Shipping & Logistics

Shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd set to connect Kenya and Asia

HapagLloyd

Hapag-lloyd ship docking in Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • German shipping and container company Hapag-Lloyd’s East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) seeks to connect shipping routes between Asia and East Africa.
  • The new EAS3, which will arrive in Kenya and Tanzania this week, will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania.
  • It will also offer connections via the hub ports of Singapore, Port Kelang and Shanghai.

German shipping and container company Hapag-Lloyd’s East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) seeks to connect shipping routes between Asia and East Africa.

The new EAS3, which will arrive in Kenya and Tanzania this week, will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania.

It will also offer connections via the hub ports of Singapore, Port Kelang and Shanghai. The company is set to deploy seven 2,800 twenty-foot equivalent unit (Teus) vessels which will offer direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania with very competitive transit times.

Hapag-Lloyd Middle East regional senior managing director Dheeraj Bhatia said the first westbound voyage of the EAS3 will start in Shanghai on 29 April 2021 with an estimated arrival in Mombasa on May 23, 2021 before heading to Dar es Salaam.

“Hapag-Lloyd has been steadily expanding its business in East Africa in recent years as part of our strategic focus on selected growth markets worldwide,”said Hapag-Lloyd Middle East regions Senior Managing Director Dheeraj Bhatia.

“Our new EAS3 service will create a new option for our customers and help us to forge even stronger connections between this flourishing region and the rest of the world.”

The shipping company entered the Sub-Sahara African market about 13 years ago to tap into the growing trade between China and the sub-continent.

Whereas the China Kenya Express Service (CKX) connects Kenya with ports in Asia such as Singapore and Shanghai, the East Africa Service 2 (EAS2) connects the East African country with the west coast of India and Jebel Ali in Dubai.

The company in March this year opened its own new office in Kenya.

Besides Kenya, it also serves landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan – with regular inland connections to and from Mombasa.

Others include Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana under the Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) service.

Hapag-Lloyd now has five offices on the continent— in South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. In addition, it recently opened a quality service centre in Mauritius.

As part of its growth strategy, the shipping company will also endeavour to develop inland connections to Somalia, Southern Ethiopia and Northern Tanzania.

Hapag-Lloyd has also been strengthening its offerings and presence in West Africa in recent years. For example, in October 2019 the Middle East India Africa Express (MIAX) service was launched, providing direct and fast connections between the Middle East, India, South Africa and key markets in West Africa such as Ghana and Nigeria.



In September 2020, a new office was opened in Lagos, Nigeria. And, in mid-March 2021, Hapag-Lloyd signed a sale and purchase agreement with the Dutch container shipping company NileDutch.

The acquisition of NileDutch allows customers to benefit from an even denser network and a much higher frequency of sailings, particularly from and to locations in West and South Africa. Currently, the completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of the responsible antitrust authorities.

Hapag-Lloyd now has five offices on the continent: in South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya. In addition, it recently opened a Quality Service Center in Mauritius.

Hapag-Lloyd entered the Sub-Sahara African market about 13 years ago and has seen steady and significant growth in transported volumes to and from Africa since then.

In East Africa, the China Kenya Express Service (CKX) connects Kenya with some of the most important ports in Asia, such as Singapore and Shanghai, while the East Africa Service 2 (EAS2) connects the East African country with the west coast of India and Jebel Ali in Dubai.