November 24 - Regional shipping specialist, Safmarine, says its investment in six new multi-purpose vessels (MPVs) is a clear indication of the company's long term commitment to the breakbulk and project cargo market.

The company's six new, modern, 18,000 dwt vessels have a lift capacity of 150 tons (136 tonnes), more than 100 reefer plugs, box-shaped holds and tweendecks and are purpose-built for the shallow waters of most West African ports.

The vessels, which join Safmarine's existing fleet of 14 chartered MPVs, have been built to the highest standards and have 'Green Passports', which record all materials used during their construction.

According to Grant Daly, Safmarine's head of MPV: "West Africa is home to some of the world's fastest growing economies and Safmarine's aim is to provide the shipping services needed to help our customers grow their business in this dynamic and fast growing market."

Daly says he has noted an increase, globally, in the demand for regular MPV shipping services, particularly to Africa.

"This has largely been due to the growing number of energy and infrastructural investments (such as road, ports, power generation, telecoms etc) taking place in a number of African countries. Many countries have 
realised the importance of investing in this type of infrastructure as a precursor for future economic growth.

"By transporting the cargo needed for these projects, Safmarine's MPV service is helping these countries create a solid foundation for sustainable economic growth."

Safmarine is currently the only shipping line in the A.P. Moller Maersk Group to offer a dedicated breakbulk or MPV (multi-purpose vessel) service to and from West Africa. Its six MPV shipping services to West Africa from North America, Europe, Asia and South Africa currently call at over 60 ports around the world.

Daly says the focus of Safmarine's MPV services is on combining reliability and flexibility. "While our services are based on regular schedules, we do call ports on inducement and offer a variety of service options to suit the different transport needs of our customers."

Daly, who has been with Safmarine for 17 years, leads a committed team of experienced Safmariners who are passionate about being the 'people making the difference' in MPV shipping. The team has decades of experience in shipping non-containerised cargo, particularly into and out of West Africa.