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Ports & Ships Maritime News

21 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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IMG 4776 THE CREATOR mid Sept 2015 Keith Betts

It was a very overcast and cold day last week with a strong swell running when the 225 metre long bulk carrier THE CREATOR (68,519 dwt, built 1995) approached the harbour entrance at Durban - note the white water outside the end of the South Pier. The fully laden bulker, which is registered in Panama, successfully negotiated the ses and entered port. Shortly afterwards the pilot boat attempted on two occasions to bring in additional ships but returned to port as it was considered that the swell had grown just too strong. Picture is by Keith Betts

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Hoegh Transporter 480
Hoegh Transporter. Picture courtesy Hoegh Autoliners

Norwegian RoRo specialist Hoegh Autoliners has confirmed that their 6,500 CEU ship HOEGH TRANSPORTER (57,757 gt, built 1999) has been detained in Mombasa port since last Thursday after Kenya authorities boarded the ship to conduct a search for drugs and weapons.

According to a statement from the Norwegian company, the ship had sailed earlier from Mumbai but PORTS & SHIPS understands that the ship's last port of call ahead of arriving in Mombasa was at Sharjah in the UAE.

The search of the ship has been continuing since shortly after her arrival and by early this morning (Monday) Hoegh Transporter was still in port with no news when she will be allowed to depart. "The vessel's crew, our local agent in Kenya and Hoegh Autoliners' local African operations team is cooperating fully with Kenyan authorities. We at this point do not know when the inspection will be completed and the vessel cleared to sail," said Hoegh in a statement.

The entire port area was cordoned off by Kenyan soldiers and security officials shortly after the ship's arrival, bringing almost all operations at East Africa's busiest port to a halt. A senior Kenyan police official, Francis Wanjohi said "Based on intelligence gathered, the ship is suspected to be carrying firearms and drugs, but we shall confirm that once the inspection is done." He said he had no prior knowledge of the raid.

Normal operations have since resumed at the other areas of the port.

The ship's cargo manifest apparently includes a number of motor vehicles destined for the UN that were to be unloaded in Mombasa.

The East African coast has become an important conduit for the drug trade and warships of the naval forces on counter piracy patrol in the North West Indian Ocean have made a number of inspections of suspect ships and dhows, finding large quantities of drugs on several. These drugs have been destroyed, mainly by throwing them overboard. One Australian frigate discovered more than a ton of heroin on one vessel late last year.

It is believed that most of the drugs are coming out of Afghanistan, Pakistan or India but where this is normally taken ashore is not clear. Some is trafficked down the East Coast bound for South Africa and onward shipment from there but most of the drugs are thought to be taken via a different carrier in East Africa to Europe and the United States.

The fact that the authorities were waiting for the ship to dock indicates that they were acting on intelligence received. Local police and port security were kept in the dark and according to one report those on duty at the port were briefly detained just before the raid.

Although many of the cars loaded on a ship such as Hoegh Transporter will be new vehicles straight from factories on different continents that usually enforce stringent security measures, the car carriers also load used cars from places such as Sharjah which could be used as the means of hiding contraband such as drugs.

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2000 TD is the longest running model in the Griff
The 2000TD, as used by the Peruvian Navy in the Amazon jungle, is the longest running hovercraft model

Paramount Group, the African based global defence group and Griffon Hoverwork Ltd, the world's leading hovercraft manufacturer, signed a cooperative agreement last week, revealing a number of global projects that will bring British hovercraft capability to sub-Saharan Africa and innovative South African designed and developed naval solutions to European customers.

The announcement was made at Defence Security Equipment International (DSEi), a top aerospace, land, maritime and security event which was taking place at EXCEL in London.

According to a statement issued by the joint companies, the strategic partnership will deliver the following benefits to both companies and their customers across the world:

  • Marketing hovercraft capability to potential customers in Africa

  • Marketing Paramount naval solutions to the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence (DoD) and other European Customers

  • Development of in-customer-country manufacturing and through-life support facilities

  • Development and prototyping of innovative air cushion technology products for mutual market benefit

  • Development of an asset financed solution to support sales of hovercraft in all global markets

  • Ivor Ichikowitz, Executive Chairman of Paramount Group said that forging strategic partnerships that result in new market opportunities, increased growth, stronger product portfolios and continuous innovation had always been at the core of Paramount's expansion strategy. "Partnering with Griffon Hoverwork is therefore not only of great significance but a natural step in boosting our global naval capabilities," he said.

    Paramount Group is a world leader in defence and security innovation with a reputation for developing and delivering integrated solutions for defence, internal security and peacekeeping forces across the world. Its maritime subsidiary Nautic Africa (Pty) is a leading shipbuilder, designer and maritime service provider, manufacturing patrol craft, support vessels, force protection craft and rigid inflatable's for the military, paramilitary and commercial sectors.

    Ichikowitz said that the design and innovation competence that exists within Paramount Naval Systems and Nautic Africa can meet the specific demands of modern navies around the world.

    "The Hovercraft range is an exciting addition to our existing product range, as hovercraft are able to operate over almost any surface including shallow water, ice, vegetation, mud, logs, debris, rapids and flood plains and are used in a variety of security and military operations around the world.

    "Griffon Hoverwork's commitment to design, produce and deliver, on time, the highest quality product to its customer base is one which is shared by Paramount, making this new partnership a formidable one in the African maritime market."

    According to Griffon Hoverwork's Managing Director, Adrian Went, "This is an exciting relationship for Griffon Hoverwork. Paramount brings excellent access to African and other international markets and their group capability will be a real asset to enable our product development and in-country manufacturing programmes.

    "We are also very pleased to be able to take some of the robust and innovative Paramount product range into the European defence and security market. We believe these world class solutions will be very competitive."

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    Beit BRidge from SA side 480

    South African Revenue Service officers in the Customs department made a huge gold and diamond bust when they intercepted a container at the Beit Bridge border with Zimbabwe.

    On opening the container for inspection it was found to contain US$1.4 million worth of illicit rough diamonds and gold.

    The container was on the back of a truck reportedly coming from the DRC. Inside were boxes which when opened revealed 143.35g of gold, 63.54g of black diamonds, 67.58g of diamonds, 173.1g of uncut industrial diamonds, 10.36 of clear uncut diamonds, and 566.87 of industrial diamonds.

    Beit Bridge is the main entry point between Zimbabwe and South Africa with both a rail and a road crossing. A large percentage of cross-border trucking into Central and Southern Africa uses Beit Bridge where there can be lengthy delays owing to congestion from the sheer number of vehicles.

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    DSCF4753 cropped2
    Picture by Terry Hutson

    From 1st July next year, SOLAS amendment Chapter VI Regulation 2 will require every freight container loaded aboard a ship to have verification of its gross mass. But just ten months away from this very significant (and necessary) change, it seems clear that the preparations for its implementation are far from complete, writes Watchkeeper for BIMCO.

    The concept seems simple enough, but the fact that nearly half a century after containers started to be carried by sea we are only now on the threshold of this change ought to alert people that implementation internationally (and even nationally) may prove more complex than meets the eye. Last week a technical seminar organised in London by ICHCA International addressed many of these residual and very practical problems.

    On the face of it, the new requirements seem clear about the fact that it is the shipper's responsibility to present a container to carriers accompanied by the certificate of Verified Gross Mass. But there still needs to be clarity as to who exactly the 'shipper' is. Will the identity of this responsible entity vary dependent upon the terms of shipment? Will the outsourcing of the weighing to a third party confuse the issue? And what might happen if boxes arrive at terminal gates without the necessary VGM? Might issues of demurrage issues arise if boxes are held to await proper documentation? And how far has the international logistics industry advanced as to the certifying and calibration of weighing equipment?

    There may be a reasonable expectation that such questions are answerable, but it is clear that many of these matters may give rise to problems around the world as the new system beds in.

    There are, it seems, plenty of more practical matters to be addressed in the coming months. It is worth remembering, the seminar was told, that it is by no means unusual that an 8000 TEU containership can find that there are 2500 tons of unexplained additional weight aboard, with obvious implications for fuel consumption, let alone anything else. There are still plenty of instances of disgraceful overloading -- a truck driver in the UK worried about his load found when he took it to a weighbridge, that the 40ft box he was hauling (declared at 30 tons) contained 96 tons! This perhaps illustrates the importance of these matters.

    How accurate must the weighing be? It is noted that international accuracy standards of weighing are yet to be determined. It is suggested that an accuracy of 1-2 percent might be appropriate, but will be left to the national administration to determine this. There is still debate about the best means of establishing the weight under the two permitted SOLAS methods and exactly where this ought to be undertaken. Ideally, wherever a container is packed ought to be the proper place, as just as many problems arise on the way to the terminal on road and rail as are found in the terminal itself, or on the sea voyage. But the terminal gate might be a suitable alternative, with terminals earning a useful fee for this service.

    More questions surround the location and the accuracy of weighbridges and other means of establishing the tare weight. The weight of the vehicle, which varies depending on the amount of fuel aboard is a problem, as is the establishment of an accurate weight if two 20 ft boxes are aboard. Might load cells, which can be incorporated into all forms of lifting device provide a safer and surer method?

    All of this, bearing in mind the proximity of the implementation date is of growing importance for everyone right across the logistics chain. Systems, accuracy, calibration arrangements, methods and 'policing' will have to be established. Something workable has to be devised. The hope was expressed that after the implementation date 'common sense' among the various authorities, will prevail. source : Watchkeeper, BIMCO

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    150917 Taufe Cap San Vincent 480
    From the left: Sung-Geun Lee (Executive Vice President, Shipyard General Manager DSME, Fawad Neiro, Sponsor Susanne Neiro (K+S Transport) and Dr Arnt Vespermann (Member of the Hamburg Sud Executive Board).

    Last week German container line Hamburg Sud christened their latest container ship CAP SAN VINCENT at the yard of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co, Ltd (DSME) in Okpo, South Korea. The Cap San Vincent is the most recent vessel of an identical group of three. The sister ships, CAP SAN JUAN and CAP SAN LAZARO, have been in service for a number of months.

    All three vessels are part of the latest generation of the Cap San series, making them the largest ships in the Hamburg Sud fleet. With an overall length of 331 metres and a width of 49.4 metres, the Cap San Vincent has a container slot capacity of 10,600 TEU and a reefer capacity of 1,000 plugs.

    Hamburg Sud says that the new ship is to be phased into the Asia-South America East Coast Service in late September and will carry, for instance, products of the Korean automobile industry, household appliances and other electronic merchandise to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. On the return leg, the principal commodities shipped from South America to Asia are agricultural produce and mineral raw materials.

    Dr Arnt Vespermann, Member of the Executive Board of Hamburg Sud, underlined Korea's importance for Hamburg Sud.

    "Although the competition for the carriers in this market is immense, we are convinced that there are further growth opportunities for Hamburg Sud. We shall, therefore, be expanding our liner network in the region and using the port of Busan as a gateway for cargo from and to Korea and as a central hub port," he said.

    The christening celebrations were attended by customers and business partners of Hamburg Sud.

    Technical data of the Cap San Vincent:

    Capacity 122,000 t
    Container slot capacity 10,600 TEU
    Reefer slots 1,000
    Length overall 331m
    Length between perpendiculars 315.30m
    Width 48.40m
    Draught max. 14.00m
    Speed 21 knots
    Main engine output 40,670 kW

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    PECT aerial 470
    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.


    VICENTE 14 September 2015 2 480

    The general cargo vessel VICENTE (30,490 dwt, built 2002) seen leaving Durban harbour last week. The Liberian-flagged ship is German owned and is currently in service to another German operation, MAC's Carrier Shipping on its GAL service. In the photograph the TNPA pilot helicopter can just be seen approaching to lift off the harbour pilot. Vicente is currently (Monday morning) off the Wild Coast en route to Cape Town, having called at Richards Bay since leaving Durban. Picture is by Trevor Jones


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