second largest container shipping line, MSC, has announced plans to enter the
scheduled deep sea roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) sector with the launch of a
fortnightly ro-ro service between North Europe and West Africa on 19 February.
rotation will be Le Havre-Antwerp-Dakar-Conakry-Abidjan-Le Havre.
will deploy two vessels, the MSC Immacolata and MSC Cristiana, two pure car-
and truck-carrier (PCTC) sister ships built by STX in Dalian and delivered in
2012 and 2011 respectively, each with a capacity of 6,700 ceu [car equivalent
units] and owned by Greek shipowner Nikki Shipping.
“In addition to rolling or wheeled cargo, this new service will have the
flexibility to cover a range of out-of-gauge and breakbulk cargo, which will be
typically large, heavy pieces or critical equipment for specific projects.”
will pitch MSC into direct competition with Italian ro-ro carrier Grimaldi,
which runs four services between the two regions – Northern Express, Central
Express, Southern Express and Eurocargo Express – with direct calls at 20 ports
in West Africa.
22 multipurpose ro-ro vessels on the trade, each able to accommodate about
2,500 lane metres of rolling cargo, up to 2,500 cars and 850 containers on
their weather deck.
has sited its regional transhipment hub at Senegalese hub of Dakar, where it
connects its services out of both North Europe and the Mediterranean into West
Africa with its transatlantic services to South and North America.