Ports & Ships Maritime News

June 1, 2007
Author: P&S


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  • Mombasa gets serious about port congestion

  • CMA CGM finalises takeover of COMANAV

  • and the NOSCAR goes to… SAPO

  • Blair arrives in SA on last visit as PM

  • SA's 4.7 percent economic growth is still positive

  • Pic of the day – GREEN BODO

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    Mombasa gets serious about port congestion

    Faced with rising congestion at the Mombasa Container Terminal, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has introduced additional measures to help clear the terminal of boxes cluttering scarce space.

    In the past half year the terminal has come under increasing pressure from increased volumes of containerised cargo including boxes diverted from Dar es Salaam. In recent weeks measures have been taken to establish two inland container depots to help relieve the pressure of boxes overstaying at the port, and working hours at the loading and delivery gates is about to be extended.

    According to KPA's corporate communications officer, Harry Abok, transport companies will be contracted as from 15 June to transfer containers by road to the inland depots. Abok said that other measures included close co-operation between the KPA and the Kenya Revenue Authority as well as other stakeholders to ensure that cargo is cleared more speedily.

    "Already this co-operation has resulted in the increase of container delivery by road from 350 a day last year to 600," he said.

    In addition the number of containers targeted for verification and scanning will be reduced by half.

    "The measures being taken have arisen after wide consultations and deliberations with partners and stakeholders," said Abok.

    It has also been disclosed that berths 13 and 14 have been dedicated to Maersk vessels to ease pressure on the container terminal berths and to provide other vessels with a wider window.

    source - The Nation

    CMA CGM finalises takeover of COMANAV

    In a statement this week and following publication of the privatisation order signed by Prime Minister Driss Jettou, French shipping company CMA CGM has announced it has officially acquired Moroccan maritime shipping company Comanav (see Ports & Ships News Bulletin for 4 January 2007 announcing CMA CGM’s interest in the Moroccan line).

    Created in 1946, Comanav is Morocco’s leader in transporting freight and passengers and managing port operations, and in 2006 reported a turnover of US $ 200 million. The same year the company carried a total of 60,000 TEU, 200,000 tons of freight, and 45,000 ro/ro units.

    Comanav operates a fleet of 16 ships of which 11 are owned. The company has 2,800 employees worldwide.

    The company has developed strong market positions in each of its three main sectors of activity:

    1) Maritime transport of goods with regularly scheduled services provided by a fleet of vessels deployed in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, mainly for container, ro/ro and conventional cargo;

    2) Port activities through its presence at the Tanger-Med terminal and as part of Somaport, which operates two terminals in the port of Casablanca;

    3) Passenger transport with five lines operating between Morocco and Europe, and a fleet of nine car ferries. With annual traffic totaling 800,000 passengers, Comanav is Morocco’s undisputed leader in passenger transport.

    According to CMA CGM the transaction will enable the French company, which recently strengthened its position in West Africa through the acquisition of Delmas Line, to strengthen its position in shipping lines and port activities in Morocco. With the acquisition of a company in this region, CMA CGM gains a geographic advantage, which it says will put it in a position to offer CMA CGM and Comanav customers more comprehensive cargo services between Morocco and Europe and enhanced passenger services on the Mediterranean.

    CMA CGM has been present in Morocco for over 20 years and operates five weekly container shipping services from/to ports in North Europe (Le Havre, Antwerp, Rouen, Dunkirk and Rotterdam), the Mediterranean (Marseilles, Malta) and the ports of Agadir, Casablanca and Tangier.

    The group has also invested in port operations in Casablanca and Tangier.

    source – CMA CGM

    and the NOSCAR goes to… SAPO

    Two of South African Port Operation’s car terminals had reason to celebrate this week after being awarded the Noscar Status, the highest achievement for exceptional safety, health, environment and risk management systems.

    The Durban Car Terminal scooped its fourth Noscar Status, while East London Car Terminal received it a second time at the annual Noscar Awards ceremony in Gauteng recently.

    The Noscar Status is awarded after maintaining a Noscar rating for three consecutive years.

    The Durban Car Terminal handled in excess of 380,000 vehicles including discharging over 5000 units from one vessel earlier this year while the throughput of vehicles at East London was 48,540 during the past year.

    “We are extremely proud of this achievement and the results once again highlight our team’s commitment to remain a world class business with exceptionally high safety, health, environment and risk standards, said Lorraine Curia, Support Services Manager at Durban Car Terminal, who was the driving force behind the safety campaign.”

    “The rating is aimed at ensuring that the standards become a way of life for the employees both in their work environment and at home. Throughout the year, a substantial amount of work went into ensuring safe working practices and that all staff and service providers had a total understanding of safety awareness in the terminal,” said Curia.

    Hector Danisa, Durban Car Terminal Business Unit Executive Manager, said: “The achievement is a prestigious recognition of all the hard work over the past years. It also indicates that we take the safety of our employees, service providers and clients seriously at Durban Car Terminal.

    “Team work is an important factor at the terminal and while we all have areas of responsibility and accountability, we are united in our commitment to safety and high quality standards.

    NOSCAR 2007 East London recipients of the award – from left Mary Anne Kreamer (East London) and Xolile Myoyo (East London) (see also SAPO News in PORTS & SHIPS) CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

    Pieter Klinkradt, East London Business Unit Executive said: “This rating will certainly add to our competitiveness as an attractive terminal. We deal with international companies who regard safety as an important requirement for both the cargo and employee’s handling.

    “There is strong emphasis on the safety culture of the company, and the team’s concerted efforts were on improving and closing the gaps of the safety audits.”

    Blair arrives in SA on last visit as PM

    by Lavinia Mahlangu (BuaNews)

    Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair has arrived in South Africa at the close of his final, official visit to Africa, in his current portfolio.

    The Prime Minister arrived in Johannesburg from Sierra Leone yesterday and paid a courtesy call on South Africa's former President, Nelson Mandela, later in the day.

    On Friday, Mr Blair is to hold discussions with President Thabo Mbeki at the Union Buildings, in Pretoria.

    Downing Street officials have said that the African tour is crucial in the buildup to next month's G8 summit in Germany where the twin themes of climate change and Africa will once again top the agenda, as they did at the Gleneagles gathering.

    While in Sierra Leone, Mr Blair led calls for a strengthened African Union (AU) peacekeeping force to intervene in the continent's conflicts.

    He pledged a $ 10 million dollar (approx R75 million) donation to the existing $ 50 million fund from the European Union in this regard.

    According to a statement from the Prime Minister's office, these funds are designed to be used for rapid deployment to quell unrest in the continent.

    "Yes it's Africa's responsibility for peacekeeping, but we in the West have a responsibility to fund it, to help to train the force and with logistics.

    "If we do not do that, the impact is faced not just here but in the wider world," Mr Blair said during his visit to Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone.

    His stop in that country came five years after his last visit, and seven years after British troops were deployed to stabilise the West African state. British troops arrived in 2000 to play a major role in restoring stability as Sierra Leone sought to recover from a brutal civil war.

    The Prime Minister stressed the importance of the AU in bringing stability to the region.

    "The countries in this area are intrinsically linked together. If we end up with instability in Sierra Leone, Liberia would never have got on its feet. The trouble may have spread into Guinea."

    South Africa's Department of Foreign Affairs shares Downing Street's view that Mr Blair's visit is significant, as it occurs on the eve of the G8 Summit, to which President Mbeki has been invited as part of the African group.

    Prime Minister Blair has consistently emphasised the importance of Africa's development by designating the year 2005 as the Year of Africa.

    "The British Government views South Africa as a major strategic partner in Africa and South Africa expects that this relationship will be consolidated by Prime Minister Blair's successor," the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

    Mr Blair is expected to be succeeded by Gordon Brown, current Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    SA's 4.7 percent economic growth is still positive

    by Seshnee Govender (BuaNews)

    Pretoria - South Africa's economic growth for the first quarter of this year slowed to 4.7 percent, compared to the last quarter of 2006, but the country is still considered to be on a strong growth trajectory.

    Econometrix Director Quinten Bertenshaw told BuaNews on Wednesday that although the growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) slowed down in the first three months of this year, it continued to reflect the flexibility of the economy.

    "Although the GDP is slightly softer after market expectations, the data continues to reflect underlying resilience in the domestic economy," he said.

    "The growth of 4.7 percent quarter on quarter SAAR (seasonally adjusted annual rates) is still being achieved despite four interest rate hikes seen in 2006. This confirms that the South African economy is on a solid and sustainable growth trajectory."

    Figures released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Tuesday showed that the real GDP during the first quarter of 2007 stood at 4.7 percent, compared to 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006.

    The real, annualised economic growth rates during the four quarters of 2006 were 5 percent, 5.5 percent, 4.5 percent and 5.6 percent respectively.

    South Africa aims to achieve a 6 percent annual economic growth by 2010, as one of the key goals of the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for SA (AsgiSA).

    AsgiSA further aims to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014.

    Government has been working towards these goals with concerted efforts across all industries and government departments, since Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka launched the initiative last year.

    Since its inception, the programme has led to the formation of the Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA) to further boost economic growth by sourcing and developing crucial, scarce skills.

    The contributors to the 4.7 percent growth in the first quarter were due mainly to increases in the finance, real estate and business services industry.

    The finance, real estate and business services industry pushed growth up by 1.1 of a percentage point.

    The wholesale, retail and motor trade, hotels and restaurant industry as well as the construction industry each contributed 0.7 of a percentage point.

    The manufacturing industry contributed 0.8 of a percentage point while transport, storage and communication industry contributed 0.6 of a percentage point.

    The smallest contributor to GDP growth was general government sector which gave 0.5 of a percentage point.

    Other sectors contributing to the slow down in growth were the combined agriculture, forestry and fishing industry which slowed growth down to 6.1 percent during the first quarter of 2007 compared to 2006.

    According to Stats SA, during the first quarter of 2007 these sectors slowed down to 6.1 percent compared to the 2006 fourth quarter's 8.4 percent.

    Pic of the day – GREEN BODO

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The diminutive reefer ship GREEN BODO (5084-gt, built 1990) loads citrus at the old Point C shed berth in July 2003, prior to the rebuilding of this facility. Picture Terry Hutson

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

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