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Ports & Ships Maritime News

10 March 2015
Author: Terry Hutson

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

TODAY’S BULLETIN OF MARITIME NEWS

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News continues below...
FIRST VIEW – HMS DRAGON

hms dragon bow 480

The Royal Navy Tyype 45 air defence destroyer HMS DRAGON has recently spent time at the South African Navy base at Simon’s Town and more recently visited Cape Town together with RFA GOLD ROVER. This picture shows the destroyer arriving, assisted by a pair of harbour tugs as she prepares to enter the V&A Waterfont harbour. HMS Dragon is currently deployed on operation: Atlantic Patrol Tasking (South) and called at Simon’s Town for repairs, replenishment, and R&R for her 190 crew members. The ship sailed yesterday along with RFA Gold Rover for Walvis Bay and the South Atlantic. Picture: Ian Shiffman

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NGQURA PORT’S 3RD AND 4TH CONTAINER BERTHS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

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Port of Ngqura new container terminal extensions, on the left centre of the picture. This area is now completed and is equipped with Ship to Shore (STS) cranes, rubber tyre gantries (RTGs) and other necessary equipment to successfully operate a container terminal and is working ships

The official opening of two new container berths at the port of Ngqura in the Eastern Cape was marked yesterday with an official opening ceremony performed by Ms Lynne Brown, Minister for Public Enterprises.

Built at a cost of R2 billion and increasing Ngqura’s container capacity from 800,000 TEU to 1.5 million TEU, the development brings the total investment cost for the port to more than R14 billion.

The official opening of the berths was achieved before a gathering of shipping executives, the premier of the Eastern Cape, mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropole (Port Elizabeth) and various stakeholders.

“Operationally, this investment is significant to us as it strengthens the terminal’s capability to handle larger container vessels, improve efficiencies vessel turnaround times and customer satisfaction. It also ticks various crucial boxes in our government’s developmental agenda while boosting the Eastern Cape’s role in the broader economy,” said the minister.

Apart from her prepared speech, she appeared genuinely impressed with the development, saying that it was an example of the government’s determination to invest in and uplift the economy of not only South Africa, but all its regions.

The port lies adjacent to the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) and is about 22kms from Port Elizabeth.

Transnet has engaged with developing the port of Ngqura as a transshipment hub linking ports in the East, West and Southern Africa with their trading partners. According to a Drewry report reflecting the year 2013, Ngqura was listed then as the fastest growing container terminal in the world.

That was based largely on a new and developing port and more specifically, terminal. Whether it remains true for 2015 and hereafter remains to be seen as the port has achieved its initial growth spurt, partly at the expense of Durban and Cape Town by way of diverted transshipment cargo to free up space at those ports. Ngqura’s real test will come in the immediate years to come of building its own base of transshipment container cargo.

The addition of two container berths may prove beneficial in this but it is not yet clear whether other lines are interested in making an addition call at the Eastern Cape port to those already on their schedules.

There also appears some uncertainty as to how many other lines can be accommodated at the terminal at times of their own choosing.

What is clear is that in Ngqura South Africa has a deepwater container port able to accept fully loaded deep draught ships but once Durban’s North Quay is rebuilt to the same specs (-16m for loaded 14.5m draught ships) this advantage will be negated. It suggests that Ngqura’s future does lie in the success of Transnet promoting it as a transshipment hub.

According to Transnet ship working times have been improved and Ngqura Container Terminal is reportedly working at a rate of 60 container moves an hour.

In addition to the container terminal, Transnet intends relocating the manganese terminal from the port at nearby Port Elizabeth and to provide a capacity for 16 million tons of ore annually.

The relocation entails building a fully operational manganese terminal with landside infrastructure, quay wall equipment, rail infrastructure and rolling stock including locomotives. This includes upgrading and in places rebuilding sections of the existing railway line between Port Elizabeth and Hotazel in the Northern Cape, where the manganese ore is mined. This is a railway line in excess of 800km.

The Port of Ngqura Container Terminal employs about 850 permanent staff, up from 150 in 2010.

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ARRESTED TAIWANESE FISHING BOATS UP FOR CAPE TOWN AUCTION

Fishing vessels for auction March 2015 480

In November of 2014, two Taiwanese longline fishing vessels were arrested at Cape Town harbour. Having since been seized and now become a financial burden to creditors, the two vessels will be sold via an online auction later this month as per a court order from the Western Cape High Court.

The vessels, WEI LIEN 123 and WEI LIEN 213 are both longline fishing vessels for the likes of tuna and hake and have attracted much interest from both local and international buyers due to the nature of the sale.

“It is seldom that such vessels are offered to the market via an online auction, and the interest we have received has been extensive from both local and international buyers,” says Ariella Kuper from Clear Asset, the company taking the vessels to auction.

“The strongest interest is from smaller players looking to purchase fishing vessels at an attractive price, as often the newer ships are simply too expensive to afford for entrepreneurs competing against larger players.’’

The arrest of the vessels was due to a default of payment on bunker fuel.

Having handled a variety of sales for arrested ships over recent years, Kuper points out that sales of such vessels often follow more traditional sales channels which bring with them geographical limitations, lack of quick access to info on the vessels and having to be on site to purchase.

“With an online auction platform buyers can view the vessels online, send a representative if needed and bid on the asset without ever leaving their desk. Based on demand and requirements for the assets, we have also videoed engine start up procedures for internationals buyers to view.’’

Condition reports for both vessels have been conducted by an independent marine surveyor and will form part of the information pack available to bidders.

The auction closes on Thursday 26 March at 3pm.

Viewing of the vessels can be arranged by appointment through the auctioneers and each vessel is well documented on the website with images, condition report and ships papers to assist due diligence.

For more information contact Ariella Kuper on +27 798999998 or Ariella@clearasset.co.za

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JAW-DROPPER FROM RCI…IT WILL BE THE WORLD’S LARGEST!

PIC 1 HARMONY2 480
Just LOOK at what has become of the contemporary cruise liner. A towering superstructure with all kinds of bits and pieces jutting out for’ard, mid-ships and aft. It’s a stupendous achievement and America’s Royal Caribbean International is leading the pack by far with its astonishing cruise ship innovations. Coming into the market in April 2016 is RCI’s latest behemoth 16-deck vessel, to be called HARMONY OF THE SEAS. It’ll be yet another of the new ‘mini-cities’ gracing the oceans and sending cruise passenger numbers soaring skyward. For South Africans eager to get a taste of that latest-up-to-datest in sea travel we have to go international, unfortunately, but it all looks very worthwhile and this correspondent hopes to catch a ride on one of these ocean giants before his appointment with the Grim Reaper.

The Royal Caribbean International behemoths just keep on coming. The American operator’s new Oasis-class ship, Harmony of the Seas, is set to launch in April, 2016. The ship will span 16 decks, carry 5,479 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,747 staterooms. It’s jaw-dropping stuff.

Fresh details for what will be the largest cruise ship in the world, tipping the scales at a colossal 227,000 gross tonnes (1,718 more than the current record-holder) have been unveiled by Royal Caribbean International, a brand founded in Norway and based in Miami, Florida. It controls close to 20 percent of the world cruise market…operating with sister brands Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Cruises, Pullmantur Cruises and CDF Croisières de France.

The Harmony will join RCI’s Oasis-class ALLURE OF THE SEAS and OASIS OF THE SEAS, which currently share the title of world's largest cruise ships, each weighing in at an impressive 225,282-gt.

Harmony of the Seas will cost $US1.35 billion and it’ll feature three multi-storey waterslides, robot bartenders (as can be found on its latest ships, QUANTUM and ANTHEM OF THE SEAS) and a ‘handcrafted’ carousel. Culinary venues will include two new ‘concepts’ - Izumi Hibachi & Sushi and the Sabor Modern Mexican – and a branch of Starbucks. It will also have the fastest internet connection at sea. And So Very Much More!

PIC 2 HARMONY 480
And if that amount of inclusion doesn’t grab your interest, do consider that, like the two other ships in its class, Harmony of the Seas will be divided into seven ‘neighbourhoods’…Central Park, the Royal Promenade, Boardwalk, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality (spa and fitness), Entertainment Place and Youth Zone. It’s also expected to share other features common to its sister ships, such as a surfing simulator and a zip line. Can you believe it?

PIC 3 HARMONY 480
A view aft, with wraparound balconied staterooms, an open-air theatre and endless meal options and places top sip colourful Caribbean cocktails. No wonder so many people are succumbing to the lure of sea cruising…a sector of the travel industry that is unstoppably soaring in popularity.

PIC 4 harmoneyarm 480
Royal Caribbean also has two other ships coming into service. The Quantum-class ANTHEM OF THE SEAS (featured in Ports & Ships recently) debuts in Southampton this coming April and OVATION OF THE SEAS will begin cruising in April next year…an achievement that can only be described as astonishing. The three new vessels will increase the size of the company's fleet to 25…imagine having 25 cruise liners in your fleet? The majority of its ships are based in Florida, but Anthem of the Seas and Quantum of the Seas will both be based in Southampton in the UK next northern summer. These vessels will boast and an observation capsule modelled on the London Eye.

And the word is that future RCI offerings could be called APEX OF THE SEAS, EMBLEM OF THE SEAS or JOY OF THE SEAS. How about ISLAND OF THE SEAS?

The contemporary cruise liner, as we ardent ship lovers have discovered, is an astounding maritime achievement. Those among us who have this awareness, are simply knocked out by the size, scale and facilities that match any mini-city, never mind a floating resort. And, it’s all happened so quickly? When the passenger ship hit the 100,000-gt mark we all went ‘wow’, didn’t we?…and here people are, swanning the world in 225,000-ton giants. What the…?

PIC 5 

HARMONYMAJESTY 480
About 20 years ago this correspondent was despatched with a travel group on an el freebie trip to Miami to experience the ‘giant’ new MAJESTY OF THE SEAS…then weighing in at a ‘mighty’ 75,000 tonnes. We were all totally impressed, because passenger ships up until then were mostly in the 20-30,000-gt bracket. At that time, as enamoured of the ship as I was, I could never have imagined a vessel almost four times the size. I cruised the Majesty on the Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico and Cayman Islands route and I thought it was just the ticket. The balcony cabin was an unheard-of facility, because ship design had still not graduated beyond the historic porthole. Who could have imagined what would become of it all? I do recall having enjoyed the Viking Crown Lounge (you can see it high up aft in the picture) which was a top-of-the-ship lounge offering sweeping panoramic views. Every Royal Caribbean ship still includes this entirely appealing feature.

We really must hand it to Royal Caribbean…it’s the one line that’s taken the big risks by growing its vessels in quantum (pardon the pun) leaps, and coming into the market with ships that do actually take one’s breath away. And, rest assured, the passengers are flocking on to these humongous vessels, all utterly eager to experience all the high-tech excitement and round-the-clock attractions and distractions that have contributed to making cruising by far the world’s fastest-growing travel sector.

PIC 6 flow 480
Facilities such as a Flowrider are simply de rigueur on the RCI giants, and the great variety of attractions and theatre entertainment has caught the imagination of seekers of holidays…and those who have had one taste of this extraordinary experience (given that mass cruising is not for everybody) are turning into repeaters, doing so more than twice a year.

In a remarkably short space of time, the contemporary cruise liner has gone to heights that would have been considered unimaginable even five years ago. Indeed, what will happen in the next five years makes for extremely exciting speculation?

Is the day coming – and I believe it is - that a cruise ship or trans-Atlantic liner will come off the yards at around 500,000-gt? A new Cunarder perhaps? It’s as possible as sunrise tomorrow. Would not the Carnival Corporation-owned Cunard Line be tempted to add such an ultimate ocean-going monster to its fleet? I’d be very happy to cross ‘The Pond’ on one of those before I finally pop my clogs, thank you very much.

PIC 7 harmonybalcoy 480
Cruise operators are getting bolder by the day, mercilessly copying each other’s ideas and all striving for that added ‘oomph’ that will create those necessary ‘unique’ features needed to sustain market share in a heavily over-traded market. Heaven knows, it took them all long enough to latch on to the addition of ‘private’ balconies…singularly the most notable and successful cruise ship innovation in the last 100 years.

With all due respect to MSC Cruises, the vessels it sends to South African waters (MSC OPERA and MSC SINFONIA) are so ‘yesterday’ by comparison with what is available in Caribbean, Baltic and Mediterranean waters these days. Which is not to say that MSC Cruises isn’t in the running with splendid mega-liner offerings, but one should really just accept that Royal Caribbean is leading the pack with its endless ‘wow’ factors on so many new vessels.

Let’s face it, even the giant Carnival Corporation (with its eight subsidiaries) can’t hold a candle to RCI when it comes to ‘bigger, better, bolder and brasher’. The behemoth Oasis- and Quantum-class vessels are the specific ships stop the travelling public in its tracks…and when pax arrive aboard and are greeted by all the surprises then the ‘wows’ and ‘OMG’s really start flying thick and fast.

PIC 8 

HARMONYOPERA 480
MSC OPERA (berthed at Durban’s N Shed) was my most recent cruise experience (from Durban for 7 nights, as a guest of MSC Cruises) and I really enjoyed the vessel and its offerings. But it’s the big ‘newbies’ that are now playing havoc with my imagination, because I read a lot about cruise ships and cruising and I am now morphing beyond the point of mere salivation. The latest vessels are at an entirely higher level of scale and sophistication. It’s difficult to absorb what has transpired in 10 years even.

PIC 9 MONTEREYUSE 

480
Over a span of several decades I have been fortunate to experience a number of splendid ocean liners and cruise ships…including BRAEMAR CASTLE, SA VAAL, MARCO POLO, MONTEREY (my picture, taken at the same, then rather awful, N Shed in Durban in 2001) and MELODY, CROWN ODYSSEY, NORWEGIAN CROWN (both the same ship, now called BALMORAL), SUPERSTAR GEMINI, SUPERSTAR LEO, SUPERSTAR VIRGO, QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, ROTTERDAM VI and MSC OPERA. Yet, can you blame me for having an overwhelming desire to enjoy a personal encounter with the new breed of cruise liner?…to observe the passenger flow, partake of the multiple dining choices and to indulge the plethora of facilities and entertainment…and to be sucked into the size, the shape, dimensions and complexities of any vessel exceeding 150,000 gross tonnes. Just compareMonterey above with all that has transpired in maritime technology since 2001? The mind boggles, does it not? The steam-boiler-driven Monterey was a delicious classic liner, as I discovered on a Mozambique Channel foray as a guest of Allan Foggitt, then of Starlight Cruises. She was then 52 years old.

Oh, for a ride on a contemporary ocean giant. We can dream, can’t we?

Vernon Buxton for Ports & Ships

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INDIA COUNTERs CHINESE INFLUENCE AMONG INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS

indian ocean 470

India intends offering Indian Ocean Island nations a range of military and civilian assistance in an effort to counter growing Chinese influence in what it considers to be its own backyard.

This week the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi is visiting Sri Lanka where the Chinese Navy has recently made several visits. This is the first time in 28 years that an Indian leader has visited its close neighbour.

India will also be making offers and pledges to the Maldives, Mauritius (where India has made strong inroads in its relationship with the island nation) and the Seychelles. Until now India has largely ignored these island countries but is clearly alarmed by the growing Chinese influence which has begun to have military undertones as well, with the Chinese Navy deploying ships including submarines into the Indian Ocean for the first time.

From a non-military perspective, China has built seaports, power plants and roads across several of the island countries. As with China extending its influence in Africa, it asks no political or social questions while pursuing its own interests.

Recently India built a patrol ship for Mauritius and has held naval exercises with that island’s small coast guard service. “India has a role as a net security provider in the Indian Ocean region,” explained a defence official ahead of Prime Minister Modi’s trip which begins today (10 March). “We are providing patrol ships, surveillance radars and ocean mapping for the island states. We are assisting Mauritius with its coast guard,” he said.

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SHIPPING IN THE INDIAN OCEAN IS STILL AT RISK

Big Mouth Pirate 470

Paul Ridgway
London

Underestimating the security risk in the Indian Ocean could put ships in great danger once again, says maritime security company MAST Ltd.

Gerry Northwood, COO of MAST, recently made an observation on current circumstances: “Whilst recent reports and incidents seem to be pointing to the Far East as the next piracy hotspot, the real security risk to shipping remains within the Indian Ocean, which is being ‘under-hyped’ by some commentators. It is clear that the level of maritime crime in the Far East is high, however in most cases it is simply petty theft and should be deterred if passive protection measures such as Best Management Practices 4 (BMP4) are in place. The situation in Somalia is far more complicated. Piracy in the region has been effectively suppressed, but not completely eradicated and pirates could strike again if shipping companies relax their guard.”

The Indian Ocean still presents a series of security challenges, including a lack of intelligence sharing between countries carrying out counter-piracy operations in the region, as recently stated by Commodore Keith Blount at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi. He added that if these challenges were overcome, it would help increase the situational awareness and understanding of the region, enhancing the world’s navies’ ability to conduct anti-piracy operations.

More to the point, after two decades of civil war, Somalia remains a lawless and politically fragmented country. The persistent attacks by Al Qaeda-affiliated group, Al Shabaab, against police and government authorities not only present a security challenge of its own but have also complicated the rebuild process of a fragile state, even with the help of the international community. As a consequence, the conditions within Somalia remain permissive for pirate activity to flourish.

Northwood added: “Armed security teams, BMP4 and military patrols have been, and still are, an effective deterrent in the region, protecting vessels from attack by Somali pirates. However, the recent Al Shabaab bomb attacks in Mogadishu highlight the fragility of the security situation in the Indian Ocean. The lack of law and order ashore in Somalia means that the pirate breeding grounds are still intact. If the shipping industry becomes complacent, it will only be a matter of time before a ship is hijacked again by Somali pirates, and innocent crews lives put at risk.”

About MAST
MAST or (Maritime Asset Security & Training) Ltd., with offices in the People’s Republic of China, Malta, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Sri Lanka, UK and the USA, is a leading global security provider with the expertise and capability to deliver comprehensive advice and technology.

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WHARF TALK: DURBAN’s DIG OUT PORT DELAYED

DDOP First Phase 

projected 480
Durban Dig out Port, First Phase. Diagram courtesy TNPA

By Terry Hutson

Transnet has confirmed reports that the proposed Durban Dig Out Port (DDOP) has been delayed, with a planned start only in 2021 and the completion of the first phase in 2025.

The reason for the delay is given as being a result of the prevailing economy although there are probably social as well as technical reasons for the hold up.

When the DDOP was first proposed it was assumed that at an average growth rate of around 8 percent (or more) the existing container terminals at the Port of Durban would have run out of capacity by around 2020, just as the first phase of the DDOP was coming into commission.

Since then however things haven’t gone exactly according to script. The economy hasn’t grown and nor has the number of containers being handled at the Durban port. Here are the figures for containers handled at the Port of Durban in the past 10 years (in TEUs or twenty foot container equivalents).

Containers handled at DCT for past 10 years

Year TEUs % increase
2014 2.664 million TEUs 1.18%
2013 2.633 million 1.81%
2012 2.586 million
2011 2.712 million
2010 2.663 million
2009 2.395 million
2008 2.642 million 6.57%
2007 2.479 million 12.78%
2006 2.198 million 15.77%
2005 1.899 million

You can see that since 2010 there has been little or no progress. In the years prior to 2008 container growth was in double digit figures, raising strong concerns about port capacity and how soon it would run out. This wasn’t unique to Durban and South Africa but was a worldwide phenomenon. The economic downturn or crash of 2008 into 2009 brought a sudden stop to what had been an unprecedented spurt in international trade, in particular as it involved containers.

The climb out of that near recession state has been slow and South Africa’s growth even slower than in many other nations. In 2009 and again in 2012 container traffic as far as Durban is concerned moved backwards, and this at a time when Transnet planners were honing their proposals for a new dig out port just a few kilometres from the existing port. Initial thoughts of the new port being required by 2020 have since been thoroughly overturned and the delay that was confirmed at a media briefing last week may not prove to be the last word on this matter.

Just how does Transnet project future growth for containers in South Africa? In the halcyon days before the crash, planners used to talk about a low road, a middle road and a high road, being roughly 4 or 5%, 8% and 12% respectively. Only a brave man would be able to suggest to the Transnet Board of Directors that the high road was the way to go as things stand today. Even the middle road looks frightfully over-confident and the low road needs to be projected downwards to around 2.5%.

If we take the 2025 projection as the date when the first phase of the DDOP will be open for business, at a growth rate of just 2.5% the port will expect to handle 3.46 million TEU in that year, which is probably within what the existing port can handle providing some options are exercised. If the growth rate improves to say 5% then the part will be asked to handle 4.4 million TEU by the end of 2024, and if it reached the heady heights of 8%, which is what much of the rest of the world is now achieving, then the figure will be 5.83 million TEU and things will be stretched.

Something that needs to be acknowledged, as was pointed out at the media briefing, is that the port hasn’t experienced container congestion since before 2008 and that is a result of more efficient handling at the container terminals and by marine and other services. That’s not ignoring issues like road congestion outside the port, which is a separate issue and needs to be dealt with separately by the respective authorities.

In view of these circumstances and the need for additional container terminal ‘space’ certain steps are being taken, which include plans to deepen and widen the berths at Durban Container Terminal North Quay (berths 203 – 205). As already announced, an environmental impact assessment has been approved but is still subject to any objections, of which two have been registered from Earthlife Africa and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA). These have the ability to delay the project and even have it cancelled, in which case the port will be frustrated in its approach towards providing facilities for much bigger ships to come in and work cargo while fully loaded.

If it goes ahead, the extended North Quay would become 1210 metres in length, permitting three ships each of 9 200-TEU capacity to berth simultaneously. The depth alongside would be 16.5 metres with a permitted ship’s draught of 14.5 metres.

Similar action is being taken at the historic Maydon Wharf, where berth 12 has already been widened and deepened and now berth 13 and berth 1 at the opposite end of the wharf are undergoing similar treatment.

Back at the container terminal, the deepening of the North Quay will have only marginal effect on increasing the port’s container capacity. So the next step in Transnet’s plans is to move towards taking over a section of Salisbury Island and creating a new container handling and stacking facility in this area, with an infill of about 21ha of what used to be used as the inner anchorage. This would create an additional two berths for ships with a draught of 14.5m but more importantly would swell the capacity by a significant amount and make it possible for Durban to cater for those sorts of volumes that can reasonably be expected before 2025.

No EIA for this project has yet been lodged but Transnet’s design work will be ready by the end of July this year.

Among other interesting facts that were revealed, the port handled 178 373 passengers from cruise ships in 2014, which is down on the 186 128 of the previous year. A project to build a new cruise terminal at B-berth on the Point is currently being assessed with proposals for private enterprise involvement under consideration.

Turning to motor vehicles, Durban handled a total of 468 159 units last year, down from the 502 759 units of 2013.

As far as other commodities are concerned, the port handled 10.682 million tons of dry bulk, 3.355mt of breakbulk cargo, and 26.876mt of liquid bulk in 2014. Including the containers and motor units the port handled a total of just over 81 million tons of cargo in 2014.

It’s been well publicised by now that Durban is no longer the biggest container port in Africa, that role having been taken by Port Said in Egypt (3.671m TEU) which is rapidly becoming an important transhipment port. Durban used to have claim to being the busiest container port in the Southern hemisphere but sadly that is no longer the case either. According to figures published by the UK’s Container Management, Tanjung Priok in Indonesia (6.489m TEU), Santos (3.448m TEU), Surabaya in Indonesia (3 026m TEU), are well ahead of Durban. Of significance is the rate with which these ports are moving further ahead.

This is a reminder of how 25 or 30 years ago Durban ranked among the top ten container ports -- she now lists at position 54 and this year another African port, Morocco’s Tanger Med is about to move ahead and usurp Durban’s place. It’s not that this is a race but it is a form of competition, one that competes for world trade and it is one that we are not winning. Firstly, Durban and South Africa is in the wrong place geographically, but even talk of Durban being the gateway into Africa is, I’m afraid, just that – talk. Other ports in Africa are gearing themselves to cater for their own hinterlands and Durban will have to look to South Africa and if it is lucky, one or two very near neighbours for future business by sea.

For as long as South Africa’s economy remains stagnant, the port of Durban will remain dormant in terms of real growth.

These are a few of the reasons that call for wise heads and correct decisions on improving the existing port, and deciding just when to dig out a new port at Reunion. It’s not going to be an easy one to answer and not make some mistakes and extensive stakeholder engagement is scheduled for the current year.

Transnet says it also intends that regular peer reviews will be conducted by a panel of international experts. One should perhaps be wary of overseas experts – it was one such that caused the infamous Vetch’s Pier, which bears his name, to be built which then had to be partially dismantled. Enough said.

containershipsclass
Diagram showing the evolution of how container ships have evolved in a short space of time to the 18,000+TEU giants of today.

* This article first appeared in The Mercury Network on 4 March 2015

UNIQUE MARITIME NAMES NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR

UMG Rodney Mc Kechnie
Rodney Mckechnie, new managing director of Unique Hydra in South Africa

Unique Maritime Group (UMG) has announced the appointment of Rodney Mckechnie as the managing director for Unique Hydra, its office based in South Africa.

Unique Hydra is a leading manufacturer and supplier of diving equipment to the oil and gas industry. Unique Hydra manufactures and offers a complete range of diving systems – from air and mixed gas to complete saturation diving systems encompassing Divers LARS and Wetbells. Some of its other equipment includes the daughtercraft systems, breathing air compressors and decompression chambers.

Mckechnie gained his experience in international Fortune 100 companies across various industrial sectors including motor manufacturing, food and alcoholic beverages, electronics, white and brown goods and also the Public Sector. He has consistently built high performing teams utilising effective communication, aggressive goal setting and implementation of operating mechanisms that yield significant improvement, consistency and predictability.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome Rodney Mckechnie on board. He is immensely experienced in driving operational transformation in several complex and troubled organizations. We are confident that his substantial level of experience in operational planning will help boost Unique Hydra’s profitable growth and overall performance,” said Harry Gandhi, CEO @ Unique Maritime Group.

McKechnie said he was delighted to be offered an exciting operational role at Unique, which he described as a key player in the subsea and offshore industry sector. “I hope to use my expertise to build a highly consistent, cohesive and performance-oriented team in order to yield significant improvements in growth and performance at Unique Hydra,” he said.

UMG has local presence in USA, UK, South Africa, India, Middle East and Singapore and employs over 500 people worldwide.

EXPECTED SHIP ARRIVALS and SHIPS IN PORT

Gateway port 470
Gateway port

Ports & Ships publishes regularly updated SHIP MOVEMENT reports including ETAs for ports extending from West Africa to South Africa to East Africa and including Port Louis in Mauritius.

In the case of South Africa’s container ports of Durban, Ngqura, Ports Elizabeth and Cape Town links to container Stack Dates are also available.

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PIC OF THE DAY – SALISBURY ISLAND AND SAS DRAKENSBERG

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The South African Navy’s combat support ship SAS DRAKENSBERG (A301) back in the port where she was built, against the quay of the naval station Salisbury Island. In the background is one of the Valour class guided missile frigates, SAS ISANDLWANA (F146). Alongside Drakensberg is an unidentified submarine. Picture: Russell Cleaver

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