Monday, October 3, 2016

Snippets of Freight and Logistics News from Around the World Today

Some Smaller Items Telling What Those in the Industry are Up To
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has commenced a multi-million rand port infrastructure rehabilitation project at the small domestic seaport of Port Nolloth on the north-western coast of South Africa. The project is aimed at improving infrastructure for offshore activities and forms part of efforts to develop the country’s marine transport and manufacturing industry in line with the South African government’s Operation Phakisa initiative. The primary Transnet infrastructure at Port Nolloth consists of an L-shaped concrete deck on pile jetty which includes a landing quay with a length of approximately 67 metres and a useable area of 1450 m2.

The scope of TNPA’s work includes refurbishment of the jetty structure, refurbishment or replacement of concrete where required, refurbishment of quay infrastructure and replacement of quayside fender systems by TNPA and De Beers. TNPA would also be undertaking revetment works to address erosion of the shore line. The port was founded in the late 1800s as an export facility for copper from mines located in the Springbok area. This activity ceased in the 1940’s and the port has since acted mainly as a support facility to the fishing and offshore mining industries.

Port Nolloth has operated under a 10 year lease agreement to De Beers Group Services which has used it as an offshore supply base for conducting diamond prospecting activity in Namibia. Smit Amandla supply vessels are stationed in Port Nolloth and are used for transferring supplies to De Beers’ offshore prospecting vessels and, in line with Transnet’s Supplier Development requirements, 25% of the contract value would be invested into local companies, predominantly owned by black women and youths.

US – INDIA – CaroTrans, the US headquartered NVOCC and ocean cargo consolidator, and a subsidiary of New Zealand logistics outfit Mainfreight, has launched a new direct, weekly LCL service from Atlanta to Nhava Sheva, India which it says will address increased demand from the US Southeast and Gulf regions.

Following the transit, 33 days from the Southeast and 38 from the Gulf, the cargo will be handled and deconsolidated by CaroTrans' dedicated partner, Globelink WW India, which can provide full India market penetration serviced from 15+ inland container depots. Together, CaroTrans and Globelink offer 10 weekly, LCL import/export services between the US and India.

AFRICA – UAE – Few freight sector bosses seem to get around as much as Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman and CEO, and Chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (FZE). In the past week he has visited a number of African countries, notably Nigeria, where he met with Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State and discussed ways to develop logistics services and to increase their efficiency and use. He commented:

“In countries such as Nigeria and others across the continent senior officials expressed a genuine determination to overcome obstacles to economic development, especially the inability of infrastructure to keep pace with the strong growth on the continent in the past few years. We expressed our readiness to support the efforts being made to develop ports and logistics centres, based on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to promote the international role of the UAE and Dubai in developing the global economy.”

Mr Bin Sulayem noted that the quality of infrastructure represents a major hurdle for the integration of African trade with the global economy, as highlighted in a report commissioned by DP World from the Economist Intelligence Unit which we wrote of last year. The report noted that the continent’s ports do not play a significant role in international marine shipping and that port vessel turnaround times lag behind other markets.

Other modes of transport such as rail also need encouraging given Africa’s size. The report, ‘Africa At The Crossroads: Bridging The Infrastructure Gap’, concluded that growth in Africa brings new challenges and that a range of policies from regional free trade agreements to improved Public-Private Partnership frameworks across a large number of countries are gaining momentum suggesting that the enabling environment for infrastructure development is improving.

DP World has existing operations in Senegal, Egypt, Mozambique, Djibouti, and Algeria and recently signed an agreement with the Republic of Somaliland to invest in a multi-purpose port project at Berbera. It secured a 25-year concession to develop and operate a new logistics center in Kigali, Rwanda at the beginning of 2016.

Photo: The Port Nolloth shoreline awaiting redevelopment.