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Internet Fraud is a crime in which someone will develop a scheme using one or more elements of the internet to deprive a person of property or any interest. As an increasing number of businesses and consumers rely on the internet and other forms of electronic communication, illegal activity using the very same media is on the rise. Internet fraud is EXTREMELY dangerous and damaging to certain companies, possibly making them lose thousands, if not millions.

When entering a website, it is important to do the following:

1. Double check the name of the website A lot of fraudulent websites will use a website name that will reference to a well known brand or product, such as our recent incident where the fraudulent person created a website similar to ours called, “Stela Shipping”. This wasn’t the official website but the fraudulent was trying to get our customers to use their site instead of ours, trying to make them believe that it was Stella Containers.

2. Is the offer too good to be true? On a site such as a container site, if you see containers at a ridiculously low price, you must be suspicious immediately. If the prices seem too good to be true, then sadly they most probably are. Most fraud websites will use low prices to lure in any customers who are looking for containers at a low price. This is a serious issue because most of the time, the containers they are offering at a low price are non-existent, which means that the fraudulent person will get the money but the customer will not receive any container.

3. Never pay by accounts such as PayPal If you are asked to pay for a container online via PayPal, alarm bells should be ringing immediately. If you buy something that is fake or non-existent with a credit or debit card, you at least have the rights to get your money back. If you pay with a bank transfer, you cannot do much to get your money back.

4. Browse the website Instead of rushing through the website, take a couple of minute to double check the site and visit the homepage to read the text. Read and watch out for poor English in the text. If there is bad grammar in the text, it could usually mean that the site is not genuine and was put together by someone looking to make a quick profit. You must also check that the website has contact information. Most websites should have a contact page and if they don’t, it could very well be fraudulent. If the site does have a contact page but asks for a form to be filled out, this could also be a sign that this is a fraudulent site. Any company offering containers or any other goods or services for that matter, should list a place of business as well as a phone number or email address to contact them. If you cannot access any of this information on the website, you should be very suspicious of this website.

5. Check the returns policy If the company are selling containers online, it should have a transport and returns policy listed on the website. If the company is real, it should tell you how and where to return the container. The website should also have terms and conditions and a privacy policy that will tell you exactly what it plans to do with any data you share and any extra contractual rights you have. If the website doesn’t have any of this, you must be aware.

6. Read some online reviews Look at reviews across a number of sources which aggregate customer reviews. Don’t just look at one review website—check several. You must also check the company’s social media pages for recent activity and to see what other people are posting on their social channels.

7. Can you trust a trust mark? Most people will use a site with a trust mark label or logo but with over 50 different trust mark labels and the fact that some websites won’t use them at all, they are not always a good way to judge whether a website is trustworthy or not. Just because a website appears to carry the logo of a reputable trade organization, it doesn’t mean that the website really is genuine. If in doubt, contact the trust-mark company to double check.

8. Look for a padlock Most browsers will have a green padlock next to the websites URL. This means that the website is trusted. This step should only be used in tandem with other checks just in case.

9. Be aware with how the person on the website contacts you If they contact you out of the blue, can be a sign that they are a fraudster although in some cases, companies can call their customers out of the blue for a legitimate reason. If you’re called by a company, make sure you check the identity of the caller. Ask them to give you details that only the company will know.

If you are not 100% convinced of the indemnity of the caller, hang up and contact the company directly from a different phone. Never share your personal details with anyone you can’t trust. Phishing emails or phone scammers will often try and get valuable personal data from you that they can use to steal your identity. Never proceed unless you are absolutely certain that the company is who they say they are. Any fraudster will try and hurry your decision making.

If you are asked to keep something quiet, it should be a red flag. It’s import that you can discuss any agreements with your friends, family or colleagues.

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On Sunday 20th May over 30,000 people assembled to walk from Ushaka Marine World to Moses Mabhida Stadium, which took place along Durban's spectacular beachfront. The walk was in aid of various charities and to create health awareness. It was a beautiful sunny day and a special event for all who took part.

 

 

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With an ever-increasing demand for commercial shipping knowledge, Alpha Shipping has always required all staff members to undertake studies through the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.  “The benefits are tangible” says Director Richard Brook-Hart FICS, “as the increased knowledge gives staff members the necessary confidence to give advice to clients and principals, and a fundamental understanding of the importance of ethics and professionalism”

Alpha Shipping run regular study groups and seminars for the staff.

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Byron Vather, Alpha Shipping’s Marketing Director, recently was awarded the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Foundation Diploma. With a degree in Logistics, Marketing and Business Economics, Byron has been keen to further his shipping knowledge. Building on his success he has now signed up for the Institute’s Advance Diploma.

Alpha Shipping is a strong supporter of the ICS, with a policy of placing all staff members whatever their position through the Institute Courses. Alpha Shipping currently has 15 members of staff, either studying, or who have recently passed the Understanding Shipping Course, the Foundation Diploma or Advanced Diploma. It is management policy for all employees to have an internationally recognised shipping qualification.

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The successful partnership between Alpha Shipping Agency and Rinosta Shipping Agency is a perfect example of synergy among CQR members

The routes of the shipments were from South Africa via Riga with further road and rail delivery to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The cargo had been transported from Durban and Johannesburg to Port Riga from where they were reloaded on rail platforms for being shipped to Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Astana (Kazakhstan).

 

In the words of Sergei Dubinin, Sales Manager of Rinosta Shipping Agency: “This project which has involved several transhipments ports spanning 3 continents has been a perfect proof of partnership within Conqueror. One of the most challenging parts of our project has been the delivery of the OOG cargo. The power of partnership has yielded more than sufficient results and we are looking forward to collaborating again in the near future.”

Congratulations to Alpha Shipping Agency and Rinosta Shipping Agency for their successful collaboration!

 

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Alpha Shipping is pleased to announce their latest successful candidate for the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Understanding Shipping Course. 

Rachel, who works as an Import Controller, joined Alpha Shipping in 2016, and in line with Company Policy, embarked on studying for the exam. Coincidentally during her studies, she also found time to give birth to a beautiful baby girl!

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Working in any port at night can be daunting, especially in Africa, and especially for a lady, but Natasha Moloi, Alpha Shipping’s first female vessel operator is well up to the task.

From a young age, after watching vessels entering and departing Durban harbour, Natasha knew that she wanted to pursue a shipping career. She took up Maritime Studies at school, and is now a student with the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, having already passed the Foundation Diploma.

When asked whether working in a male dominated industry was challenging, Natasha replied: “unfortunately we are still living in the world where people do not think females let alone a black woman belongs on the wharf side, where people think we are not capable of being decision makers or to take on a role of operations superintendent. Over the years, I’ve had to work as twice as hard to prove my worth. I’ve learnt that you can do anything you want to do if you believe in yourself. Sounds like a cliché but it’s true, you just have to believe in yourself.”

Recently Natasha handled the port call of Laetitia V which loaded a project cargo destined for West Africa. She said” I enjoyed being at the port, interacting with the Captain and crew onboard the vessel, problem solving and overseeing the loading of cargo. There is so much that goes into that one moment where you see the cargo being loaded onboard. That was the most exciting experience of my Maritime career thus far.”

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This week South African National Blood Service ran critically short of blood and urgently requested donors. To assist the crisis, staff members took time off to assist this worthy cause.

Less than 1% of South Africans regularly donate blood: https://sanbs.org.za

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Since inception Alpha Shipping has been a sponsor of the South African Branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Annual Prize Giving. It is has always been a company policy to place all staff members through the Institute Courses.  The benefits and rewards of this strategy are incalculable resulting in highly skilled staff aligned with a strict code of ethics and integrity.

Some of Alpha Shipping Staff Members attended the prize giving luncheon in September this year. 

Left to to Right seated: Gift Matekane, Popie Maseko, standing: Luyanda Ndlela, Richard Brook-Hart FICS (past International Chairman) and Natasha Moloi.

 

Gift receives US Certificate

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At the recent Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers South Africa Branch Prize Giving Ceremony, Ms Gift Matekane received her diploma for passing Understanding Shipping.
Gift joined Alpha Shipping two years ago and works in the Johannesburg office of Alpha Shipping, specialising in container sales and leasing. She is fluent in five languages and is presently studying Mandarin.

Gift flew down to Durban to receive the award and stated: “I was overwhelmed: it was the first time that I had been on a plane and the first time that I had seen the Indian Ocean”

Pictured above: Gift receives the Understanding Shipping Certificate from Past International Chairman of the Institute, Captain Richard Brook-Hart FICS.

About Alpha Shipping

At Alpha Shipping, we believe that ethical practices are essential in our industry. We believe in training and the pursuit of shipping knowledge for all our staff and we are committed to providing equal and fair opportunities to progress their careers. We are committed to assuring good corporate governance in the conduct of our business and we believe respect and courtesy.

Contact Us

Sales enquiries:
sales@alphashipping.co.za

Office hours:
07:30-18:30 (LC) Mon - Fri

Time zone:
+2 GMT Central African Time (CAT)

Durban

Alpha Shipping Agency (PTY) LTD
Suite 203 Cowey Park
P. Mkhize Road (Cowey Road)
Berea, Durban, 4001

TEL: +27 (0)31 207 1662
FAX: +27 (0)31 207 1639

Postal address:
Postnet Suite 334,
Private Bag X10,
Musgrave 4062
South Africa

Johannesburg

Alpha Shipping Agency (PTY) LTD
11 Sunrock Close,
Home Ideas Centre,
Sunnyroc,  Ext 2,
Germiston

TEL: +27 (0)11 450 2576
FAX: +27 (0)11 450 3044

Postal address:
P.O Box 1379, Johannesburg, 2008

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