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Ports & Ships Maritime News

18 July 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 – GULMAR ATLANTIS

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The Sharjah (UAE)-owned and managed offshore support vessel GULMAR ATLANTIS (8691-gt, built 2011) which arrived in Durban just after dawn on Friday, 15 July. Picture by Clinton Wyness

News continues below...

NEWS OF SHIPS AND SHIPPING LINES

UAL to launch East Africa service

Another shipping line has opted to increase its service by including East African calls. The latest line to add an East African route is Universal Africa Lines (UAL) which is currently operating services to West Africa from Europe and the North American continent and between South and West Africa.

In 2009 Universal Africa Lines announced the start of its then new service operating between South Africa and West Africa, which was complementary to UAL’s existing services between West Africa and Europe, the US Gulf Coast ports and South America.

The line handles breakbulk, bulk and containerized cargo, including project cargo for the oil and gas industry. Details and port rotations of the East Africa service are not yet to hand.

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The general cargo ship UAL AFRICA (6577-GR, built 2002) under the spreader bar


MSC and CSAV consolidate four routes

The struggling Chilean liner operator CSAV, which recently suspended three services, has entered into an agreement with MSC to jointly operate four liner services for a minimum period of three years.

CSAV says this will expand coverage, cut transit times and increase frequencies on services between north Europe and the west coast of South America, the Far East and to South Africa, the east coast of South America and the Middle East and South Africa, and the Middle East and India.

The agreement takes effect in the first week of August. Details of the services affecting Africa are:

CSAV’s ASAX service between Asia and South Africa will now deploy seven 4,000/6,700 TEU ships weekly making use of the following port rotation: Fuzhou, Xiamen, Kaohsiung, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Singapore, Port Louis, Durban, Ngqura, Port Louis, Singapore, Fuzhou.

The Marco Polo service between India, the Middle East and South Africa will deploy five 2,500/3,000 TEU vessels weekly with the following port rotation: Durban, Jebel Ali, Karachi, Mundra, Nava Sheva, Colombo, Durban.


Maersk adds capacity on Asia – West Africa service

Maersk Line is to deploy more ships on its Asia – West Africa service because of increasing trade and the need to retain market share, says Keith Svendsen, in charge of Maersk’s East China cluster.

“Asian-West African trade has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the past few years, and it is expected to maintain 15 percent to 20 percent year-on-year growth over the next three years,” Svendsen said. He pointed out that one in three containers in the world serves China. “We have seen significant trade flows from China to other emerging markets and Africa is an important part of the story.”

As reported by Ports & Ships in March and April this year, Maersk has ordered 22 of the so-called Wafmax vessels, specially designed for the West African trade, and so far six vessels have entered service with a further three due for delivery by the end of the year. Each Wafmax ship can carry up to 4,500-TEUs and is 250m in length with a draught of 13.5m. Some of the new ships will be allocated to sister line Safmarine who will operate the services jointly with Maersk.

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AFRICA FREE TRADE AREA GETS UK SUPPORT

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David Cameron, arrives in SA later today

Pretoria – Exploring commercial opportunities and finding the best means of supporting the African Free Trade Area (FTA) initiative will be the order of the day when UK Prime Minister David Cameron touches down in South Africa today.

Cameron will meet with President Jacob Zuma, who will brief the prime minister on progress made to date on the creation of the Tripartite FTA between the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and East African Community (EAC).

The creation of a single FTA would see the coming together of a combined population of approximately 700 million people and a Gross Domestic Product of US$875 billion from 26 countries. This would open borders to approximately half of the continent, spanning the entire southern and eastern regions of Africa - from Cape to Cairo.

Talks between the two leaders are expected to centre on how SA and the UK can work together to build strong, sustainable, open and inclusive economies, which promote national economic stability, regional and international growth.

Bilateral business relations and the realisation of safe and secure societies, including counter terrorism and weapons proliferation, will also form part of the discussions.

South Africa and the UK have a cooperation agreement, and Cameron’s visit will give the two countries an opportunity to craft a mutually beneficial strategy that will ensure collaboration in issues of sustainable development, peace and security, good governance and other socio-economic matters.

The Ministers of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Trade and Industry Rob Davies and Finance Pravin Gordhan will also be part of the talks. – source BuaNews

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MAILBAG: UPDATE ON THE BARGE MARGARET

Update on the wreck of the barge Margaret

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Margaret on the rocks off Jacob’s Bay June 2009. Picture by Rob Parkinson

On 24 June 2009 the Barge MARGARET with its load of 12 river barges floated ashore at Jacobsbaai after breaking its tow from the Tug SALVALIANT.

The Margaret put Jacobsbaai on the map bringing hordes of curious onlookers to our little village. The local Hotel / Restaurant flourished while residents cringed.

Traffic increased, the dunes were trampled, a few tempers flared, rumours abounded, and salvage attempts started, stopped, then started again.

Eventually the wreck was exploded, six barges were saved and the rest left to rust away.

The mighty Atlantic has taken its vengeance out on the leftovers, rusting it relentlessly away and pounding it with regular high seas. The accompanying pictures show the wreck soon after it happened, and now all that’s left.

Rob Parkinson
The Tourist's Friend
P.O.Box 501 Vredenburg 7380
South Africa

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Margaret as the wreck appears today, July 2011. Picture by Rob Parkinson

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PIRACY: FIRST SHIP IN WEEKS TO BE HIGHJACKED

An as yet unidentified merchant vessel was highjacked by Somali pirates on Saturday, bringing to an end the lull in ships being captured - which international naval forces warned was about to come to an end anyway.

The ship captured by pirates at the weekend was sailing in position 220 n.miles off the island of Socotra. The ship sailed earlier from Bossasso and was en route to the UAE with a cargo of livestock.

A Puntland minister says that Puntland government forces will retake the ship when it arrives off the coast but he added that because of the perishable nature of the cargo he would have expected it to be released after a much shorter period of detention than is normally the case.

Although no ships were taken in the preceding weeks several have come under attack but managed to make their escape. Authorities said that sea conditions were expected to become rough at the weekend with 5m waves in the Arabian Sea and north Somali Basin, making it less likely for mother ships to launch their skiffs. In the Somali Basin where seas were calmer they were still considered as unsuitable for piracy action.

EU NAVFOR says that as at 20 June 2011, 18 ships remained in captivity along with an estimated 401 seafarers. In addition, says EU NAVFOR, there were an unknown number of small vessels and dhows also being held by the pirates.

ECOTERRA on the other hand says that on 16 July 2011 the pirates were holding 35 large and 17 smaller type vessels for ransom, along with 589 seafarers and yachting people, including the two South Africans from the yacht Choizil.

There has been no spate of highjacking since June this year so therefore someone has their sums wrong and is either under or over reporting. Accusations have been leveled towards EU NAVFOR for being selective in its reporting.

News continues below…

NACALA CUSTOMS ADMIT THEY WERE AT FAULT

Customs officers in the northern Mozambique port of Nacala say that a failure in their control system was to blame for the loading of 600 containers onto a ship in Nacala harbour. The containers were later found to be carrying illegal timber exports.

The cargo was seized before the ship could sail for China, the intended destination for the 600 boxes. The containers arrived at the port by road from Nampula and were loaded onto the vessel LA TUR. Police acting on a tip off raided the vessel and forced the cargo to be discharged.

The Mozambique news agency AIM reports that in 2007 another illegal cargo of 750 containers was stopped at the port of Nacala before they could be loaded onto a ship for the Far East. In a subsequent court case the agents for eight Chinese companies owning the cargo failed to pay the fines levied by the courts as well as storage fees and disappeared from Mozambique.

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PICS OF THE DAY – PALABORA

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Two views of the heavylift vessel PALABORA (11,473-gt, built 2009) which was in Cape Town harbour at the weekend to take bunkers. Picture by Ian Shiffman

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Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za

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