August 25 - Shipping lines, Maritime Transport Logistics (MTL) and Universal Africa Lines (UAL) have reached an agreement to cooperate with their services to Mauritania and Senegal.

Duisburg, Germany-based MTL has run a regular breakbulk shipping service serving Mauritania and Senegal on a monthly basis, and has its main focus on the mining industry. Regular loading ports are Antwerp, Belgium and Rouen, France, and discharge ports are Nouadhibou and Nouakchott in Mauritania and Dakar in Senegal.

Rotterdam, the Netherlands-based UAL runs a regular liner service from North West Europe and the US Gulf to ports across the West African coast in the range from Ivory Coast to Angola, with its main focus on the oil and gas, and project business.

UAL operates these services by its own fleet of modern box-shaped geared multipurpose (MPV) vessels, with the main loading ports being Houston, USA and Veracruz, Mexico for the US Gulf service and Antwerp and Aberdeen, UK for the European service - with other ports called on inducement.

The shipping line says it has identified a big potential in the oil and gas market in Mauritania and Senegal, and its client base has been requesting that it expands its services to these countries, said Harald Maas, director of UAL Netherlands.

The joint services will be performed by UAL vessels, and cargoes can be booked on both the  MTL or UAL liner service through their respective agents.

"This cooperation with UAL will give us access to a big fleet of modern vessels and improve the regularity of our service," said Heiner Stomberg of MTL.

"We can now also serve our regular clients with sailings from the USA, as well as offer the full range of West African ports through the UAL Liner Service."