THE Port of Hamburg is reporting something of a mini-boom in west African trade with the arrival of first vessel from Turkish Arkas Line this week.
The 1,604-TEU Wanda A is deployed in the West Africa Express Service (WAX) operated by Arkas and Hapag-Lloyd and docks at HHLA Container Terminal Altenwerder.
Since December Arkas has already been booking slots on Hapag-Lloyd's WAX service. The demand is running so well that now, with the Wanda A, one of Arkas' own ships is being taken into the service.
The weekly liner service operates from Hamburg via Algeciras, Dakar, Lagos/Apapa, Tincan Island, Tema, Abidjan and Tangiers and then back via Antwerp to Hamburg.
Hapag-Lloyd deploys five 1,700-TEU vessels in the service. With the Wanda A, for the first time an additional ship from slot partner Arkas is being introduced into WAX, meaning that with immediate effect six vessels are sailing in this service.
Arkas is represented in Germany by shipping agent Peter W Lampke (PWL).
The Wanda A is 178 metres long, 24.5 metres wide, can carry 1,604 TEU with a draft of nine metres. Three Liebherr SWL cranes are installed with a cargo capacity of 45 tons, so that in addition to containers and reefer cargo out of gauge cargo can be loaded.
Since 2009 quantities moved between Germany and West Africa have more than doubled reaching to 330,000 TEU in 2015. The driving force here was above all the North Africa services.
More than half of Africa's imports and exports to/from Hamburg are handled via North African ports. With the west coast of Africa, 59,000 TEU were handled via Hamburg in 2015, representing a drop of 21 per cent compared to the previous year.
The reduction, however, is mainly related to empty container moves, with the number of loaded containers remaining stable.
Source : HKSG.