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Ports & Ships Maritime News

21 June 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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SAS PROTEA  DSC_2355r 480

World Hydrographic Day commemorations in South Africa coincided with the 2016 Durban Port Festival hosted by Transnet National Ports Authority during the recent weekend. After some confusion about which ships were available, the SA Navy eventually sent three ships (or rather one, as the other two are based in Durban). This didn't seem to matter to the rank and file of the crowds however who turned out in good numbers, standing patiently in queues to go on board the navy ships for a look around -- a rare opportunity in Durban these days. With perfect weather everyone appeared to enjoy themselves, with the navy also putting on diving exhibitions in the diving tank and the precision marchers performing to everyone's delight. In this picture we see the star of the show, the aging but still magnificent hydrographic survey ship, SAS Protea. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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The French shipping line CMA CGM is moving ahead with a spate of freight rate increases across its general shipping schedule.

These multiple freight rate increases to US$300 per TEU all apply from mid July 2016.

"In a continued effort to provide reliable and efficient service, CMA CGM wishes to informs customers of the following Rate Restorations," the company said in its general statement.

From Indian sub-continent and Middle East-Gulf to West Africa rates will rise US$300 per TEU, $600 per FEU starting 16 July 2016.

From Asia, including Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Southeast Asia and Bangladesh, to Kenya and Tanzania rates will rise US$300 per TEU, $600 per FEU starting 15 July 2016.

From east coast South America to sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and west coast of India, rates will rise $200 per TEU and $300 per FEU from 15 July 2016.

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Benita-aground 16 June 2016 pic by lexpress.mu 4
picture by lexpress.mu

Salvage workers have placed booms around the grounded bulker BENITA which went ashore on Le Bouchon Beach in Mauritius last Thursday night/Friday morning. The ship was en route from Paradip in India for Durban when the incident happened.

According to reports the grounding was a result of a fight among crew in the engine room. It was initially reported that the chief engineer had been taken away by Mauritian security for questioning but it now turns out that the engineer Alvin Maderse was severely injured in the fighting, after being hit on the head by a metal pipe. He was taken to hospital where the medical staff have placed him in an induced coma after his condition worsened.

Another member of the crew, named as Omar Palmes Taton has been charged with aggravated assault and is being held in a police cell.

Police have been questioning the ship's master and othe members of the crew to obtain a better picture of what happened to cause the ship to suddenly alter course and head up onto the beach.

Divers have meanwhile begun assessing the damage to the ship, which is empty of cargo but has about 150 tons of bunker fuel on board. Early reports suggest that three of the five holds have been punctured. The firm of Five Ocean Salvage has been appointed to pump out the remaining fuel oil.

Questions have been raised about whether the Mauritian National Coast Guard was able to detect the ship as it entered Mauritian waters before going aground.

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Port of Mombasa container terminal

TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) has launched the 2nd Round of the Logistics Innovation for Trade (LIFT) Challenge Fund, to promote innovation and efficiencies in the transport and logistics sector in East Africa.

East Africa has some of the highest freight and transport costs in the world. Freight logistics costs in East Africa per kilometre are more than 50 percent higher than the USA and Europe. High costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries and for landlocked countries transport costs can be as high as 75 percent of the value of exports. In the end, it is the producer, a farmer or a consumer that suffers the loss of business development and trade opportunities, being left with a higher cost of living.

Trade is growing up to 8 percent per annum across the region and economic growth is picking up. Without the transport and logistics sector becoming more efficient, growth would be severely constrained. Reducing cost and time of transport and logistics would increase trade, reduce the cost of living, contribute to higher exports and faster growth and create jobs.

LIFT aims to promote innovation in East Africa's transport and logistics industry. It will support the East African industry to:

  • Introduce new technology that will help to reduce the time and cost of transport and ensure better coordination of the logistics chain

  • Innovate new business models, such as third-party logistics, that enable SMEs to participate in the logistics chain

  • Introduce new services, such as third-party warehousing, distribution and packaging centres, pallet exchanges, and ICT platforms that enable buyers to find the right suppliers and facilitate more efficient logistics.
  • LIFT aims to trigger innovation to ensure the East African transport and logistics industry improves efficiency and service quality.

    TMEA's objective is to reduce transport time along the main transport corridors by 15 percent by the end of 2016. TMEA has had some success in reducing transport times along the Northern Corridor and is currently addressing the inefficiencies of logistics and transport activities along the Central Corridor. As part of this broad transport and logistics initiative, TMEA is also streamlining custom clearance, investing in infrastructure and reducing bottlenecks along the corridors.

    LIFT is a challenge to the private sector to develop and test new ideas that could reduce the cost and time of transport and logistics. It will co-invest with the private sector in projects that have the potential to achieve this but may be too risky to undertake without TMEA's support. It is open to businesses in the transport and logistics sector throughout the world that are operating or will operate in the EAC. It is a competitive facility which will support the most promising projects.

    LIFT uses a transparent and open competitive process to assess and identify the most promising project concepts.

    A simple online application form is available to applicants who will then have to submit a brief concept note of their project idea before the closure date for applications -- 5pm on 12 August 2016.

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    Port of Dar es Salaam, East Africa's second busiest port

    Major issues in transport and logistics sector

    High costs
    East Africa is reported to have the highest freight and transport costs in the world -- freight logistics costs in East Africa per kilometre are more than 50 percent higher than the USA and Europe, while for landlocked countries, transport costs can be as high as 75 percent of the value of exports. Analysis carried out in 2011 by the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic of the World Bank indicates that average lead times for exports and imports in East Africa are the highest and second highest in the developing world.

    These high costs seriously erode the competitiveness of goods exported by East African countries and raise the cost of living, reducing trade, economic growth, and job creation opportunities. Illustratively, the adoption of just-in-time strategies reduces dramatically the cost of inventories. However, in East Africa, uncertainty over the time it takes to clear ports, customs and haul freight means that firms have to maintain high inventories. These costs are passed on to producers/consumers or simply result in East African firms remaining uncompetitive.

    Structural issues in the road haulage industry
    To counter these problems, all countries within the EAC are making major investments in infrastructure, particularly in terms of improving road infrastructure. However, in addition to the serious delays caused by informal stops and checkpoints on major road routes, one of the major issues surrounding road freight costs is a structural issue surrounding the ability of small and medium scale enterprises to compete with larger players in the industry. These larger firms account for a relatively small percentage of logistics players but process cargo that accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of duties collected. The vast majority of trucks are owner-operated that suffer low fleet utilisation because of regulatory restrictions and the fragmentation of demand amongst a large number of smaller users.

    Poorly functioning rail infrastructure
    The East Africa regional railway systems are not functioning as they should -- poor reliability, high accident and failure rates, high costs, low volumes, financially loss-making and not operationally sustainable. Despite this situation, Governments, with the support of donor financing, are working towards a revival and expansion of the railway services, and to encourage and permit private sector participation in operations. Over time, regional railways will all have to increase their freight volumes substantially in order to become viable.

    Congestion at the major ports
    The two major ports serving the region -- Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania -- are hampered by relatively poor productivity. The reasons for the low productivity in both ports are due to a combination of yard congestion, traffic jams inside the terminal, equipment breakdown, shortage of equipment, and motivation of labour. Ship waiting in Mombasa is often three to four days whilst in the Port of Dar es Salaam it ranges from two to four days. If measures are not undertaken to address these constraints at the ports, EAC countries will continue to suffer even if all other components of the logistics chain are improved.

    Limited spread of modern logistics
    The East African industry trails behind the more efficient industries of Southern Africa and East Asia in product, business model and technological innovation. The spread of modern logistics is still relatively limited: value-added services such as warehousing and packaging are rare, and the outsourcing of logistics management to ICT-based companies is non-existent. Large numbers of small and medium enterprises have yet to develop business models that enable them to work together to form pallet networks to distribute small consignments, provide value-added services to small and medium sized customers and use shared services at consolidation centres.

    What will LIFT do to change this situation?
    LIFT is a Challenge Fund mechanism (i.e. a performance based grant) to incentivise providers of transport and logistics services to boost access to market and shared services for SME transport and logistics providers and innovate new services suited to the needs of EAC. However, LIFT performance grants are not intended as a subsidy for services that would have been delivered on a purely commercial basis. The LIFT Strategy is designed to encourage transport and logistics providers to focus on services that would not have been provided by the market were it not for LIFT intervention: thus, it will have a reasonable level of risk tolerance.

    For more information, go to: www.Lift-Fund.com

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    Richard Vallihu, TNPA chief executive and host of the Gauteng BTB

    Richard Vallihu, Chief Executive of Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and his Executive Committee, invite stakeholders to a Business to Business (B2B) Breakfast in Johannesburg.

    The session will provide an update on TNPA's infrastructure development plans, Operation Phakisa initiatives, Section 56 projects and initiatives around 'Smart People's Ports'.

    Through these engagements, TNPA hopes to continue to facilitate open communication with stakeholders and co-create a sustainable future.

    Date: Tuesday, 28 June 2016

    Venue: Park Hyatt, Ballroom, 191 Oxford Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg

    Time: 07h30 for 08h00 until 10h30

    RSVP (essential): Jozi Meth -- jozi@logicocreative.co.za by close of business on Friday, 24 June 2016.

    Please indicate full name, company name, cell number and any special dietary requirements when RSVP'ing.

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    Concargo, the South Africa based road haulage, general and project cargo logistics service provider, has been re-established, retrospect to 1 May 2016.

    David Kruyer, managing director at Concargo, said he was proud to announce the re-establishment and resurrection of the Concargo brand. "Concargo is, and remains, a powerful brand in the South African marketplace," he said.

    "Concargo, established in 1987, amalgamated with a strategic partner in March of 2015 and our brand went into hibernation for 13 months. It became patently obvious that whilst there were similarities in terms of our core service offerings, the host philosophy was not an ideal fit for the creed and clear water revival of Concargo in its simplicity."

    Concargo will continue to staff offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town, while providing full turnkey handling facilities in and out of all ports in South Africa, as well as through Walvis Bay in Namibia and through Beira, Mozambique.

    "It must be noted that there are no intrinsic changes to our basic Modus Operandi -- yet," Kruyer added. "The fundamentals of who we are and how we do business remain intact."

    He said that Technology has the power to make businesses faster, more agile and more responsive to the constant changing requirements of the market. "Concargo sees technology as a fundamental component of our business in providing a world-class standard of service to our customers.

    "Concargo is proud to announce the impending release of our new technology platform that will provide a complete logistics management solution for each of our clients who are also our strategic business partners. With our suite of mobile apps in development, our customers will have access to all of their shipments and freight logistics information at their fingertips, providing complete peace of mind at each milestone of their supply chain and logistics projects on the continent of Africa," Kruyer announced.

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    Proposed loop railways Bollore 480

    Several years ago we published an article on the 2,700-km long 'loop' railway that French company Bollore intended building through five West African countries. The plan has been opposed by several other companies, including another French company, Geftarail, which claims to have signed agreements giving it the rights to build at least part of the railway.

    The inland country of Niger now says that it had previously signed an agreement with rival company Gefatrail to build a section of what would become West Africa's longest rail network.

    Geftarail chairman Michel Bosio said the agreement signed with Niger "fully recognises the 1999 deal to build the railway link," [through Niger into Benin] which he says is in recognition of international law and of an agreement signed by four African states. Gefatrail claimed to have won the right to develop a Benin-Niger link as part of its Africarail project linking several countries in the region.

    In November 2015 Geftarail and its Niger subsidiary filed a lawsuit at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris against the Benin and Niger governments, demanding work on the Niger-Benin section of Bollore's project be halted.

    Bollore meanwhile is already engaged in building the Niger to Benin section of the loop railway, known locally as the 'Backbone' project.

    Adding to the complications or building the railway, the Petrolin Group, headed by the oil tycoon Samuel Dossou-Aworet from Benin, launched a similar legal action last year, claiming that in 2010 the governments of Niger and Benin in 2010 had granted them the rights to build a railway linking Benin's coastal capital Cotonou with Niger's inland capital, Niamey. The Bollore project overlaps with it, Petrolin claimed.

    In November last year the Benin Appeals Court ruled against Bollore, ordering that both the state of Benin and Bollore Africa Logistics (as it was then known) should refrain from any works on the 'backbone' (Niger-Benin)_project. Should it ignore the order Bollore would be subjected to a fine of 100 million CFA francs (US$161,809.68) per day, the court said.

    Geftarail's concession rights to build the Niger-Benin railway go back 16 years during which time Geftarail has failed to find the necessary funding. It has indicated that it would like to attract Chinese rail builders to the project but has so far been unable to do so.

    Bollore on the other hand has commenced construction work, having signed a concession agreement last August to rehabilitate and build a 1,065-km railway between Niger and Benin. Bollore also has strong interests in port terminals throughout West Africa as well as dry ports in landlocked countries such as Burkino Faso and Chad.

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    Request a Rate Card frominfo@ports.co.za


    Port Louis 470
    Port Louis - Indian Ocean 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.

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    QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

    We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section, but this is also available in a dedicated Cruise News section. This section will include various stories and news not covered in the general news so if you have an interest in this sector don't forget to check regularly on our CRUISE NEWS page.

    This you will find here in CRUISE NEWS & REVIEWS

    Naval News
    SA Navy 480

    Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which also have their own dedicated section, although some stories may be duplicated in the general news section.

    Find the Naval Review section HERE

    Remember to use your backspace key to return to this page.


    MOMENTUM SCAN-20 June 2016-1 480

    MOMENTUM SCAN-20 June 2016-2 480

    The general cargo vessel MOMENTUM SCAN (10,039-dwt, built 2010) is certainly not difficult to miss even in a crowded port, such is the brightness of her colour scheme. The ship is seen here sailing from Durban recently with a cargo of containers. Momentum Scan is owned by Canada Feeder Lines BV of the Netherlands and it is that country's flag which she flies. These pictures are taken by Trevor Jones


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