Geneva, Switzerland-based Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has officially announced its roll on-roll off (RORO) service for West African routes, the Handy Shipping Guide reports. Dubbed as the RORO West Africa Service, it will cover services from “rolling, project and break bulk cargo.” It complements the company’s current roster of container services offered in its portfolio.
Once the service takes off, it will deploy 2 of its resident vessels, namely the MSC Cristiana and the MSC Immacolata. The vessels will take the fortnightly roundtrip route starting and ending at Le Havre. The ports and terminals where the vessels will dock are in Antwerp in Belgium, Dakar in Senegal, Conakry in Guinea and Abidjan in the Ivory Coast in that order.
RORO ships are designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as automobiles or trailers. Services will not be limited to wheeling cargo to the ships though. Said service is seen to be flexible enough to cover out-of-gauge and break bulk cargo. It will involve large pieces expected to be heavier than other items usually shipped through RORO. Other applicable items for shipping are equipment too heavy for other container shipping services to handle critical in the stakeholders’ business operations.
The RORO announcement served as a major boost to MSC’s business operations in this side of the African continent. MSC was last seen in the region upon attending the Multimodal West Africa Conference. Held in Lagos, Nigeria, MSC participated in discussing integrating logistics services in connection to land and ocean transportation.
MSC took part in this conference in hopes of connecting sea freight services from West Africa to Europe. With MSC operating in West Africa since 1971, it has established port terminal operations in warehousing, storage facilities and road-based freight haulage apart from regional feeder vessels through their sister company, Medlog Shipping and Trading Inc (MEDLOG).
The exposure also helped MSC explored better supply chain solutions in line with its roster of services about to launch and operate in the coming year.
The RORO service will be officially operational by Feb. 19, with its starting point at Le Havre, France. This will secure MSC’s foothold in the region as it explores other opportunities present in the constantly evolving container-based freight forwarding industry.
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