Friday, September 30, 2011

Container Company Bid To Increase African Freight Trade

Safmarine Adds Ports of Call to Established Service
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – ASIA – Container carrier Safmarine has added the ports of Beira in Mozambique and Toamasina in Madagascar to its weekly shipping service between Southern Africa and Asia. The box carrier believes the additions to its ‘Safari 3’ service will help boost freight trade between the two continents. Alan Mileham, Safmarine’s Far East – South Africa Trade Manager commented:

“Until now the majority of eastbound cargo shipped from central and northern Mozambique and neighbouring countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi) via Beira has had to move via feeder vessel to Durban, from where it was shipped on the Safari 1 service to the Far East. By adding a direct call at Beira and an export Toamasina call on Safari 3, cargo from these regions can now move directly through local ports to the Far East, allowing for quicker access to markets and added convenience for shippers.

“In recent years we’ve seen volumes of cargo shipped via Beira grow by more than 30% per annum. The growth can, in part, be largely attributed to the increased demand in the Far East for southern African agricultural products and minerals, as well as infrastructural and commercial investments in countries such as Zambia.”

Mileham says the upgraded service, run in conjunction with sister company Maersk Line, has required the installation of an extra vessel and is in response to customer demand. He says that it will benefit the agricultural commodity as well as mining interests and that, as from October, all Safmarine’s Beira imports/export freight consignments will move via Safari 3 with the following port rotation:

Tanjung Pelepas - Port Louis - Port Reunion – Toamasina - Maputo - Beira- Toamasina - Tanjung Pelepas.

Photo: Toamasina, Madagascar’s most important port.