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Ports & Ships Maritime News

14 November 2011
Author: Terry Hutson



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Image and video hosting by TinyPic The impressive-looking crew boat/work boat PEREZ was seen in Cape Town and Table Bay a week ago undergoing sea trials, having arrived and been discharged in port. The vessel is owned by C&I Leasing, a company registered in Lagos, Nigeria does any reader know her IMO number, where the vessel was built, which company she is entering service with and anything else of interest? This picture is by Glen Kasner


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Port of Cape Town. Picture TNPA

South African port statistics for the month of October 2011 that are to hand courtesy of Transnet NPA, reflect an overall strong month for all the ports, with Richards Bay, Durban and Ngqura shining in particular. Total tonnage handled was 25.306 million tonnes, which is amongst the highest ever recorded by the combined eight South African commercial ports. A total of 412,374 container TEUs were processed which is also up there with the highest number ever.

If the current rate of coal railed to the port and exported from Richards Bay continues then the final volume could be similar to that of 2010 of between 61 and 62 million tonnes. Having lost several weeks during the year for maintenance downtime this is a reasonably good result but there is still a long way to go before the port begins handling the sort of volumes that are talked about but seldom realised. RBCT is capable of handling 91 million tonnes a year.

To compare the 2011 October figures year on year with October of 2010, go to the following link CLICK HERE for last year’s figures. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

As is standard with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, these reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to those provided by Transnet to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers by number of TEUs and no longer by weight.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13,5 tonnes per TEU, which may involve some under-reporting but until the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports we will have to live with these estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to make this distinction otherwise South African ports will continue to be under-reported internationally.

Figures for the respective ports during October 2011 are (with September 2011 figures shown bracketed):

Cargo handled by tonnes during October 2011

PORT October 2011 mt September 2011 mt
Richards Bay 8.977 6.520
Durban 7.734 5.930
Saldanha Bay 5.117 4.049
Cape Town 1.216 1.155
Port Elizabeth 1.099 0.967
Ngqura 0.768 0.490
Mossel Bay 0.159 0/173
East Londin 0.237 0.198
Total all ports 25.306 million tonnes 19.487 million tonnes



Containers (measured by TEUs) during October 2011
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT October 2011 TEUs September 2011 TEUs
Durban 247,278 232,411
Cape Town 74,708 58,835
Port Elizabeth 25,465 33,096
Ngqura 56,859 36,319
East London 5,295 6,206
Richards Bay 2,772 1,388
Total all ports 412,374 368,255



Ship Calls for October 2011

PORT October 2011 vessels gross tons September 2011 vessels gross tons
Durban  323  9,229,725 456  11.978,378 
Cape Town  262  5,147,369  209  4,192,588
Richards Bay  157  6,288,687  166  6,810.377
Port Elizabeth  111  2,283,208  107  2.398,373
Saldanha Bay  42  3,193,656  41  2,729,232
Ngqura  31  1.661,774  33  1,410,288
East London  25  591,412  22  565,901
Mossel Bay  74  291,017  127  226,372
Total ship calls  1,025  28,686,848  1.128  27,901,080

- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages



Month Month's exports YTD exports Annualised M/T/a Ships Trains
January  4,389,925 4,389,925  51.55  45  597 
February  4,567,950 8,957,875  55.27  44  705 
March  5,364,674 14,322,549  57.93  57  710 
April  4,807,041 19,129,590  58.03  53  689 
May  3,572,127 22,701,717  54,72  41  560 
June  4,776,609 27,478,326  55.26  42  435 
July  4,362,979 31,841,305  54.67  45  734 
August  6,986,627 38,827,932  58.16  60  856 
September  4,956,556 43,784,488 58.38  50  796 
October  7,381,461 51,165,949  61,26  66  833 

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Kenya Revenue Authority says show your manifest, please

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Port of Mombasa

A new rule at Kenya’s ports, introduced by the Kenya Revenue Authority requires importers to file their cargo manifests with other documents when attempting to clear the imports.

The requirement has arisen as a result of a loophole that enabled some importers to under-declare the contents of cargo being imported. The new Manifest Management System involves filing two documents, the cargo manifest and the bay plan from the port of origin, to enable the authorities to identify quantities being carried within the containers.

Importers are complaining that the introduction of the system has slowed down the clearance of goods through the port which in turn leads to additional penalties. Authorities however quote examples of under-declarations that have basically cheated the revenue authorities of duties that should have been paid.

The manifest management system allows the KRA to compare the bay plan filed by the port of origin with the ship manifest to determine whether there is a wrongful declaration of contents.

In one example given by the KRA, documents reflected that one container was carrying 30.1 tonnes whereas those filed for Customs clearance showed 2.5 tonnes – about 8.3% of the real value.

“We couldn't understand why different data was given for the same consignment. We have come to realise our concerns were legitimate and genuine,” said Customs commissioner Rose Namu, addressing a meeting called to address the concerns of shippers and shipping lines.

Port users argue that they are frustrated by the introduction of another means of delaying the clearance of cargo, arguing that most ports lack the ability to determine the true weight of containers.

The KRA said the new rule came into practice in April this year which has given everyone sufficient time to get used to it.

Nigeria abolishes cargo tracking note

The Nigerian Ports Authority has advised that the Cargo Tracking Note for all shipments into and out of Nigerian ports has been abolished with immediate effect, according to a GAC World advisory.

As a result, it says, no shipping line is authorised to demand a Cargo Tracking Note as a condition for cargo shipment to Nigeria.


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MSC Sinfonia sails from Cape Town for Europe in May this year, after completing a highly successful summer season sailing out of Durban

The 2011/12 South African summer cruise season has kicked off in fine style with the arrival in South Africa of MSC SINFONIA, which will operate 37 cruises from the port of Durban to destinations in Mozambique and Mauritius.

Arriving from the Mediterranean with a good shipload of passengers of whom a majority was from Germany, MSC Sinfonia called at Walvis Bay and then at Cape Town on the way to Durban where she arrived at dawn on a foggy, rainy Friday morning, 11 November.

During her short stay in Cape Town on Monday 8 November MSC Cruises raised a total amount of nearly R230,000 for the Building Blocks Home, a home for abandoned and abused children. The fundraiser has become something of an annual event coinciding with the arrival of the ship and forms part of the cruise line company’s long term international initiative to support community projects for less advantaged youth.

Buildling Blocks, situated in the suburbs of Cape Town, in conjunction with local authorities, rescues babies and toddlers and keeps them safe by providing a loving home environment. Many of the children, who have already been looked after at the home were born with drug and alcohol dependencies and were found in dire circumstances, including extreme poverty, abuse, neglect and disability.

A total of 165 guests attended the cocktail event, and bid with their hearts for the many items on offer.

“MSC Cruises already partners an international initiative in support of disadvantaged children through UNICEF and we are delighted to support Building Blocks in South Africa by hosting the cocktail event aboard MSC Sinfonia, said Allan Foggitt, Marketing Manager for MSC Starlight, who thanked all attendees for their generosity and stressed that all funds raised will go direct to the Home.

Later that evening MSC Sinfonia departed Cape Town and set sail for her next stop in Durban, where she arrived on Friday 11 November 2011, her home-base for the next five months. From Durban she will operate a series of popular two, three and four night cruises to Mozambique.

These include ports of call in the bustling capital city of Maputo, the trendy water sports resort of Barra Lodge and the uninhabited Portuguese Island. The ship will once again call at Bazaruto after an absence of two years, offering three x four night cruises during the season to the sandy idyllic destination.

One of South Africa’s favourites is the popular five-night Christmas Cruise to the sandy beaches of Barra Lodge and the ever popular Portuguese Island. Guests will spend Christmas Eve enjoying Italian hospitality and Christmas day on Portuguese Island. The ship’s chef will prepare a traditional Christmas menu and the ship will be decorated in true spirit of Christmas. For this cruise the MSC Sinfonia departs Durban on 22 December, returning to Durban on 27 December 2011.

MSC Sinfonia will ring in the New Year with the biggest deck party in the southern hemisphere under the Mauritian skies of Port Louis The celebrations are part of the 11 night New Year festive cruise, departing Durban on 27 December and calling at Reunion and including a three day stopover in Port Louis, Mauritius before returning to Durban on 7 January.

MSC Sinfonia has raised the standard of South African cruising by offering an extensive range of top class facilities in an elegant, contemporary environment on a modern ship. She features 777 cabins, of which 134 are suites with private balconies and 503 are outside cabins, three restaurants and a buffet out on deck, seven bars, a cigar lounge, disco, casino, business and conference centre. There is also a spa and beauty centre, two swimming pools, a sports centre, golf simulator, library, card room, children’s playroom, teenagers club, a shopping area with duty free shops and boutiques, an internet cafe and a medical centre. As PORTS & SHIPS will be travelling on the MSC Sinfonia to Portuguese Island this Friday, returning Monday morning, we hope to bring you a first hand view of the ship and also a report on the opening of new facilities on the otherwise pristine island just across the water from Inhaca Island in Maputo Bay. These facilities will provide guests from the ship with shade and other facilities (such as toilets) for the first time, and have been provided by MSC Cruises in conjunction with the Mozambique government.


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31m anchor handling tug built by Celtug

C&I Leasing Plc recently unveiled three new line handling tugs, with a value said to be not less than N2 billion (US$12.6 million).

The report from the company said another three are due to join the Nigerian fleet by the end of the year.

MD of C&I Leasing Emeka Ndu said the vessels were the outcome of a drive by the federal government to empower local companies to compete with the foreign firms in similar fields, while providing and maintaining world-class standards.

Ndu said his company had been able to enter the market thanks to the support and cooperation of some of the oil companies such as Shell, NAPIMS and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

The three line handling tugs each have a bollard pull of 30 tonnes, measure 31m in length with a 9.2m beam and a 4.2m draught and were built by Celtug Service Shipyard in Malaysia in collaboration with Petranar of Greece, which also provided technical assistance at the bid stage. They have been named EPHRAIM, CHARIS and ELIEZER and will be use for the mooring of export tankers on the SBM’s, and also performing towing of barges and similar vessels. In addition they will provide terminal support duties and act as crew boats for the key export terminals such as Bonny in the Niger Delta.


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SA Minister of Trade & Industry Rob Davies

Pretoria – Representatives from South Africa and Argentina engaged late last week in the Bi-National Commission summit, which is reviewing economic opportunities between the two countries.

The two-day meeting, which ends Friday, was co-chaired by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and Argentina’s International Trade Minister Hector Timerman, and has attracted speakers from various sectors such as business, NGOs and academics to discuss relations under the theme “South Africa and Argentina: Gateway countries to Continental opportunities”.

Speaking at the opening of the summit, both ministers concurred that there was a need to fully ratify the SACU-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement signed in 2008, especially now that the global economy has been showing important signs of shifting global trade trends to the South.

They believe that the agreement would certainly give impetus to the trade and investment opportunities that exist between the two countries and their regions.

Argentina and South Africa have much in common and share an agenda to advance bilateral relations and the wider issues of South-South co-operation.

Both countries have economies of similar size, are rich in natural resources and share membership of the G20, the pre-eminent body representing the world’s most significant economic powers. Bilateral trade between the two countries is over US $2 billion.

“Economically, both countries’ gross domestic products are at the same level of over US $350 billion and both countries share many complementarities that have great potential to improve the lives of both peoples,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Thursday.

South Africa also has unquestionable expertise in the mining technologies that Argentina’s mining industry can use, while on the other hand, Argentina is one of the leading countries in the area of agricultural technology and food security, which South Africa can use in order to respond to the country’s food security objectives.

Some entities that are participating in the summit are Standard Bank, SABMiller, AngloGold Ashanti, Blue Label Telecoms and Business Unity SA.

At the end of the summit, the two countries will see the launch of a pioneering book by one of the eminent scholars on Argentine-African relations, Professor Gladys Lechini from the National University of Rosario, entitled: “Argentina and South Africa: Facing the Challenges of the 21st Century - Brazil as the Mirror Image”.

This is the first piece of work ever produced about the evolution of the two countries’ bilateral relations and it will certainly serve as a reference point for many interlocutors interested in the advancement of relations between the two countries.

The outcomes of this seminar will be presented to the two countries’ Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Bi-National Commission scheduled to take place in South Africa in 2012. – BuaNews



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The Antarctic supply ship SA AGULHAS visiting Durban during 2010. Picture by Trevor Jones

by Francis Hweshe (BuaNews)

Cape Town – The Department of Environmental and Water Affairs has released South Africa’s polar research and supply vessel – the SA AGULHAS - on a symbolic ten-day climate change voyage ahead of COP17 in Durban.

The 30-year-old vessel set sail from Cape Town on Saturday with over 50 people on board who will raise awareness around climate change in the country’s coastal cities.

There are also exhibitions, meetings and lectures taking place on board, showcasing various scientific activities undertaken by the department and its stakeholders in the Antactica and Southern Oceans.

The campaign will also reflect on the opportunities and threats posed by the ocean to coastal communities and “the real and considerable impact of oceans on the climate”.

Oceans and Coasts Deputy Director-General Monde Mayekiso, addressing the media and passengers just before departure on Saturday, said: “The Southern Ocean is regarded as key in understanding the processes of climate change. [As] the Southern Ocean is on South Africa’s doorstep…we have the ideal tool and platform to do cutting edge research.”

He announced that the SA Agulhas would be replaced with a new, modern and fuel efficient vessel by April. He said the new ship, about to be completed in Finland, would draw international researchers and experts and build capacity in some research disciplines.

By the end of the COP17, SA Agulhas would be on its last voyage to the Antarctic before decommissioning.



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It isn’t often that we see an Australian-owned and managed ship in a South African port, although they are not rare. In fact an Australian Navy ship ADFS CHOULES is due in Cape Town at the end of this week, 19 November, en route from the UK to her new home ‘down under’. More of that hopefully next week. Here we have the Australian-owned Liberian-flagged offshore supply vessel GO COUGAR (2180-gt, built 2008) which arrived in Cape Town about a fortnight ago to take bunkers. Pictures by Aad Noorland

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