Hapag-Lloyd has opened an office in Tema, Ghana and will be represented at the local level by its own customer service staff, effective immediately.
"Africa is strongly developing just now. To benefit from this growth, it's important for us to strengthen our presence in Ghana with our own office - and to get even closer to our local customers," said Lars Christiansen, senior managing director of Hapag-Lloyd Middle East region.
According to Hapag-Lloyd, West Africa has recorded significant growth in the last two years, with gross domestic product (GDP) rising by six percent on average. At the end of last year the company launched two services - the West Africa Express (WAX) and the Mediterranean West Africa Express (MWX) - to serve the growing markets in the region.
Tema is a port of call of both services and Hapag-Lloyd expects the port will become more important following the completion of a major port-expansion project in mid-2019 which will boost capacity from one million to three million teu.
Steen Morch Petersen, managing director Ghana, is heading the new office with 26 staff members. He previously worked for OMA Group, a shipping agency specialised in West African trade. He will be supported by Pregasan Pather who has moved from Hapag-Lloyd´s Durban office to Ghana as cluster operations director.
In addition to its expansion in West Africa, Hapag-Lloyd has increased its connectivity to the East Africa region with its East Africa Service (EAS).
Starting in April, the liner shipping company will be calling at the ports of Mombasa (Kenya) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) for the first time, before connecting to Hapag-Lloyd's existing global network via Jeddah, as HLPFI reported here.