Ports & Ships Maritime News

Jun 14, 2006
Author: P&S

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • Mombasa in grip of container congestion


  • Coega container terminal to be up and running by 2008


  • Tin Can Terminal opens


  • Cape Town bids not so fond a farewell to Farley Mowat


  • Them ships keep getting bigger






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    Mombasa in grip of container congestion

    The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) says it has waived storage costs on containers at the Mombasa container terminal for a period of two weeks to assist cargo owners faced with unexpected costs resulting from terminal congestion.

    The terminal is reported to be blocked with boxes that are unable to be delivered because of inadequate rail services. The offer from the KPA will remain open until 26 June 2006 and is available as an inducement to shippers who transfer their rail-bound cargo onto road transport during this period.

    In a press announcement on Monday the KPA terminal manager James Rarieya said the buildup ‘has been occasioned by a number of factors, including accidents that have impacted very negatively on rail operations.”

    According to Kenya newspaper reports the capacity of the country’s railways has been reduced from 3.5 million tonnes annually a few years ago to 1.9 million tonnes in 2005. Kenya Railways was recently concessioned to South African company Sheltam Rail, a division of the Grindrod Group which takes over operation of the railway on 1 October.

    The congestion at Mombasa’s container terminal impacts on several neighbouring countries which rely on the port for their imports and exports, notably Uganda. The Uganda Railway network has also been similarly concessioned to Sheltam but it is likely to be several months before any benefit from the concessioning is felt. From 1 October the combined railways of Kenya and Uganda will become known as Rift Valley Railway and will operate as a single unified railway network similar to the days of the old East African Federation.

    Recently the Kenya Revenue Authority said it intended auctioning containers that had remained in storage at the Mombasa container terminal for long periods. It said it intended taking this drastic action in an effort to reduce congestion, although since then nothing has been implemented.


    Coega container terminal to be up and running by 2008

    The container terminal at the new port of Ngqura (Coega) has undergone a feasibility study and a costing exercise is underway, says Public Enterprises Minister Alex Erwin.

    Erwin was addressing the National Council of Provinces and he addressed several issues relating to the ports and transport in general. The government had acknowledged the importance of efficiency in the freight logistics chain and realised that any delay amounted to ‘a fundamental impediment to growth,’ he said.

    Erwin said also that capacity at the other ports was being addressed, including overcrowding at Durban and Cape Town and that Saldanha Bay was being regarded for future expansion. Durban’s second container terminal on Pier 1 was expected to be in operation by next year (2007) with a design capacity of 600,000 TEU.

    Erwin said that environmental issues with the proposed extension to the Cape Town Container Terminal was being addressed. The planned extension of the terminal by 300m into Table Bay was placed on hold recently after the Minister of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk refused to approve the EIA which he called flawed.

    Meanwhile at a business breakfast hosted by SA Port Operations in Durban yesterday business leaders heard that a delegation from SAPO had visited Denmark recently to discuss among other things the container terminal at Ngqura (Coega). This raised the issue of a joint venture involving an outside terminal operator working with SAPO to operate the Ngqura terminal from 2008.


    Tin Can Terminal opens

    The British shipping journal Fairplay reports that Zim Port & Logistics’ first port terminal has commenced operations at Tin Can Island in Lagos, Nigeria.

    The Tin Can Island Container Terminal is a joint venture involving shipping line Zim and the French Bollore Group, which has long held a strong presence in West Africa.

    The British paper described the terminal as having four berths with a total length of 750m and a stacking are of about 205,000 square metres. The terminal is a multi purpose terminal used by a number of shipping lines and handles container ships, Ro-Ro vessels and pure car carriers.

    The hand over took place on 1 June and within the first week the MOL car carrier Courageous Ace discharged 2,264 motor vehicles into secure areas, in an operation taking 28 hours.

    - source Fairplay Daily News


    Cape Town bids not so fond a farewell to Farley Mowat

    An environmentalist activist boat that has been under detention in Cape Town harbour for more than four months, the converted yacht Farley Mowat has been released to sail from the port.

    Farley Mowat is the ‘flagship’ of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and was involved with harassing the Japanese whaling fleet in operation in the Southern Ocean in December 2005 and January 2006. Described variously as a ‘policing organisation’ by its founder Paul Watson, ‘whale warriors’ and ‘renegade activists’ by the National Geographic, and a pirate organisation by another group, the ship and its crew has attracted its fair share of attention since arriving in the Mother City.

    The 50m vessel called in Cape Town to take bunkers and re-supply but was promptly detained by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) for failing to comply with aspects relating to safety equipment plus the certification of the vessel’s bridge officers. As such she was not allowed to leave.

    The matter reached stalemate, with allegations made by the Sea Shepherd Society on its website regarding the South African authorities, basically accusing them of being over-zealous with bureaucracy and being in cahoots with the Japanese whaling community.

    A compromise has now been reached allowing the Farley Mowat to sail, provided a South African-licensed ‘master’ takes the vessel out of Cape Town to Saldanha and later out of South African waters before handing over to the regular vessel’s master.


    Them ships keep getting bigger

    Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is reported to have placed orders for eight post-Panamax container ships capable of carrying up to 9,600-TEU.

    The order was placed with Samsung Heavy Industries and involves six newbuilds plus the jumbo-sizing of two 5,500-TEU ships to 9.600-TEU. The ships are expected to be delivered during 2009 and will cost US $ 130 million each.

    Meanwhile what is thought to be the world’s largest container ship currently on order, being built at the Odense Shipyards in Denmark for associate company Maersk Line, was damaged by fire in its accommodation area last week. Delivery of the vessel, set down for August, is now likely to be delayed.

    The giant ship will have containers stacked breadthwise between 20 and 22 containers across, rendering most of the modern super post-Panamax cranes as obsolete.


    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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