September 30 - Safmarine says the addition of Beira and an eastbound Toamasina call on its weekly shipping service between Southern Africa and Asia (the Safari 3 service)will help boost trade between southern Africa and Asia.

According to Alan MilehamSafmarine's Far East - South Africa trade manager: "Until now the majority of eastbound cargo shipped from central and northern Mozambique and neighbouring countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi) via Beira has had to move via feeder vessel to Durban, from where it was shipped on the Safari 1 service to the Far East. 

"By adding a direct call at Beira and an export Toamasina call on Safari 3, cargo from these regions can now move directly through local ports to the Far East, allowing for quicker access to markets and added convenience for shippers." 

Mileham says the upgraded service, which is set to benefit, in particular, the mining and agricultural commodity sectors in these regions, is being introduced in response to customer demand. 

"In recent years we've seen volumes of cargo shipped via Beira grow by more than 30 percent per annum. The growth can, in part, be largely attributed to the increased demand in the Far East for southern African agricultural products and minerals, as well as infrastructural and commercial investments in countries such as Zambia." 

Mileham says all Safmarine's Beira imports/exports will move, as of mid October this year, on the upgraded Safari 3 service, which will have the following port rotation: Tanjung Pelepas - Port Louis - Port Reunion - Toamasina - Maputo - Beira- Toamasina - Tanjung Pelepas. 

A sixth vessel has been added to accommodate the extra direct port calls on the Safari 3 service, which is operated by Safmarine and sister company Maersk Line.