Hamburg-based Hapag-Lloyd is making further moves to bolster its operating presence in Africa.
In late April a new weekly service using seven ships with the capacity to load 2,800 TEU will be launched between Asia and East Africa. This latest move follows the announcement last month that Hapag-Lloyd was to buy Nile Dutch Africa Line and comments made by Rolf Habben-Jansen at the company’s annual results press conference that Hapag-Lloyd needed to establish a bigger presence on the continent to cater for above average rates of growth expected over the next five years.
The new EAS 3 service will offer direct calls at Shanghai, Ningbo, Nansha, Singapore, Port Klang, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Port Klang, Singapore and return to Shanghai. It is understood that Hapag-Lloyd will use Port Klang, Singapore and Shanghai as relay centres for the new service so that cargo moving to/from East Africa can seamlessly be connected with Hapag-Lloyd’s global liner network.
Commenting on the start of the new link, Dheeraj Bhatia, senior managing director of the Middle East region at Hapag-Lloyd, said: “We have been steadily expanding our business in East Africa in recent years as part of our strategic focus on selected growth markets worldwide. This service will create a new option for our customers and help us to forge even stronger connections between this flourishing region and the rest of the world.”
The new service is being operated jointly with Ocean Network Express (ONE), which is Hapag-Lloyd’s partner in THE Alliance, and Gold Star Line (GSL). Hapag-Lloyd and ONE will each provide two ships for the operation with GSL assigning three units.
Currently, Hapag-Lloyd offers two links between Asia and East Africa, with the China Kenya Express Service focused on Kenya and the ports of Singapore and Shanghai, and the EAS 2 service linking Kenya with the hub port of Jebel Ali and ports along the western seaboard of India.