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Ports & Ships Maritime News

29 November 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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Picton, New Zealand and catching up on the ferries plying the Cook Strait is photographer Alan Calvert. Here the recently lengthened Interislander ferry ARATERE (17,816- gt. Built 1998) is seen arriving at Picton on a freight only crossing. In the distance can be seen another ferry shortly about disappear out of sight around the corner. Picture by Alan Calvert

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Few container lines are reporting happy results for 2011. Picture by Terry Hutson

by Ken Gangwani, Shenzhen (Cargonews Asia)

The year 2011 is a lost year for the shipping industry, said Tan Hua Joo, executive consultant of shipping data provider Alphaliner at a recent Shenzhen conference. And demand is unlikely to rebound strongly in 2012 as in 2010 because over-capacity remains a primary concern, he added.

Tan’s prediction seems to be on target following the release by shipping lines of their latest quarterly results. Nearly all lines, except for a few such as Maersk Lines, and possibly CMA CGM and MSC, saw red ink in their books in the third quarter and all of them, including Maersk, expect to report a loss for the whole of 2011.

Singapore’s NOL posted a $91 million loss in the third quarter; Korea’s Hanjin Shipping was $77 million in the red; and China’s Cosco and CSCL posted a loss of $325.81 million and $150 million respectively.

Revenue of Hong Kong’s OOCL fell eight percent to $1.44 billion from 1.57 billion. The line doesn’t report third-quarter profit figures.

Japan’s top three lines were all in the red in the first half of fiscal 2011 from April to September. NYK booked a net loss of $154.40 million, a reversal from a profit of $568.05 million a year earlier; MOL logged a loss of $210.73 million from a profit of $617.72 million; and “K’’ Line showed a net loss of $238.13 million against a year- before profit of $337.09 million.

Taiwan’s two major lines Evergreen and Yang Ming do not report quarterly figures but according to their nine-month figures, the former saw a 98 percent drop in profit from $390.47 million in 2010 to $8.93 million this year and the latter logged a $177.33 million loss.

Maersk, the No 1 shipping line, was in the plus but by a very small amount. Its profit in the third quarter was down by a whopping 82 percent to $304.7 million. The two privately-owned No. 2 and 3 carriers, MSC and CMA CGM, have not released their results but analysts predict they will report a big drop in profit or maybe slip into the red.

Please read the remainder of this detailed overview of container shipping HERE

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Rosalia D’Amato

The Italian bulk cargo vessel ROSALIA D’AMATO (74,716-dwt, built 2001) which was highjacked in April this year and taken to Somalia along with her crew of 21, has been ransomed and released.

Rosalia D’Amato was en route from Brazil to the Iranian port of Bandar Imam Khomeini when she was attacked by a single skiff approximately 350 n.miles east of Salalah in Oman. The pirates gained access to the ship and quickly took control.

The bulker was subsequently taken to an anchorage off the Somali coast to await negotiations between the pirates, their representatives and the ship owners. This has now apparently been satisfactorily concluded and the ship was released and allowed to sail away from the African coast.

A ransom figure of US$6 million was agreed and paid – not the $600,000 that has been quoted by some sources.

The crew consisted of six Italians and 15 Filipinos, who are all reported to be safe. Their morale and health was boosted at the weekend by a food and supplies drop to the ship.

It is understood that an Italian Navy ship working with the NATO anti-piracy operation is escorting the Rosalia d’Amato at least on part of her disrupted journey. “Our thoughts and prayers go out, at this time, to all the seafarers and their families still held by pirates in Somalia. Our sincere hope is that they can return to their homes and loved ones with all speed,” the shipping company said in a statement.

It added thanks to the Italian navy and government for their assistance in the bulker’s release, and praised the crew for their “courage and fortitude” throughout the ordeal. Whether this suggests that the Italian government participated in helping raise the ransom is not clear.

Some banks are refusing to facilitate payment of ransoms

An article in Lloyd’s List says that a number of major shipping banks, including Barclays and RBS, are refusing to facilitate the payment of ransoms to protect their own reputations.

The report points out that until now the pressure to stop the payment of ransoms has come from governments, with the US being particularly vocal, however it has long been the banks that play a pivotal role within the ransom process.

This is not surprising, points out the article, as it is difficult to gather the cash necessary without the support of your bank.

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After years of development, Mozambique is finally on its way to becoming a major coal exporter.

UK-listed miner Beacon Hill Resources will send its first shipment from the Minas Moatize project by the end of the year, despite having to rely on road trucks to carry coal to the port of Beira due to limited rail capacity.

The Sena railway has allocated most of its space to Vale and Rio Tinto, whose mines began production earlier this year; Vale also plans to build another line leading to a new terminal at Nacala.

Vale’s project has been so promising that it recently doubled its output target by 2014 to 22 million tons. Assuming the announced mining and infrastructure plans remain on schedule, Mozambique will be capable of producing 46 MT coal by 2015, mostly coking and almost entirely for export.

Based on 2010 annual volumes, that would make Mozambique a top ten exporter – larger than Canada. Its location is ideal for South Asian and Middle Eastern importers; with the short-term outlook for steel production in these markets far more positive than in Europe and Japan, Mozambique looks likely to have a solid start to its seaborne coal trade when export volumes ramp up next year. source - ICAP Shipping

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Cristobal Colon

A powerful dredger that was passing through Seychelles has successfully tried a new method of getting material from the sea and a smaller dredger has now been contracted to continue the work.

Ministry of Land Use and Housing (MLUH) officials announced this at the Ile du Port where Jan De Nul’s Cristobal Colon (46,373-gt, built 2009) – the world’s largest high- tech trailing suction hopper dredger that was here on a two-day transit – extracted fresh supplies of coral fills for the construction industry.

The material is mainly sand that can be used for construction if washed off of its salt content.

The MLUH said the government is investing 4.6 million euros in the new dredging project which will give enough coral fills to supply the construction industry within the next five years.

Cristobal Colon did the initial phase of the project involving much heavier work, and by December a smaller dredger will be coming to Seychelles to complete the dredging, said the officials.

The principal secretary of Land Use and Housing Christian Lionnet said the government has carried out a feasibility study under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) two years ago to decide on the best area to carry out the extraction. This was due to the depletion in the stock of coral fills for the construction industry, largely attributed to a major increase in demand. The ministry had previously allocated an area at the Ile Persévérance for extraction, but the available stock there has already been used.

“We have started to reach water, which means that it was no longer feasible to continue extraction in that area,” PS Lionnet said.

The said area has now been turned into a small lake.

Ps Lionnet said the stock pile will be placed at Ile du Port, where bunding work has been carried out.

Besides deepening the seabed in the mentioned area near the Silhouette island, the dredging work is not expected to have any negative effects on the environment.

Cristobal Colon which forms a part of the huge vessel fleet of the Belgian shipping infrastructure conglomerate Jan De Nul was launched in 2009. Among its main design specs is a 46,000 cubic metre hopper, which is nearly 40% more than what the Vasco da Gama has, and a very high dredging depth of 155 metres.

Being the world’s largest trailing suction hopper dredger, Cristobal Colon forms the flagship of the company’s dredging operations. Also, owing to its massive capacity and several other salient features, the Colon is currently rated as the top class dredging ship.

Reaching such a depth is possible because of its technologically powered dredging pumps which are submerged beneath the water surface. These pumps are operated electrically and provide a power of 6,500 kilowatts each.

There are two pipes which provide suction for the dredger and which measure 1,3m in diameter while the pumps to discharge the collected deposits are also operated electrically with a power of 8000 kW each.

The pipes to carry out the suction can be altered or customised to dredge deposits at three various depths. This facility gives the Cristobal Colon the feasibility to carry out the dredging operation irrespective of the level of deposits in the water.

The material used to build this largest ship is steel as it is non-corrosive in nature and offers a lightweight movement in the water, enabling the ship to carry out its operations without any problems whatsoever. source – The Nation

Cristobal Colon was in Durban for bunkers earlier this month – see the picture and story in the 22 November News.

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Maputo – A Special Export Terminal, an estimated investment of US$10 million, hasbecome the first facility to be built in the Nacala Special Economic Area (ZEE), Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias has reported.

The facility, which was opened last week, belongs to a company called NCL África Terminal Especial de Exportação whose chairman, Tomás Mandlate, said that the initiative had been set up to take advantages of the opportunities offered at the Nacala ZEE in particular and resulting from the government’s promotion of liberalisation of economic activities.

The Special Export Terminal, which covers an area of 10 hectares and which also includes a general warehouse with capacity for 8,000 tons, plans to offer storage, handling, transport, conference and customs processing services whilst securing all goods and equipment located inside the terminal.

The terminal will also reduce traffic and optimise operations at the port of Nacala, which is about 2 kilometres away.

NCL África Terminal Especial de Exportação has provided an area to Mozambique’s Customs Services and other state bodies to carry out the customs process thus ensuring that exporters can have their goods stored and inspected by customs agents in one place. (macauhub)

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A scene out of Yesteryear – 1974 to be more precise. The early Unicorn coastal ro-ro car carrier GRETA DELPORT (1025-dwt, built 1964), is seen in this picture arriving in Durban. The little 76m long ship was named for a South African female tennis player and when purchased from a Port Elizabeth owner was already carrying that name, a considerable improvement on her original name as the Swedish ship PORGY. Picture by Trevor Jones

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A scene from today – 2005 to be more exact and the ro-ro car carrier MAERSK WILLOW (52,691-gt, built 2005) seen at work on Durban’s R-berth, opposite the then quite new car terminal and overlooked by the buildings of the city’s Victoria Embankment thoroughfare. The comparison between the two ro-ro vessels indicates the strides taken with moving large numbers of motor vehicles about by sea in specialised ships. Picture by Terry Hutson

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