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Ports & Ships Maritime News

26 July 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Maersk Line's container ship MAERSK LANGKLOOF (80,228-dwt, built 2013) under the cranes at Durban Container Terminal earlier in July. The 170-metre long, 42m wide 6,900-TEU ship operates between Europe and South Africa. She was built in South Korea at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries shipyard as hull number S606 and is owned by Rhodos Maritime Co. The ship was named RHODOS at launch. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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The United States government has warned Uganda that it risks being kicked out of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) partnership if the government does not stop abusing human rights of its citizens, and harassment and persecution of the Opposition.

"As you know, the African Growth and Opportunity Act requires an annual review of compliance with eligibility criteria for each country. As we approach the Agoa country eligibility review for Uganda for 2017, I wanted to make you aware that the US government has identified some serious concerns related to the government of Uganda's adherence to certain Agoa criteria," President Obama's adviser on trade, Ambassador Michael BG Froman, wrote to Uganda's minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, on 17 June.

Froman is President Obama's topmost adviser on trade matters and a cabinet minister.

"Agoa eligibility is based on statutory criteria established by the US Congress that require, among other things, a country to have established or be making continual progress towards establishing political pluralism, the rule of law, and a market-based economy," Froman said. "Agoa criteria also require that country not to engage in gross violations of internationally recognised human rights." He said the US government will be looking for "concrete progress" in three areas. "Ceasing the harassment and unjustified detention of political Opposition leaders and supporters; allowing peaceful political dissent and public discourse about human rights; ending the harassment, unwarranted arrest and intimidation of journalists reporting on Opposition activities."

Mr Froman referred to earlier interactions the US government had with the government of Uganda. Since then, he wrote, "there have been additional actions -- particularly during the period surrounding Uganda's national elections -- that raise additional questions regarding Uganda's commitment to the rule of law, political pluralism, the right to due process and a fair trial, and freedom of association and expression, which are key elements of Agoa eligibility."

Uganda's Opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has, since the February presidential elections, been arrested and is currently on trial for treason and several other separate charges related to Opposition activities. Other opposition leaders are also under arrest on treason charges.

Agoa was signed into law by former US President Bill Clinton in 2000 to support the industrialisation and export efforts of developing countries in Africa by allowing more than 6,000 different products from these countries access to the US market tax and quota-free. Uganda is one of the 38 African countries in Agoa.

Uganda's Minister for Information and ICT, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, responded by saying that the Uganda government will not be swayed by the US statements, which he dismissed as subjective judgments.

"We have rejected before, and we continue to reject, their wrong narratives about Uganda's democracy," Tumwebaze said. "As a country, we are able to differentiate between deceptive rhetoric as contained in their letter you are referring to, and real democracy."

Uganda's trade under the AGOA Act has declined in recent years and in 2014 totalled a mere US$1.15 million. source: tralac and Daily Monitor

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Port of Saldanha Bay

Port of Durban

After heavy rains and snow fell over much of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), high swells and later strong winds saw the Port of Durban imposing restricted ship movements followed by a full closure of the port on Monday (25 July).

Swells of between 3.5 and 5.1 metres across the entrance channel forced port authorities to stop all ship movements in and out the port at around 13h00 on Monday. Prior to that, restrictions were introduced with selective ship movements being introduced during the morning.

The heavy rain that is falling across the province and snow falls in the Midlands and high lying areas have curtailed some road traffic on the busy N3 highway between Durban and Gauteng, with calls by road traffic authorities for journeys to be postponed if possible until the weather improves. There were concerns that the N3 over Van Reenen's pass across the Drakensberg Mountains separating KZN from the rest of the country would have to be closed to traffic.

A number of routes in the high lying areas have been closed to traffic.

In Durban and surrounding areas flooding closed a number of streets, causing long delays and diversions. By early this morning (Tuesday) light rain was still falling.

Port of Saldanha

The Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report for the proposed Gas-fired Independent Power Plant to support Saldanha Steel and other industries in Saldanha Bay is now available for comment. The comment period will be open for 30 days, from 22 July to 25 August 2016.

The Draft EIA Report is available at the following locations or on request from the facilitator, ERM:

1] Online at www.erm.com/saldanhasteel

2] Saldanha Public Library

3] ERM's offices in the Great Westerford Building, 240 Main Road, Newlands, Cape Town.

Port of Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam port stakeholders have petitioned government over VAT on transit cargo.

In their latest attempt to convince the government of President John Magufuli who has ruled out any possibility of abolishing value added tax imposed on transit cargo ancillary services, three major players of the country's prime port are now talking numbers, reports tralac.

The statement by Tanzania Truck Owners Association, Tanzania Shipping Agents Association and Tanzania Freight Forwarders Association added that the Tanzania Revenue Authority analysis overlooked the fact that the Dar es Salaam Port to Uganda route had a cost per tonne of US$4,435 compared with the Mombasa Port route which charges US$2,712.

"This is why Mombasa Port is enjoying five million tonnes of goods as compared to Dar es Salaam Port which has only 200,000 tonnes to the same destination," the statement argued.

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Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world's second largest global container shipping company, has joined CMA CGM, the world's third biggest, in a strong endoresment and backing of French cargo-monitoring start-up, TRAXENS.

Founded in 2012, TRAXENS has been developing unique solutions for the cargo logistics arena, and has created an innovative container monitoring and coordination system.

With a combined fleet of 4.5 million units these two leading shipping lines transport approximately 25% of the world's shipping containers. The agreement sees CMA CGM and MSC invest capital in TRAXENS, with each Group also represented on the Board of Directors.

The deployment of the TRAXENS devices across the fleets of both carriers will be announced in the fourth quarter of this year.

"We see container monitoring as an important innovation in providing our customers with a high quality of service, while also being able to monitor our outputs accurately," said Diego Aponte, President and CEO of MSC. "We believe that shipping lines should naturally compete on service, but should co-operate in the area of technology and innovation."

Rodolphe Saade, Vice-Chairman of CMA CGM added that CMA CGM recognised the need for more and better data coming from CMA CGM's containers. "We are proud to have identified the potential of the TRAXENS solution early on. This is just a part of our global digital strategy," Saade said.

Michel Fallah, founder and CEO of TRAXENS said that Traxens was delighted to have had the backing of CMA CGM since 2012 and now of MSC. "Our solution was designed from day one to be a global solution for all containers and all companies. This is an encouraging step towards setting a market standard."

About MSC
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company SA is a privately owned global shipping company founded in 1970 by Gianluigi Aponte. As one of the world's leading container shipping lines, MSC operates 480 offices across 150 countries worldwide with over 24,000 employees. With access to an integrated network of road, rail and sea transport resources, which stretches across the globe, the company prides itself on delivering global service with local knowledge. MSC's shipping line sails on more than 200 trade routes, calling at over 315 ports.

CMA CGM, founded and led by Jacques R Saade is a leading worldwide shipping group. Its 536 vessels call more than 420 ports in the world, on all five continents. In 2015, CMA CGM carried 18 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). With a presence in 160 countries, through its 600 agencies network, the Group employs 29,000 people worldwide, including 2,400 in its headquarter in Marseilles.

TRAXENS have built what is claimed as the world's most advanced multi-modal container monitoring and coordination system and now deliver real data for logistics excellence to all. Details at www.traxens.com

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Port of Richards Bay, adjacent to RB IDZ

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs Sihle Zikalala has unveiled a R16 million Customs Controlled Area (CCA) Gate Complex at the Industrial Development Zone in Richards Bay.

Speaking during the event on Friday, MEC Zikalala said the CCA signals the readiness of the Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) to conduct business and attract even more investors to Richards Bay.

"The CCA boasts a CCA with dedicated RBIDZ Staff and South African Revenue Services (SARS) officials to provide support for access and customs controls as well as VAT requirements," he said.

Zikalala said the RBIDZ is tailored for the manufacturing of goods and production of services to boost beneficiation, investment, economic growth and the development of skills and employment.

"The Customs Control Area is the backbone of the IDZ programme, as it ensures full compliance to all SARS requirements and allows locators to benefit from incentives such as VAT-free transactions, no import/export duties and expedited customs procedures," he said.

During the event, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Finance Belinda Scott performed a sod-turning for a Technology Hub in the region.

Zikalala said the Techno Park is essential for the research that will influence the type of industrial development and innovation that could be pursued in the local economy.

"In view of Richards Bay's ambition to become the leading heavy industrial node, it is inevitable that the RBIDZ should introduce the Techno Parks in its portfolio, as these would be catalysts in wooing different businesses in diverse sectors of the economy," he said.

The Techno Hub concept provides a platform for creative innovation that will allow small, micro, medium and large business to develop together so that the individuals from within these entities will initiate opportunities for future development and expansion of their own industries.

The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone Techno Hub is the second of four science and technology innovation centres to be rolled out in KwaZulu-Natal, after Provincial Treasury launched the first techno hub in Port Shepstone last month.

Another two will be launched soon in Newcastle and Pietermaritzburg, respectively.

These Techno Hubs are expected to draw high-tech entrepreneurs, private businesses, academic institutions, researchers, and investors interested in providing concepts through innovation in order to create platforms for commercialisation of technology and innovation-based businesses. source: SAnews.gov.za

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Sishen-Saldanha iron ore heavy haul railway. Image TFR

South Africa has won the bid to host the 11th International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) conference, which will be held in Cape Town from 2 to 6 September 2017. This premier event is expected to attract in excess of 1,000 delegates from across the world.

The 10 country members of the association are Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Norway, Russia, Sweden, the USA and South Africa, each of which operate extensive heavy haul rail services.

The IHHA has conducted international conferences for 34 years in the members countries and has become widely recognised as the leader in railway heavy haul conferences and a world class resource in heavy haul best practices. South Africa is one of the founding members of the IHHA founded in 1982 and has been one of the pioneers in the development of heavy haul technology.

The IHHA is a worldwide non-governmental association of railways and railway institutions dedicated to the improvement of heavy haul railway operations, maintenance and technology. The association hosts international heavy haul conferences every two years and the heavy haul countries bid to host the conference. The last time this conference was held in SA was almost 20 years ago in 1997.

In June 2015 in Perth, Australia, Transnet through Brian Monakali, who is currently an Executive in Transnet and a member of the board of directors for IHHA, led the bid for SA to host the 2017 IHHA conference competing with China. "We fully expect the 2017 conference to be outstanding and rank high among the long history of IHHA Conferences. The first IHHA Conference in SA was held in 1997, also in Cape Town, and it was one of the best conferences ever held. I believe history will repeat itself in 2017," said Scott Lovelace, IHHA's CEO.

The conference will be held between 2 and 6 September 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. The Conference theme Advancing Heavy Haul Technologies and Operations in a Changing World aims to address the recent market downturn characterised by low commodity prices, low GDP growth rates and a slowdown in demand for freight bulk commodities such as coal and iron ore.

"This conference will specifically focus on research and innovations related to how we can advance heavy haul technologies and operations to respond positively to the current market downturn, thereby contributing significantly to the survival and growth of the railways," said Brian Monakali, Executive Manager at Transnet Freight Rail and Co-Chairman of the Organising Committee.

The event will commence with a technical workshop to be held two days before the conference where international railway technical experts will present selected topics within the Infrastructure and Rolling Stock fields.

Technical visits to Transnet's Heavy Haul railways will also be possible.

South Africa's heavy haul railways comprise the Richards Bay coal line, the Sishen-Saldanha iron ore railway, and will in future include the still to be developed manganese ore line from the Northern Cape to Port Elizabeth/Ngqura.

Speaking about the conference, Transnet Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama said that Transnet's Market Demand Strategy (MDS) is aimed at providing capacity ahead of demand. "We are constantly under pressure to find efficient and cost effective ways of increasing capacity. Whilst our two heavy haul lines, coal and iron ore lines are currently contributing around 50% of our annual tonnage railed, a significant portion of growth in volumes in next five years is going to come from General Freight business."

"I therefore expect the Heavy Haul Association to facilitate and promote initiatives aimed at efficiently utilising the existing assets, and creating rail capacity cost effectively at both our heavy Haul lines and General Freight lines, by applying some of the proven operations and maintenance principles of Heavy Haul international benchmarks," said Gama.

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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
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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

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Pacific International Lines' (PIL) 3,889-TEU capacity container ship KOTA SATRIA (51,755-dwt, built 2015) seen in Cape Town harbour during July this year. Like so many PIL vessels Kota Satria is owned and operated by the Singapore-based company and operates in the company's South East Asia-South Africa-West Africa service. The 227-metre long ship, 36-m wide ship was built by the Dalian SB Industry Co of China. These pictures are by Ian Shiffman


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