The first sailing of MUSAFIR EXPRESS arrived in Mogadishu on 29th December. Somalia has endured a succession of civil wars and lack of government since 1992, but the situation has slowly improved in recent years.
It has been reported in Somalia that the port, which has been operated by Turkey’s Albayrak Group since October 2014, handled 12% more in 2017 than in 2016, with 15% rises expected for 2018 and 2019, but no figures on volumes have been released.
Maersk said that it has a Somali partner - which it did not name - which would be able to offer logistics solutions within Somalia. Given that the government controls only Mogadishu and limited other parts of the country, with Islamist group Al Shabab holding much of the remainder, any logistics operations will be limited and will face security challenges.
In a statement, Mogadishu Port Administration said that the commencement of the service was “testament to the growing economic opportunity of our country and clear demonstration of world interest in doing business with Somalia. It is hoped that it will encourage companies such as Evergreen, China Shipping Line and others to call on Mogadishu port in near future. The company joins other international partners already operating at Mogadishu port such as MSC and CMA-CGM.”
The port authority also welcomed the expected impact of greater competition at the port in reducing prices.