MPS Terminal 3 selected as a key port in a newly-upgraded service to West Africa

Meridian Port Services Limited, MPS Terminal 3, has been selected as a key port in a newly upgraded service to West Africa being pioneered by the French Shipping Giant, CMA CGM (SAMWAF).

The SAMWAF Service will establish a direct link between Brazil, South America and West Africa with Durban, Cape Town and Luanda in the loop. The service is expected to discharge and load both gateway and transhipment volumes.

By this, Tema Port has been chosen to be a transhipment hub extending the connectivity of Tema’s Terminal 3 with the South American trade to Benin and Nigeria (Cotonou and Lagos).

7 vessels have been put on route for the SAMWAF Service with 5 from CMA-CGM and 2 From Nile Dutch Service. The operated 7 vessels have a TEU capacity in the range of 3,500 with Length Over All (LOA) between 220m and 240m, Beam 32m to 35m and maximum draft of 12m to 12.5m. Meanwhile, the expected volume per vessel call at MPS Terminal 3 is 1,100 Container Moves (about 1,600 TEUs).

The first vessel on this service is the GH LESTE with voyage 04K83E1MA which loaded in Brazil at the Ports of Paranaguá, Itajai and Santos and currently en route to the port of Durban and expected to arrive in Tema by 5th March 2021.

“This is welcoming news” said Mr Cyrille Lemee, the Deputy CEO of MPS, who explained that MPS is currently rolling out a new yard strategy that can adequately cater for the transhipment volumes that will arrive on the SAMWAF Service. Moreover, Mr Lemee revealed that to ensure greater efficiency, MPS has along with its existing infrastructure, technology and equipment also allocated a fixed Berthing Window for this service. This implies that vessels arriving under this service will be allotted a dedicated weekly Berthing Window (time-slot) where the vessels will be berthed on arrival every Friday 07:00 LT and sail away by Saturday 05:00 LT.

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Mr Mohamed Samara, CEO of MPS, further indicated that MPS is the first port to introduce the Berthing Window scheme in the sub-region and continues to effectively operate it. This guarantees berthing vessels on arrival and allocating adequate resources to handle the expected volume with high productivity levels. The Berthing Window Scheme diminished the vessels’ waiting time at anchorage to zero and faster vessel turn around, saving the liner service costs and increasing vessel utilisation among many others.

“Our tag line has since 2019 been “We Connect, You Thrive”. With this new liner service and many more that we expect to happen, MPS will continue to be a strategic partner for the development of trade and industry providing the various markets an enhanced connectivity within the region and beyond. Our hope is that this unique opportunity with CMA-CGM will be explored by the trade and industry players for maximum benefits.” Said Mr Samara, CEO of MPS.

This is not only a significant move for Ghana but also offers great benefits to the continental industry players to expedite the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agenda. Exporters and Importers from Ghana and the other African Countries can now move their goods from the point of origin to opening African markets in a more cost-effective way and shorter time.

Terminal 3 establishes reliable connectivity with several markets in East, South, Central through to West Africa with this service that covers the following Ports and Hubs: Pointe Noire, Douala, Matadi, Libreville, Cabinda, Luanda, Cape Town and Durban through to East Africa.

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Surely, Meridian Port Services Limited is on course to fulfil the quest from the onset to establish the much-needed connectivity between African Ports and the rest of the world.

The SAMWAF Service will improve the transit time to Ghana by 10 days (33 days from Santos). Tema Port will be directly connected to several ports in Brazil (Paranaguá, Itajai and Santos) as well as Durban, Cape Town, and Luanda.
Tema Port-Ghana will have direct connectivity Cotonou-Benin and Lagos-Nigeria (the biggest economy in West Africa), The SAMWAF Service is offering a direct link to the trade’s main markets in Africa and South America.
The SAMWAF Service is connecting Africa’s main trading hubs and will be extended to several other ports through transhipment. Benin and Nigeria will be offered via Tema. Moreover, the service will be offered to the following regional ports; Pointe Noire, Douala, Matadi, Libreville and Cabinda.

By Josephine Antwi-Adjei||Ghana