July 10 - The Grimaldi Group has enhanced its Mediterranean Express (MEX) service - which links the Mediterranean to West Africa - by reducing its frequency from 12 to ten days and increasing cargo capacity by 35 percent, writes Isabel Freedman.

The frequency of the service will be reduced due to the deployment of four multipurpose con-ro vessels: Grande Ghana, Repubblica di Argentina, Repubblica del Brasile and Grande Costa D'Avorio. A fifth vessel will also be deployed early in 2016, again reducing the frequency from ten to eight days.

The Grande class vessels have the capacity to carry 1,000 cars/vans, as well as 2,800 lane metres of rolling cargo capacity and 700 teu. Additionally, each vessel is equipped with two cranes on the weather deck with a lifting capacity of 40 tonnes. The Rebubblica class vessels have 2,800 lane metres of ro-ro cargo capacity, and can hold 700 cars/vans and 600 teu.

The MEX service transports rolling cargo, containers and project cargo; and calls at the ports of Valencia (Spain), Marseilles (France), Genoa, Livorno and Salerno (Italy), as well as Casablanca (Morocco), Dakar (Senegal), Abidjan (Cote d'Ivoire), Lagos (Nigeria), Cotonou (Benin) and Lome (Togo).