vessel is a tween-decker and is fitted with a stern ramp and heavy lift gear which enables them to cater for all types of cargo such as bulk commodities, break-bulk, containers, ro-ro, hazardous materials, heavy lifts and oversized cargo. Picture by Shiphoto International, Durban

    News from the shipping lines

    Express reefer service to Europe set to begin

    The South Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS) will be introducing a new Reefer Express Service (REX) between South Africa and Northern Europe, using three ships and focusing specifically on accommodating the seasonal demands of reefer cargo during 2010.

    Commencing in early February with the DAL MADAGASCAR (17,360-gt, built 2007) and departing from Cape Town, the service will be phased in over a six week period. The service rotation will be Cape Town / Rotterdam / Tilbury.


    Bunker surcharge for MOL on the Southern Africa / US East Coast trade

    Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) has announced a revision of the present bunker surcharge applicable in the Southern Africa / USA trade.

    With effect from 15 February 2010, the revised bunker surcharge becomes as follows: -

    Between Southern Africa and US East Coast and Gulf & return

    Per 20ft - USD 571.00
    Per 40ft - USD1142.00
    Per 40ft high-cube - USD1142.00

    Between Southern Africa and US West coast ports & return

    Per 20ft - USD 733.00
    Per 40ft - USD1466.00
    Per 40ft high-cube - USD1466.00

    The revised bunker surcharge will be effective as of the B/L date and will remain in force until further notice.


    Maersk announces general rate increase, Europe to South Asia and Middle East trade

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    Lars Maersk in Durban harbour Picture by Terry Hutson

    Maersk Line has announced a general rate increase for the Europe to South Asia/Middle East trade with effect 15 February. The line says that rate levels have become unsustainable. “The rate increase is necessary to continue our services with the high level of reliability our customers have come to expect from Maersk Line.”

    The increase applies to dry commodities only and is as follows:

    North Europe and Mediterranean to Middle East and South Asia:

    USD 100 per 20ft
    USD 200 per 40ft

    Marcus expected to leave repo rate unchanged

    Pretoria, 25 January - The Reserve Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its first meeting of the year today with economists predicting that the repo rate will remain unchanged at 7 percent.

    Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus, who chaired the meeting for the second time since her appointment last year, will announce the MPC's decision on Tuesday at 3pm.

    Most economists and bankers said the repo rate will remain unchanged.

    Standard Bank said though the country was technically out of the recession, the economy remains vulnerable with households not keen on accumulating new debt as well as increased unemployment still posing problems.

    The bank said these concerns raise the prospects for a cut in the repo rate. However, further monetary policy relaxation will not translate into employment growth or stimulate private sector activity.

    “While the over-indebted will benefit from more affordable debt repayments, retail sales will not necessarily revive. The chief reason is that job shedding created far more destruction in the retail sector and affected a broader share of the economy.”

    Nedbank economist Carmen Altenkirch said: “We are expecting them to keep it unchanged at this meeting and for the rest of the year with a hike expected in early 2011.”

    The central bank has cut the repo rate by 500 basis points since December 2008.

    Although there has been a recovery in the supply side of the economy like manufacturing, inflation is likely not to come down below 6 percent especially with Eskom's proposed 35 percent electricity tariff increase application. - BuaNews

    Tanzania will revoke railway concession in February

    Tanzania will cancel a 25-year concession to operate the nation’s railway network that was awarded three years ago to India’s RITES (Rail India Technical & Economic Services).

    This was announced last week by Tanzania’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, Mr Omari Chambo. He told the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) that the revoking of the concession was in its final stages and would be implemented during February. He was replying to a question from the Acting Chairman of the PAC as to why it was taking so long to act against RITES which has been accused of underperforming.

    The Indian company stands accused, among other things of having sent Tanzanian locomotives to India for maintenance repairs and substituting them with older worn-out locomotives at high costs.

    RITES has also been accused of having failed to pay monthly salaries to some of its employees and of poor management of the former Tanzania Railway Corporation in which it holds a 51 percent stake. The Tanzanian government holds the balance.

    Chambo said that there were financial implications in rushing the cancellation through but gave the assurance the concession would be cancelled sometime in February. He said the government would either take over the running of the railway or would seek another operator. - East African Business Week and own sources.

    Piracy report – Frustration builds at world’s impotence

    Frustration is mounting at the inability of the global community to prevent rampant piracy from spreading in several parts of the world, notably Somalia.

    On Tuesday last week the Chamber of Shipping of America hit out at what it called the seeming impotence of the international community over the situation in the Indian Ocean.

    “The unacceptable situation prevailing now, with seafarers lives being threatened on a daily basis - and Somali pirates still operating with impunity - cannot be allowed to continue by the nations of the world,” said Joseph J Cox, president of the chamber. “There is a growing concern among the national ship owner associations that the international community is not actively seeking to eliminate piracy and is instead treating the current level of attacks against shipping as somehow ‘tolerable.’”

    He said it was particularly upsetting when the main focus of some senior politicians both in the US and abroad appeared to be limited to commenting on their objections to the payment of ransoms or... “even worse suggesting that payments are or should be illegal.”

    The Chamber said the protection of shipping from piracy - regardless of flag or nationality of the crew is a clear and legitimate responsibility for governments under the traditional law of the sea, which is codified in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    “Traditionally, a primary role of navies has always been to protect merchant shipping and to keep sea lanes open to trade. It is extraordinary that governments today seem less able to protect shipping than they were almost 200 years ago,” said Cox.

    Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Shipowners Association (HKSA) and UK-based International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have issued an urgent appeal to governments to stamp out piracy off Somalia and in the Indian Ocean.

    In their statement they accused many governments of being oblivious to the fact that ships carry around 90 per cent of world trade, and that security of major seaways is strategically vital to the functioning of the global economy.

    “There is growing concern that the international community is instead treating the current level of attacks against shipping as somehow 'tolerable,'” said the HKSA.

    “Pirates are being given a message that their criminal activity carries very few risks in comparison to the payments. As a result, the number of pirates is growing, and there is real danger that, in the absence of a firm response, their methods of hijack and violent kidnapping will be successfully emulated by others elsewhere."

    ICS chairman Spyros Polemis said the unacceptable situation, with seafarers lives being threatened and Somali pirates operating with impunity, cannot be allowed to continue.

    “If a similar number of aircraft passengers had been taken hostage there would undoubtedly have been a more robust response,” he said.

    The two organisations complained that little is being done to prevent the pirates from operating from their bases in Somalia, or to disable their ‘mother ships’ that are used to launch attacks up to one thousand miles from the Somali coast. – HKSG and American Shipper

    News clips – Keeping it brief

    SMIT and Boskalis nearer to merger

    Royal Boskalis Westminster NV and Smit Internationale NV moved closer to a merger yesterday when it was revealed that a protocol for a full merger of the two companies has been signed. Boskalis has agreed to a dividend payment to SMIT of €2.75 a share and the Board of Management including a majority of the Supervisory Board of SMIT have decided to recommend the offer to its shareholders. Boskalis will now submit the draft offer memorandum to the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets for approval. It is expected that the offer will be launched in the second half of February.


    MOL to use antifouling paint to reduce CO2 emissions

    Japan’s Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) intends incorporating its joint R&D project on antifouling paints for ship bottoms into a government-industry initiative aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. The programme is sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and aims to develop a super-slick antifouling paint for ship bottoms that can dramatically reduce fuel consumption. With the addition of a high-performance low-ablation additive, the paint will significantly reduce drag, so its developers believe. The drag of seawater over a vessel’s wetted surface accounts for 50 to 80 percent of all resistance, including wind and wave resistance. The paint used in the R&D project is expected to lower CO2 emissions by between 8 and 12 percent compared with conventional antifouling paints.

    Today’s recommended Read – CMA CGM cancellations hurt Korean yards

    French carrier’s cutbacks would slash over USD1billion from order books

    At least one South Korean shipbuilder is getting hit by the cancellation of orders by CMA CGM, and others are fending off cancellations by the troubled French container line, which can't pay for the orders it placed in more profitable times.

    Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction has been suffering from order cancellations by the carrier, which is attempting to cancel contracts for 15 vessels of 3,600-TEU capacity out of a total of 45 ships on order at South Korean shipyards.

    According to a report in the Korea Times the line has canceled a 1.1 billion dollar contract with Hanjin Heavy Industries.

    The rest of this article can be read HERE.

    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 – BOW HONOR

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    The Japanese Mitsui OSK Line (MOL) container ship MOL HONOR (15,929-gt, built 1996) is a regular caller in South African ports and was in Cape Town once more in early January. The chartered ship is owned by a German company Macaro Tom Woerden GmbH. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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