Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 8, 2006
Author: P&S

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  • SA ports statistics for October

  • Safmarine reinstates weekly call on intermediate service

  • Andrew Thomas appointed CEO of Ocean Africa Container Lines

  • Early retirement for bunker personality

  • Oil output set to boost African economy

  • Angola’s Luanda-Malange railway reopens next year

  • Picture of the day

    Ports & Ships has introduced a new column called The Shipping World which will carry comment and analysis, as well as a collection of interesting facts, figures and explanations about shipping and transport in general and of the people who make it tick. In fact anything that influences the Shipping World. The topics will not be news as such, more the background to the news.
    The column can also be utilised to highlight companies that have made their mark in this industry, or who do things differently from the rest. Get in touch with us if you have an interesting story to tell or a success to share. Contact us at info@ports.co.za

    EMAIL: jhughes@hugheship.com
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    SA port statistics for October

    South Africa’s ports handled a total of 12.311 million tonnes of cargo during the month of October 2006 (Sept 14.471Mt). This figure excludes containers which the National Ports Authority records in TEUs but no longer by weight.

    Ports & Ships calculates average container weight based on 13.5 tonnes per TEU and when taking this into account the figure handled by all ports becomes 16.408 million tonnes (September was 18.073Mt) - which reflects a considerable decrease compared with recent months. Much of this decrease is a result of breakdowns to cargo handling infrastructure at the ore terminals of Richards Bay and Saldanha during the month in question.

    Including the calculated figure for containers, the respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay      5.561 million tonnes (Sept 7.762Mt)
    Durban              6.455 Mt (Sept 5.404)
    Saldanha Bay     1.987 Mt (Sept 2.824)
    Cape Town        1.031 Mt (Sept 1.034)
    Port Elizabeth     1.076 Mt (Sept 0.809)
    East London       0.192 Mt (Sept 0.108)
    Mossel Bay         0.106 Mt (Sept 0.139)

    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal and Tranship cargo)

    Durban              207 671 TEU (Sept 172,294)
    Cape Town          54,066 (Sept 61,192)
    Port Elizabeth       38,860 (Sept 31,079)
    East London          2,598 (Sept 2,097)
    Richards Bay            278 (Sept 168)

    Total handled     303,473 TEU (Sept 266,830)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:           364 vessels 8.041m gt (385 vessels 7.962m gt)
    Cape Town:      264 vessels 3.792m gt (255 vessels 3,700m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:  161 vessels 2.396m gt (138 vessels 2.340m gt)
    Richards Bay:    110 vessels 4.309m gt (141 vessels 5.462m gt)
    Saldanha:          37 vessels 2,095m gt (44 vessels 1.693m gt)
    East London:      27 vessels 0.685m gt (28 vessels 0.743m gt)
    Mossel Bay:       94 vessels 0.212m gt (206 vessels 0.311m gt)

    - source NPA plus Ports & Ships calculations on container weights

    Safmarine reinstates weekly call on intermediate service

    Safmarine and DAL Deutsche Afrika-Linien have announced that, with effect from January 2007, the weekly frequency on the Intermediate Service between Europe and South Africa will be resumed.

    According to a media statement issued yesterday this service upgrade is being implemented to meet the seasonal requirements for increased capacity and frequency and will, together with the lines’ weekly Core Service, provide for two weekly named-day services on the trade between Europe and South Africa.

    The Intermediate Service is run in cooperation with Maersk Line and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd.

    A Safmarine spokesperson told Ports & Ships that the Intermediate Service had been scaled back from weekly to fortnightly during the second half of 2005, following the introduction of the new, larger Core Service vessels earlier that year. “At the time, the added capacity provided by these new vessels (Safmarine Nomazwe, Safmarine Nokwanda etc) – particularly with regard to integral reefer slots – made it possible to operate a fortnightly intermediate service.”

    She said that subsequent demand from the market combined with the requirement for additional capacity during the peak reefer season has now necessitated the reintroduction of a weekly service.

    Andrew Thomas appointed CEO of Ocean Africa Container Lines

    Following his appointment as Director in charge of Grindrod Freight Services, Captain Dave Rennie has announced his successor at Ocean Africa Container Lines. Andrew Thomas, previously Marketing and New Business Development Executive, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 November 2006.

    Andrew Thomas, new CEO for Ocean Africa Container Lines

    Thomas has worked in the container shipping industry since 1990. He has been the Marketing and New Business Development Executive at Ocean Africa since 2002.

    He started his career in Felixstowe working for Maersk Line UK, moving subsequently to Leeds and later to London where he worked for Mercantile GB (now Maersk Logistics) as a supply chain manager. In 1996 he took up a position in Vietnam managing the branch offices of APM Saigon Shipping in Hanoi and Hai Phong. In 1999 he was appointed Line Manager for MCC Transport Pty in Singapore with operational and commercial responsibility for APM Saigon Shipping and Anchor Transport.

    In 2002 Thomas took up his position as Business Development and Marketing Executive in Durban.

    In his announcement, Captain Rennie said “My appointment as Director in charge of Grindrod Freight Services has seen the need to review the current executive structure at Ocean Africa, leading to the appointment of a new CEO.”

    Captain Rennie will remain on the Ocean Africa Board of Directors.

    Commenting on the company’s growth and strategy going forward, Thomas advised that Ocean Africa had recently revised their service schedules and continues to increase vessel capacity to cater to growing demand and to counter the impact of congestion in the region’s ports.

    On the East Coast, the line has increased coverage to the demand areas of Maputo and Beira, with one vessel deployed to operate Durban-Maputo-Beira-Durban, and two vessels deployed to operate Durban-Maputo-Beira-Nacala-Dar Es Salaam-Nacala-Beira-Maputo-Durban.

    On the West Coast an express service has been deployed between Cape Town and Luanda. A core string of four vessels out of Durban link the West Coast ports of Cape Town, Luderitz, Walvis Bay, Namibe, Lobito and Luanda.

    East London and Port Elizabeth are serviced through slot agreements.

    Mai Rickmers, a sister ship of the already deployed Peter Rickmers, will be brought into service in December this year replacing a smaller vessel in the 4 vessel West Coast rotation.

    Early retirement for bunker personality

    In what is something of a surprise Captain Phil Harris, general manager of KZN Bunkers and a leading bunker specialist has opted to take early retirement from KZN Bunkers, the Durban-headquartered marine bunker supply company. He leaves the company at the end of November.

    KZN Bunkers is the former FFS Bunkers, a long established bunker supply specialist on the South African coast which was recently sold to KZN Oils, a black empowered company headed by Rajen Reddy. All the former FFS Bunker personnel remained with the company when the sale went through but Captain Harris, who headed up the bunker supply business for Fuel Firing Systems for many years, has since opted to retire ‘some years early’.

    Harris, who was largely responsible for successfully introducing bunker barging to the ports of Richards Bay and Cape Town, says he intends taking it easy for a few months before deciding on any future direction.

    Oil output set to boost African economy

    by Thapelo Sakoana, BuaNews

    Sub-Saharan Africa's economy is set to receive a boost following estimates of a sharp increase in the growth of output from oil-exporting countries.

    Releasing a report on the region's economic outlook for 2006 in Pretoria on Monday, the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Director for Africa Department, Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané said the average growth for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) was estimated to accelerate to 5.9 percent in 2007.

    This was attributed mainly to rising petroleum output in a few oil-producing countries.

    "Output growth in oil-exporting countries is forecast to increase sharply, from 5.6 percent to 10.1 percent, as new oil fields come on-stream in Angola and Equatorial Guinea," Bio-Tchané said.

    He said growth was projected to more than double to 31 percent in Angola and to over 9 percent in Equatorial Guinea.

    The report said in other oil-producing African countries, growth is expected to accelerate to between 2.5 percent and 4.5 percent.

    In oil-importing countries, the report painted a promising picture, with economies projected to grow at 4.6 percent, led by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Tanzania - all growing by at least 7 percent.

    Growth in South Africa is expected to converge towards the potential growth rate of 4 percent, said the report.

    The report said economic activity in oil-importing countries was supported by steady investment of almost 20 percent of the Growth Domestic Product (GDP).

    "Output growth below two percent is projected in only four SSA countries: Lesotho, Seychelles, Swaziland and Zimbabwe," said the report.

    For the entire region, excluding Zimbabwe, inflation is projected to decline to about 6 percent.

    "In Zimbabwe, if current policies are maintained, inflation can be expected to accelerate to above 4, 000 percent," said the report.

    Bio-Tchané said while the situation was "bad" in Zimbabwe, the current state of affairs could be reversed by the country's authorities.

    "We all agree that the situation is bad in Zimbabwe. This is bad news because it's affecting everybody but the good news is that this can be reversed by the authorities," he said.

    Asked how the fund was assisting the country, he explained that the IMF board had discussed the situation adding that "we are advising them on what steps could be taken."

    Bio-Tchané emphasised that the main tools of turning the situation around were in the hands of that country's government.

    Among oil-exporting countries, inflation is expected to fall significantly especially in Angola and Nigeria, "which are applying tighter monetary and fiscal policies."

    The IMF report said average inflation in South Africa is projected at almost 5.7 percent, "somewhat higher than in 2006."

    Angola’s Luanda-Malenge railway reopens next year

    The railway line between Angola’s capital and port city of Luanda and the town of Malange is set to reopen by mid 2007 on completion of rehabilitation work carried out by Chinese contractors.

    The 480-km railway, the only rail network serving the port city and isolated from the country’s other railway networks, has been fully de-mined and re-ballasted and has had its bridges and culverts rebuilt or strengthened to handle traffic for the first time since early in the civil war.

    Construction of the Luanda-Malenge railway commenced in 1886 with the Portuguese intending to extend the line across the Congo and linking with northern Mozambique but was thwarted by the ‘annexation’ of Rhodesia by Cecil John Rhodes and the construction of the railway from South Africa reaching up through the two Rhodesias into the Congo.

    Originally a metre gauge railway it was converted to Cape gauge (1067mm) in the early 1960s with the Portuguese intending to extend the railway along the coast northwards from Luanda into Cabinda. This project was then thwarted when the Congo achieved independence, with the coastal railway having extended a mere 10km.

    Known as the Luanda Railway Company (Caminho de Ferro de Luanda, or CFL), the potential traffic on this railway is manganese ore and agricultural products in particular coffee, the major farming product of the adjacent highlands.

    Picture of the day
    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The cruise ship Prinsendam arriving in Cape Town yesterday, 7 November 2006. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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