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Ports & Ships Maritime News

8 July 2014
Author: Terry Hutson

Bringing you shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa since 2002


Click on headline to go direct to story – use the BACK key to return


News continues below...

amboim 470

Coming from another time, the Portuguese freighter AMBOIM (5,895-gt) made a fine sight entering the Duncan Dock at Cape Town in this undated picture. Amboim was built in 1948 for the Companhia Colonial de Navegacao to operate shipping services between Portugal and Africa, and in particular the Portuguese possessions. The ship was sold for scrapping in 1974 which was probably a few years after this photograph was taken by: Ian Shiffman.

News continues below…


Port statistics for the month of June 2014, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority have become available. The total cargo handled by all the ports during the past month amounted to 21.125 million tons, a significant decrease on the previous month (May 2014) when 22.576 million tons of cargo was handled. In 2013 for the month of June the combined ports handled a total of 21.090mt of cargo including 395,324 TEU (375,035 TEU for June this year).

During the past month coal exports through the Port of Richards Bay were lower than previous months resulting in an appreciably lower total volume for the port of just 6.549 million tonnes of cargo, down from the impressive 8.136mt recorded in May. Although Durban scored well with a total cargo volume of 6.250 million tonnes, container volumes at the country’s premier container terminal continue to disappoint (216,067 TEUs) whereas Cape Town had an impressive ‘container month’ recording a throughput of 83,120 TEUs.

For detailed comparison with the previous June (2013) figures please go CLICK HERE, afterwards 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 compared to those provided by Transnet. This is to include containers by weight – an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers by the number of TEUs and does not reflect the weight.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13.5 tonnes per TEU, which probably does involve some under-reporting but until such time as the IMO enforces the weighing of containers at all ports it seems we will have to live with these estimates. Nevertheless, we continue to emphasise this distinction, without which South African ports will continue to be under-reported internationally and locally.

Port Statistics continue below…
CT harbour aerial 470
Port of Cape Town

Figures for the respective ports during June 2014 are:


Cargo handled by tonnes during June 2014, including containers by weight

PORT June 2014 million tonnes
Richards Bay 6.549
Durban 6.250
Saldanha Bay 5.070
Cape Town 1.345
Port Elizabeth 1.059
Ngqura 0.597
Mossel Bay 0.104
East London 0.150
Total all ports 21.125 million tonnes

CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during June 2014

(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT June 2014 TEUs
Durban 216,067
Cape Town 83,120
Port Elizabeth 26,556
Ngqura 44,122
East London 3,168
Richards Bay 1,983
Total all ports 375,035 TEU

SHIP CALLS for June 2014

PORT June 2014 vessels gross tons
Durban 300 10,105,382
Cape Town 241 4,745,627
Richards Bay 140 4,991,124026
Port Elizabeth 92 2,820,173
Saldanha Bay 55 3,334,186
Ngqura 40 2,530,659
East London 2`1 595,160
Mossel Bay 166 275,359
Total ship calls 1053 29,397,125

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

RICHARDS BAY COAL TERMINAL JUNE 2014 STATISTICS The monthly statistics showing the volume of coal exported through the Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) for each month up until the month of June 2014 are listed below. The figures shown in this section are for RBCT only and do not include coal exports from other non-RBCT terminals.

  Month's exports YTD exports Annualised estimate Ships Trains
January 2014 4,569,076 4,569,076 53.80 48 717
February 2014 4,487,674 9,056,750 66.11 41 514
March 2014 6,901,887 15,958,637 71.91 61 774
April 2014 5,454,168 21,412,805 70.41 62 835
May 2014 5,580,128 26,992,933 65.25 63 485
June 2014 4,917.647 31,910,580 64.35 51 791

source: RBCT

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nigerian jtf gunboat 470
Nigerian gunboat as used by Joint Task Force on the Nigerian waterways

Nigeria’s Joint Task Force (JTF) operating in the Niger Delta has issued a warning to owners of tankers or other ships used with the theft of oil and bunkers that it will not only confiscate the vessels but they will be destroyed as well.

This stern warning came from the Commander of the Task Force, Major-General Emmanuel Atewe, who said that stiffer measures were necessary to curb the increasing amount of theft involving crude oil. “The (JTF) command is committed to the protection of oil platforms against oil thieves which is in line with its mandate. Therefore we are advising that vessel owners should always verify the intentions of person or persons before hiring out their vessels to them,” he said.

This referred to road tankers as well as ships operating near or on the Delta waterways or at sea along the coast. He said the measures were necessary because owners of the vessels being used often claimed that they had no knowledge that their facilities were being used to commit crime.

“The command is committed to the protection of oil platforms against oil thieves,” General Atewe said.

He said that the TJF had received reports that armed militants from the Ekene community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa had allegedly invaded the Zion community.

“The hoodlums harassed innocent people and extorted money and consumable items from their victims before escaping. The same gang also intercepted and diverted two passenger boats and abducted passengers on board. Troops of the JTF are currently on the trail of the criminals,” Atewe said.

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Tim McClure, a photograph taken in 2005. Picture: Terry Hutson

We have learned with regret and sadness of the death of Tim McClure, former CEO of Island View Shipping and director of Grindrod, who passed away last Friday (4 July).

Captain Tim McClure was a mariner and product of the South African Nautical College, General Botha (GB 1973) who after leaving the sea went on to a successful business career, becoming a director of Island View Shipping when the bulk ship company formed the shipping arm of the Tiger Food Group.

He became chief executive of IVS when Grindrod acquired the shipping line from the Tiger Group towards the end of the 1990s. The acquisition was largely of McClure’s initiative and he played a major role in the expansion of the shipping line’s activities and its fleet, which in turn had a significant effect on the dramatic successes of the Grindrod Group which became one of the most successful shipping companies worldwide during the first decade of the 21st Century.

In July 2010 Island View Shipping paid farewell to its founding member when he retired, having reached the mandatory age within the Grindrod Group.

Despite having retired, Capt. McClure remained active and involved in business with several interests. He leaves his wife Pauline, a son Michael and daughter Alison and grandchildren. Details of the funeral service have not yet been announced.

News continues below…


selso map marion 470
Selso fitted with his antenna

After 169 days at Sea, Selso the Elephant Seal has reached Marion Island and completed his epic journey. The seal’s satellite transmitter indicated his location on the south side of the island and research staff, currently on the landmass, have subsequently found him in excellent condition.

Selso washed up on the beach in Southbroom on the KZN South Coast exhausted and starving in June 2013, and was then taken into rehabilitation at Durban’s uShaka marine world. Southern Elephant Seals normally inhabit the Southern Ocean with the closest island colony site being Marion Island 2200km south-east of South Africa, it was therefore unusual for the young seal to strand on the KZN coast.

When Selso arrived he weighed in at 73kg, less than half of what he should have weighed, needing to put on 110Kg before he could be released. After seven months, on 9 January 2014 Selso boarded the MSC Sinfonia and was then released just before sunset on 11 January 2014, 25 nautical miles due south of Port Elizabeth.

Prior to leaving the uShaka Sea World rehabilitation centre he was fitted with a satellite tracking tag which would record his movements for up to one year.

Selso’s epic journey took him steadily southwards covering a distance of over 8,000 kilometres in just under six months. Southern Elephant Seals spend their lives at sea except when breeding and moulting. His southward journey included time spent in areas known to be good feeding grounds and by June he had almost reached the Antarctic ice shelf, thankfully not remaining there long before turning around and heading northwards.

“MSC Cruises is proud to have played a small part in his successful journey home,” notes Allan Foggitt of MSC Cruises SA.

Map 470

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Jewelofthe Nile 

Itinerary Main Group Tour Egypt 470
Nile River cruise ship Jewel of the Nile

As Egypt faces dwindling tourism as a result of recent political strife and unrest in the North African country, further bad news for that country’s tourism industry follows a statement from a Ministry of Tourism official that cruises on the Nile River are likely to increase prices by 100% because of a diesel fuel hike.

The unnamed official said that last Friday’s diesel fuel increase from EGP 1.10 to EGP 1.8 per litre meant that cruises would be the most affected, having received no prior warning of an increase in fuel prices while a majority of cruises had not coordinated with foreign tourism companies on raising their prices.

The tourism industry consumes about 22% of all diesel used in Egypt, amounting to 12.4 million tonnes a year, according to a study by the Federation of Egyptian Industries.

Another spokesman for tourism, Abdul Rahman Anwar, vice-chairman of the Cruises Investors Association said that cruise prices would rise by more than 60% as a result of the diesel fuel hike.

Cruises were the hardest hit since the outbreak of the 25 January Revolution. He said only 15 cruises run at present, with an average occupancy of 30%. This compares with a total of 286 cruises operating on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan in normal times. These cruises offer a total of 17,000 rooms.

Anwar said the government should gradually raise the price of gas during the next three to five years at the very least, to avoid pushing the tourism sector into difficult circumstances.

“The rise in diesel prices will not be the last for the tourism industry, due to agreements that have taken place between the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Finance in the past two years,” said the official from the Ministry of Tourism. “We expect another price hike in diesel prices, which would raise the price of one litre of diesel to more than EGP 5.”- Daily News (Egypt)


CMN Longliner 470x453px
Longliner built by French shipyard CMN, similar to those being supplied to Mozambique’s Ematum. Picture: CMN

Mozambican tuna fishing company Empresa Moçambicana de Atum (Ematum) is expected to start fishing before the end of this year following the arrival in Mozambique in September of the first five fishing vessels ordered in France, said Mozambique’s Fishing Minister, Victor Borges.

The minister said that the company, which is 67 percent-owned by the Mozambican state and 33 percent owned by private investors, would only become fully operational in 2015 with the expected arrival of another 16 fishing vessels, according to Mozambican daily newspaper Notícias.

Borges who was speaking in Maputo gave no details about the company’s operations, explaining that this was sensitive business information and that publicising it could affect Ematum’s competitiveness.

He did say, however, that in total the first five fishing vessels were expected to catch 1,500 tons of tuna per year.

Ematum’s creation caused some controversy as some donor countries questioned the counter-guarantee given by the Mozambican state for a loan of US$850 million to order the fishing vessels from a shipyard in northern France.

The counter-guarantee caught the so-called Group of 19 by surprise as it was never mentioned by the Mozambican government, was so large and was a flagrant violation of the State Budget for 2013.

Tuna fishing in Mozambique is currently carried out by over 100 fishing vessels, almost all of which are foreign, notably from Japan and Europe, and there is just one Mozambican tuna boat.

As part of efforts to ensure that tuna fishing is carried out mainly by Mozambican operators, the Fishing Minister said that negotiations were underway with Japan to register some fishing boats in Mozambique. - macauhub

See related articles:

Mozambique govt defends tuna fishing deal

Hollande and Guebeza witness start of big ship order

Use your BACKSPACE key to return to this page.


acid spill 470
Site of the acid leak and Newark Road

The Port of Richards Bay has announced that the refurbishment and upgrading of Newark Road within the port precincts has been delayed.

According to port engineer Basil Ngcobo, the road refurbishment will now resume in March 2015 and is expected to be completed in January 2016.

A section of Newark Road was closed last week after an acid spill occurred while phosphoric acid was being loaded onto a ship in the harbour. The acid which was being transported by underground pipe seeped to the surface and pooled at the intersection of Newark and Octopus Roads. It was at first thought to be water from cleaning the overhead conveyor belts, which often occurs in this area and motorists drove unwittingly through the pool of acid.

Transnet NPA and Foskor, the company supplying the acid, issued urgent warnings to motorists to immediately wash their vehicles thoroughly to avoid damage to paintwork, bodywork and tyres. The road was meanwhile closed while cleanup specialists moved onto site.

In other news from Richards Bay, Transnet announced today that the port has been closed on two occasions this week due to adverse weather. The first time was on 5 July 2014 from 21h00 with the port re-opening at 06h00 the following morning, 6 July 2014.

The second port closure was later on 6 July closing at 19h00 and reopening on 7 July at 06h00.


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Gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE - remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.


MSC Divina 07 jul 2014 6 470
MSC Divina 07 jul 2014 7 470

MSC Cruises largest cruise ship, the 139,400-gt MSC DIVINA arriving at the Brazilian port of Santos on Monday, 9 July 2014. The impressively overwhelming ship entered service in 2012, initially in the Mediterranean. She boasts 18 decks, of which 13 are for passenger use, has 1,310 outside facing cabins and 327 inside, and can carry up to 3,959 passengers looked after by a crew of 1,325. The ship is 333m long and 38m wide. Picture: Roberto Smera

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