Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Peak Season Surcharge
Peak Season Surcharges (PSS) have been added to cargo destined for the Cameroonian port of Douala.
PSS applies on cargo from all European and Mediterranean ports and applies to dry, cargo, reefer cargo, OOG and Breakbulk cargo. The rates are understood to be:
20 foot $85.00 / £70.00 / €75.00
40 foot $170.00 / £140 / £150.00
20 foot reefer $85.00 / £70.00 / €75.00
40 Foot reefer $170.00 / £140 / £150.00
This is effective from 1 November until further notice.
Armed Guards for Douala Anchorage
Port authorities at the Port of Douala have introduced armed guards to go on board vessels at anchor outside the port. This is a result of a number of attacks on ships at anchor in the Douala anchorage.
According to the port authority three armed guards will be provided on board each ship for the entire period the vessel is at anchor. They will only leave the ship once it has docked alongside the Doula berth.
This service is being provided free of charge and replaces an earlier system that allowed armed guards to be secured for ships waiting at anchor. However that system required the authorisation of the Ministry of Defence and the Presidency of the Republic, which was slow to arrange and seldom successful as a result.
Africa PORTS & SHIPS has reported on the various attacks by armed pirates on ships waiting in the anchorage, in which a number of crew have been abducted for ransoming.
In the most recent of attacks which were reported it required six weeks of negotiation before the eight crewmembers of the Marconsult Schiffahrt’s general cargo vessel, Marmalaita (IMO 9217151), were released by their captors.
This was the third reported attack on a ship outside Douala this year.
(Reproduced with grateful thanks and by kind permission of www.africaports.co.za )
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).