Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Multi-Purpose Ocean Freight Carrier Expects Growth in African Market

Future Looks Bright for Domestic Trade Throughout the Continent According to Local Shipping Line
Shipping News Feature

AFRICA – Shipping line SafmarineMPV, an independently run AP Moller Maersk subsidiary company headquartered in Belgium, and which runs a fleet of multi-purpose vessels trading in the African markets, expects its freight trade between South Africa and West Africa to grow in 2015 as South African companies strengthen their foothold in the West African market and become more globally competitive.

The company has recently shipped eleven rail wagons for South African based Dominex, which earlier this year was awarded a tender to supply Angola’s major railway line, Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) with the equipment following the successful supply of two train ‘sets’ to the same company in 2011. The rail wagons were destined for the link between the port of Lobito and the eastern border town of Luau in Moxico province, where a new international airport is under construction.

This was the first time Dominex and their freight forwarder, Mentor Freight Services, had shipped with Belgian-based shipping line SafmarineMPV and Dominex’s Kirk Christodoulakis commented:

“Having access to a reliable and frequent shipping service, such as SafmarineMPV’s SAFWAF service, makes it possible for companies such as Dominex to take advantage of the significant business opportunities in West Africa. Angola is rebuilding and upgrading the railway infrastructure for the future, responding in particular to the demand from the emerging and growing middle-class for more executive rail transportation and accommodation.

“The CFB is a very important and strategic Angolan rail network, not only because it provides access to the inner part of the country but, more importantly, because it links to the copper belts of Katanga province, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.”

SafmarineMPV ‘s SAFWAF service currently calls Durban, Cape Town, Walvis Bay, Sonils, Pointe Noire, Matadi and Port Gentil under the management of the company’s two South African offices. According to James Lewer, MPV’s Owner’s Representative in Cape Town, things are looking bright for the sector. He observed:

“South African companies such as Gauteng-based Dominex, which provides infrastructure parts and manufactured goods to railway and mining companies in Africa, have seemingly proven their competitiveness globally as well as their ability to respond to West Africa’s needs for goods and services.

“Intra-Africa trade of value-added, manufactured goods has grown faster than African exports to the rest of the world, according to a recent Economic Outlook Report published by the African Development Bank, OECD Development Centre and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).”

Photo: An executive rail coach is loaded onto the Safmarine Longa under the watchful eye of SafmarineMPV staff and crew