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Ports & Ships Maritime News

11 September 2012
Author: Terry Hutson

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The expedition yacht PANGAEA which arrived in Durban from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth at the weekend. Described as a 4x4 yacht, the aluminium-construction Pangaea, which is 35m in length and has 30 berths, is used for research, environmental and educational projects. Picture by Terry Hutson


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Port statistics for month of August 2012, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, are now available. They reveal that during the month the combined ports achieved a total cargo throughput of 23.134 million tonnes, marginally up on the month of August in 2011 when 23.028 million tonnes of cargo was handled. Strong volumes were experienced from most of the country’s ports.

To compare the 2012 August figures year on year with those of 2011, please go to the following link HERE. Use your BACKSPACE button to return to this page.

As is always the case with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, these reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage to those provided by Transnet. This is to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers by number of TEUs and does not show the weight.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13,5 tonnes per TEU, which may involve some under-reporting but until such time as the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports we will have to live with these estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to make this distinction, without which South African ports continue to be under-reported internationally.

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Port of Ngqura Container Terminal


Figures for the respective ports during August 2012 are:


Cargo handled by tonnes during August 2012

PORT August 2012 million tonnes
Richards Bay 7.884
Durban 7.568
Saldanha Bay 4.034
Cape Town 1.278
Port Elizabeth 1.107
Ngqura 0.857
Mossel Bay 0.187
East London 0.218
Total all ports 23.134 million tonnes

CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during August 2012
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT August 2012 TEUs
Durban 252,739
Cape Town 75,649
Port Elizabeth 28,618
Ngqura 63,494
East London 4,877
Richards Bay 2,211
Total all ports 427,589 TEUs

SHIP CALLS for August 2012

PORT August 2012 vessels gross tons
Durban 325 9,961,503
Cape Town 168 4,030,538
Richards Bay 125 5,153,540
Port Elizabeth 96 1,996,284
Saldanha Bay 35 2,135,177
Ngqura 36 2,136,511
East London 21 547,032
Mossel Bay 40 254,744
Total ship calls 846 26,215,329

- source TNPA, but with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages



  Month's exports YTD exports Annualised estimate Ships Trains
January 2012 4,463,987 4,463,987 52,56mt 44 813
February 2012 6,087,111 10,551,098 64.19mt 63 678
March 2012 6,239,646 16,790,744 67.35 58 810
April 2012 5,174,739 21,965,483 66,26 48 778
May 2012 4,627,648 26,593,131 63,86 46 509
June 2012 5,454,166 32,047,297 64.27 47 725
July 2012 6,279,244 38,326,541 65,68 54 777
August 2012 5,883,215 44,209,756 66,13 51 791

source: RBCT


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DAFF fleet at anchor in Simon’s Town. Picture SA Navy

Pretoria - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has officially handed its investigation into suspected financial and procurement irregularities, maladministration, and corruption in the Fisheries Branch of the department, to the South African Police Services (SAPS).

“The investigation is effectively out of the hands of the department and the minister. Once complete, the SAPS will advise the department on appropriate actions to be taken,” the acting director general, Sipho Ntombela confirmed.

In March 2012, the department initiated a forensic investigation into the award and multiple extensions of the vessel management function to a shipping management company.

Essentially the investigation had to establish whether there were irregularities in the past tenders and management thereof awarded to the company and to its business associates. Smit Amandla Marine has been providing the vessel management function to Government for the past 10 to 12 years.

The investigation mentioned above has reached a critical stage and the department says it has thus decided to hand it over to the SAPS for finalisation.

“The initial investigation was carried out by a reputable forensic firm that uncovered that there are possible cases of corruption in the Fisheries branch. The investigation by the SAPS is a culmination of this process,” Ntombela said. - SAnews.gov.za


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CMA CGM has good 2nd Quarter

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Christophe Colomb of CMA CGM Line. Picture CMA CGM

French shipping giant CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group, has announced second quarter 2012 earnings ending 30 June that have increased 12% on the same period of 2011.

During the quarter, CMA CGM’s revenue rose by 12% year-on-year to US$ 4.149 billion, reflecting a sharp acceleration in business growth. In all, 2.7 million TEUs were carried during the period, up 8% over second-quarter 2011.

Following a first quarter that was challenging for the entire maritime container shipping industry, second-quarter 2012 saw a clear improvement in the market environment with a very substantial upturn in freight rates.

In addition the Group continued to implement its action plan, which has delivered $294 million savings over the first six months of 2012, well ahead of the initial $400 million target for full-year cost savings.

In this environment, CMA CGM reported:

  • $460 million in EBITDA for the second quarter
  • Resulting in an EBITDA margin of 11%, the industry’s best performance
  • Net profit amounted to $178 million for the period

    The Group outlook remains favourable with the second quarter’s favourable trends having continued since July. CMA CGM says that it expects that its operating and financial performance will still be highly positive in the third quarter. As a result, it has confirmed its forecast of reporting a profit for the full year.


    MSC Flaminia arrives in German port

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    MSC Flaminia, which caught fire in mid Atlantic on 14 July, has finally reached her port of refuge destination at the German Port of Wilhelmshaven Jade Weser Port, after a much delayed tow that included being kept at bay outside the English Channel.

    The ship, on which the fire has long been extinguished and which has damage to her amidships across several holds, underwent yet another inspection off Heligoland, before being given permission to be taken inside.

    A spokesman for Reederei NSB, the ship’s owner (the vessel was on charter to MSC) said that a search would begin as soon as possible for the missing crew member who disappeared in an explosion while crew were fighting the fire. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.


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    TNPA’s new chief economist, Tshisikhawe Victor Munyama

    Transnet National Ports Authority announced last week that it has appointed a Principal Economist to head up its Economic Unit.

    The new chief economist is Tshisikhawe Victor Munyama (41) who will report to the TNPA General Manager: Strategy and who has been tasked to operationalise, lead and manage the TNPA Economic Unit to ensure economic modelling, trends analysis, impact assessments, forecasting and reporting.

    Munyama will also be responsible for short, medium and long-term commodity volume and vessel trends analysis.

    Before his appointment as Principal Economist at TNPA, Munyama, 41, boasted an impressive resume as an economist in several organisations – more latterly as an economist in the Research Department of the SA Reserve Bank. From August 2007 to April 2009, he had been Senior Economist at Standard Bank Group Economics and prior to that, between January 2005 and August 2007 he was an economist in the Research Department of the SA Reserve Bank.

    Moving back into his career, in 1999 Munyama was an undergraduate teaching instructor at Michael F Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma. He has a B.Ed degree from the University of Venda, a B.Com (Hons) Economics from the University of Witwatersrand, MA Economics from the University of Stellenbosch and a PhD Economics from Colorado State University in USA.

    From January 1997 until May 1998, he was Economist at HSBC Securities in Johannesburg.

    His research interests are Monetary Economics, Banking, Corporate Finance, International Economics and Finance. Munyama has presented papers at several conferences and seminars and has published extensively. He is presently measuring core inflation in South Africa.

    He is also part of the SA Reserve Bank’s outreach programme where he is responsible for facilitating discussion between the Bank’s executive and CEOs of the top 40 JSE listed companies.

    Tau Morwe, chief executive of Transnet National Ports Authority said that Munyama’s appointment should be seen as being in keeping with the human capital strategy and the demands of the company’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS).

    “Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy is one of the vehicles through which government will achieve its infrastructure development objectives to unlock economic potential and create jobs. The massive infrastructure drive is intended to industrialise the country, generate skills and boost much-needed job creation.”


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    EUROPA 2 as she is expected to look once completed. The ship is undergoing final fitting out.

    German cruise company Hapag-Lloyd Cruises says that its future strategy will be focused on luxury and expedition cruises, and it is looking to grow these segments by expanding its international marketing activities.

    The newly-built EUROPA 2 – sister ship to the existing EUROPA – will be positioned in the 5-star luxury segment starting in May 2013. In addition to the HANSEATIC and BREMEN in the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises fleet, growth opportunities in the expedition segment will be identified and evaluated, says the company.

    In German-speaking countries, Hapag-Lloyd Cruises is regarded today as one of the leading operators in the luxury and expedition segment. The expansion of marketing activities in international markets goes hand-in-hand with the focus on the areas of luxury and expedition. “By consistently focusing on these two pillars, we strive to strengthen our leading position in these segments, and at the same time we will address new markets,” said Dr Wolfgang Flägel, Managing Director of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

    Select cruises on all of the ships of the present fleet, except for the COLUMBUS 2, will be marketed internationally. “The EUROPA 2 is a ship designed to offer an international flair and address a sophisticated, cosmopolitan target group, with plans in the future to increase market share in English-speaking countries such as the USA, UK and Benelux,” Flägel said.

    The first English-language EUROPA 2 brochure will be published in mid September.

    Meanwhile, the Hamburg-based operator has taken over operation of the COLUMBUS 2 from Oceania Cruises for a two-year charter contract through April 2014.

    For more information on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ destinations and itineraries visit www.hl-cruises.com

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    The Dutch container ship NILEDUTCH LUANDA (34,642-gt, built 2011) outward bound from Cape Town. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

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