Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 29, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • Agents unhappy as SAPO introduces terminal shuttle service

  • Gotheborg completes epic voyage

  • Zambia plans dry port at Walvis Bay

  • IMO calls for strong action against Somali piracy

  • Moatize coal contract ready to be signed and sealed

  • Pic of the day – FNS TONNERRE

    Agents unhappy as SAPO introduces terminal shuttle service

    A number of ships agents said yesterday they were not happy with a pilot project being introduced at the Durban Container Terminal (DCT) which forces them to leave their cars at the entrance and make use of a shuttle bus while in the terminal grounds.

    SA Port Operations (SAPO) says the project has been introduced at DCT to enhance ISPS compliance in line with international standards.

    The company says the project aims at tightening control over access into the terminal for all terminal users, and the only people who will be allowed access into the terminal in private vehicles are truck drivers and certain specific categories of services, including ship chandlers (deliveries) and the collection or delivery of heavy equipment.

    “The introduction of the shuttle service by SAPO is intended to create a safe and secure environment for all terminal users. The new shuttle service will enhance security checks and manage unauthorised access to the terminal as all visits will now have to be pre-announced at the security check point where permits will be issued to terminal visitors,” says Pru Archary, SAPO general manager in charge of Business Risk, Corporate Governance and Legal matters.

    But a number of ships agents that PORTS & SHIPS spoke to yesterday said they were unhappy with the move which not only eats up valuable time but greatly detracts from the value of services they are able to offer.

    SAPO says the pick up and drop off zones at DCT are clearly signposted for the various terminal users. These are demarcated into three broad categories i.e. stevedores, customers and other terminal users.

    According to Archary the shuttle service vehicles will transport terminal users to their various destinations within the terminal and pick them up again at regular intervals. He said that SAPO is committed to delivering customer-orientated solutions and appealed for co-operation and patience as the new system is implemented.

    Representatives of ASABOSA and SAASOA (South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents) were not available for comment yesterday.

    Gotheborg completes epic voyage

    Remember the Gotheborg? The sailing ship that called at Cape Town and Port Elizabeth early last year while replicating a journey made in 1745 by the original Gotheborg, has arrived safely back in its home port of Gothenborg, Sweden.

    In the original journey the first Gotheborg sank dramatically outside its home port within minutes of completing a successful round voyage and in full view of hundreds of anxious family and friends waiting to greet their loved ones. The Swedish East Indiaman had been away from home for two years and carried a cargo of porcelain and other objects from China when she broke up outside harbour.

    Following the discovery of her wreck in 1985 Swedish enthusiasts began planning a replica that would complete the voyage. Once the ship had been built a crew sailed her to China making calls at South Africa and Australia among other destinations along the way.

    On 9 June this year Gotheborg arrived back in Gothenborg, having visited 12 different ports across five continents. Ships agent GAC's Global Hub Services team in Dubai coordinated the whole operation and associated financial transactions.

    “With our strong Swedish roots, GAC has been closely associated with the project and has sponsored a number of activities, said Tom Bjorklund, GAC's Head of Global Hub Services. “Throughout the Gotheborg's voyage to the Far East and back to Sweden, we assisted the vessel and her needs at every port of call, using our extensive network of port agents along her route.”

    He said that as her exclusive port agent, GAC assisted the Swedish East India Company (SOIC) and the Swedish Embassy with all her port requirements. These port agency services are offered as part of the GAC Global Hub Agency sponsorship agreement with the SOIC to support the Sweden-to-China expedition of the Gotheborg.

    SOIC is grateful for GAC's support and assistance throughout the journey, says Fleet Manager Joakim Severinson.

    “GAC's local presence and experience in the various stopovers have been vital in ensuring that we stayed firmly on our course, and that our vessel and crew returned home safe and sound,” he adds.

    “GAC was well prepared to meet any challenges posed by the Gotheborg's unique demands and requirements, wherever she goes. It was a thrilling and an extremely gratifying experience to be able to help play a part in the re-enactment of an important piece of maritime history successfully.”

    Besides facilitating services such as customs, immigration and other formalities for the vessel while at anchor, GAC played a central role in coordinating the Gotheborg's port security plan requirements, the smooth delivery of fresh water, supply of safety gear and the environmentally-friendly removal of the ship's garbage and sewage, reflecting the vessel's commitment to preventing pollution to the sea.

    Refer also to related stories in Ports & Ships News Bulletins for 27 February 2006 and 13 March 2006.

    Zambia plans dry port at Walvis Bay

    Zambia intends setting up a dry port at Walvis Bay in Namibia, according to media reports.

    Zambia’s President Mwanawasa announced the project on Tuesday while receiving the credentials of the new Namibian High Commissioner to Zambia, Josephat Witbooi.

    The president said the dry port follows logically on the opening of a new bridge across the Zambezi at Kutimo Mulilo, which has opened the Trans Caprivi Road Corridor between the two countries as well as to other central African countries.

    The bridge was not an end to itself, he said, but the beginning of an era of greater exchange of goods and services. He said the development of joint infrastructure between Zambia and Namibia is aimed at promoting the creation of wealth to fight poverty, disease and other social ills.

    The High Commissioner said that the private sector should consider participating in agriculture, tourisms and trade fairs and to help ensure the speedy completion of the Trans Caprivi and Ndola - Lubumbashi transport corridors.

    IMO calls for strong action against Somali piracy

    The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council, which has been meeting in London this week, says further action is necessary against continuing and escalating acts of piracy off the Somali coast, including attacks on vessels involved in humanitarian aid to the war-stricken country.

    The council gave its support to a proposal made by IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon be asked to bring the piracy situation off Somalia to the attention of the UN Security Council.

    The Security Council could then request the Somali Transitional government to take action against the pirates as well as allow foreign warships into its (Somalia) territorial waters to combat piracy.

    “The continuing incidence of acts of piracy and armed robbery in waters off the coast of Somalia is of great concern to IMO Member States, the IMO Secretariat and to me personally,” Mr. Mitropoulos said. “In conjunction with other multi-faceted initiatives recently taken by IMO to address the issue effectively, the Council’s endorsement of this high-level approach will, I believe, help considerably in alleviating the situation, especially if support and assistance to ships is enhanced; and if Administrations and the shipping industry implement effectively the guidance that IMO has issued and the notices promulgated regularly by naval operations’ centres.”

    source – Maritime Global Net

    Moatize coal project ready to be signed and sealed

    After lengthy negotiations and deliberation, the terms of contract between the Mozambique government and Rio Doce Moçambique Ltd, the Mozambican subsidiary of Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce (CVRD), have been agreed.

    Unless there are further delays or interruptions, the contract will now be signed which will lead to mining taking place within the next three years, according to reports from Mozambique.

    In terms of the agreement the Mozambique subsidiary gains a concession for 25 years in which to exploit the coal seams of Moatize in the Tete Province, with further options for renewal. An investment of US $1.5 Billion is anticipated, of which $135 million will go on training Mozambican personnel and another $35 m on housing, health care, education and other social requirements.

    CVRD will put in $ 75m of its own money and the balance will come from bank loans.

    In addition 30 percent of workers may be foreign during the first five years, reducing to 10 percent after that.

    The Mozambique state will hold a 5 percent stake in Rio Doce Moçambique Ltd while a further 10 percent will be made available for private Mozambican investors.

    It is expected that the mined coal will be railed from Moatize to the port of Beira where facilities will have to be built to handle the large volumes. The railway is currently being refurbished by India’s Rites company which also has a concession to operate the railway thereafter.

    Sources- Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique and own

    Pic of the day – FNS TONNERRE

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    One of the French Navy’s latest fighting ships, FNS TONNERRE (L9014) arrived in Cape Town this week for a short visit. The impressive looking dock landing ship has a length of 200m and displaces 20,000 tonnes. She is capable of carrying 450 troops and up to 20 helicopters in addition to two hovercraft. The vessel was laid down in 2005 and is a sister to FNS MISTRAL. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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

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