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Ports & Ships Maritime News

12 July 2016
Author: Terry Hutson

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


Click on headline to go direct to story : use the BACK key to return


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The 51,731-gt car carrier HOEGH BRASILIA was a recent visitor in Durban, berthing at the car terminal while en route to South East Asia. Built in 2007, the ship is owned by Chijin Shipping and has a capacity to carry up to 4379 motor cars. The ship has a LOA of 180 metres and a beam of 32.2 metres. This picture is by Ken Malcolm

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Port statistics for the month of June 2016, covering the eight commercial ports under the administration of Transnet National Ports Authority, have become available.

Total cargo handled at all eight ports during the past month amounted to 23.318 million tons, compared with the previous month (May 2016) when 23.195 million tons of cargo was handled, reflecting no real growth month on month. By way of comparison, in the corresponding period of the previous year (June 2015) the combined ports handled a total of 23.408mt of cargo including 400,132 TEU -- this year 397,184, which is fairly static against last year. Richards Bay through its coal exports continues to have the highest cargo tonnages, followed by Durban and Saldanha.

With a negative growth pattern now indicated for the rest of this year this closely reflects the state of the country's economy -- just muddling along and going nowhere.

For detailed comparison with the previous June (2015) figures please go HERE; afterwards if necessary use your BACKSPACE button to return to this page.

As usual with figures reported in PORTS & SHIPS, these reflect an adjustment on the overall tonnage compared to those kindly provided by Transnet. This is to include containers by weight; an adjustment necessary because Transnet NPA measures containers by the number of TEUs and does not reflect the weight which unfortunately undervalues the ports.

To arrive at such a calculation, PORTS & SHIPS uses an average of 13.5 tonnes per TEU, which probably does involve some under-reporting but until the weighing of containers at all ports comes into effect from 1 July we will have to live with these estimates and we cannot be certain even then that container weights will in future be reflected in the TNPA port statistics. In the meantime PORTS & SHIPS continues to emphasise this distinction, without which South African ports would be seriously under-reported internationally and locally.

Port Statistics continue below
MBYBC angle Wiki Commons 470
Mossel Bay -- gateway to the Southern Cape. Picture: Wikipedia Commons

Figures for the respective ports during June 2016 are:


Cargo handled by tonnes during June 2016, including containers by weight

PORT June 2016 million tonnes
Richards Bay 7.592
Durban 6.726
Saldanha Bay 5.307
Cape Town 1.595
Port Elizabeth 1.040
Ngqura 0.735
Mossel Bay 0.153
East London 0.170
Total all ports 23.318 million tonnes

CONTAINERS (measured by TEUs) during June 2016
(TEUs include Deepsea, Coastal, Transship and empty containers all subject to being invoiced by NPA

PORT June 2016 TEUs
Durban 227,543
Cape Town 87,104
Port Elizabeth 20,288
Ngqura 54,064
East London 7,414
Richards Bay 1,401
Total all ports 397,814 TEU

SHIP CALLS for June 2016

PORT June 2016 vessels gross tons
Durban 303 11,274,204
Cape Town 207 5,242,067
Richards Bay 153 5,818,486
Port Elizabeth 85 2,578,631
Saldanha Bay 51 3,234,674
Ngqura 45 2,904,633
East London 32 991,609
Mossel Bay 87 189,224
Total ship calls 963 32,233,528

-- source TNPA, with adjustments made by Ports & Ships to include container tonnages

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French line CMA CGM is reorganising its services connecting the India Middle East Gulf to East Africa strategic markets.

Calling it a challenging environment, CMA CGM says this is to provide increased reliability and quality services.

Starting mid July 2016, the new configuration of its NOURA EXPRESS and SWAHILI services will provide significant improvements, CMA CGM believes. Among these are positive developments for reefer cargo from Port Victoria direct to India and to Europe with a weekly frequency instead of fortnightly.

In addition, there will be an improved service reliability to Mogadishu from Mundra with a direct service in 18 days instead of in transhipment, and very fast transit time from Jebel Ali to Port Victoria in 18 days.

NOURA EXPRESS service which operates with 4 vessels of 2,200 TEU will drop the Salalah call and add in its port coverage Mundra and Port Victoria. This becomes effective from the sailing of MARIE DELMAS, voyage 1339WS Mundra ETA 24 July 2016, and CMA CGM LATOUR, voyage 1299WS Port Victoria on 31 July 2016.

NOURA EXPRESS 480  20 july 2016 NOURA EXPRESS service new port rotation becomes as follows:

Mundra; Khor Fakkan; Jebel Ali; Mombasa; Mogadishu; Port Victoria; Mundra.

CMA CGM's SWAHILI service operating with 6 vessels each up to 2,700 TEU linking India Middle East Gulf to Tanzania will also be revised in order to respond better to customers' need for service punctuality.

Very challenging operation conditions exist in Zanzibar with heavy port congestion which has negatively impacted CMA CGM's scheduling. To restore the Swahili service reliability, Mundra and Port Victoria calls are transferred on to Noura Express which has sufficient buffer time (see above).

The SWAHILI service new port rotation which is effective from the sailing of DELMAS KETA, voyage 1192SS Nhava Sheva ETA 21 July 2016, will be as follows:

Nhava Sheva; Khor Fakkan; Jebel Ali; Longoni; Dar Es Salaam; Zanzibar; Nacala (fortnightly).

SWAX July 2016 Swahili 480
Swahili Service

In other news:

THC in Lome (Togo) and Cotonou (Benin)

CMA CGM advises that it is implementing a Terminal Handling Charge (THC) for the port of Lome as a result of what it says are significant operational costs being incurred in Togo.

With effect from 15 August 2016, a THC will become applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Lome as follows:
Dry Containers: EUR 100 per 20' -- EUR 150 per 40'
Reefer Containers: EUR 145 per 20' -- EUR 270 per 40'
Special Containers: EUR 150 per 20' -- EUR 285 per 40'

Similarly, with effect 15 August 2016 a THC will apply for the port of Cotonou in Benin, again for reasons of significant operational costs being incurred. The THC at Cotonou will be applicable in addition to the ocean freight for import and export cargo and payable at Cotonou as follows:
Dry Containers: EUR 95 per 20' -- EUR 135 per 40'
Reefer Containers: EUR 140 per 20' -- EUR 195 per 40'
Special Containers: EUR 145 per 20' -- EUR 205 per 40'

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QUNU-27 June 2016-trials-1 Trevor Jones 480
QUNU undergoing trials on Durban Bay prior to he delivery voyage to Port Elizabeth. Picture by Trevor Jones

The latest of Transnet National Ports Authority's nine new powerful tugboats set sail from the Durban premises of contractor, Southern African Shipyards, on Thursday 7 July, destined for its new home at the port of Port Elizabeth.

Qunu arrived safely in her new home port the following day, slightly ahead of the scheduled ETA.

The tug was ceremonially launched as QUNU in May alongside a third tug, CORMORANT, whch is destined for the port of Saldanha. QUNU was named after the Eastern Cape home village of former President, the late Nelson Mandela.

Qunu is the second of two new tugs built for the port as part of this large-scale fleet replacement project. The first, MVEZO, named after the Eastern Cape birthplace of Mandela, was unveiled at the port in April by President Jacob Zuma.

Valued at R1.4 billion, the nine-tug contract is the largest single contract TNPA has ever awarded to a South African company for the building of harbour craft.

TNPA Chief Executive, Richard Vallihu, said after the tug's ceremonial launch last year that the building of these tugs demonstrates that this country has the expertise to compete in the global shipbuilding industry and to use the maritime economy to unlock the economic potential of South Africa. This, he said, is in line with the government's Operation Phakisa initiative.

QUNU is to be handed over officially to the port in the coming weeks. Two tugs each will be allocated to the Ports of Durban, Richards Bay and Port Elizabeth, while Saldanha, which handles the largest carriers, will receive three tugs.

Big Benefits

The tug building project kicked off in August 2014 and five of the nine tugs are under construction simultaneously at any given time due to the project's tight deadlines.

TNPA programme manager Thandi Mehlo, Senior Marine Engineer, said TNPA had 29 tugs presently in service nationally, but the requirement for more powerful tugboats had increased in line with bigger commercial vessels calling at South African ports more frequently.

"TNPA's new fleet will include nine tugs that are 31 metres long with a 70 ton bollard pull. The older tugs have 32.5 to 40 ton pulls.

"The increased bollard pull of these new generation tugs meets international standards and they also feature the latest global technology. The tugs have Voith Schneider propulsion which makes them highly manoeuvrable and able to change the direction and thrust almost instantaneously while guiding large vessels safely into our ports," he said.

Durban-based Southern African Shipyards, which owns and operates the largest shipyard in Southern Africa, also built TNPA's previous 12 tugs. The company has 60 percent black ownership and its employees have a 12 percent stake in the company. The contract for the nine tugs was obtained through an open and transparent process, a TNPA spokesperson said.

Subcontractors on the project include well-known multi-nationals such as Barloworld Equipment, Siemens, Voith Schneider, as well as local contractors such as Bradgary Marine Shopfitters.

Prasheen Maharaj CEO SA Shipyards 250px
Southern Africa Shipyards CEO Prasheen Maharaj (above) said his company had created a minimum of 500 direct and 3500 indirect jobs through the project. "We have also committed to ensuring that each tug has a minimum of 60% locally manufactured components, while partnering with international companies on the remaining aspects that cannot be manufactured here, for example the engines and propulsion units," he said.

Maharaj said the intention was to maximise local content and spread the benefits of the project to black suppliers, women and youth-owned businesses. Ultimately South Africa will achieve a socio-economic benefit of more than R800 million as a result of the Supplier Development Plan attached to the contract, he said.

In addition a number of national and international training and development opportunities are being created for local employees.

TNPA also has a large training programme in place for engineering and deck cadets to ensure that the vessels have skilled people in place to operate them.

To view a video of the launch of QUNU and CORMORANT, visit TNPA's YouTube channel by: CLICKING HERE

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Reconstruction of Maydon Wharf berths 1 and 2. Picture: TNPA

Reconstruction of Maydon Wharf berth 1 has been completed and the first ship to berth here has arrived. The bulker NORD MISSISSIPPI (60,456-dwt, built 2015) arrived on Saturday last week, 9 July 2016 with a cargo of 16,000 tons of maize to be discharged, the first time in many years that a large ship has been able to berth at what was once a shallow berth with a design depth of 9.9 metres but which had become further reduced by silting.

See PIC OF THE DAY below.

The design depth of the berth now allows ships with draughts of 13 metres to be accommodated. Reconstruction has taken 21 months to complete to this stage -- some work at providing scour protection remains but is expected to be completed shortly. Scour protection is also being provided at the adjacent fish jetty which runs at right angles to berth 1.

Similar work is continuing further along Maydon Wharf at berths 13 and 14, which when completed will also enable ships with draughts of 13 metres to work cargo.

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DORMAC DOCK 1 at Saldanha with tug Chardonnay Ju
The floating dock Dormac Dock 1 is manoeuvred into position in the port of Saldanha prior to sailing on the final leg of the journey from the Ukraine to Durban. Picture is courtesy Dormac Marine

A new floating dock, DORMAC DOCK 1, destined to go into service in Durban Harbour is but days away from its destination, and after a journey of over 8,000 nautical miles behind the tug FAIRPLAY 33, the tug and dock are scheduled to arrive off Durban this Friday, 15 July 2016.

The two vessels have been at shelter in Saldanha Bay awaiting better weather conditions for the final leg of the voyage, along Southern Africa's at times notorious southern and eastern coasts.But with a favourable weather pattern ahead the two vessels have now crossed into the Indian Ocean on a heading for Durban.

The new floating dock belongs to South African ship repair company Dormac Marine and was built in the Ukraine by the firm of Pollada. On arrival in port the dock, which has been named DORMAC DOCK 1, will go to a berth alongside a ship repair quay until preparation of the new basin area is completed. The dock is to be positioned alongside a new quay wall being specially built on the Dormac Marine premises.

Having the additional floating dock in the port of Durban is going to add considerably to the port's ability to secure ship maintenance and repair jobs. The firm of EBH has a floating dock in service at Durban, while Southern African Shipyards have a smaller floating dock used for the launching of newbuild tugs but also for the occasional small ship repair.

There have been suggestions, unconfirmed as yet, that Transnet may replace an out of service floating dock that they have in Durban harbour. The port recently recommissioned the graving dock's second caisson or gate, which has enabled the dock to be divided in two sections as necessary.

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PIC 4 SEASIDE2600 480

MSC Cruises announced yesterday that the second of its Seaside-generation smart cruise ships, set to come into service in June 2018, will be named MSC SEAVIEW. She will spend her inaugural season cruising the Western Mediterranean, with three major ports of embarkation in history and culture-rich Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona.

"Our Company's heritage lies in the Mediterranean and it was only natural that MSC Seaview, our third next-generation smart ship which comes into service in June 2018, would be deployed in its historic and culture-rich waters," said Gianni Onorato, chief executive officer of MSC Cruises. "Guests can now plan their vacation and experience everything that this ever popular region has to offer from on board one of the industry's most innovatively-designed ships at sea."

MSC Cruises' Seaside-generation ships are being built by Italy-based Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding groups in the world. "We are proud of our partnership with Fincantieri in realising our vision for this innovatively-designed, new generation of smart ships at sea," said Onorato.

The design of the Seaside-generation cruise ships embodies MSC Cruises' passion for the sea and features the highest ratio of outdoor space per guest at sea. Inspired by a pioneering beach condo concept, MSC Seaview will bring guests and the sea closer, with special design elements that allow guests to make the most of the warmer weather. For example, guests will be able to enjoy their time on board eating, drinking and relaxing outdoors in the Mediterranean sunshine with some of the best sea views in the world. They will also benefit from an increased number of balcony staterooms, sea views and public areas, with every element carefully planned to allow guests to make the most of the sea and the sunshine.

msc seaside open area 480
A unique design feature of MSC Seaview is the impressive 360 degree promenade with glass balustrades that runs around the entire ship. This stunning public space will act as a lively recreation area where guests can stroll in the open air, eat and drink al fresco from a variety of bars and restaurants or shop in the boutiques, all while exposed to the spectacular sea views.

MSC Seaview guests will be able to experience the wonders of the Mediterranean, visiting sought after Mediterranean destinations including, Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona, Naples, Messina in Sicily, and Malta. In addition, a wide range of shore activities have been carefully designed to help guest discover each destination and its unique culture.

MSC Seaview is one of MSC Cruises' new next-generation smart cruise ships, employing the latest and the best technology available at sea to enable guests to customise their onboard and onshore experience so that they each enjoy a uniquely personalised cruise experience. In partnership with technology leader Samsung, the next-generation technology will include everything from the latest displays and mobile solutions to products for enhanced reality consumer retail experiences.

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USN Djibouti 480
Sailors of Coastal Riverine Squadron 8 (CRS-8) pose for a group photo with Vice-Admiral Robin Braun, Chief of Navy Reserve. Braun visited Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti from 26-28 May to review current operations and address Reserve Sailor concerns in the region. Camp Lemonnier enables the forward operations and responsiveness of US and Allied forces in support of Navy Region, Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia's mission to provide services to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family. Picture courtesy US Navy

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) reported on 7 July that it is determined to put qualified Djiboutian companies first as Camp Lemonnier continues to enhance its facilities to further expand economic opportunity for the Djiboutian people.

US Congress passed legislation in 2014 to give contractual preference to qualified Djiboutian businesses that provide goods and services to Camp Lemonnier. By passing legislation and creating a law which directly benefits businesses, the United States is showing its commitment to be a long-term partner with the people of Djibouti.

On 2 June, NAVFAC Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia (EURAFSWA) awarded the first construction contract under the Djibouti First initiative. This contract was awarded to Nalco Construction Company, a qualified Djiboutian-owned company, to renovate the Building 213 conference room. Here the project will include demolition and replacement of existing light fixtures, floor, ceiling, and door. It will also include interior painting and adding new furniture to the facility. Work is estimated to be complete by the autumn.

While demonstrating the US and Djiboutian international partnership this project will further enhance the US military forces' ability to accomplish their mission on the African continent.

Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the only US shore-base in Africa, provides, operates and sustains superior service in support of combat readiness along with security of ships and aircraft detachments and personnel for regional and combat command requirements. These activities enable operations for the Horn of Africa while fostering positive US-African nation relations. Camp Lemonnier enables the forward operations and responsiveness of US and Allied forces in support of Navy Region EURAFSWA's mission to provide services to the Fleet, Fighter, and Family.

Paul Ridgway

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Request a Rate Card frominfo@ports.co.za


Port Louis 470
Port Louis - Indian Ocean 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.

You can access this information, including the list of ports covered, by going HERE remember to use your BACKSPACE to return to this page.

News continues below

QM2 in Cape Town. Picture by Ian Shiffman

We publish news about the cruise industry here in the general news section, but this is also available in a dedicated Cruise News section. This section will include various stories and news not covered in the general news so if you have an interest in this sector don't forget to check regularly on our CRUISE NEWS page.

This you will find here in CRUISE NEWS & REVIEWS

Naval News
SA Navy 480

Similarly you can read our regular Naval News reports and stories which also have their own dedicated section, although some stories may be duplicated in the general news section.

Find the Naval Review section HERE

Remember to use your backspace key to return to this page.


NORD MISSISSIPPI 20160710_114032 480

The bulk carrier NORD MISSISSIPPI (60,456-dwt, built 2015) made it own little bit of local history by becoming the first ship on the reconstruced berth 1 at Durban's Maydon Wharf last week, when she arrived from Mexico via East London to discharge a cargo of maize. The Dutch and Japanese-owned (registered and beneficial), Belgian-managed bulker is due to sail later this week, having arrived at the 'Wharf' almost 110 years after the first ship, the tramp steamer ss ILLERTON, made first use of the then under construction Maydon Wharf on 5 October 1906, thus opening a new and fascinating chapter in the history of Durban Bay and the Congella district. Illerton's cargo consisted of 6,600 tons of timber for the well-known timber merchant, Hunt, Leuchars & Hepburn but her arrival heralded the greater use of the western end of Durban Bay for a wide variety of cargoes from sugar to oils and dry bulk commodities and even nowadays the ubiquitous container. This timely picture is by Ken Malcolm


PRIMA transfer tanker DSC_2493r 480
Yesterday's picture and report of the transfer tanker PRIMA (7518-dwt, built 2010) refers. We are advised that this vessel is not engaged with ship-to-ship transfers at Richards Bay or anywhere else on the South African coast, but has been chartered to deliver oil products between Durban and Richards Bay, and occasionally to other ports. The ship has recently made two calls at Toamasina in Madagascar and may also call at Mozambique ports while her recent history has seen her operating between Durban and Richards Bay. This picture is by Ken Malcolm


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