Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vehicles Help Drive South African Export Freight Future

Giant Vessel Makes Inaugural Trip
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – Our photograph shows the 232 metre long MV Tijuca manoeuvring in the port of East London yesterday, laden with a consignment of luxury vehicles for the South African market, the largest car carrier ever to enter the port. The vessel is on its maiden voyage to the country with ports of call including Port Elizabeth and Durban. In East London the 13 deck ship took advantage of a recent expansion project which saw the berth at the car terminal deepened from 9.3 to 10.5 metres to accommodate larger freight vessels.

Operated by Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, the Tijuca has a design capacity of up to 8,000 units of rolling cargo such as cars, high and heavy lift cargo and some break bulk freight. She is 71,673 gross tonnes with a breadth of 32.26 metres and a summer draught of 11.3 metres when fully laden.

The ship also boasts a ‘green Passport’, issued by Lloyds Register according to the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) guidelines which is warranted by the use of the latest technology which ensures it operates in an environmentally efficient manner especially with low greenhouse gas emissions.

Transnet’s East London Port Manager, Jacqueline Brown, said the vessel’s call highlighted the positive outlook in the new vehicles market. This was driven by the awarding of major automotive contracts to local original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s), such as Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA) contract with Daimler AG to produce the next generation C-Class at its East London plant. Said Brown:

“Last week we saw MBSA export its largest new generation consignment of 3,168 locally built C-Class cars destined for the United States, and this week the port welcomes its largest carrier. These developments certainly point to the strategic importance of the automotive sector for this region, and the importance of this port in the overall logistics plan for South Africa.”