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The car carrier ORCHID ACE seen at Las Palmas recently from the decks of the liner Queen Mary 2.
Picture by Ian Shiffman
News continues below…
LATEST PORT STATISTICS FOR MONTH OF APRIL
Port statistics for the month of April 2013, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National
Ports Authority, have become available. The total cargo handled by all the ports during the past month amounted to 24.215 million
tons, or approximately two million tons more than the previous month. Best performer, volume-wise, was once again the Port of
Richards Bay, which handled 7.802 million tons of cargo during the month.
Durban too enjoyed an increase to 6.981 million tons with the container terminal handling an improved (on the previous month)
220,225-TEUs for the month. Ngqura again had a strong month with 78,091-TEUs handled, while Cape Town’s container terminal was busy
with a high of 83,851-TEUs processed during the month. Notable also was the large number of vessel movements at Cape Town.
The seven new super-post panamax STS cranes at the Durban Container Terminal have been commissioned and yesterday all three berths
203 – 205 were occupied by container ships, just in time to impress the visiting minister of public enterprises (see story below).
Meanwhile, a port notice informs that berths 102 and 103 at Durban are to be out of service for the next five weeks.
The previous April (2012) figures can be found HERE - use
your BACKSPACE button to return to this page.
As is always the case with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, these reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage compared to
those provided by Transnet. This is to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures
containers by the number of TEUs and does not reflect the weight.
To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13,5 tonnes per TEU, which probably does involve some under-
reporting but until such time as the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports we will have to live with these
estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to emphasise this distinction, without which South African ports will continue to be under-
Port Statistics continue below…
Cape Town’s Duncan Dock
Figures for the respective ports during April 2013 are:
Cargo handled by tonnes during April 2013
April 2013 million tonnes
Total all ports
24.215 million tonnes
CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during April 2013 (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA
April 2013 TEUs
Total all ports
SHIP CALLS for April 2013
April 2013 vessels
Total ship calls
- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages
News continues below…
APRIL PORT STATISTICS FOR RBCT
MONTHLY STATISTICS FOR RICHARDS BAY COAL TERMINAL
Port of Richards Bay. Picture TNPA
GIGABA COMMISSIONS NEW DURBAN STS CRANES
Public Enterprises Minister, Mr Malusi Gigaba yesterday unveiled Transnet’s seven new state-of-the-art ship-to-shore (STS) cranes
at the Durban Container Terminal – Pier 2 as part of the company’s drive to boost productivity and efficiency in one of the
southern hemisphere’s biggest and busiest ports.
The cranes, which were supplied by China-based original equipment manufacturer, ZPMC following a competitive tender process in
2011, are part of Transnet Port Terminals’ accelerated crane fleet acquisition programme targeted at replacing its ageing fleet.
Six of the seven cranes have been handed over to operations while the remaining one was handed over yesterday after undergoing
Transnet’s operational readiness and endurance tests. The readiness tests are conducted by the company’s engineering teams in
partnership with the manufacturer. Transnet operators are also undergoing intensive training on the cranes to ensure maximum
While taking members of the media through a tour and of the capabilities of the tandem-lift cranes, Minister Gigaba said the Durban
Container Terminal – Pier 2 had in the past experienced significant productivity challenges which affected the overall performance
of the port. This, he said, was mainly due to old and outdated equipment used.
Minister Gigaba said the new equipment could simultaneously handle two 12 metre containers or four 6 metre containers and lift up
to a maximum of 80 tons. They are the biggest in Africa and can handle new generation vessels with 24 containers stowed across the
width of the deck.
“These capabilities will see a massive jump in productivity with gross crane moves per hour (GCH) - a key measure of terminal
efficiency and how well equipment is used - jumping from the current 26 to 33 GCH over the next three years. This is a 27 percent
improvement,” he said.
“Ship working hour (SWH), the rate at which a terminal is able to load and offload container ships in an hour and a key
consideration for our customers, will improve from the current 68 containers to 85 once our operators are fully conversant with
operating the equipment and newer generation vessels with larger parcel sizes call to our ports – that will be a 25 percent
increase,” the minister said.
Through further innovation and optimum planning, the terminal is able to stretch the cranes’ capability to carry four 12 metre
empty containers simultaneously through vertical twin lift.
Previously, terminal operations, especially in Durban (Pier 2) and Port Elizabeth were restricted by ageing crane fleets and the
resultant high probability of equipment breakdown. The acquisition and employment of these cranes will enable the country’s port
productivity to compete and be benchmarked against leading terminal operators’ high performance standards.
The cranes are part of Transnet’s rolling R300 billion seven year investment programme – the Market Demand Strategy. Over the next
20 years, Transnet Port Terminals, which currently operates 45 cranes in seven ports across the country, will buy 39 new cranes
including STS and other types.
In line with Transnet’s commitment to the Competitive Supplier Development Programme - the DPE-led initiative to localise the
manufacturing of imported equipment - the contract with ZPMC had significant local manufacturing, skills transfer and supplier
development elements. These allowed for various agreements, including technology transfer for the manufacture of spares and key
components; intellectual property rights; use of local expertise and labour in the various stages of assembly and a significant
training element in both Durban and Shanghai.
Transnet is currently expanding its handling capacity at the Cape Town Container Terminal and is positioning the Ngqura Container
Terminal in the Eastern Cape as a trans-shipment hub. The company has also acquired the old Durban International Airport site for
the construction of a dig-out port to cater for projected rise in demand. The latter will be built in phases between 2016 and
One of the shipments bringing seven new STS cranes for the Port of Durban. Picture Roy
News continues below...
LOCOS FOR ANGOLA AND MOZAMBIQUE MAY BE BUILT IN
US Locomotive builder General Electric (GE) says it may build locomotives for Angola and Mozambique in South Africa under the terms
of a partnership with Transnet Engineering.
GE holds orders from Mozambique state rail and port company Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique (CFM) for 10 diesel-electric
locos and another undisclosed number for Angola, thought to be 100. The first 15 of these could be built in South Africa along with
the ten Mozambique locomotives.
In terms of the order placed with GE by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) for the construction of 143 locomotives, these are being built
at Koedoespoort outside Pretoria.
Chairman and chief executive of GE for Southern Africa, Tim Schweikert said the agreement to build the TFR locos in South Africa is
aimed at helping to revive the rail industry in South Africa.
General-Electric diesel-electric Class 43 of Transnet Freight Rail, being built outside
Pretoria. Picture by Charles Baker
News continues below…
BLACK SEA TO BE TARGETED AS ‘SEA OF SHAME’
The International Transport Federation (ITF) and its affiliated maritime unions in Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and
Ukraine are exposing substandard working conditions and fighting for improved safety in what they have described as the ‘Black Sea
of shame’, this week, from 13 to 15 May.
The Black Sea is one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a seafarer, and is the focus of an intensive ITF campaign to
increase safety and drive up standards. This action is the latest move in that campaign, and will involve joint inspection teams
made up of ITF inspectors and union activists visiting ships in Black Sea ports.
There are around 2,400 vessels working the Black Sea, many of which are over 20 years of age, and around 800 are over 30 years old.
The shipping market is characterised by ancient vessels moving low value goods, with rock bottom and unpaid wages where sinkings
are not uncommon, and the risk of death and injury is deemed to be part of the job. This week’s action seeks to expose such
unacceptable conditions and bring them to the attention of the public and governments – to put them on notice that things will have
to change with the coming into force on 20 August 2013 of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
ITF acting general secretary Steve Cotton said: “Some of the worst ships in the world are to be found plying the Black Sea. Work
conditions are often shameful and safety non-existent. The human cost is enormous.”
“This event is intended to shine a light on malpractice and make seafarers aware of their rights and how to exercise them under the
Maritime Labour Convention, 2006,” Cotton said.
The ITF and its unions in the Black Sea littoral states launched a campaign to tackle the often woeful standards of shipping in the
area last year. They also released the report Black Sea of Shame, which details a litany of abuse, accidents and sinkings, allied
with a lack of P&I cover and non-payment or delayed payment of wages.
According to the report ‘The severe impact of a substandard industry on seafarers and their families cannot be underestimated. The
intentional non-payment of wages amounts to a situation of bonded labour or slavery and should be unthinkable in the 21st Century.
… As the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 comes ever closer, the situation in the ‘Black Sea of Shame’ can
no longer be tolerated.’
The ‘Black Sea of Shame’ can be downloaded at Black Sea of
Shame - use your BACKSPACE button to return to this page.
RIO TINTO DISMISSES MOZAMBIQUE WORKFORCE
Anglo-Australian mining group Rio Tinto plans to reduce the number of workers it has in Mozambique due to losses posted in 2012 and
projections of a similarly negative outlook this year, the group said in a statement issued Thursday in Maputo.
The losses are being attributed largely to the inability of Mozambique’s rail network to deliver coal to the port at Beira as well
as low export prices for coal.
In a statement Rio Tinto Coal Mozambique (RTCM) said that staff cutbacks would mainly affect the prospecting and surveying area of
the business as part of structural changes underway in the company, and that replacement of foreign staff by Mozambican workers was
happening in an increasing number of roles at the company.
“Due to a drop in prices of raw materials and constraints created by coal transport and logistics infrastructure, RTCM posted
losses in its operations in 2012 and, in anticipation of difficulties in the remaining months of 2013, steps are being taken to
ensure the business is profitable by the end of 2013 and sustainable for the future,” the statement said.
In 2012 Rio Tinto posted losses of over US$3 billion following a downward review of coal reserves at the Benga mine, in Tete
province, along with difficulties in transporting the coal away from the mine.
Transport restrictions are due to the reduced capacity of the Sena railroad, the main means of carrying coal from Tete province.
The disappointing results of Rio Tinto’s business were also a result of the Mozambican government refusing to allow the coal to be
transported along the Zambezi River, due to environmental concerns. Source – macauhub
The Benga opencast coal mine. Problems with getting the coal to the coast for export saw Rio
Tinto take a loss last year
IMPERIAL BUYS INTO NIGERIAN LOGISTICS
South African logistics specialist Imperial Holdings Limited has acquired a 49 percent stake in MDS, a Nigerian logistics
specialist operating in Nigeria. The deal was sealed for a cash consideration of US$26 million and gives Imperial an additional
footprint in Africa.
MDS is a wholly owned subsidiary of UAC of Nigeria Plc, which is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
“MDS has a quality customer base with a strong new business pipeline. Through the transaction, Imperial has also secured a
specialist management team which strengthens and complements the group’s existing skills set in the logistics business,” said
Marius Swanepoel, Imperial Logistics chief executive.
MDS has warehousing and a unique distribution setup involving a network of 50 distribution centres that link companies with their
customers in more than 600 towns and villages across Nigeria.
COAL LINE FACES ANNUAL MAINTENANCE
The coal export railway to the Port of Richards Bay faces a maintenance closure for a 12-day period as from today, Transnet Freight
Rail has reported.
The closure of the double track line is necessary for TFR to catch up on maintenance backlogs and to replace sections of ageing
infrastructure, TFR said. On the single section of the line at Overvaal and in the Ermelo exchange yard there is critical work to
The coal line is expected to be closed to traffic between today, 14 May and Saturday, 25 May.
PICS OF THE DAY – XIA ZHI YUAN 6
Two views of the Chinese heavylift semi-submersible vessel XIA ZHI YUAN 6, empty of cargo (above)
and fully loaded (lower). Pictures by Piet Sinke
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