Multipurpose specialists Bremen Overseas Chartering and Shipping (BOCS) and Universal Africa Lines (UAL) have established a joint venture – UAL BOCS Shipping Line (UBSL).

The joint venture will trade between the Mediterranean and Black seas to and from West Africa. Based in Capelle ad Ijssel, the Netherlands, UBSL will continue the existing UAL Mediterranean service, which will be supplemented by additional expertise and tonnage from BOCS.

Together, the service can draw on the fleets of both shipping lines, comprising 19 modern, geared multipurpose vessels (8,000-33,000 dwt), equipped with cranes capable of lifting up to 360 tonnes.

“This was a logical step for UAL in the strengthening of our excellent relationship with BOCS. We are already successfully working together with them for years from Northwest Europe to West Africa. This cooperation has brought a lot of advantages for both our groups, as well as our clients. In the current market it is extremely difficult to find vessel space for both ourselves, and our clients,” said Harald Maas, director of UAL.

“By sharing our tonnage, we still manage to fulfil the needs of our clients in this tight market. The synergies are obvious, and with this new exiting joint venture we will extend these further for our Mediterranean and Black Sea clients as well,” he added.

Björn Hollnagel, managing director of BOCS, added: “We are very pleased to intensify our well-established collaboration with UAL. Again, our clientele will benefit from more flexibility, in particular an extended port coverage and an increased number of sailings. Furthermore, this step is another attempt to satisfy the needs of our customers, especially our long-term partners in West Africa.”

UAL Chartering in Copenhagen will act as commercial agent for the joint venture.