MV Northern Valence bearing containerized cargo arrived at the port of Mombasa on its maiden call to a special welcome ceremony organized by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).
The vessel deployed by Hapag-Lloyd which is a German based shipping company and which is among the top ten shipping lines in the world in terms of volume made its maiden voyage at the Port of Mombasa on Saturday.
With the maiden call, Hapag Lloyd was launching its new service known as East Africa 3 that will be connecting the east African region to leading ports in the Far East.
With direct connections between ports in the Far East such as Malaysia, Singapore and China, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, the shipping line has now joined other world top 10 container shipping companies that dock at the Port of Mombasa.
Some of the leading shipping companies that ply the port of Mombasa include Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA-CGM, China Ocean Shipping Company and Evergreen.
The container volumes carried by the new line are expected to progressively increase over the next few months which will be a boon to the Port of Mombasa driving business growth.
Eng. Evans Akunava was on site to receive the vessel on behalf of the Acting Managing Director Eng. Rashid Salim and presented a certificate of first call to the ship’s Captain Stefan Predota.
“The new service line-East Africa 3to the East African region and particularly our port is a testament of the confidence the Hapag Lloyd and other shipping lines have in the port of Mombasa” noted Eng. Salim in a statement.
The KPA MD asked the shipping lines to use the just operationalized port of Lamu which he noted is very ideal for transshipment cargo into the Indian Ocean islands due to its strategic geographical location.
Hapag Lloyd country representative Prashant Sindhwani said they were excited to launch the East Africa and the Far East express service line.
Sindhwani said the new East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times for better connectivity between Asia and East Africa.
East Africa Service 2 (EAS2) connects the East African region with the west coast of India and Jebel Ali in Dubai.
Hapag-Lloyd entered the Sub-Sahara African market about 13 years ago and has seen steady and significant growth in transported volumes to and from Africa since then.
Sindhwani said the EAS3 will offer connections to Hapag-Lloyd’s global network via the hub ports of Singapore, Port Klang in Malaysia and Shanghai in China.
He said the introduction of the new service provides a new channel for the giant company to transport cargoes to the East African region from the economies of the Far East.
“The MV Northern Valence has set sail from Port Klang which is the main gateway by sea into Malaysia and passing through Mombasa before proceeding into the neighboring port of Dar es Salaam” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the crew, Captain Predota noted that it was an honour for his company to be serving the Port of Mombasa and East Africa, adding that they were keen on exceeding the region’s expectations in the shipping industry.
By Hussein Abdullahi