Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Damco Logistics Opens Up Its Southern African Freight Potential

New Maputo Office for Jo’berg and Gauteng Markets
Shipping News Feature

MOZAMBIQUE – Damco, the new brand for the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group's logistics activities, is to open a new office in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, on the 15th of December. The new office will expand the company’s potential freight market in coordination with its existing office at the port of Beira from which it already runs services to Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Christian Roeder, Damco’s Mozambique Country Manager, explained that: “Beira is mainly serviced through feeder vessels via Durban (draft restrictions prevents larger vessels from calling at Beira) and this generally implies longer transit times. We made a conscious decision to improve on this, ensuring that customers can both source and export directly through Maputo.

“This increases the options, especially for mining companies by offering inland transport solutions and stuffing services in Maputo. The port has recently experienced an increasing number of shipping lines offering direct calls from the Far East, making it a great time for this expansion.”

By setting up at Maputo, Damco can now offer services along the ‘Maputo corridor’ which serves parts of South Africa, such as Mpumalanga, Gauteng (Johannesburg), and Limpopo Province, giving direct access to one of the most highly industrialized regions in Sub-Saharan Africa.

As well as this, Maputo is also a cost-effective alternative to Durban and Beira for parts of the land-locked countries of Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Swaziland. Damco believes this will put them in a strong position to compete in the south-east African freight market and stretching their capabilities further into the interior. The company projects that the new office and services will increase their volumes through Mozambique by 20% next year.

Nils Havsager, head of Damco in Africa, says that: “By opening up Damco operations in Maputo, we will be able to offer a superior service to those countries around Southern Mozambique as well as within the capital city itself.”

He added that: “We expect this to benefit both existing and potential customers in the region, and re-affirms Damco's commitment to Africa”.