Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 11, 2005
Author: P&S







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Accolades for Grindrod

The Durban-based shipping and logistics group Grindrod will receive further accolades this Sunday (13 November) when the Sunday Times announces them as winner for the second year running of the Sunday Time Business Times top listed company in South Africa.

This follows on a number of other awards including the Standard Bank Growth Award in the Listed and Large National and Multi National sector, as well international recognition by being voted the world’s number 1 listed shipping company by Marine Money, a US maritime publication.

Not bad going for an African company.

While operating with an existing fleet of about 100 vessels, the group currently has 13 new ships on order – three bulkers with Kanda Shipyards and nine tankers with Shina and Samho Shipbuilding, although additional orders still to be announced are believed to have been signed very recently. One of these newbuilds is likely to be named Oribi, picking up on a name used by one of the company’s acquisitions of the 1950s, Point Shipping Company. An Oribi is a small indigenous buck.

In addition Ocean Africa Container Lines, a joint venture between Grindrod and Safmarine, takes delivery of two chartered general cargo container vessels this month – the Nicolas and Limpopo which will enter service on the Southern African coast, while the 18,964-gt bulker Kuiseb was also recently taken on charter to carry salt and sugar as well as other products around the coast – bulk salt is carried from Walvis Bay to Richards Bay, and sugar on the return voyage loading at Durban.


General cargo ship Atlantic Mercado to be auctioned

The general cargo vessel Atlantic Mercado, IMO 7519920 is to be sold in Durban at auction under a court order in the near future.

The 6,300-dwt vessel, which was built in Japan in 1976, entered Durban for repairs at a ship shipyard in Durban and was later arrested and detained. A subsequent court order obtained in the Durban High Court resulted in the ship being made available for auction under the hammer of Durban auctioneers, Admiralty Sales.

Full details including a library of photographs of the ship in her current condition can be found at the website www.admiralty.co.za


No let up by Somali pirates

According to reports no less than five ships came under pirate attack off the coast of Somalia during the past week.

While only one vessel was actually captured by the maritime gangsters, others had to flee, including the luxury cruise ship Seabourn Spirit. There are now seven ships held captive to ransom on the largely lawless Somali coast, with vessels being attacked as far out to sea as 1o0 n.miles and more, seemingly operating from a mother ship equipped with derrick to launch motor boats.

From the latter the actual attacks are made, with automatic weapons and rifle grenades freely used against the ships in an attempt to make them stop. The pirates seem to have no fear of retribution – they attack anything afloat from Arab dhows that ply the ocean almost anonymously to luxury cruise ships that attract the world’s attention.

All shipping has been advised to remain at least 200 miles from the Somali coast, although it seems the economies of sailing closer to the coast outweigh the sensibilities of caution that require an additional day of sailing.


New port engineer for Durban

Rajan Chetty has been appointed port engineer at the port of Durban, becoming the 17th person to hold this important position.

Chetty has worked for Transnet for 11 years, having commenced his career with Metro Rail in 1994. This was after completing his BSc Civil Engineering degree at the University of Natal. He moved across to the ports in 1995.

After being involved with the design and construction of infrastructure for the Durban container terminal and Island View bulk liquid precinct, he registered as Professional Engineer in February 1997 and has since traveled extensively to look at long and short term development at other world ports. During 1997/98 he completed his Masters Degree in Port Planning and Development at the IHE-Delft Institute in the Netherlands.

In 1999 he joined the Planning & Development department at the Port of Durban as an engineer and has been involved with the roll out of the Port of Durban 2005 Project and master planning for the bulk liquid sector. He was also involved with the national development framework plan, which was a predecessor to the port master plan in terms of the Port Act.

He was appointed deputy port engineer in February 2003, focusing on a sustainable maintenance programme and management of large capital expenditure projects.

Chetty is married and has two sons.


Export, Limpopo business is told

Small business enterprises in the province of Limpopo in the north of South Africa have been encouraged to extend their activities into the export field.

Local MEC Joyce Mashamba said this week she hoped that the formation of a Limpopo Export Advisory Council (LEAC) would assist small enterprises with finding new export outlets for their businesses.

“Small businesses need to be made more aware of export possibilities and other relevant topics and the advisory council is an important public-private sector partnership which can play a major role in stimulating the growth of the province’s economy,” she said.


Kenya port strike threat

Port workers at Mombasa plan a go-slow strike on Monday (14 November) to highlight their demand for bonuses.

The Dockworkers Union secretary-general Kennedy Kiliku said that workers were demanding payment of Ks200 million in bonuses by Sunday, failing which they will implement a go-slow action at the port.

The disoute comes with the background of the Kenya Port Authority (KPA) having generated a profit last year of KSh1.8 billion, for which workers say they were rewarded with a bonus equivalent to one month’s wages.


The KPA has reacted by saying that workers should request, not demand bonuses and claims that profits made in the past year were the result of prudent management and not improved cargo working by the work force.


Clipper Race update

Friday 10 November - Durban Clipper Catching Up to Seventh Placed Victoria

The Durban Clipper is making headway, breathing down Victoria’s neck trailing behind her by only three nautical miles in the Clipper 05-06 Round the World Yacht Race. The Durban Clipper is currently in eighth place but the skipper Craig Millar will be pulling out all the stops in an effort to climb the leader board ahead of the fleet’s ten day stopover in Durban from 17 to 27 November.

The Durban yacht mole is a hive of activity with preparations underway to welcome home the Durban sponsored Clipper and eight other 68ft ocean racers. The Jersey Clipper has been experiencing problems with the rig tension and Skipper Mark Taylor has taken the decision to divert to Cape Town where it can be properly inspected by the manufacturers.

From the sublime to the ridiculous - Singapore Skipper Richard Falk’s comment this morning (Friday) neatly sums up the dramatic drop in wind experienced by the fleet over the past 12 hours, something also reflected by the distance run. Aside from the sudden lack of speed, the crews may well be quite grateful for a short lull after the last few days of fairly strong winds, and will be taking advantage of the time to check over their boats and repair any minor damage. Snapping lines seems to have been the main problem experienced by several of the boats.

It will also provide a good opportunity for the crews to repair themselves. Bumps, bruises, a broken finger and a possible cracked rib have all been reported in the last couple of days, mostly caused by falls below decks where the majority of rough weather accidents seem to occur.

Richard may also have been tempted to comment on the current positions, but obviously thought better of it as their brief but glorious spell at the front came to a fairly dramatic end yesterday when David Pryce and the Westernaustralia.com crew reaped the benefits of their earlier move to the south. With typical eloquence the WA response was “AOK!”

With 12 hour runs all under 100 miles, Thursday’s ETA in Durban is looking rather more likely than it did a few days ago when fast speeds throughout the fleet had some wondering whether the Race team would get there in time. This is fairly standard and is a good example of why it is so difficult to accurately predict finishing times. With half the fleet having broken through the “1000 miles to go” mark, and with an increasing gap between the front runners and the trailing pack the arrival times could well be quite spread out, but on this race the last 1000 miles could well be the most interesting. The teams now have to switch from ocean racing tactics to a much more coastal strategy with a landmass, changeable weather and strong ocean currents all coming into play. That today’s distance run is anywhere between 37 miles and 96 is probably a taste of things to come.

And on a different front, Jersey Clipper continues to make good speed towards Cape Town. Clipper Ventures Maintenance Manager Justin Haller flies out later today and will be coordinating things on the ground, whilst the riggers and staff of the Royal Cape Yacht Club are gearing up for their arrival. With 214 miles to go at 04.00 this morning we currently expect them to arrive sometime during the day tomorrow (Saturday).

For a detailed leader board please go to http://www.clipper-ventures.co.uk/n05_06/homepage.php

- this report courtesy Clipper Ventures and Olivia Jones Communications


Did you know that Ports & Ships lists ship movements for all ports between Walvis Bay on the West Coast and Beira on the East Coast




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