Ports & Ships Maritime News

Nov 13, 2007
Author: P&S





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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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  • South African port statistics for October

  • Boost for Nacala port and rail as Malawi cargo returns

  • Cape Business Chamber says SETAs are a failure

  • US Africom ship arrives off West Africa

  • Mombasa port clogged once more

  • Pic of the day – MSC FEDERICA





    South African port statistics for October


    South African ports handled over 2 million more tonnes more cargo during October than in September (an 11.59 percent increase), indicating a late surge in cargo handling for 2007. As usual Richards Bay led the way with 7.781mt of all cargoes handled, but followed closely by Durban with 6.771mt, thanks to high bulk cargo imports and an impressive month for container handling.

    Another interesting snippet is that Durban handles more than double the breakbulk cargo handled at all other ports combined - 700,000 tonnes out of a total of 1.3mt.

    Figures quoted in this report have been adjusted from those issued by Transnet to include container volumes as containers are no longer measured by weight by Transnet National Ports Authority. PORTS & SHIPS’ adjustment is based on a conservatively estimated average weight of 13.5 tonnes for each TEU.

    The respective ports handled the following:

    Cargo handled by tonnes

    Richards Bay                    7.781 million tonnes (Sep 6.223Mt)
    Durban                            6.771 Mt (Sep 6.706)
    Saldanha Bay                   2.952 Mt (Sep 2.517)
    Cape Town                      1.332 Mt (Sep 1.215)
    Port Elizabeth                   0.872 Mt (Sep 1.104)
    Mossel Bay                       0.232 Mt (Sep 0.050)
    East London                     0.122 Mt (Sep 0.229)

    Total monthly cargo by tonnes 20.063 million tonnes (Sep 17.979 Mt)


    Containers measured by TEUs
    (TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Tranship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA)

    Durban                              227,382 TEU (Sep 206,889)
    Cape Town                          66,189 (Sep 63,988)
    Port Elizabeth                       39,319 (Sep 39,150)
    East London                           3,374 (Sep 3,364)
    Richards Bay                             252 (Sep 287)

    Total handled 336,516 TEU (Sep 313,678)


    Ship Calls

    Durban:                369 vessels 8.256m gt (414 vessels 9.197m gt)
    Cape Town:           258 vessels 3.751m gt (276 vessels 3.878m gt)
    Port Elizabeth:         85 vessels 2.176m gt (109 vessels 2.632m gt)
    Richards Bay:         128 vessels 4.183m gt (134 vessels 4.871m gt)
    Saldanha:               33 vessels 1,901m gt (40 vessels 2,067m gt)
    East London:           27 vessels 0.734m gt (27 vessels 0.699m gt)
    Mossel Bay:             99 vessels 0.281m gt (156 vessels 0.376m gt)

    - source NPA with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container weights



    Boost for Nacala port and rail as Malawi cargo returns

    According to Mozambique media reports some significant amounts of cargo from Malawi are again using the port of Nacala together with the rail corridor linking the northern Mozambique port with the landlocked country.

    An article in the Maputo paper Noticias said that 119,351 tonnes of cargo was handled on the rail corridor during the month of September, all of it starting or ending up in the port at Nacala. This was apparently the largest monthly volume since the port was concessioned in January 2005 and is a 63 percent increase on August figures.

    During September the port handled 4,107 containers, a 55 percent increase on the previous month and by the end of September the port had handled almost as much cargo as for the entire 12 months of 2006.

    Noticias quoted Fernando Couto, one of the executive directors of the Northern Development Corridor (CDN) – the Nacala railway - and also of the Central East African Railways (CEAR) as saying "There has been patient work to win back the Malawian clients, and valuable aid from the Malawian government, that started believing again in the Nacala Corridor".

    The report said that Malawi tobacco was last exported through Nacala about four years ago but had now returned in 2007. However the largest types of cargo handled by volume were fertiliser for Malawi’s agricultural sector and raw material for the cement industry. Some 60,000 tonnes of fertiliser has landed at Nacala since September of which about half has already been railed to Malawi.

    These achievements have been realised despite a shortage of locomotives and wagons on the railway but good cooperation between Malawi and Mozambique railway systems have smoothed the way. According to Couto both railways have since January this year operated on their own resources without turning to foreign capital.

    source – Noticias and Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)



    Cape Business Chamber says SETAs are a failure

    Cape Town, 12 November 2007 - The country’s 24 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) were not producing the skills required by the economy and should be scrapped, says the Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    In a speech at the Chamber’s AGM the outgoing president, Ms Janine Myburgh, said billions of rand in levies on business had been poured into the SETAs but the results were disappointing and much of the money remained unspent. They were sitting on a cash pile of R3.7 billion at last count and it was not surprising that the Minister of Finance last week told Parliament that he was worried about the situation.

    “While a few SETAS did good work most of them were not successful. The graduates of the learnership programmes could simply not compete with the products of the old apprentice system and claims of the number of ‘graduates’ produced are of little worth unless they are backed up by solid evidence that they are putting their skills to good use and succeeding in the real world.

    “We believe the government has recognised the problem and changes are planned. There is now talk of whittling down the number of SETAS to six. While this would be a step in the right direction it does not go far enough.”

    Ms Myburgh said that in every business there were plans and projects which did not produce the required results and hard decisions had to be taken. “Sometimes this takes courage. Sometimes there is pain. But when there are no realistic alternatives the axe must fall. We believe this is the case with the SETAs. The time has come for them to be scrapped and for their considerable resources to be used to support the tried and trusted apprentice system and other similar training courses that are already in existence.”

    She said there was already a move in this direction and more emphasis was being placed on apprentice training in the last year or so.

    The second reason for a complete rethink is that the country simply cannot afford to have huge and costly administrative capacity tied up in a system that is not producing results.

    The third reason is that ending the SETA programme will remove costly red tape from the system. This will free business to use its human and financial resources more productively.”

    Ms Myburg said business was concerned about the state of the infrastructure, especially the electricity supply, transport and particularly public transport where there was still no metropolitan transport authority to co-ordinate the train, bus, taxi and other forms of commuter transport.

    She said it was gratifying to see the Chamber’s pioneering work in leading delegations to off-shore oil conventions in Texas producing results. The aim had been to promote manufacturing and other services for the oil industry and this was now producing business worth R4 billion a year with the figure expected to more than double in the next few years.



    US Africom ship arrives off West Africa

    by Jacquelyn S. Porth (USINFO Staff Writer)

    Washington 12 November 2007 - The USS FORT McHENRY has arrived off the coast of West Africa to lead an international team of experts that will train African sailors to confront the daily challenges of illegal fishing, piracy, drug trafficking and oil smuggling.

    The amphibious ship is the centerpiece of the new Africa Partnership Station (APS) initiative. During its seven-month deployment, it will serve as a floating platform in the strategically important Gulf of Guinea, where it will promote regional maritime safety and security.

    The APS task group commander, Captain John Nowell, said the Fort McHenry can be used as a base “to bring together many nations” to achieve a shared vision through joint engagement. The floating school “will help us achieve common goals through partnership and collaboration,” he said.

    The Fort McHenry’s commanding officer, Commander Martin Pompeo, said his crew and partners will work “together to help the western side of Africa … prosper.”

    The West Africa program is modeled on a successfully completed Global Fleet Station mission in the Caribbean that helped promote port security and stronger borders in Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Panama.

    The vessel will make numerous port visits, beginning with Senegal, where it will conduct engineering training and focus on small boat handling for coastal security organizations. Additional stops are scheduled in Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, and Sao Tome and Principe.

    En route to the region, the Fort McHenry augmented its passenger list with specialists from France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Spain and officers from Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana. Denmark, Italy and Portugal are also providing military staff support.

    The training teams will be working together to form what Admiral Henry “Harry” Ulrich has described as “a center of excellence” that will provide customised training. Ulrich, who heads the US naval forces in Europe, says primary emphasis will be on the following maritime concerns:

    - Domain awareness: Can you see what is out there?
    - Professionalism: Do you have the right people to support maritime security and safety?
    - Infrastructure: Is there the right mix of equipment and training to support it?
    - Enforcement: Are trained professionals ready to intervene if needed?

    Ulrich said the idea is to import the best practices used elsewhere and set up “a system of systems” so that Africans will have the full range of skills “to patrol and maintain their own exclusive economic zones.”

    The initiative is supported by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the US departments of State and Homeland Security.

    African students will be ferried between their home ports and the Fort McHenry on the high-speed Swift boat. In a port call to Limbe, Cameroon, in December, 100 Cameroonians will embark for a two-week session for leadership and personnel training.

    Shared vision through joint engagement

    “We’re looking forward to working with our partner nations in the Gulf of Guinea, exchanging ideas … and further strengthening our ties,” Nowell said. Passengers also will conduct community outreach by renovating local schools and medical clinics.

    David Zimmerman, chief of security cooperation for the US Coast Guard, told USINFO that its training will focus on port security, maritime law enforcement and small boat operations. Expertise in small boat tactics is particularly valuable, he said, for river and port security and coastal border patrol.

    The Coast Guard will be providing a rotating team of four trainers and a staff officer. The continuous presence of the Fort McHenry will allow them, and other trainers, to reinforce what they have taught students with follow-up training.

    Lieutenant Commander Peter Niles, a Coast Guard training manager, told USINFO that most of the countries the Fort McHenry is visiting already have an ongoing partnership with the Coast Guard through US security assistance programs.

    NOAA will train 30 Ghanaians in the spring to improve scientific data collection and the monitoring of fish catches. The training also will focus on endangered species, such as sea turtles, that should not be caught.

    NOAA spokeswoman Monica Allen told USINFO that her agency has scientific and safety equipment onboard, but the trainers will join the ship in 2008. She said its activities support an important goal of the National Fishery Conservation Act calling on the agency to enhance international fishery cooperation.

    USAID’s personnel are not sailing with the ship, but will team up when it visits countries where there is a mission, such as Liberia, Senegal and Ghana. USAID plans to hold a bird flu conference in Ghana, and there are tentative plans to donate veterinary lab equipment.


    (USINFO is produced by the Bureau of International Information Programs, US Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



    Mombasa port clogged once more

    Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has had to again call on importers to clear their cargo from the port of Mombasa as the build up of containers reaches beyond saturation point.

    In a report in The Nation it was said that the port had by Friday reached worrying levels, with over 10,000 containers stored in a facility that has a holding capacity for between 7,000 and 8,000 containers.

    KPA chief executive Abdallah Mwaruwa said the port was at a crisis point. "My plea goes to importers to come forward and clear their cargo. It is non-clearence of cargo that is choking the port. As of Thursday morning (8 November) there were 10,396 containers, whereas the figure is beyond the container terminal holding capacity at the port,"

    Mwaruwa said that the port had put in place measures of tackling the crisis, but when ships arrived with large discharges the build-up accelerated. The solution, he said emphatically, lay squarely with importers to clear their cargo. He commended port employees for a good performance even when things were almost impossible.

    source – The Nation



    Pic of the day – MSC FEDERICA

    Click on image to enlarge – with some browsers click twice



    The container ship MSC FEDERICA was temporarily berthed at Durban’s passenger terminal, N Berth at the end of last week, with the visiting yacht from the UK, BOOTOO in the foreground at O berth corner. Between November and January 2008 the classy 90ft world cruiser BooToo will be available for charters from Durban and between February and March from Cape Town. Steve McCurrach
    http://www.airserv.co.za/maritime.htm



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