Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Container Shipping Group Takes Stake in Terminal and Upgrades Freight Services

French Company Aims to Clear Port Congestion and Offer Improved Deliveries
Shipping News Feature

FRANCE – NIGERIA – FAR EAST – INDIAN SUBCONTINENT – News from the CMA CGM shipping group this week includes the fact that CMA Terminals, a wholly owned subsidiary, has agreed terms to purchase 25% of the Lekki International Container Terminal Services LFTZ Enterprise (LICTSLE) in Nigeria from ICTSI, the international container handling and port management operation. Together with its partners, the French container shipping group is also amending freight services on certain trade lanes.

Congestion problems in Nigerian ports are well documented and CMA CGM says this latest development adds one further major milestone that has been achieved since the signing of the sub- concession for the terminal in 2012, with LICTSLE set to clear the local bottleneck and provide regional transhipment hub for domestic trade and neighbouring countries. With a straight-line quay of 1200 metres and 66 hectares of open yard, this modern facility, which is expected to be fully operational in 2017, will provide the market with an annual handling capacity of 2.5 million TEU.

The terminal, which lies within the Lagos Free Trade Zone, is designed to allow for further capacity growth exceeding the initial 2.5 million TEU and the advantageous location, 60 km east of metropolitan Lagos, is set to include state-of-the-art facilities including fourteen Post-Panamax cranes. Farid Salem, CMA CGM Group Executive Officer, said the move gave the French group a larger presence in a continuously developing country and Mr Floe, ICTSI Senior Vice President responsible for the Africa Region, added:

“The involvement of the CMA CGM Group shows the interest in West Africa and the confidence there is in the Nigerian market with the product we provide as we will strive to become supplier of choice in West Africa as the principal transhipment hub giving our customers a sustainable competitive advantage in the market range.”

Elsewhere, CMA CGM announced a new cooperation set up with current partner Maersk Line, APL and OOCL on 3 existing Far East to Indian Subcontinent services (CIMEX 2/FM3, CIX, CIX3) to begin from February 2014. In a Slot Sharing Agreement that also includes partners as Emirates Shipping Line, Hamburg Süd and Regional Container Lines, 18 vessels with a total capacity of about 17,500 TEU’s will be deployed on the 3 Far East-Indian Subcontinent services.

This enhanced network will enable the Group to offer 3 sailings per week - covering Korea, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan - compared to 1 weekly sailing that is currently offered by each liner. The multi-carrier cooperation will provide more frequent sailings between Asia’s major hubs, and will definitely minimise routes duplication on this trade. CMA CGM says the enhanced Far East-Indian Subcontinent services with improved operational efficiency and a more consistent service set up, will enable the Group to offer fast transit times with flexible and competitive options.

CIMEX 2 services will be upgraded as follows:

CIMEX 2-N ('North Loop' to be operated by CMA CGM and Maersk Line)

Tianjin – Dalian – Qingdao – Kwangyang – Busan – Ningbo – Hong Kong – Singapore – Tanjung Pelepas – Colombo – Pipavav – Nhava Sheva – Port Qasim – Singapore – Tianjin

CIMEX 2-C ('Central Loop' to be operated by Hamburg Süd, OOCL and Regional Container Lines)

Shanghai – Ningbo – Xiamen – Hong Kong – Singapore – Colombo – Nhava Sheva – Pipavav – Port Kelang – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai

CIMEX 2-S ('South Loop' to be operated by APL, Emirates Shipping Line and OOCL)

Nansha – Chiwan – Hong Kong – Singapore – Colombo – Nhava Sheva – Pipavav –Colombo – Port Kelang – Singapore – Nansha

Photo: At 16,500 hectares Lekki is the largest Free Trade Zone in all West Africa.