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Ports & Ships Maritime News

15 September 2015
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


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The Safmarine general cargo container ship SAFMARINE LONGA (12,000 dwt, built 2010) sails from Durban Harbour during August this year. The ship has a container capacity of just 712 TEU, demonstrating that not all container ships have to be mega vessels. Safmarine Longa is registered in Sri Lanka but is German owned. Pictures are by Keith Betts

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Engen oil terminal Mozambique

New fuel terminals are planned for or have been opened at the Mozambique ports of Nacala and Beira respectively.

In the northern port of Nacala, the French Total group has announced its intention of building a fuel terminal at the port. According to the Maputo newspaper Noticias a public presentation of the environmental impact assessment took place last week.

The EIA disclosed that the project will be built on a 3 hectare plot of land near the port which will require an investment of US$15 million. The terminal will be adjacent to other oil companies such as Puma Energy, Petromoc, African Petroleum and BP. Oil will be shipped from tankers in the port into storage tanks along a pipeline of about 6km in length.

Once in operation, the Total group's terminal will increase the number of ships that will dock at the port and increase the volume of cargo handled while contributing to the growth of Nacala-Porto, which has been declared a Special Economic Zone by the Mozambique Government.

Engen's Beira terminal opens

In related news an upgrade of the 24,000 cubic metre Engen terminal at the Port of Beira in central Mozambique has been completed. Engen is majority owned by Malaysia's national oil company.

The new upgraded terminal will increase Mozambique's regional fuel security, Engen said in a statement.

The Beira terminal will be a supply point for petrol, diesel and lubricants to Mozambique as well as to neighbouring Zimbabwe and Botswana.

The terminal upgrade involves the completion of a pipeline from the Engen depot to the Port of Beira and to the Companhia Do Pipeline Mozambique -- Zimbabwe Limitada (CPMZ) Pump Station inside the port.

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CSCL Globe, at over 19,000 TEUs one of the biggest container ships

Container traffic on the important East-West cargo lane between Asia and Europe continues to steadily decrease in overall terms due to the slowdown in China's economy and weaknesses in the Eurozone as well as prohibitive restrictions on trade with Russia. Indications are that the so-called peak season beginning July has slipped below last year's volumes by as much as 7.1 percent for the month.

Figures published by Container Trades Statistics show that year on year the volume of TEUs decreased from 1.4 million to to 1.3m for the month of July. Year to date figures show a decrease averaging 4.7 percent on 2014, down from 9 million TEU to 8.6m this year.

In response to these downturns in volumes, some of the lines have withdrawn certain services, having pinned their hopes earlier on the peak season rallying. At the same time the number of lines that have opted for mega sized ships with which to gain some degree of economy of scale is slowly increasing, although this measure will only work provided the 13,000-TEU to 19,000-TEU ships can operate with good loadings.

Overcapacity is thus becoming the problem facing all services.

This week Chinese major COSCO, which is reported to be in talks with fellow state-owned China Container Shipping Line (CSCL) regarding a merger, became the latest to enter the megaship race with orders for 11 container ships capable of carrying 19,000 TEUs each, at a total cost of US$1.5 billion.

The order has been placed with four Chinese shipyards, becoming one of the largest single orders for ultra large container ships that Chinese yards have received.

COSCO clearly accepts the theory that any ship carrying below 12,000 TEUs will not be able to compete in terms of cost on the East-West trades.

Maersk Line set the standard by moving boldy into the megaship field when it placed orders for 20 Triple-E ships of 18,000 TEU each -- at a time when the previous biggest ship was Maersk's own E-class 15,000 TEU vessels. The ships were to be delivered in two tranches of ten each.

Since then an increasing number of major container line competitors have followed suit and any initial advantage that Maersk might have expected has been trumped by the others. The result has been freight rates that have been forced down until few lines can say they are making good profits on this trade.

Shipping lines in the Ultra Large Container Ship (ULCS) club of 18,000 TEU and greater include Maersk, CSCL, MSC, UASC, Evergreen and now COSCO, with CMA CGM only just shy of having ships within this range.

Nevertheless, a number of the lines have produced quite good results. Not the least of these is French container line CMA CGM which has completely turned around its own fortunes, after coming close to being bankrupted a few years back, and has declared an icnrease in consolidated net profit of 43.2 percent to $584 million for the 2014 financial year.

The lines operating on the East-West trade will continue to pin their hopes on an increas in volumes during the remainder of this year even though all indications are that it will not happen. Russian trade embargoes continue to hurt this trade while the uncertainty with the Chinese econonmy has everybody guessing.

While freight rates remain low and below 2014 levels any increase in volumes will just increase the losses that some are experiencing and it seems unlikely that the balance of this year will bring much joy.

Maersk Line, which is so often the trend setter on the major trade lanes, is however predicting a global volume increase of between 3 and 5 percent for 2016. CEO Soren Skou said recently that the line had "reasons to believe that growth levels would be higher next year."

At the same time Maersk is again leading the way, this time in reducing existing capacity on the East-West trades, with Skou calling this "the only rational thing for lines to do." Maersk has cut one of its Asia-Europe services, the AE9 loop and will be discontinuing several others including on its Mediterranean service with the Red Sea and India. The result for the line will be a reduction in capacity of 16 percent.

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Booking a cruise with MSC Cruises couldn't be easier. Aside from the name, surname and date of each person travelling, all that is required at the time of booking is a R3,000 deposit per cabin in order to provisionally secure a place on-board.

So says MSC Cruises, as the 2015/16 South African cruise season draws closer.

MSC Cruises also has a 'book now and pay later' policy, which makes the process even easier -- it allows passengers to settle the balance of their outstanding fare in any manner of ways, as long as the full payment is received no later than 60 days before departure.

The only exception to this is for all peak season cruises scheduled to depart between 19 December 2016 and 5 January 2017, where an increased deposit of R6,000 per cabin is required to provisionally secure the cruise. Full payment remains payable no later than 60 days prior to sailing. This increased deposit applies to bookings made for both local and international cruises.

All cruise bookings are made subject to MSC STC's, available on www.msccruises.co.za under the 'legal docs' tab, and so in line with this, where a passenger has failed to pay the final outstanding amount by the due date, the bookings will be cancelled and the relevant cancellation penalties applied.

However, Allan Foggitt, Marketing and Sales Director of MSC Cruises, says that MSC Cruises makes every effort to avoid this from happening: "We send out 70-day and 60-day auto reminders to passengers that indicate what the payment deadline is, and how much of their fare is still outstanding," he says.

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Plans to increase the capacity of the port of Dar es Salaam from 15 million tons to 18 million tons within one year have been revealed.

Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam last week, Port Manager Hebel Mhanga said that the dramatic improvement can be achieved by the simple expedient of improving productivity. He said the dwell time would be reduced and that instead of port users having to wait nine days to receive their cargo, it would be handled within five days.

As a result the port will be able to turn round ships much sooner which will allow more ships to call at the port, and with it more cargo.

"We want all our customers to start using e-payment from 21st of this month to speed up handling of consignments," he said, adding that the TPA plans to expand the Port's capacity after securing a loan from the World Bank in order to improve operations. This project will start next year.

"We expect to acquire US$650 million from the World Bank in October this year. We have already carried out an assessment for the project," he announced.

The port manager also said the port stood to increase earnings as a result of the extension of working hours for the Tanzania Inter-bank Settlement System at the financial institutions, where the working hours have been extended from the previous 09h00-14h00 to 09h00-20h00.

This meant that the banks would now be serving port customers for 12 hours instead of just 5 hours, said Bernard Dadi, The Bank of Tanzania Director of Payment System.

"We are ready to extend from 12 hours to 24 hours depending on the demands of the Port customers," he said. Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) Customs Commissioner, Tiagi Kabisi encouraged more customers to use the new payment system noting that it is efficient.

"The system has recorded achievements in revenues. We're now operating 24 hours to serve more port customers," he said. Mr Tiabisi said the new system had attracted more customers to use the Port of Dar es Salaam, including those from as far away as South Sudan. source : Tanzania Daily News

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video clip [2:19] Hamburg's Cruise Days 2015

The port of Hamburg welcomes cruise ships and visitors from all over the world during the Cruise Days 2015.

Watch also the following video clip [6:15] of the sdame event, featuring the cruise ships AIDAbella, Mein Schiff4 and MS Europa and lots of other vessels.

and stay watching for more

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Mocamedes Railways new diesel loco ex USA 470
New diesel-electric locomotive for the Mocamedes Railway. US company GE has secured an order for 100 C30ACi type diesel-electric locomotives for service on the line between Namibe and Menongue, as well as on the Benguela Railway further north.

The reconstruction project of the Mocamedes Railway, underway since 2006 by the China Hyway group, was provisional completed and delivered last Friday 11 September to the Angolan government, Angolan news agency Angop reported.

Over a construction period of nearly 10 years China Hyway built 56 stations along a railway line of over 800 kilometres, from Namibe to Kuando Kubango, passing through Huila province. Three of the stations are so-called special stations, Saco Mar (Namibe), Lubango (Huila) and Menongue (Kuando Kubango ) and seven are first class stations.

Eleven second class stations and 35 third class stations were also built as part of the project that included replacing the entire railway line and repairing the Jamba and Tchamutete branchlines, and other ancillary works.

At the ceremony for the handover, the Director-General of China Hyway, Wei Ruihai, pointed out that this railway will promote development of the Namibe and Menongue transport, transit and logistics corridors, facilitating agriculture and industry and economic growth along the line.

The formal act of provisional acceptance of the project took place in the municipality of Matala, Huila province, with the president of the Mocamedes Railway, Daniel Quipaxe saying that the ceremony marked the relaunch of rail activity in the region. source : macauhub

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DCT Pier 2 Sat 12 September 2015 img03 Roy Reed 4

This remarkable photograph was taken on Saturday evening, 12 September at the Durban Container Terminal, Pier 2. The ship alongside on the North Quay is the 10,457-TEU capacity CHASTINE MAERSK (105,000 dwt, built 2001) and what also is of special interest in this photo of the container terminal is that for the first time in South Africa, seven Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes were working a single ship. The photographer is Roy Reed of Roy Reed Photographers


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