Home » Maritime » Maersk to raise capacity on Asia-Africa route

Maersk Line is fielding more ships on the Asia-West Africa lane to accommodate a rise in trade flows and maintain its dominant market share.

“Asian-West African trade has been one of the fastest-growing markets in the past few years, and it is expected to maintain 15 percent to 20 percent year-on-year growth over the next three years,” said Keith Svendsen, head of the company’s East China cluster.

The 4,500-TEU vessels, known as West Africa Max (WAFMAX) ships, are said to be the largest container ships to ply the route.

Maersk Line has contracted South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries to build 22 WAFMAX vessels. Six were put into service on May 21, and another three are set for delivery by year-end, the shipping line said. The rest are still under construction.

All the ships will ply the Asian-West African trade, connecting Chinese and African ports, Svendsen said.

The Asia-West Africa market was once served solely by small feeder ships operating from hubs like Algeciras in Spain. The WAFMAX vessels were ordered to be built purposely to provide Maersk Line’s Asian customers with direct services to West African ports.

Maersk operates three routes between Asia and West Africa.

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