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The African routes are geographically divided into East Africa, West Africa, South Africa, and North Africa.



1. East African Gateway Port:


DAR ES SALAAM (Tanzania)


These two ports are the gateway ports of East Africa, and many landlocked countries transit in through them. The two shipping companies MSK and SAFMARINE have the largest share of East Africa routes. The two shipping companies adopt a cooperative method of sharing space, and the schedule is stable and the voyage is faster, but there are still some differences in freight. Normally, the freight of SAF is lower than that of MSK. SAF has become the first choice of many cargo owners by virtue of its fast shipping schedule and low freight. PIL's East Africa route is its old route, so it is also the most popular shipping company for designated cargo. Therefore, many factories and trading companies that designate PIL ships will be encountered on this route, mostly due to the requirements of the consignee. Because it is specified, the shipping cost is higher.


PIL transits in Singapore. During the peak season, there is too much cargo in Singapore, and there will be a problem of tight storage space. Therefore, there are often delays caused by Singapore's pressure on the port during the peak season. CMA, MOL, and MSC have also been operating on this route for many years, but the price fluctuates greatly, so you can make irregular choices. EMIRATES East Africa Line is worth mentioning, usually the price advantage is big, transit in COLOMBO, the voyage speed is moderate. But after all, it is a small boat, and its schedule and space have certain limitations.


2. West African gateway port:

TEMA  (Ghana)

LOME  (Togo)

COTONOU  (Benin)

ABIDJAN  (Côte d’Ivoire)

LAGOS (Nigeria)


The basic points of West African ports are five basic ports, but with other partial ports, West African ports are about 20 in size. Export volume also accounts for the majority of Africa's entire routes. There are also more than 10 shipowners calling at West African ports.


The shipowners recognized by shippers on West Africa routes are MSK/CMA/SAFMARINE/DELMAS. The destination port has good service and stable shipping schedule. Of course, the freight is relatively high. The lower freight is SAFMARINE, which shares warehouses with MSK. Goods received, especially for heavy cabinets. Medium-sized ships such as CSCL/MOL/PIL/COSCO, etc. are also better choices.


Especially LAGOS, including TINCAN APAPA are the focus of CSCL receipt. Relying on the advantages of customs clearance at the port of destination, the biggest selling point of CSCL's West Africa route is TINCAN, which has ample space, so it began to receive goods at low prices. There are many shipowners on the West Africa route, so you can choose according to the characteristics of the cargo.


3. South Africa's gateway port:

DURBAN  (South Africa)

CAPE TOWN  (South Africa)



South Africa is a relatively wealthy country in Africa. There are a lot of goods exported to the two basic ports of DURBAN and CAPETOWN or transferred to the capital, Johannesburg, so there are also many shipowners calling in South Africa.




Currently, NDS/KLINE/EM/CSCL/MSC have the lowest prices, but they still have limitations in terms of storage and storage. MSK/SAF/COSCO have fast sailing schedules and are popular with customers.


4. North African gateway port:

ALGIERS  (Algeria)


ORAN (Algeria)

TUNIS  (Tunisia)



ELKHOMS  (Libya)



Introduction of main shipping companies on African routes

The major owners of the African routes mainly include MAESK, P&O (acquired by MSK in 2005), DELMAS (acquired by CMA), MOL, PIL, MSC and CMA.


1. MSK

MSK is the oldest African bookmaker. It is the first ship owner to enter the African shipping market. His advantages are concentrated in some ports in West Africa. Both the base port and the inland points in West Africa are doing well, and it is on schedule. The service is very stable. In particular, the inland transfer business has almost monopolized most of the African market. Through long-term operations, it has also developed its own brand. Especially after the acquisition of a strong P&O in the West African market in 2005, it has strengthened it even more. For its leading position on African routes, many foreign customers have designated MSK. MSK takes advantage of its strong financial advantages and large-scale network advantages to occupy an indisputable monopoly position in the African market. This is a reality that everyone has to admit.



DELMAS’s shipping schedule is notoriously fast, and at the same time, the price is notoriously high. The main reason is that its main business is on designated goods, and the market for non-designated goods is not the focus of his main business. The sources of goods on African routes usually have relatively low added value of goods, too fast shipping schedules and higher prices, but they do not necessarily meet the needs of the market.


3. PIL

The main advantages of PIL's Africa route are concentrated in East Africa, and the freight rate has a competitive advantage. Can pick up heavy cabinets and dangerous goods. However, its fatal weakness is that it will be dumped when transferring to Singapore, often for one to two weeks.


4. MSC

The price of MSC is relatively low, and now the shipping schedule has been adjusted faster, but the level of related services needs to be improved. MSC’s large ships operate once a week. Even in peak seasons, the space is often difficult to guarantee. The reason is simple. MSC prices are notoriously cheap. African sources of goods are looking for cheap ships, the prices are cheaper, and the expectations of the service do not need to be too high.


5. CMA

The main advantage of CMA should be in North Africa and West Africa. The advantage of East and South Africa is not large, and the stability of the shipping schedule is also a problem.



Best Regards
Sophia Chen
Overseas Sales
WCA ID:129936
E-mail: sales03@viputrans.com 

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