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Ports & Ships Maritime News

29 November 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


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SEASMILE 14 oct 2013 480

The container ship SEASMILE (62,350-dwt, built 2013) is seen in Cape Town in this recent photograph. The 5,071-TEU capacity ship is flagged in Malta and is owned by Thenemaris Shipping, one of the leading Greek independent ship owning and management companies. Seasmile is one of two identical ships in the fleet and was built at the Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries Co Ltd shipyard in South Korea as hull number S616. She is currently under charter to Maersk Line. This picture is by Ian Shiffman

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Aerial view of Maydon Wharf 13 reconstruction in progress, October 2016. Picture is by Russell Cleaver

The following report on the status of the Port of Durban's recent projects, is taken from the latest port newsletter, which is hereby acknowledged.

Port results disappointing

Results for the Port of Durban year to date performance at the end of October 2016 [April-October] were mixed. The overall port performance has been informed by the current subdued global economy which has negatively impacted on the import and export volumes of containers and automotive units.

Container volumes were disappointing at 1.561 million TEUs (10% below budget), as a result of the slowdown in the manufacturing sector. Dry bulk volumes excelled at 6.438 million tons (60% above budget) driven by the increase in grain imports due to the current drought. Liquid bulk and break-bulk also saw good volumes in the period. Automotive volumes were lower at 263,111 units (95 units below budget).

Operational performance remained good with an average container ship turnaround time of 52 hours -- an hour less than the set target of 53 hours. The automotive ship turnaround time was 28 hours -- slightly above the 27 hour target. The port saw high levels of improvement in ship turnaround in the break bulk, dry bulk and liquid bulk sectors.

The Port of Durban was on target with its anchorage waiting time for container vessels at 40 hours while anchorage waiting time for automotive vessels excelled at 4 hours -- way above the 20 hour targeted time.

Container berth occupancy was at 73% well within the targeted range of 65% to 75%.

Maydon Wharf reconstruction projects

The construction of Berth 13 is in its 113th week from site access, while Berth 14 is in its 90th week. Berths 3 and 4 are both in their 16th week of full site access. Progress to date is as follows:

BERTH 13: Civil Works 98.5%, Dredging 94.5% and Scour Protection 50%

BERTH 14: Civil Works 97.5%, Dredging 96% and Scour Protection 50%

BERTH 3: Civil Works 25.5%, Dredging 26% and Scour Protection 0%

BERTH 4: Civil Works 23%, Dredging 29% and Scour Protection 0%

Dry Dock repairs & re-construction

Dry Dock Concrete Repairs : The project execution is 100% complete. The team is busy compiling a project close out report including the project capitalisation.

Inner Caisson Rehabilitation : An external service provider has completed the assessment and the extent of the repairs has been established. The final engineering report with options and recommendations was submitted to TNPA and the rehabilitation option was selected. Stakeholder engagement on the timelines and impacts of the dry dock repairs will be ongoing.

Overhead Cranes for Workshop 24 & Pump House : Workshop 24 requires structural modification as the crane capacity will be increased from the current 10 to 25 tons. TNPA appointed Transnet Group Capital (TGC) to do analysis and for Shop24 structural modifications. A project specific agreement between TNPA and TGC was approved.

Equipment Upgrade for Workshop 24 : The tender to supply the required equipment closed on 22 November 2016.

Pump House Upgrade : The tender to complete the detailed design and feasibility phase was advertised and the project is at the award stage.

Fire System Upgrade : The project Prefeasibility Phase was concluded. It is now at the tender stage to start and complete the Feasibility Phase which will be undertaken by an external service provider through an open tender process. The tender closed on 15 November 2016.

Upgrade of Floating Dock : An external engineering service provider was appointed to assess and establish the extent of the repairs. The engineering report was issued to TNPA to select the best option.

Dry Dock Capstans :" An external engineering service provider was appointed to assess and establish the extent of the repairs. The project will then proceed to the Feasibility Phase.

Dry Dock Jib Cranes : The request for funding is being finalised for the procurement of 10 jib cranes for the dry dock including repair quay and repair jetties. The project will be executed in collaboration with Transnet Engineering.

Replacement of South Side Crane Rail at Dry Dock : The project includes replacement of crane rails in the whole Dry Dock precinct and re-surfacing around the Dry Dock. The design and feasibility studies are 70% in progress with completion expected by December 2016.

Port Draughts

The Port of Durban is pleased to share that all berths are 100% to depth. The port is also in a fortunate position to have a permanent dredger, Subtech Dredger, in the port.

Clive Greyling, a civil technologist in the Port of Durban said having a permanent dredger in the port enables its dredging team to respond quickly. "There is no delay due to the dredger being deployed to another port. When terminal operators arrange occupation at the required berth, the dredger is moved into position within hours and dredging commences," said Greyling.

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Rob Davies[1]
Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies

South Africa's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is attending the Africa Trade Week.

The new Pan-African platform for advancing intra-Africa trade dialogue is aimed at providing a comprehensive, integrated and inclusive platform for policy dialogue.

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Trade and Industry said the Minister will participate in three panel sessions. The Minister will attend the dialogue from Monday until Wednesday.

The panel sessions relate to the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and the continental integration agenda as espoused in the African Union's Agenda 2063.

Minister Davies will also attend the African Union's Ministers of Trade meeting where ministers will consider the progress of the CFTA negotiations.

The Continental Free Trade Area Negotiations was launched by African Union Heads of State and Government during the African Union Assembly held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 15 June 2015.

The CFTA aims to boost intra-Africa trade and to build an integrated Africa of one billion people and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately 2.6 trillion US dollars.

Minister Davies is also due to engage on key international trade issues such as the World Trade Organization, Africa Growth Opportunity Act, Economic Partnership Agreement, and the implications of Brexit, as well as international Investment landscape.

On the side-lines of the Africa Trade Week 2016 meeting, Minister Davies will meet the Ministers of Trade of Kenya, Egypt, and Nigeria to discuss the enhancement of cooperation and advancing regional economic integration in Africa.

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Port of Richards Bay images 043 480

Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is a critical link in the logistics chain facilitating cargo between South Africa and the rest of the world. Therefore the demand for it to be efficient and assist in reducing the cost of the country's logistic chain is high.

TPT says it has committed itself to improving efficiencies within its operations to meet those of global standards and that Richards Bay Dry Bulk Terminal is leading the way with the latest installation of terminal software known as Commtrac.

The new software collates and processes information from other systems and automates manual processes where feasible, whilst improving the user experience in being able to perform their function more efficiently.

"Our mission is to be a focused freight-handling logistics company that delivers integrated, efficient, safe, reliable and cost effective services in order to promote economic growth in South Africa," says Deirdre Ackermann, TPT General Manager for Information & Communication Technology. "The introduction of the new Commtrac software is an important step in achieving this," she said.

According to Ackermann, the software will supplement and support TPT's business processes by providing real time accurate reporting, inventory tonnage position, real time overview of loading and discharge progress and real time overview of delays and variances among many other important functions and insights.

"We believe that this new software will contribute towards cost savings through efficiencies, optimised processes and enhanced customer satisfaction within our Richards Bay Dry Bulk Terminal. Our staff is being empowered with technology that coordinates and integrates planning and operational activities and reports at all levels. We are already enjoying the benefits of a robust bulk operational system with our teams from the divisions of management, planning, operations, finance and engineering being key to implement and fully exploit this innovation," Ackerman said.

The investment in this software forms part of Transnet's Market Demand Strategy (MDS) embarked on in 2012 in support of Government's drive for infrastructure-led economic growth in South Africa. The MDS is a R336.6 billion seven-year rolling investment programme to expand and modernise the country's ports, rail and pipeline infrastructure. It places emphasis on achieving improvements in operating efficiency, productivity and reliability thus improving competitiveness and customer satisfaction. A key part of this is embracing technology.

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The Royal Navy's largest ever warship HMS Queen Elizabeth was gently floated out of her dock for the first time in Rosyth, Scotland in July 2014. She is currently being fitted out there prior to steaming to Portsmouth in late spring 2017. Photo: Crown Copyright 2016.

On 25 December [UK] Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told personnel at the ship's new home that a GBP120million investment in Portsmouth Naval Base will be ready for Britain's biggest warship, HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH.

Sir Michael was speaking during a tour of the new facilities being built to support the first of the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, which include power facilities, a reinforced jetty, and a vast dredged area in the harbour.

"Britain's new aircraft carriers are the biggest and most powerful warships ever built for our Royal Navy," the minister said. "The more than GBP100 million being invested in Portsmouth Naval Base will ensure that it is a fitting and state-of-the-art home for our new warships from spring next year (2017).

"HMSs Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales will lead our powerful and growing Royal Navy and reflect that, in a dangerous world, Britain is stepping up."

On the same day the Defence Secretary also opened Portsmouth's brand new Ark Royal facility and met the personnel responsible for clearing historic ordnance uncovered by port dredging. The Ark Royal Facility will provide the ship's company with top of the range facilities before they embark for training and operations.

In order to prepare the harbour and dockyard infrastructure for the 65,000 tonne carriers, 276 metres (905 feet) of jetty have been reinforced with over 3,300 tonnes of new steel work. New navigation lights have been installed in the harbour and Solent, with huge new fenders and gangways delivered to accommodate the giant ships.

Commander of Her Majesty's Naval Base Portsmouth, Commodore Jeremy Rigby said: "With the opening of Ark Royal building today, we have reached another important milestone in the preparations to get Portsmouth Naval Base ready for HMS Queen Elizabeth. I was delighted to be able to show the Defence Secretary how the last pieces of the complex jigsaw of getting the Naval Base ready for the new era, are falling into place."

HMS Queen Elizabeth, the QEC First of Class, is now well into her commissioning phase. It is expected that she will leave Rosyth for sea trials in early 2017 and arrive at her home port, Portsmouth, in late spring 2017. These infrastructure works form a major waypoint in the evolution to becoming an operational warship fit for duty that will see her deployed in every ocean over the next five decades.

Edited by Paul Ridgway

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Colombo Express pic by Hapag Lloyd 480

Coffee is one of the most widely traded goods in the world, and each year roughly nine million tonnes are harvested globally and then exported across the world. About one in every hundred containers on board German carrier Hapag-Lloyd's vessels is filled with whole or ground coffee beans, and this figure is steadily rising.

Hapag-Lloyd says that as one of the most experienced and largest liner shipping companies active in this market, it is currently intensifying its coffee-related activities.

"We recognise that a crucial factor in shipping such an extremely sensitive natural product is having a transport that is smooth, professional and tailored to individual needs," the line says.

"Taking this into consideration we have intensified our transport activities and boosted our capacities in the most important export regions of South America and Asia. We are also strengthening our activities in the fields of Sales and Customer Service to better serve your needs.

"Customer Service Coffee Desks have been set up and staffed by experienced employees who take care of special and individual requirements even more quickly and professionally. For example, export customers in Brazil, the world's largest coffee export market, will be provided with advice and support at a dedicated Export Coffee Desk. A corresponding Import Coffee Desk has been set up in Hamburg, the largest coffee-importing centre in Europe."

According to Hapag-Lloyd, premium coffee requires premium containers. "We recognise that having clean, high quality, food grade containers available is critical. To take special care of sensitive natural products like coffee, we introduced the steel floor container. This Hapag-Lloyd innovation provides the possibility to ship coffee odourless and with better protection against moisture. These environmentally friendly containers can also be cleaned more easily.

At Hapag-Lloyd, we have had 'A Passion for Shipping Coffee' for over 100 years. You can find out more about our coffee-related activities on our website."

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    Bahia Laura 5 Apr08 Trevor Jones, used DN 9 Apr0
Hamburg Sud's BAHIA LAURA under the cranes at Durban Container Terminal in 2008. Picture by Trevor Jones

If rumours prove correct, the family-owned Oetker Group is divided on the question of selling the container line Hamburg Sud.

This fascinating snippet of information is but the latest development among the container carriers who face ongoing pressures from low returns brought about principally by too much tonnage and too low tariffs. This period is marked by a repeated series of consolidation, mergers, acquisitions and alliance-building activities among the various container shipping lines, adding impetus to the rumours.

According to these reports, negotiations are well and truly on the table and under debate by the family-owned German conglomerate, Oetker Group. As yet however, no decision has been made, so it appears.

Analysts put the value of the Hamburg Sud fleet, the world's seventh largest, at about US$1.4 billion. The fleet is about 170 ships strong of which 46 are owned by the company.

Hamburg Sud's focus is on the North-South trades, with a strong emphasis on South America and Europe.

In 2013 Hamburg Sud was in discussion with another German shipping line, Hapag-Lloyd but although it appeared at one time that the two companies might merge, nothing came of it and negotiations were abandoned. It appeared then that the younger generation of Oetker siblings were against the merger.

It is not positively known which groups are interested or keen on selling - this may emerge in due course but from reports it seems the family is divided on the matter but discussions are continuing.

A source claiming to be aware of the details said that provided a sale is decided, the process could start before the end of the year. The biggest obstacle was said to be an internal power struggle in the Oetker family.

A meeting to decide the issue is apparently scheduled to take place tomorrow (Wednesday) when a final decision will be sought.

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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

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

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NCC AMAL 27 November 2016 1 480

The Saudi owned and UAE-managed products tanker NCC AMAL (45,544-dwt, built 2011) made an entry at the port of Durban last week and is seen here sailing again on Sunday, 27 November 2016. The very smart NCC Amal is owned by National Chemical Carriers Ltd of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and is managed by Mideast Ship Managements Ltd of Dubai in the UAE. This picture is by Trevor Jones


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