Ports & Ships Maritime News

Dec 7, 2007
Author: P&S

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  • South African port statistics for November

  • South Africa and Namibia hold out against European Union tariff pact

  • Kenya Ports Authority promises smooth operation for titanium exports

  • Ton Bestenbreur appointed CEO of Batumi Container Terminal in Georgia

  • Maersk on a go slow to save on bunker fuels

  • Pic of the day – AKADEMIK FEDEROV

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    South African port statistics for November

    Overall cargo volumes handled at South African ports were slightly down for November when compared with the previous month and would have been more so had it not been for abnormally high volumes achieved at Saldanha Bay, where the port registered 5.869 million tonnes of cargo compared with 2.952mt in October. The sharp increase here is believed to be as a result of oil imports and transfers (transhipments).

    With the annual peak trading months now over container volumes have decreased slightly and this is expected to continue into December. Once again Durban has handled more than the breakbulk cargo of all other ports combined.

    Figures quoted in this report have been adjusted from those issued by Transnet to include container volumes as these are not measured by weight by Transnet National Ports Authority. PORTS & SHIPS’ makes the adjustment using a conservative estimated average weight of 13.5 tonnes per TEU.

    The respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                        7.876 million tonnes (Oct 7.781Mt)
    Durban                                5.995 Mt (Oct 6.771)
    Saldanha Bay                       5.869 Mt (Oct 2.952)
    Cape Town                          1.085 Mt (Oct 1.332)
    Port Elizabeth                      0.938 Mt (Oct 0.872)
    Mossel Bay                          0.130 Mt (Oct 0.232)
    East London                        0.263 Mt (Oct 0.122)

    Total monthly cargo by tonnes 22.156 million tonnes (Oct 20.063 Mt)

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

    Durban                                224,835 TEU (Oct 227,382)
    Cape Town                            54 867,189 (Oct 66,189)
    Port Elizabeth                        33,746 (Oct 39,319)
    East London                           6,369 (Oct 3,374)
    Richards Bay                             208 (Oct 252)

    Total handled 320,025 TEU (Oct 336,516)

    Ship Calls

    Durban:                 361 vessels 8.922m gt (369 vessels 8.256m gt)
    Cape Town:           211 vessels 3.809m gt (258 vessels 3.751m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:        114 vessels 2.711m gt (85 vessels 2.176m gt)
    Richards Bay:         144 vessels 5.423m gt (128 vessels 4.183m gt)
    Saldanha:               41 vessels 2,492m gt (33 vessels 1,901m gt)
    East London:           26 vessels 0.744m gt (27 vessels 0.734m gt)
    Mossel Bay:            75 vessels 0.241m gt (99 vessels 0.281m gt)

    - source NPA with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container weights

    South Africa and Namibia hold out against European Union tariff pact

    South Africa and Namibia have taken a differing view from the rest of SADC on the economic partnership agreement (EPA) required by the European Union with regards to future import tariffs.

    According to the two southern African neighbours the EU has presented ‘unreasonable demands’ which neither SA nor Namibia are prepared to accede to. This is in contrast to the position taken by other SADC countries as well as members of the East Africa Community, which have yielded to the European Union demands by signing the deal.

    Some of the countries subsequently said that they felt compelled to sign the deal when they would have preferred having more time to negotiate, saying they were between a ‘rock and a hard place’ following pressure from both the EU and the World Trade Organisation.

    South Africa accuses the European Commission of being unfair in its demands which it says has placed onerous obligations on SADC countries.

    Analysts have warned that South Africa’s ties with the EU may become strained as a result of the disagreement, and warn also of a rift within SADC between the two opposing points of view. Other analysts say however that most if not all SADC countries were in agreement but that only South Africa and Namibia felt strong enough to withstand EC threats.

    According to the EU it has been flexible and willing to negotiate issues of concern, but African states have pointed out there was little time given for this as their signatures on the agreement were required by a cut-off date that has now passed. At least one EU representative said he was ‘flabbergasted’ at South Africa’s approach which he said has made things very difficult for other SADC members.

    South Africa however says it decided against agreeing to the EPA until concerns over detrimental impacts had been fully addressed. It was opposed to the inclusion of certain trade and services clauses in the new accord, said foreign ministry deputy director-general Gert Gobler.

    The new accord would force Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to progressively open their markets to European goods in exchange for open access to European markets from the first of January 2008. This ‘open market’ policy from Europe however excluded commodities such as rice and sugar.

    According to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) existing trade agreements including those that gave preferential market access between European countries and their former colonies are illegal and must fall away by 31 December 2007.

    By not signing the new trade deal South Africa and Namibia will face a specific band of tariffs set by the WTO.

    Grobler said the EU was expecting too much from African countries and warned that implementation would have a devastating effect on Africa. The matter is expected to be raised at this weekend’s summit between the EU and the African Union in Lisbon.

    Kenya Ports Authority promises smooth operation for titanium exports

    Kenya Ports Authority says it will ensure all exports of titanium to be mined in Kwale District of Coast Province will be smoothly handled at the port of Mombasa.

    Receiving a delegation of Tiomin Kenya Limited at the port recently, the KPA technical services manager, engineer Joseph Atonga said it was prudent for the company to bring its product to the port in bulk for easier handling. He said the port would handle titanium in the same manner it was handling bulk cement for the Bamburi Cement Limited.

    The delegation, which was led by Tiomin’s titanium project manager Nic Lionnet, was on a fact finding mission to see what the port could do to facilitate exportation. It also included top officials from the company’s co-owners from China, the Jinchuan Group Limited.

    Atonga said the port was averaging between 20 and 24 moves per hour at its container terminal and hoped to up this in the near future. He added that KPA also hoped its appeal to shippers to clear delayed containerised cargo would be heeded so as to clear up current congestion.

    Lionnet said Tiomin hoped to ship about 500,000 tonnes a year of titanium. He added this could go up with possible expansion of mining sites in the north coast towards Lamu.

    Jinchuan Group’s vice president and professorial senior engineer majoring in non-ferrous metallurgy, Wang Wei, accompanied the delegation while KPA’s corporate services manager, Gichiri Ndua, was also present.

    source - KPA

    Ton Bestenbreur appointed CEO of Batumi Container Terminal in Georgia

    Well-known port operations man Ton Bestenbreur has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Batumi International Container Terminal LLC (BICTL) in Georgia, a subsidiary company of International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI).

    Bestenbreur used to be General Manager of South African Port Operations (SAPO, now Transnet Port Terminals) and was also in charge of the Durban Container Terminal. He also served as General Manager of Fresh Produce Terminals in Durban, South Africa’s largest citrus export terminal.

    In total Bestenbreur has 30 years of experience in ports and container management. Born and raised in The Netherlands, he started his career as project leader in Reactor Centrum Nederland in Amsterdam. He then transferred to Ultra Centrifuge Nederland as Managing Director and in 1981 became Vice President for Operations at Europe Container Terminus. He was the team leader for Amsterdam Port Consultants APC, Interim Technical Director for Rotogravure Etten, and was also consultant for HIT- Maersk Line- Pakhoed from 1987-1993.

    He subsequently moved to South Africa where he was appointed General Manager for what was then known as Portnet – the predecessor of SA Port Terminals and later Transnet Port Terminals, and later served as Managing Director for ECT Trieste- SPA from 1998 to 2001.

    On his return to South Africa in 2001 he joined Fresh Produce Terminals as General Manager and later rejoined Transnet in charge of container operations on a fixed time contract.

    Bestenbreur holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Technological Institute of Haarlem and Technological University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He is fluent in four different languages.

    Maersk on a go slow to save on bunker fuels

    In recent years it has been customary for shipping lines to boast of high speed capabilities for their newbuild ships, in particular container vessels. As a result speeds reminiscent of Transatlantic ocean liners and even naval vessels became the norm for this new breed of container shipping.

    The pendulum however is swinging yet again as a result of the dramatic increase in the price of bunker fuel, which has more than doubled in little more than a year. Shipping lines have not been slow to realise that efficiencies in fuel consumption brought about by slower operations also equate to lower costs.

    In a statement issued on Tuesday Maersk Line said it is planning several changes to its Asia – Europe network to provide customers with more cost-effective, robust, and reliable services.

    “In February and March 2008, we will make various changes to our schedules and simultaneously add four vessels to our Asia – Europe network,” said the statement.

    “Port congestion has an escalating impact on our ability to provide reliable services to our customers. The addition of four vessels will enable us to incorporate additional buffer time in our schedules. To further support these efforts, we will continue to work with the ports and terminals in addressing the congestion issues.

    “The changes will also enable us to save on bunker fuel. In the last 12 months, our bunker costs have more than doubled. The additional vessels and schedule changes complements our other efforts to mitigate fuel costs and reduce the environmental impact of our services. While selected corridors will experience a day or two more in transit time, we overall expect to offer a better service reliability.

    “We had originally planned to add approximately 17 percent more capacity to the Asia – Europe trade during 2008. The above necessary measures substantiate a 5 percent reduction thus rounding off our overall capacity increase to approximately 12 percent.”

    There is no indication whether these measures will be extended to North – South services or even to Asia – South Africa trades but a ripple effect in these directions may become possible.

    Pic of the day – AKADEMIK FEDEROV

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice

    The Russian Antarctic research and supply vessel AKADEMIK FEDEROV in Cape Town harbour this week. Built in Finland in 1987 the ice-breaking and ice strengthened ship has a large number of laboratories on board plus accommodation for 172 persons – including scientists or passengers and comes equipped with a helipad aft of the bridge and accommodation quarters. The 141m long Akademik Federov is owned by the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring – the oldest Russian polar research institute. Picture by Aad Noorland

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