- Maritime Services

  - News

  - Ship Movements

  - The Shipping World

  - Cruise News &

  - Events Diary

  - Sea Stories

Naval Review

  Port Operators
Transnet National
    Ports Authority

South African ports
  - General Info
  - Durban
  - Richards Bay
  - Cape Town
  - Port Elizabeth
  - East London
  - Mossel Bay
  - Saldanha Bay
  - Port Nolloth

  - Walvis Bay
  - Luderitz

  - Lobito 
  - Luanda 

  - Douala 
  - Port Limbe 

  - Bonny 
  - Port Harcourt 
  - Onne 
  - Lagos 

  - Cotonou 

  - Lome 

  - Tema 

  Cote d'Ivoire
  - Abidjan 

  - Conakry 

  - Maputo 
  - Beira    
  - Nacala

  - Toamasina 

  - Dar es Salaam 

  - Mombasa 

  - Port Louis 

  - Legal News &

  - Glossary of
     Maritime Terms

   - Useful Links

  - Contact Us

  - Home

  - P
AIA Manual

Receive our

Enter your e-mail address below
Enter your City, Country location below



Ports & Ships Maritime News

14 March 2011
Author: Terry Hutson


Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002

Improve your branding with your banner on this site by tapping into our large readership - contact info@ports.co.za



Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return






Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Maersk Line’s container ship MAERSK DAESAN (54,214-gt, built 2005) seen sailing from Durban harbour after completing cargo working at the Durban Container Terminal. Picture by Trevor Jones


News continues below...

Once they attacked ships, now they’re learning new skills

In an admirable turnaround, former members of the Nigerian Delta militants have handed in their AK47s and grenade launchers to learn new skills within the maritime industry in Lagos.

A group of the former freedom fighters, who have taken advantage of an amnesty declared by the Nigerian Federal Government to Nigerian militants operating in the Niger Delta, have joined up with the owner and operator of Tarzan Boat Jetty and Services, Ganiyu Balogun to undergo training aimed at reintroducing the former militants into the Lagos community again.

Of greatest importance is the need to place the men in employment which is where Balogun stepped in following an appeal by the federal government. “I feel honoured to be called upon by the federal government to teach the boys marine entrepreneurship. When I was first contacted I went to the school where I spoke to them about marine entrepreneurship and boat-building. But they have to come down to my workshop to get practical training.”

When the federal government announced the amnesty it suggested that the militants would be ideally suited for employment within the marine industry and there was some talk of creating a local marine security force to take advantage of the militants excellent knowledge of the Niger Delta creeks and waterways.

Balogun points out however that it is no use just offering training to the men. Without job opportunities the lessons will amount to nothing, he pointed out.

Nigerian militants, particularly those within the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have been responsible for much of the insecurity and unrest along the Nigerian Delta coast which includes armed attacks on ships and oil installations off the coast, the kidnapping of personnel and their eventual ransom, and violent attacks on oil and other installations. When the amnesty was announced a number, thought at one stage to be a majority of MEND members accepted the government offer and handed over their weapons, but some remained in the Delta saying they would continue the struggle. Later a number of those who accepted the amnesty recanted and have rejoined the militants. – source Daily Independent


News continues below…

Piracy update: Mystery of sinking ship

EU Naval forces answer distress call from released pirated ship RAK AFRIKANA

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
RAK Afrikana before being pirated

On the morning of 9 March, marine authorities received a distress call from the MV RAK AFRIKANA stating that the ship was taking on large amounts of water due to what was described as a ‘hole in the hull’ and that they were abandoning ship. The vessel had been released from pirate control only hours earlier and there is no explanation why the ship should suddenly have started taking on water.

The EU NAVFOR warship SPS CANARIAS was immediately sent to assist the stricken vessel and was later joined by the Italian warship ITS ZEFFIRO which arrived first and carried out the rescue operation. The master of the merchant vessel meanwhile stated that his ship would probably sink in about five hours. 25 crewmembers had abandoned the RAK Afrikana and taken to the lifeboats but when rescued they transferred across to the navy’s rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) and from there to the warship. The SPS CANARIAS meanwhile resumed her counter-piracy duties once the situation was resolved.

The RAK Afrikana was pirated on 11 April 2010 which meant that she and her crew had been in custody for almost one year. The rescued crew members are reported to be in satisfactory condition considering that they have been held captive for the last 332 days.

There is no information on the cause of the damage, the ‘hole in the hull’ that led to the distress call. Nor is it known if the RAK Afrikana is still afloat at this time.

The rescue operation was coordinated by the EU NAVFOR Headquarters in the UK and needed close cooperation with the Italian Navy to ensure a safe and successful outcome.

Pirates release LPG tanker York

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
LPG tanker York

In a second case of a pirated ship being released, the LPG tanker YORK (5,076-dwt, built 2000) has been freed, presumably after the owners had paid across the required ransom, and the ship was proceeding towards Mombasa. York and her crew of 17 has also taken on the crew of the rescued Arak Afrikana (see above) which were transferred from the Italian warship ITS Zeffiro. York was captured by the pirates in October last year.

Pirated mother ships return to port

Image Hosted by UploadHouse.com
Irene SL

NATO Shipping Centre reports that the pirated ships IRENE SL and POLAR are no longer being used as ‘mother ships’ by Somali pirates and have both returned to Somalis where they have gone to anchor close to the coast.


News continues below...

News from the shipping lines – CMA CGM launches its eco-calculator

CMA CGM set to measure carbon footprint

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
CMA CGM’s 14,000-TEU container ship Christophe Colomb

Measuring the environmental impact of their supply chain has become an increasingly important issue for many companies. To meet this demand, the CMA CGM Group will be making available to its customers a new service starting in April 2011: the eco-calculator.

Accessible to all the group’s customers as part of the on-line solutions offered by CMA CGM via e-business, this latest tool produces an accurate calculation of the carbon footprint of a journey, based on real data including points of departure and arrival, volume of freight, fuel consumption and vessel speed.

Developed according to the methodology of an international body, the CCWG (Clean Cargo Working Group), this eco-calculator will be the first to be verified by the Bureau Veritas.

“Our new tool is extremely reliable and means we can now supply customers with very accurate data about their carbon footprint. We hope this eco-calculator will prove a useful tool in the decision making process and will help customers to determine the optimal mode of transport from an ecological point of view,” explains Philippe Borel, Environment Director for the CMA CGM Group.

CMA CGM Group, the world’s third largest container shipping group says that reducing its environmental impact has been for long one of its key objectives. Combating climate change, preservation of the oceans, proposing eco-friendly solutions to customers and developing an environmentally aware culture within the company are key components of its policy.

The launching of this innovative tool is therefore in line with the Group’s commitment to fighting climate change, one that has already seen a 26% drop in CO2 emissions between 2007 and 2010 (from 107 to 85 grams/kilometre-teu). The target is 80g/km-teu by the end of 2012, a reduction of 30% in five years.

Safmarine helps open multi-purpose maritime community centre

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
The local community from and around Kakinada helped with the building of the Centres. Picture: supplied

Safmarine has recently celebrated the double opening of the Kakinada Maritime Community Centre and the ITF Seafarer Centre in the port of Kakinada in India. These centres, which aim to equip the local seafaring community with the necessary resources needed in the maritime industry, were opened on 5 March 2011.

The main supporters of this project are ITF Seafarers’ Trust, Sailors’ Society, Safmarine and Safmarine customer, Cargill.

“Safmarine fully supported the construction of the building as part of its programme for sustainable development through education,” said Larisa Thuije, Global Sustainability Manager. “We are proud to be working with a diverse group of partners who support responsible economic development and who bring positive, measurable improvements to the communities in which we operate as a company. This joint collaboration also supports our ‘People Making the Difference’ philosophy by helping to uplift the lives of the people in local communities through education.”

The centres will be managed by UCSWA, the local partner of the Sailors’ Society, who will be responsible for providing ongoing support for seafarers who call there requiring information for their career development at sea. The centre will also support qualified and experienced seafarers by offering courses in order to enhance their areas of expertise.

The centres provide a number of welfare and community recreational facilities for local seafarers, their families and to retired, former and disabled seafarers. They will also be a valuable source of education for young people who are interested in following a career in the maritime industry by providing information, assistance and quality maritime training.


News continues below…

Port News: Bollore commits to build $640m third quay in Lome

Bollore to build third quay at Togolese port of Lome

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Port of Lome in Togo. Picture OTAL

French logistics group Bollore has committed to invest US$ 640 million in building a third quay at the Togolese port of Lome.

Bollore said it hoped to double container traffic within five years and then treble it after ten years. Current container volumes at the port are between 350,000 and 400,000 TEUs annually. The new quay will be 450 metres long with a depth alongside of 15 metres and able to take container ships alongside of up to 7,000 TEU.

The news was broken by Togolese president Faure Gnassingbe and Bollore president Vincent Bollore. In terms of the concession awarded Bollore shares the handling of the port of Lome with another French company, Manuport, a division of French group Getma International.

Guinea cancels Getma Conakry concession

Guinea’s new president Alpha Conde has cancelled a concession awarded to Getma International to manage and operate the container terminal at the port of Conakry.

The presidential decree was read out over local state radio.

Getma was awarded the concession in 2008 against competition from fellow French group Bollore and Denmark’s AP Moller-Maersk. According to the announcement the contract had been ‘annulled’ “due to failings by the concessionary regarding its obligations.” A month ago Vincent Bollore, president of logistics group Bollore visited Guinea and announced the intention of Bollore investing $150 million in a separate dry port to relieve the pressure on the existing port and terminal.

Revenue drops at Tanzanian lake port of Musoma

Revenue has decreased at the Lake Victoria port of Musoma, as a result of deteriorating infrastructure and a decrease in cotton production, says the port officer Rajabu Saidi.

Saidi made the pronouncement during a visit to Musoma by the Tanzanian Transport Minister, Amari Nundu. Saidi said that for the past four years revenue at the port had been decreasing at an average rate of 16.3 percent annually.

He said traders now opt for trucks in transporting their commodities because poor port infrastructure has greatly reduced inefficiency leading to delays. He called for an immediate revamp of the port to tap its potential. According to Saidi, revenue collection at the port during 2007/2008 stood at Sh54.7 million but had decreased drastically to Sh5.9 million in 2009/2010.

The port officer pointed out that Musoma has the capacity of handling three ships at a time and that it had in the past contributed significantly to the national economy.

The transport minister responded that Tanzania was in a process of revamping and improving port and transport infrastructure. This was necessary if Tanzania was to become a regional trade hub but was also needed in order to improve the standard of living within Tanzania. – source The Citizen (Tanzania)

Musoma is in north-western Tanzania, on the eastern shores of Lake Victoria


News continues below…

Special Feature: BIMCO calls for rethink over when to sail around the Cape of Good Hope

Third Update from BIMCO

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

For the shipping industry the start of 2011 has by all measures been heavily impacted by the escalating piracy activity taking place in the Indian Ocean. What started out as a few sporadic attacks in the Gulf of Aden some years ago has now developed into “industrial piracy”. The pirates are no longer sailing around in skiffs only; they utilize “mother ships” from which they launch their attacks and in some cases they even use a hijacked commercial vessel as “mother ship”. This development has enlarged the piracy infested area to most of the northern part of the Indian Ocean – resulting amongst other things in an enlargement of the War Risk Zone by the Joint War Committee to cover much more than just the Gulf of Aden and subsequently increased costs as a result of increased insurance payments and longer sailing distances in order to avoid attacks and a potential hijack and hostage situation.

Moreover, the oil price and thus also bunker prices have soared and increased the cost of piracy considerably since the second update in April 2010. The chartering market's conditions have improved substantially in the container segment while the tanker segment has experienced sliding time charter rates. All these elements affect the cost picture that the industry faces, and on that background, an updated version of the cost calculations regarding the decision to go round the Cape of the Good Hope or stay on course for a Suez Canal transit is provided.

This updated cost-side analysis from BIMCO estimates the costs under the current market conditions that give food for thought on voyage planning when considering the troubled waters surrounding the Horn of Africa going into the Indian Ocean, as well as the costs incurred in transiting the Suez Canal.

The overall conclusion is very clear. To limit the risk of meeting pirates by sailing round the Cape of Good Hope instead of going via Suez Canal, you add high costs. An owner of a Post-Panamax container ship will increase costs by US$ 11.2 (4.0) million while an owner of a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) will face increased cost by as much as US$ 9.6 (8.8) million per annum. (The numbers in brackets are the cost as per April 2010.)

Assumptions are to be found in the piracy cost calculator, see link below.

What has changed since the last update in April?

One important economic issue that has changed the picture dramatically is the bunker prices, which have gone up to US$ 640 per tonne from US$ 482 per tonne. This increase of 33% affects both the container and the tanker calculations. Time charter rates have increased almost three-fold for container vessels but dropped one-third for tankers. Asset prices are estimated unchanged for the 10,000 TEU Post-Panamax container ship at (US$ 115 million), while the asset value of the VLCC has slid by 8% to US$ 75 million. Suez Canal tolls, including additional transit costs, have increased by 3%. Moreover, the estimated risk premium applied to each vessel in doing a Suez transit via Gulf of Aden has gone up from 0.1% to 0.15%.

The most important non-economic issue that has changed dramatically is the fact that pirates now attack in most parts of upper Indian Ocean. Literally this makes it impossible for oil tankers to avoid piracy infested areas when sailing into the Arabian Gulf (AG) to pick up a cargo of Middle East crude oil. The enlarged risk zone has meant that no such thing as a “piracy safe passage” exists for oil tankers and other vessels sailing into AG.

Sensitivity analysis in current markets

In today’s shipping markets and given the model assumptions, the economic analysis reveals that the expenses originating from the very high bunker prices are totally dominating the results. Even though charter rates and asset values have changed a lot, these factors remain secondary to the effect of the fuel price by a landslide. Not even dramatic tumbles in time charter rates, down to US$ 5,000 a day, would make much difference.

The only thing that can change the economic sense and make the cost picture turnaround is the insurance risk premium per transit via the Suez Canal through the Gulf of Aden. Should the estimated premium of 0.15% jump four-fold to 0.6% of the ship value applied to each transit, it would make the insurance premium per transit of a container ship valued at US$ 115 million equal to US$ 690,000 per transit, and that would change the picture. Such an extraordinary jump in insurance premium would thus make going round the Cape of Good Hope the preferred choice, as it would become the least costly option for the ship owner.

What matters the most in the cost calculations?

For a liner company, it is primarily a question of higher bunker expenses due to the large consumption of fuel oil for the very powerful engine, while a tanker company primarily is concerned with the added capacity costs, even though the fuel consumption also plays a significant part. In the current market conditions a lot of shipping companies turn to slow steaming of the vessels; some even do super slow steaming, which reduces the use of fuel by 30% or more. The impact from slow steaming can easily be calculated by using the relevant speed-consumption figures in the model.

The BIMCO – piracy cost calculator

BIMCO has an Excel-based cost calculator to be used as an information tool only (See related links below). The cost analysis presented in this article is based on this calculator, and it assumes that the same amount of cargo has to be transported in the same amount of time. The tool can easily be used as it is, or it can be customized to encompass the issues relevant for the individual user. The calculations are not simple, and you need to input more than 20 numbers to make the estimations on the cost of piracy when using the tool. All the details and assumptions are readily available in the Excel-based cost calculator, found on the Bimco web-site only.

Contact: Peter Sand, Shipping Analyst, ps@bimco.org


News continues below…

Pics of the Day – NYBORG MAERSK

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Maersk Line’s interesting small chemical and oil products tanker NYBORG MAERSK (16,564-dwt, built 2007), seen arriving in Cape Town recently. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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


Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all southern African ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Mombasa on the East Coast?

Colour photographs and slides for sale of a variety of ships.

Thousands of items listed featuring famous passenger liners of the past to cruise ships of today, freighters, container vessels, tankers, bulkers, naval and research vessels.


South Africa’s most comprehensive Directory of Maritime Services is now listed on this site. Please check if your company is included. To sign up for a free listing contact info@ports.co.za or register online