Shortly after the UAE-based Simatech announced to increase its coverage of Somalia, the Mediterranean Shipping Company is set to follow suit with the launch of its own dedicated Somalia feeder.
At the end of this month, MSC will begin a regular fortnightly shuttle service between the Oman transhipment port of Salalah, were mainline connections are offered, and Mogadishu.
For the new loop, the Swiss-Italian carrier has chartered the 1,340 teu container vessel JAS EXPRESS. This 1992-built ship was recently sold by Germany’s MC Schiffahrt to undisclosed new owners and some market reports indicated that the vessel was sold for demolition. These reports have turned out to be incorrect and it appears that the ship has eventually gained another lease of life on MSC’s new Somalia route.
The 177m JAS EXPRESS, is a actually a rather unique mixture of a full container ship and a multipurpose vessel. The ship is fully geared with 30-ton and 35-ton cranes and it has both cellular and non-cellular holds. The ship has spent many years on Pacific deep sea services for Tasman Orient Line, carrying a mixture of containers and breakbulk loads.