Anglo American has renewed its various ocean freight contracts with Vuka Marine, a joint venture between Via Maritime Holdings of South Africa and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha of Japan.
Under these freight contracts, Anglo American transports bulk iron ore and coal products to its customers around the world.
Vuka Marine operates two cape size bulkers: the Cape Enterprise and the Cape Orchid, the first merchant vessels to be registered under the South African flag since 1985.
Signalling a clear commitment to youth empowerment, Vuka Marine has committed to deploy and train local cadets on these vessels.
“Over the past two and half years, our partnership with Vuka Marine has allowed us to create additional value through our commercial shipping activity," comments CEO of marketing for Anglo American Peter Whitcutt.
"This partnership currently accounts for approximately $30 million in annual freight spend and not only makes good commercial sense, but also provides us with an opportunity to contribute towards developing South Africa’s maritime industry.
“In addition, the training and development of 25 South African seafarers aboard the Cape
Orchid and Cape Enterprise, in an industry that has essentially not existed in South Africa in recent years, is a very positive and uplifting outcome.
"This can now be repeated on-board while also creating employment opportunities on-shore,” he adds.
As the Cape Orchid’s first customer in 2015, and through chartering other South African flagged ships, Anglo American is committed to contributing towards the revival of the country’s presence in the global maritime economy, a sector in which South Africa’s participation had been declining for many years.
“The ocean economy remains an untapped sector for economic growth in South Africa," comments chairman of Vuka Marine Andrew Mthembu.
"We are proud of what we’ve been able to achieve through our partnership with Anglo American and look forward to delivering more value through this partnership," he notes.
Whitcutt highlights that the partnership with Vuka Marine has contributed to Anglo American’s competitiveness.
“We are in a very competitive international environment and we must manage our costs and commercial terms to ensure we remain competitive," comments Whitcutt.
"By chartering South African-registered vessels we are creating real value over and above commercial returns," he adds.
Anglo American has partnered with Vuka Marine since 2015 to transport iron ore, as well as coal, on the Cape Orchid and South African sister ship, the Cape Enterprise.
Although the two vessels carry mainly South African cargo, they are also traded globally by Anglo American’s shipping team, which has accountability for Anglo American’s ocean freight activity.
Using ships such as the Cape Orchid and Cape Enterprise enables Anglo American to take advantage of the competitive structure that exists for vessels entering the country under the South African registry.
The direct effect of attracting more ships into the South African registry includes tangible job growth and development in the local maritime economy.