Heavylift / Breakbulk

  • The rail wagons on their way to Lobito.

12.12.2014 By: Antje Veregge

Artikel Nummer: 8528

South to Southwest Africa

The volume of high-value goods in intra-African trade is growing. Safmarine MPV, a specialist project cargo operator to West Africa, has gathered the requisite experience in this trade. The line is also equipped to transport breakbulk cargo.

Shipping lines deploying multipurpose vessels in the trade between South ­Africa and the rest of the continent can expect their business to grow in 2015, according to the container and breakbulk operator ­Safmarine MPV, which is based in Belgium. The line said that the root cause for this optimism lies in the fact that South African companies are strengthening their footholds in many African markets. James Lewer, Safmarine MPV’s manager for the South Africa–­West Africa trade, underlined this assertion by pointing out that «a recent economic outlook report, published by the African Development Bank, the OECD Development Centre and the United Nations Development Programme, has ascertained that the intra-­African trade of manufactured goods has grown faster recently than ­African exports to the rest of the world.»


South African firms such as Dominex, based in the northern province of Gau­teng, would appear to have proven their ability to respond to Africa’s needs for goods and services, according to Lewer. Dominex successfully sells infrastructure parts and manufactured goods to railway and mining companies in West Africa.


Earlier this year, following a global tender process, Dominex was awarded a contract to supply Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB), a major Angolan railway line, with eleven railcars. Caminho de Ferro de Benguela links the port of Lobito to the eastern town of Luau in Moxico province, on the border to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A new international airport is under construction there.


Expanding the railways

«Angola is upgrading its railway infrastructure,» according to Dominex sales engineer Nico Christodoulakis. «The emerging and rapidly-growing middle class, in particular, are demanding more rail transport options.» The CFB is additionally of great strategic importance to Angola because it links the copperbelts in the country’s Katanga province, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zambia. Reliable services are key to these industries’ success. Dominex already deli­vered two train sets to CFB in 2011.


To complete the Caminho de Ferro de Benguela task Dominex, and its forwarding provider ­Mentor Freight Services, called on ­Safmarine MPV for the first time. A team of experts from Safmarine was on hand to look after the entire loading ­process. «We appointed a crew made up of ­in-house and third-­party experts in rigging, lashing, handling and stowing, in order to ensure that the coaches arrived safely in Lobito,» Lewer closed.    


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