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Ports & Ships Maritime News

16 August 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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Seatrade's reefer vessel PRINCE OF WAVES (8039-dwt, built 1993) reminds us that the citrus export season in South Africa is still underway, with a couple of months to go before another season comes to an end. The German-owned reefer vessel is on her berth at the Citrus Terminal on Durban's T-Jetty -- the port has two fruit terminals, the other being at Maydon Wharf. The citrus export season should come to an end around October. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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New equipment to have impact on terminal operations. Picture: TPT

A fleet of new Terberg haulers (mechanical horses) which have arrived in Durban for the Durban Container Terminal, Pier 1 became fully operational at the end of last week, and are expected to make a significant impact on improving operational efficiencies at the busy terminal.

The haulers have a value of R23.4 million.

"The benefits of having these new haulers at Pier 1 will improve the availability and ultimately equipment reliability at our terminal" said Brenda Magqwaka, Transnet Port Terminals' GM: KZN Operations Containers.

She believes the increased reliability will correlate to fewer breakdowns resulting in minimal interruptions to operations. "As a result the terminal will be able to operate 6 gangs without equipment shortages," she said. "We are committed to delivering better services and achieving better turnaround times at Pier 1 and the arrival of these new haulers is a substantial investment by Transnet Port Terminals."

Driver familiarisation training took place recently, which included endurance testing on the haulers, allowing them to be handed over to operations earlier than originally anticipated. The newly designed seat of these haulers has a host of features, adjustments and lumbar support to improve the ergonomics of the machine.

A feature that makes these haulers different from the old ones is that the seat has a built in sensor that cuts off the engine when the operator has left the seat for more than a period of 5 minutes. The new haulers also have door sensors linked to the air conditioner that once the door is opened, the air conditioner switches off. Lastly the machines come with the same engine (Mercedes OM906LA Tier 3), which meets the Euromot 3A specifications with regards to emissions.

These new Terberg Haulers are part of a replacement project and are to replace the current Mafi Haulers, and the terminal will be decommissioning and phasing out 14 old Mafi Haulers respectively. Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) will begin the reverse logistics process for these Mafi Haulers. The hauler replacement project is planned to be completed in 2019, with a further 30 haulers planned to be purchased in 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 financial year. The terminal is also embarking on the phased refurbishment of 18 Rubber Tyre Gantry cranes at DCT Pier 1 which is due to commence in January 2017.

TPT has committed R385 million to the upgrading and improvement of equipment and facilities for Durban Container Terminals' Pier 1. This is in line with the company's Market Demand Strategy (MDS) launched in 2012 which is to create capacity well ahead of demand and improve productivity and operational efficiencies. An additional R260 million is earmarked for further upgrades in the 2016/2017 period.

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China has launched a new satellite into space that will provide high-resolution Earth observation technology, aimed primarily at protecting China's maritime interests and also capable of observing and providing early warning of natural disasters.

The satellite, which is named Gaofen-3, was launched aboard a Long March 4C rocket.

The rocket took off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Centre in Shanxi province.

China Daily reported the head of the Gaofen 3 Project, Xu Fuxiang as saying that because CHina has over 32,000 kilometres of coastline to watch, plus 380,000 square kilometres of territorial waters and more than 6,500 islands, satellites sich as Gaofen 3 become highly useful if safeguarding the country's maritimew rights and interests.

"The satellite will play an important role in monitoring the marine environment, islands and reefs, and ships and oil rigs," he was quoted by the newspaper.

The launching of the satellte comes at a time when China is engaged in firmly establishing its dominance over a vast area of the South China Sea, including areas in dispute with other nations such as the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and Vietnam. The international court in the Hague last month rejected China's claim to sovereignty over much of the dispited area.

China has declared that it does not recognise the authority of the International Court in this matter and has chosen to ignore the decision, rasing tensions in the area even further. Chinese air and sea patrols across the South China Sea are now commonplace and the introduction of the satellite is expected to further raise temperatures among China's neighbours.

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CMA CGM Group has announced a revised rotation of its EURAF 1 service between Europe and West Africa by adding a new port of call, Vlissingen to its loop.

Effective from the sailing of CMA CGM PARTICI on 9 September 2016, the EURAF 1 service deployed on the Europe-West Africa trade is designed to further strengthen the line's product and will offer the following features :

Enhanced service coverage with a loop directly connecting Vlissingen (Netherlands) to West Africa strategic markets.
Unique direct service from Vlissingen to Senegal and Ivory Coast to cope with the Reefer container traffic, mostly for the potatoe and onion seasons, with competitive transit time.
Weekly coverage of Vlissingen port from/to worldwide countries.

EURAF 1 port rotation now becomes: Dunkirk; Tilbury; Antwerp; Vlissingen; Dunkirk; Le Havre; Montoir; Tangier Med; Algeciras; Dakar; Abidjan; Dakar; Algeciras; Dunkirk

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CMA CGM has launched a new West Mediterannean-West Africa service to be known as EURAF 6

Commencing 30 August, the 2,460-TEU CMA CGM MILAN TRADER will be deployed on the Europe-West Africa service, on a second loop running from the western Mediterranean to West African markets.

EURAF 6 provides a direct service from Italy and Spain to Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana with the transit time considerably improved by up to six days and including coverage of Takoradi port on a 21-day frequency.

The EURAF 6 service will rotate through La Spezia; Genoa; Tarragona; Castellon; Valencia; Algeciras; Tangiers; Dakar; Abidjan; Tin Can / Lagos; Tema; Takoradi; Abidjan and back to La Spezia.

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Nsanje inland port quayside construction. Picture: Nyasa Times

The dream of a Shire Zambezi Waterway linking Malawi with the open sea off Mozambique has come a step closer following a feasibility study that shows that the project is not only viable but can be profitable to the whole region.

The study report was handed to Malwai's President Peter Mutharika and Mozambique's President Filipe Nyusi several months ago when the pair met in Lilongwe.

Previous attempts by Malawi to encourage Mozambique in joining the scheme met in failure amidst a break-down in relationships between the two countries. However, a change of presidents appears to have eased those tensions.

This week Malawi's Transport and Public Works minister Malison Ndau confirmed he will be meeting his Mozambican counterpart from Monday next week (22 August) in Beira.

"Last week I met the secretary general of SADC on the same issue. The whole region is now taking the project seriously after the feasibility study showed that the Shire Zambezi Waterway project is viable and profitable to the whole region," Ndau said.

"President Nyusi seems to be very interested in this project and I am sure he will help us," said Ndau.

According to Ndau the low water levels in the Shire River will not affect the implementation of the project.

The two rivers have historically formed a natural waterway into landlocked Malawi but the long civil war in Mozambique put an end to any thoughts let alone attempts at developing this as a viable means of transport.

Meanwhile, the firm of Mota Engil will continue as the contractor for the Nsanje Inland Port which is in Malawi on the Shire River. source includes Nyasa Times

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An earlier delivery of SA-built open wagons for the Beira railway in Mozambique, being loaded here in Port Elizabeth in 2014. Picture by PE Correspondent

The delivery of 100 new rail wagons to the Nacala railway corridor has begun, with the arrival of the first 22 wagons from South Africa.

The hundred new wagons being manufactured in South Africa for the Corredor de Desenvolvimento do Norte (CDN) company that operates the railway from the port at Nacala into neighbourng Malawi, will be placed in service with the general freight division (as opposed to the coal division operating between Moatize and Nacala).

The new wagons, each with a capacity to carry up to 54 tons will be used for the transport of grains and other cereals as well as general goods and will considerably boost the capacity of CDN to move goods inland from the harbour as well as exports in the other direction.

The port of Nacala serves its own immediate hinterland including the provincial capital city of Nampula and provinces of Nampula and Niassa, as well as Malawi, Zambia and the DRC. In addition the railway carries an increasing volume of export coal from the Vale mines at Moatize in Tete province.

According to a report in the Maputo Portuguese language newspaper Noticias, CDN is receiving increasing enquiries from customers wanting to move cereals by rail now that a reliable service is again available. A significant amount of food aid material also arrives at the port and needs transport inland where food shortages exist as a result of the persistent drought.

According to the newspaper, the Nampula province alone requires about 900,000 tonnes of maize to meet requirements, much of which could be carried by rail provided the necessary rail wagons and locomotives were available.

It is expected that the full consignment of 100 new wagons will have been delivered by December this year.

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APM Terminals Tanger, with Eugen Maersk on the berth. Tanger is just one of a number of APM terminals in Africa

Despite an improving revenue of 3% up on the same period in 2015, APM Terminals second quarter of 2016 showed a decline in profits by 31%, down to US$112 million (2015: $161m), which was on par with the first quarter result for 2016 of $108 million. Revenue for the second quarter period was $1.06 billion.

Across all its terminals APM handled a total of 9.4 million TEU in the second quarter ending 31 July 2016. This represents a small increase of 2.6% which was made possible with the acquisition of Grup Maritim TCB.

"Profits remain under pressure as terminals in oil dependent markets face declining volumes and commercially challenged terminals in Latin America, northwest Europe and Egypt have not regained business to compensate earlier lost services," the Maersk Group said when announcing the second-quarter results.

Maersk said that lower profits in several key markets was partly offset by cost savings across the organisation and that the integration of Grup Maritim TCB is "progressing as planned".

Cost savings included staff redundancies which were implemented over the first half of the year. These saved the company $46 million, and the company is accelerating cost-saving initiatives, the group said. "Terminals and inland facilities most severely impacted by lower volumes are currently subject to centrally guided structural cost reviews to identify and execute further cost reductions."

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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

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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

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The general cargo ship COPENHAGEN (5627-dwt, built 2011) is the latest to arrive in Durban for bunkers, loaded with wind turbine blades. The little 108m long ship is owned by German interests and managed by Sunship Schiffahrtskontor KG, based in Emden, Germany. The ship was built in China at the Rongcheng Xixiakou shipyard in Rongcheng, China as their yard number XXK06-051. The ship, which is registered in St Johns and flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, is currently in Cape waters on a heading for Cabedelo, Brazil. This picture is by Keith Betts


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