Ports & Ships Maritime News

Mar 15, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • SA Port statistics for February

  • More deaths as migrants attempt the crossing from West Africa to the Canaries

  • Cyclone INDLALA approaches coast of Madagascar

  • High costs and poor infrastructure hampers SA auto export industry

  • UN urges representative and inclusive dialogue in Somalia

  • Pic of the day – MSC ANGELA

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    SA Port statistics for February

    South African ports handled a total of 13.915 million tonnes of cargo during the month of February 2007 (Jan 14.792Mt). This figure excludes tonnage for containers which the National Ports Authority records in TEUs but no longer by weight.

    The figures shown below include an estimated average container weight of 13.5 tonnes per TEU (probably conservative) and when taken into account the figure handled by all ports becomes 18.239 million tonnes (January was 18.883Mt).

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

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                   6.064 million tonnes (Jan 5.709Mt)
    Durban                           4.902 Mt (Jan 6.340)
    Saldanha Bay                  4.876 Mt (Jan 4.164)
    Cape Town                     1.284 Mt (Jan 1.113)
    Port Elizabeth                  0.704 Mt (Jan 1.126)
    East London                    0.278 Mt (Jan 0.216)
    Mossel Bay                      0.131 Mt (Jan 0.213)

    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers and subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban                            213,477 TEU (Jan 208,312)
    Cape Town                        66,278 (Jan 60,696)
    Port Elizabeth                     34,922 (Jan 29,764)
    East London                         5,568 (Jan 4,048)
    Richards Bay                           104 (Dec 266)

    Total handled 320,349 TEU (Jan 303,015)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:             364 vessels 7.908m gt (396 vessels 8.670 million gt)
    Cape Town:        245 vessels 4.106m gt (261 vessels 3,644m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:    135 vessels 2.176m gt (96 vessels 2.571m gt)
    Richards Bay:      145 vessels 5.716m gt (107 vessels 3.413m gt)
    Saldanha:            40 vessels 2,360m gt (43 vessels 2.850m gt)
    East London:        26 vessels 0.656m gt (23 vessels 0.709m gt)
    Mossel Bay:        134 vessels 0.305m gt (67 vessels 0.204m gt)

    - source NPA plus Ports & Ships calculations to include container weights

    More deaths as migrants attempt the crossing from West Africa to the Canaries

    UN News Agency IRIN reports that another three migrants died while trying to cross from West Africa to the Canary Islands last week.

    The three were part of a group totalling 49 illegal migrants who attempted the crossing in a large motorised canoe. Their vessel was spotted by Spanish coast guard ship south of Tenerife and the migrants were transferred to the Spanish vessel and taken to Los Cristianos where two others were hospitalised.

    The latest attempt by migrants to make the crossing to what they (the migrants) see as the gateway to Europe, comes shortly after a stand-off involving Spain and Mauritania over jurisdiction of migrants attempting the crossing to the Canaries.

    In a recent case a shipload of illegal migrants were rescued by Spanish naval authorities and taken to Mauritania after lengthy negotiations, only for the 400 or so migrants to be held in a shed because of a dispute about their nationality. It appears that Asians, mainly from Bangladesh or Pakistan have been flying to Africa before making the attempt to reach the Canaries by boat and Mauritania refused to accept responsibility for them.

    Authorities think that human trafficking syndicates may be involved – when questioned the Asian migrants initially declined to identify where they had come from. The ship carrying the migrants was not flying any flag of nationality and had no papers identifying its owner.

    The Mauritanian government has subsequently said that Asian migrants captured on the high seas are not their problem and will not be given refuge. The Spanish are similarly reluctant to accept the migrants into Spain, from where they would gain access to the rest of Europe.

    Cyclone INDLALA approaches coast of Madagascar

    Picture courtesy Naval Research Lab (NRL). Click to enlarge image

    Cyclone INDLALA, the renamed INDLADA (see our News Report of Monday, 13 March 2007), now appears certain to come ashore along the northeastern coast of Madagascar and is predicted to move in a southerly direction with the centre of the storm slightly inland of the coast.

    At 18.00 yesterday (Wednesday) UTC, the storm was described as an Intense Tropical Cyclone displaying a secondary closed convective wall, measuring 935 hPa, 95 knots (10-minute sustained) according to Meteo France. Wind velocity was also measured at 125 knots over a one minute sustained period.

    Meanwhile a navigational coastal warning continues to exist regarding the bulker GRACIA, which was abandoned by her crew earlier in March after the ship’s engines failed shortly after the vessel encountered Cyclone Gamede (see our News Report dated 5 March).

    The crew of 23, who had taken to the ship’s life raft was rescued by the container ship EVER GAINING and taken to Durban.

    According to the South African Navy Hydrographic Office the GRACIA may still be afloat and should be considered a navigational hazard. The last reported position for the 176m long vessel was given by the Hydrographic Office as 24 – 48 S 051 – 56 E.
    (refer http://www.sanho.co.za/safety_info/latest_notices.htm#navarea_vii)

    High costs and poor infrastructure hampers SA auto export industry

    Harbour and infrastructure costs in South Africa continue to hamper the automotive industry from becoming truly competitive in the global market, a conference was told in Port Elizabeth this week.

    A spokesman for UTi Worldwide, Jochen Freese described poor infrastructure and high costs as the weak link in the South African supply chain, saying that by comparison with Brazil and China South Africa rated poorly.

    Freese said that for South Africa to be successful it needed to see itself as an exporting nation which required long-term planning towards infrastructural development.

    UN urges representative and inclusive dialogue in Somalia

    Deploring the recent wave of deadly violence in Somalia, especially in the capital Mogadishu, the United Nations Security Council has expressed the need for political dialogue to be as representative and inclusive as possible.

    In a press statement read out Tuesday by South Africa's Ambassador to the UN Dumisani Kumalo, the 15-member panel also voiced concern at the deteriorating humanitarian situation inside Somalia.

    South Africa is holding this month's rotating presidency of the UN Security Council.

    The member panel also expressed particular concern at attacks against African Union (AU) stabilization forces inside Somalia and at leaders of the country's Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs).

    The statement added that the Council backed the need for the rapid deployment of troops to an AU protection force and urged donors to provide greater financial and logistical support to that operation.

    The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Francois Lonsny Fall, who briefed the Council today during closed-door consultations, later told journalists that the security situation inside Mogadishu remained a serious problem.

    The Transitional Federal Government (TFG), backed by Ethiopian forces, dislodged the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) from Mogadishu and much of the rest of the country at the end of last year.

    The fall of the UIC has brought to the fore some of the inter-and intra-clan rivalries that had been suppressed and the TFG has yet to establish effective authority or law and order in Mogadishu and other main population centres.

    Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991, when the regime of Muhammad Siad Barre was toppled.

    Mr Fall noted there had been another mortar attack on Thursday in Mogadishu, this time aimed at the presidential palace only hours after the government was transferred to the city from Baidoa, where it had been based during the UIC's rule.

    The briefing by Mr Fall follows the most recent report on Somalia by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who found that although the nation's challenges are enormous, it still had the best chance in years to reach a solution to the conflicts that have left it without a government for so long. - BuaNews

    Pic of the day – MSC ANGELA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    MSC ANGELA under the crane at Durban’s Container Terminal. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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