MOL, Evergreen Line and Cosco are launching a weekly direct service from Asia to West Africa, branded the WA1, to meet the increasingly diverse commercial requirements in Africa.
Meanwhile, the French shipping giant CMA CGM is continuing to flex its muscles in the West Africa trades by adding capacity to its ASAF service by deploying 12 containerships of 5,700 TEU.
In so doing, it has become the first carrier to use ships of this size to call directly at West Africa ports.
The joint MOL, Evergreen Line and Cosco WA1 service operated with 12 vessels has commenced from Shanghai since June 2. Six of the ships are provided by MOL, four by Evergreen Line and two by Cosco.
The port rotation for the WA1 service is Shanghai (Mon-Mon), Ningbo (Tues/Wed), Hong Kong (Fri/Fri), Guangzhou-Nansha (Sat/Sat), Singapore (Thurs/Thurs), Lagos Apapa (Mon/Thurs), Tema (Fri/Mon), Lome (Mon/Fri), Abidjan (Sun/Wed), Singapore (Mon/Mon) and back to, Shanghai (Mon/Mon).
Its launch coincided with the arrival of the first ship operated on the ASAF service at Walvis Bay, Namibia on May 9, which reached Pointe Noire in Congo on May 14 and Luanda, Angola on May 17.
This comes as the CMA CGM has been ramping up its presence on the continent since the beginning of the year, acquiring a 25 per cent stake in Nigeria's Lekki Terminal.
The group launched two new services during this period, including a feeder to Mozambique ports; and the Noura Express, a new service linking the world with Somalia through its hub in Khor Fakkan.
It also opened two new offices in Mauritania, in Nouakchott and Nouadibhou; and opened a new office in Maputo, Mozambique, as well as two new offices in Madagascar, in Tulear and Antsiranana, bringing the number of offices in Madagascar to eight.
Additionally, CMA CGM has upgraded its east coast South America-West Africa SAMWAF service.
The world's third largest carrier has announced an upgrade on its SAMWAF service with direct calls at South America east coast and West African ports from the end of May.
The upgrade will bring to the service larger vessels and add two new calls in Lome in Togo and Rio in Brazil.
The new structure offers a wide range of connection opportunities through local feeders, barges and transshipment to:
Montevideo and Asuncion via Itaja and Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and other African destinations are available via its Lome hub.
Inland transport is also provided by integrated intermodal solutions, being the SAMWAF service the gateway to connect the Brazilian and African markets.
The new service configurations are settled in two stages:
Phase 1: From the end of May to August: CMA CGM shares allocation on 2,500 TEU NileDutch vessels.
Phase 2: From August: CMA CGM Group and NileDutch will enter into vessel sharing agreement. Four 4,250-TEUers will be operated, of which two will be from CMA CGM and two fron NileDutch.
The service, that provides bi-monthly departures, will rotate through Buenos Aires, Rio Grande, Itaja Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Lome, Pointe Noire, Luanda and back to Buenos Aires.
Source : HKSG.