Safmarine confirms Big Whites to Safari Service

Dec 16, 2004
Author: P&S

On 8 January the first of the new Safmarine container ships to enter the Europe-South Africa service, Safmarine Nomazwe, is due to terminate her maiden South Africa visit at Durban, after having called at Cape Town and Port Elizabeth along the route.

On Sunday, 12 November a number of Europe's most prominent exporters and importers of cargo between Europe and Southern Africa, in addition to members of the media gathered in London to celebrate Safmarine's new tonnage on the Europe-South Africa trade.

The 266m long Safmarine Nomazwe has a deadweight of 63,000 tons and a draught of 14m, and is slightly longer than the existing ‘Big Whites’ that held this service in good esteem for more than 25 years.

picture courtesy Safmarine

"Capacity on the weekly, named-day Europe-South Africa service has been at a premium for some time,” said Ivan Heesom-Green, Safmarine’s CEO. “The new Big Whites will not only meet the immediate needs of Safmarine's expanding customer base, but is a clear indication of Safmarine's long-term aim to grow the trade in partnership with its customers."

He said Safmarine's investment in these new 'reefer-friendly' ships – which are equipped with the most recent advances in refrigerated container technology - would play an important role in achieving this aim.

Meanwhile Safmarine has confirmed reports in Ports & Ships that the earlier ‘Big Whites’- SA Sederberg, SA Winterberg, SA Helderberg and Maersk Constantia (the former SA Waterberg), will transfer to the Far East – South Africa Safari service from later in the New Year (see Ports & Ships news dated 22 November 2004).

"The recent growth in trade between the Asia and Southern Africa has resulted in a shortage of space on this trade. Safmarine's decision to transfer the existing Big Whites to the Safari (Far East - South Africa) service will not only bring welcome capacity relief for our customers but will ensure that the familiar Big Whites - which have been a feature on the South African coast since the start of containerisation in the late 1970s - continue to call at South African ports," said Safmarine’s Africa Line executive Alex de Bruyn.

He announced the existing Big Whites will join the Safari service after undergoing a
refurbishment programme, adapting their capacity in line with trade requirements. It is anticipated all four vessels will be part of the revised Safari service by end of April 2005.

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