MSC unveils new flexible cargo service

Tuesday April 7 2020

Coronavirus kenya

Vehicle carrier Morning Magareta arrives at the Port of Mombasa on March 14, 2020. Kenya Ports Authority expects a further reduction in the number of vessels, especially from China. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG 

ANTHONY KITIMO
By ANTHONY KITIMO
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The Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has unveiled a Suspension of Transit (SOT) programme, to fast-track the resumption of the supply chain from Asia in the immediate post-coronavirus pandemic.
A statement from the company says that the flexible cargo service includes container yard storage in six transshipment hubs across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the Americas to ensure that goods can be shipped from close to their destinations and provide easier cargo flow for customers.
The transshipment hubs are yards in Bremerhaven in Germany, Busan in South Korea, King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia, Lome in Togo, Rodman PSA Panama International Terminal in Panama, and Tekirdag Asyaport in Turkey.
Beneficial
The service will be beneficial to importers and exporters who have already raised the red flag on lack of containers due to controlled movement in the region as the pandemic spreads.
The region’s logistics sector is worried that containers were yet to be returned to shippers due to cancellation of vessels calling at the port of Mombasa.
"While positive signs of recovery have begun to emerge in Asia and factories have restarted production, major ports of destination may still not be ready to discharge containers. MSC’s new SOT programme aims to fulfil the resuming demand for raw materials and finished products from Asia by providing yard storage at major strategic points around the world," MSC said.
The programme is aimed at all shippers for containers from Asia and all types of cargo, except refrigerated cargo, dangerous goods and project cargo (such as large, out-of-gauge pieces of heavy equipment that do not normally fit into containers). More than 48 per cent of East Africa’s total imports are from Asia and the Middle East.

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