May 4 - Universal Africa Lines - South Africa (UAL-SA), a startup shipping line serving the West African oil and gas fields, ended its first year in bullish mood by opening an express breakbulk service from South Africa to call directly on Nigeria, says H
Previously the service called at some ten ports along the West African coast.
The new route comes at a time of strong growth for UAL-SA. Since setting up in Cape Town early in 2009, the line has completed 21 fortnightly sailings up the West coast of the continent. Customers include heavy equipment manufacturers and construction material suppliers.
As diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa warm, UAL-SA aims to tap into potential European-Nigerian traffic routed over South Africa, says Røstad. Increased tensions in the Niger Delta has led to Nigeria-based companies relocating to the southern tip of the continent, taking refuge in Cape Town in the midst of South Africa's manufacturing heart.
The first direct sailing will be at the end of May, starting in Durban and calling at Cape Town and Walvis Bay before sailing into Apapa Harbour, Lagos, 12 days later. The route will operate every three weeks, and on its return will offer round-trip export shipments out of Nigeria to other West African countries and East Africa, via Durban.
UAL-SA has signed Premier Logistics Services as its shipping agent.