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Ports & Ships Maritime News

2 March, 2011
Author: Terry Hutson

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

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TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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First View – ZEYNEP KIRAN

Image and video hosting by TinyPic The Turkish bulker ZEYNEP KIRAN (29,330-gt built 2001) enters port at Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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News from the shipping lines

Santa Clara named in Durban

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Santa Clara arriving in Durban on Sunday. Picture by Trevor Jones

One of Hamburg Süd’s latest ships, the 7,100-TEU SANTA CLARA, was officially named at a ceremony in the port of Durban on Monday, attended by senior management from the German company and the ship’s sponsor (or godmother), Mrs Margot Blume-Gast, wife of the chairman of the executive board of Hamburg Süd.

As she pressed the button to send a bottle of German wine crashing against the hull of the impressive looking red ship, accompanied by the traditional words, “…and may God bless her and all who sail in her”, Mrs Blume-Gast was fulfilling an undertaking by the board that all new Hamburg Süd ships would be named and blessed in the various ports in which the company does business.

Santa Clara is the first on ten ‘Santa’ class container ships, the largest ever built for the German company. She was launched on 25 July last year and entered service in September, making her first visit to Durban in early December. The ship and her sisters to follow are employed on the New Good Hope Express First Sling service with a rotation of Nagoya, Yokohama, Busan, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Durban, Itaguai, Buenos Aires, Rio Grande, Itajai, Paranagua, Santos, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nagoya.

The new class of ship has the current world’s largest reefer capacity, 1600 reefer points, but apart from this, the Santa design carries all the latest innovations aimed at further reducing fuel consumption and with it, ship emissions. The reduction of fuel emissions has become one of the more important priorities facing shipping in the 21st Century, as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other international bodies crack down on the production of CO2 and other toxic emissions.


CMA CGM completes recovery with substantial profit

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CMA CGM’s Christophe Colomb, one of a series of 14,000-TEU ships recently entered into service, are symbols of the French line’s turnaround

French shipping company CMA CGM has completed its recovery with an end year operating profit of US$ 2.5 billion, compared with a loss of $667 million in 2009.

The company underwent perhaps the rockiest period of economic downturn of any of the major container shipping companies, receiving much adverse publicity throughout the bleak period and the ignominy of having changes forced on its board, but has bounced back in excellent fashion, echoing the recovery already declared by Danish giant and competitor Maersk Line. CMA CGM is the world’s third largest container carrier after MSC and Maersk Line.

According to the French line its 2010 revenue of $ 14.3 billion was 36.2% higher than 2009, while volume rose 14.7% to 9 million TEUs carried, up 15% on the previous year.

“All of the markets saw strong growth during the year. The Asia-Europe and intra-Asia lines enjoyed record business, while the Asia-USA lines have now returned to pre- recession levels after having been severely impacted by the fall-off in world trade,” the company said in a statement.

“The excellent results reported by the Group were driven by the strategy introduced in 2009 and pursued in 2010. They effectively demonstrate the strength of our business model, as the Group successfully capitalised on the upturn in world trade during the year,” said Rodolphe Saadé, Executive Officer of CMA CGM Group.

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East Africa: Labour speaks out against Mombasa privatisation and Tanzania reveals plans for two new container terminals

Mombasa unions speak out against concessioning

Police were called out to disperse hundreds of dock workers in Mombasa who were threatening to overrun a port privatisation workshop being held in one of the city’s hotels.

Kenya Port Authority (KPA) was holding a stakeholders workshop at Mombasa’s Beach Hotel, attended by leading politicians and clients of the port when the labour force began marching towards the hotel. Police called the gathering an illegal assembly and began dispersing the labourers with tear gas.

Trade unions whose members include port workers are opposed to KPA and government proposals to call for the privatisation of certain terminals in the port. Labour says this will lead to job losses and say that any formal meetings with the KPA are pointless as government has already taken the decision to privatise. A nominated Member of Parliament Sheikh Mohammed Dor said he had proof that the Cabinet had approved the privatisation of the port in 2008, before the matter was gazetted in August 2009. He called on those ministers involved to be truthful over the issue.


Mombasa dock workers worry about job losses

In a related issue Mombasa dock workers say they are concerned over job losses following from a Kenya Ports Authority campaign to get rid of so-called ghost workers at the port. The Dock Workers Union which has agreed to the campaign was given assurances that there will be no dismissals as a result of the action, but workers remain unconvinced.

The program involves an audit of those working at the port to determine which names are real and to identify any fictitious entries on the payroll system.


Tanzania plans to build two terminals at Dar es Salaam

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Port of Dar es Salaam

Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has unveiled plans for two new container terminals with a combined capacity of 500,000 TEU and costing US$ 560 million.

According to TPA Director-General Ephraim Mgawe, blueprints for the two terminals at Dar es Salaam are complete. “The designs will pave the way for actual construction works for the new terminals this year and the construction phase will be completed by the end of 2012,” he said.

The port of Dar es Salaam is quoted as having handled 460,000 TEU in 2010. The existing container terminal at the port is operated by TICTS – Tanzania International Container Services, which is owned by Hong Kong-based Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) (70%) and Tanzanian-based Harbours Investment Limited (30%). TICTS acquired the 10-year concession from the Manila-based International Container Terminal Limited and in 2005 the concession was extended for a further 15 years. There has however been considerable recent friction between the KPA and TICTS over operational issues.


Daytime Maputo trucks banned as from yesterday

The ban on heavy trucks using Maputo streets during the hours of 6am and 8pm came into effect yesterday, 1 March.

The ban was introduced as a measure of reducing congestion on the port city’s streets, especially those around the port, and applies to all vehicles in excess of 22 tonnes. The only exceptions permitted are those entering or leaving the port of Maputo which are in possession of a valid permit allowing them to use a route laid down by the Maputo City Council. A spot fine of 10,000 meticais (approximately US$ 320) will be levied against transgressors.

Trucks may continue using the national highway into and out of the city, as these roads do not fall under the city’s control

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Piracy: Patience running thin

European Shippers Council warns of piracy impacting on supply chains

The European Shippers Council (ESC) is the latest organisation to grow concerned over the advance of piracy in the western Indian Ocean.

“The attacks occurring so far out to sea appears almost unprecedented in the modern era. ESC, representing the freight interests of European business, has considerable sympathy for the ship operators and their crews, who are facing this added peril at sea, and fully understands that many must feel they have to take avoiding action in order to protect themselves,” the shippers’ group said in a statement. ESC referred to recent remarks by BIMCO, which suggested that the area of the Gulf of Aden and surrounding area be boycotted and that shipping used the longer routes via the Cape of Good Hope. Such strategies would have an enormous impact on supply chains and therefore the overall economy,” warned the ESC.

“Large-scale implementation of such a boycott would lead to serious economic consequences for many businesses, already stretched by the effects of slow steaming, rising fuel and energy prices, unstable and uncertain market demand, and austerity measures in the public and private sectors in Europe, North America and elsewhere,” Jean-Louis Cambon, chairman of the ESC’s Maritime Transport Council and head of Michelin’s ocean management committee said.

“Companies are focused on cost reduction within their supply chains, efficiency enhancements, productivity increases, greater flexibility and agility in their supply chains. The proposal to divert all shipping away from the affected areas, via the Cape of Good Hope, would add further strains on business, and not least, greater costs.” – source American Shipper


ITF wants seafarers to avoid western Indian Ocean

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) says it is close to having to advise seafarers to consider avoiding working in all the pirate-affected areas - including the Indian Ocean.

This follows a spike in the number of pirate attacks over an ever increasing range of ocean off the Horn of Africa that now extends to the western coast of India and into the Mozambique Channel in the south. The ITF is also concerned with a rise in the degree of violence being used.

Accordingly the ITF, which represents the interests of seafarers worldwide, says there is a need to neutralise the threat posed by captured, hostage-crewed mother ships that have permitted the pirates to range much further into the Indian Ocean. The union also endorses and recommends the use of armed guards on merchant ships, subject to certain conditions.

“The world has lost control of piracy,” said ITF seafarers' section chair Dave Heindel. “Each day it's becoming more savage and more widespread. All the Arabian Gulf and most of the Indian Ocean are now effectively lawless. Yet there is a way that control can be regained: by actively going after pirates, stopping them and prosecuting them. Not this ludicrous situation of taking away their guns and setting them free to strike again.”

He pointed out that the burden of dealing with pirates is being borne by a few nations, and the burden of actually taking them to court by even fewer. The ITF has repeatedly requested stronger intervention by all governments, including the flag of convenience states that are reaping the profits from so much of the world's shipping fleet without meeting any of the obligations.

Heindel warned that if the current levels of piracy are allowed to continue, there will come a point when there is no alternative but to stop putting people and ships within their reach - despite the implications of such a move on world trade and oil and food prices.


NYK ship released by pirates

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Izumi, released by pirates

EU NAVFOR reported yesterday that the NYK general cargo vessel IZUMI (14,162-gt, built 2007), which had been pirated along with her crew of 20 Filipinos, has been released and has headed to a safe port. The ship was released on 25 February.

The Japanese ship was captured by Somali pirates in October 2010 and is known to have been used by the pirates for attacking other vessels. On at least one occasion Izumi was used to come alongside another ship, the PETRA 1 which was under charter to the African Union Military Mission in Somalia at the time and was sailing with an escort of the Spanish frigate SPS INFANTA CRISTINA. Notwithstanding the warship’s presence, the pirates in the NYK ship pressed ahead with their attempt on the other merchant vessel and it took the intervention of the frigate to dissuade them.

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Commodities: Mozambique may start exporting bananas

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Mozambique may this year start exporting bananas to the European and US markets and is waiting for international certification of the producing company in order to do so, the Mozambican press reported.

The bananas are produced in an area of Monapo district in Nampula province, provided by concession and in which the Matanuska company is investing around US$ 50 million.

Clayton Johnam, administrative and legal advisor for Matanuska, said that for the company to start exporting to Europe and the US it only needed to be granted a certificate of quality, which requires that the company follow some requirements of the international organisation linked to the quality of food products.

Hygiene and safety at work, as well as good agricultural practices are the main demands of the international organisation that issues certificates of quality for the European and US markets, according to Johnam, who said he was expecting a visit from the first mission of experts this year in order to assess if the requirements are being met.

The current market for bananas produced by Matanuska, which employs over 2,000 people in permanent and seasonal jobs, is the Middle East, particularly Iran. Source macauhub


Grains may have to be diverted round Africa

Grains shipments are being diverted around Africa as Somali pirate gangs strike deeper at sea increasing journey times and potentially lifting insurance costs at a time of unrest over food prices.

While wheat shipments from Australia were expected to accelerate shortly as the new export drive gathers pace, a trade source said sellers could find it harder to find vessels willing to make the journey through the Gulf of Aden to Middle Eastern buyers. A wheat cargo from Australia to Saudi Arabia this month cost an additional $10,000 a day due to the higher risk.

“You have to find an owner who is willing to put his ship at risk for which there will probably be an insurance premium and higher costs,” the source said. “If freight costs spike, it could hurt.”

The source said Australian canola shipments to European markets were being diverted around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, which was adding 10-12 days extra journey time.

Responding to the growing threat, London’s marine insurance market last month expanded the stretch of waterways deemed high risk from seaborne raiders to include the Gulf of Oman and a wider stretch of the Indian Ocean. source Shiptalk


Mozambican government to grant more coal concessions

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Maputo, 1 March – The Mozambican government plans to grant more coal surveying and prospecting concessions by the end of 2012, an official from the Ministry of Mining Resources said in Maputo.

During a meeting on management of natural resources held in Maputo, Costa Júnior said that a further seven coal basins with a lot of potential had been identified in the country in the provinces of Niassa, Cabo Delgado, Tete and Manica, in the north and centre of the country, respectively.

Cited by the Mozambican press, Costa Júnior also said that the Moatize and Benga mines in Tete province, whose concessions are owned by Brazil’s Vale and Australia’s Riversdale Mining, respectively, were at an advanced stage, with the start of production scheduled for the second half of this year. (macauhub)

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Pics of the Day – NILEDUTCH NINGBO

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The Italian owned and flagged Niledutch container ship NILEDUTCH NINGBO (25,580-gt, built 2002) in Cape Town harbour. Pictures by Ian Shiffman

Image and video hosting by TinyPic News continues below…

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