Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 30, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • Cockett Marine Oil and Grindrod’s ship agencies combine in cost-saving exercise

  • Nigerian Institute of Shipping registrar slates country’s lack of maritime awareness

  • GL board says nein to BV bid

  • Africa replaces North America as Chinese port’s 3rd best trading partner

  • Ships back up as port closes for the night

  • Pic of the day

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    Cockett Marine Oil and Grindrod’s ship agencies combine in cost-saving exercise

    Cockett Marine and Grindrod’s Ships Agencies division has announced a joint 'One-Stop Shop Service', which will encompass all aspects of agency and bunkering services in South Africa and concentrating especially in bringing value added savings by turning vessels around in the shortest time possible.

    Grindrod purchased 50 percent of bunker specialists Cockett Marine in July 2005, which it says is contributing towards Grindrod’s aim to provide a complete service in logistics and shipping in Southern Africa.

    Cockett Marine will continue to supply its clients with the most competitive bunker prices and service available; however for vessels calling bunkers only and bunkering through Cockett Marine Oil, the agency fee will be included at no additional cost.

    The Grindrod Group's impressive list of agencies include: King & Sons, ISS-Voigt, Mitchell Cotts, Eyethu and Ellerman & Bucknall, enabling them to offer clients the full-spectrum of agency services, catering to every type of ship and cargo.

    “Grindrod subsidiary, Southern Tankers have ordered 2 new double-hull bunker barges to service the ports of Durban and Richards Bay, which on completion, will further enhance the one-stop shop service we are aiming to offer our clients”, says Kevin Bresnahan, managing director Cockett Marine Oil Limited. The barges are scheduled to be delivered in October next year.

    Nigerian Institute of Shipping registrar slates country’s lack of maritime awareness

    Nigeria’s registrar of the Institute of Shipping of Nigeria says the country relies too heavily on the oil trade and has become a monolithic economy at the expense of its maritime domain.

    Regarding the situation as dangerous, Rev Alex Okwuashi said that “although Nigeria has this ageless maritime activities, we lack adequate understanding of our maritime domain.”

    He said Nigeria could not expect to benefit from something it was ignorant about.

    Calling Nigeria’s reliance on the oil trade a dangerous practice that left the country with all its eggs in one basket, Okwuashi said it was these factors that had assisted the collapse of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL) and Nigeria Unity Line (NUL).

    “Our over reliance on oil in the midst of the abundant resources of the seas is a mistake and should be critically examined.”

    He said Nigeria needs to address and redress some of the problems of the maritime sector, particularly as it relates to a thorough understanding of all activities concerning the global maritime environment which could help the security, safety and economic environment of a maritime nation.

    Okwuashi said that a thorough knowledge of the maritime domain meant having specific knowledge of vessels, generic port infrastructure and superstructures, transhipment facilities, maritime approaches, waterways, channels, anchorages, fishing grounds, rookeries, choke-points, shipping lanes, canals, lagoons, delta, transit tributaries, corridors and other array of diverse maritime-based resources.

    Source - Vanguard (Lagos)

    GL says nein to BV bid

    The executive and supervisory boards of Germanischer Lloyd have advised shareholders in the German-based classification society to reject the takeover bid from French-based rival Bureau Veritas.

    The boards say that the merger would neither meet the needs of the Society and its 3,200 employees, not be in the interests of the shareholders. The boards advise that the risks of the envisaged takeover far outweigh any possible benefit.

    “We do not need Bureau Veritas. On the contrary, a hostile takeover would jeopardise the continuation of our business success thus far,” said executive board member Rainer Schöndube.

    The two boards added that in their view a takeover by the French competitor would endanger the growth and value-adding potential of Germanischer Lloyd, which it says has grown faster than the overall market in recent years. ”The profitability of Germanischer Lloyd lies appreciably above that of Bureau Veritas.”

    “The offer is constrained by numerous conditions. For example, BV demands an examination of the financial and legal circumstances of GL. The purchase price is also subject to terms and reservations. BV also makes the price dependent on the results of due diligence investigation. In addition, BV will, at its own discretion, be able to withdraw the offer at any time. However the shareholders are only given a limited right of withdrawal.”

    According to the boards this would be breaking German law. “Such a procedure would not be admissible according to the German Securities Acquisitions and Takeover Act for the acquisition of a corporation listed on the stock exchange. In accepting the offer, the shareholders of Germanischer Lloyd be given no certainty as to whether and in what form the process would actually culminate in a takeover by Bureau Veritas.”

    Africa replaces North America as Chinese port’s 3rd best trading partner

    Africa is now the port of Ningbo’s 3rd biggest trade partner, after Asia and Europe, reports Shednet and quoting customs statistics published by Xinhua News Agency.

    This is perhaps an indication of the growing status of Africa in its trade dealings with China, which are set to grow even higher following more recent trade agreements between China and various African states.

    According to the report, from January to October this year, Ningbo's trade with Africa totalled US .48 billion, surging 85.9 percent compared to the same period in 2005.

    Import value soared by 120 per cent to .55 billion, while export value went 38.3 percent up to .92 billion, resulting a trade deficit of .63 billion.

    Imports were mostly mineral products, representing 98.6 per cent of the total value. Among exports, textiles, machines and shoes led the way.

    Value of general trade increased by 93.4 per cent to .79 billion, taking up 92.8 per cent of dollar volume.

    Source – Schednet and Xinhua News Agency

    Ships back up as port closes for the night

    The port of Durban closed for the night on Tuesday to permit geotechnical drilling in the entrance channel. This was after a number of postponements in recent weeks which the port authority says will not delay the start of the widening and deepening of the harbour, set for the first half of 2007.

    An accumulation of ships waiting outside harbour was noticeable yesterday morning following the closure but it is not clear whether this was a coincidence. By early afternoon 20 ships were waiting outside port, a marked increase on the previous week when only a few ships were delayed outside.

    Previous port closures to permit drilling in the channel (the NPA plans to have three) were postponed because of concerns that they would impact on the existing backlog, which has resulted in some shipping lines threatening to impose a surcharge. Some container vessels were being delayed by between 72 and 100 hours. SA Port Operations introduced contingency measures that succeeded in reducing the delays.

    It is not clear what effect the ongoing port closures will have on ship delays and the situation will be monitored with interest.

    Picture of the day

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Durban harbour tug Tugela, before she was renamed (or more correctly, re-spelt) uThukela, in the Island View channel once morning in 2003. Picture Terry Hutson

    NB Pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – email to info@ports.co.za

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