Maersk and CMA CGM Help Nigeria Achieve Firsts in Growing Container Trade

   January 24, 2024 67980
The West African container trade is growing rapidly with Nigerian officials marking the arrival of the largest container

The West African container trade is growing rapidly with Nigerian officials marking the arrival of the largest containership into their new Lekki Deep Sea Port and the scheduled arrival of the first LNG-fueled containership into West Africa. These milestones come as the Lekki port marks its first anniversary as the deepest seaport in the region.

The carriers are ushering in upgrades to the West Africa Express (WAX) service that includes calls in Nigeria as well as Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Congo and connecting West Africa to China, Southeast Asia, and India. It is a weekly service that includes calls by vessels in the 13,000 to 15,000 TEU range. A total of 13 large containerships will be used to maintain the service.

The Maersk Edirne (140,900 dwt) became the first vessel on the newly expanded service setting the record as the largest containership to dock in Nigeria. It is a 12-year-old vessel registered in Singapore with a capacity of 13,000 TEU. The containership is 1,200 feet (366 meters) supplanting older vessels the Maersk Stadelhorn (10,000 TEU) and MSC Maureen (6,750 TEU) both of which are 984 feet (300 meters) in length.

Nigerian officials highlight that the arrival came as the Lekki port prepares to mark its first anniversary for commercial operations. The Freeport Terminal, which is managed and operated by the CMA CGM Group, is a multi-user facility that CMA CGM calls “a game-changing infrastructure for Nigeria and West Africa.” The first phase, which opened in February 2023, has a capacity of 1.2 million TEU with five ship-to-shore cranes. When completed, the port will have a total of over 3,900 feet of berth with a depth of over 52 feet and the capacity to handle 2.5 million TEU. CMA CGM highlights that the port serves as a mega transshipment hub, especially to Nigeria’s neighboring countries in the Gulf of Guinea, including Togo and Benin.


CMA CGM Scandola docks this coming weekend becoming the first LNG-fueled containership operating in West Africa (CMA CGM)



This coming Sunday, January 28, the CMA CGM Scandola is scheduled to arrive in Nigeria. She is the same length as the Maersk vessel, but has a large capacity of 15,128 TEU, making her among the largest vessels deployed to West Africa. She also becomes the first LNG-fueled containership operating in West Africa. The vessel was built in 2020 and is also biomethane and e-methane ready.

The carriers and Nigeria highlight the growth on the route as a critical contributor to the West African supply chain and economies. CMA CGM refers to the “immense potential of Africa logistics,” saying that the expansion of the route is paving the way for a dynamic and growing economy in the region.


 
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