CMA CGM has announced the launch of a new direct service from the Middle East to Somalia.
The Noura Express service, which was slated to launch yesterday with the Kailas, voyage DB227R, will connect Mogadishu, Somalia, with the container line’s long-haul services via Khor Fakkan, the United Arab Emirates. The service will operate on a 21-day frequency.
The service’s port rotation will be as follows: Jebel Ali, UAE; Khor Fakkan; Salalah, Oman; Mogadishu; and back to Jebel Ali.
“This is the first milestone of our growth plan in this region and there will be more developments in the months ahead,” said Mathieu Friedberg, senior vice president of CMA CGM’s African lines, in a written statement.
CMA CGM told the JOC that it is moving ahead with the new service because of the decline of piracy in 2013 off the coast of East Africa. Somali pirates were involved in just 15 attacks last year, down from 75 in 2012 and 237 in 2011.
For implementation of this service in a piracy zone, CMA CGM has established “passive” and “active” protection measures. The passive measures include establishing training for seafarers on piracy risks and procedures for the protection of personnel and ships; using “low speed”; strengthening Water Watch; implementing anti-crossing barriers around ships; declaring crossings to military authorities, with reporting every 12 hours; establishing an enhanced citadel to protect the crew; and using dedicated and independent satellite communication. The active measures include establishing an armed team and routing ships using CMA CGM’s fleet navigation centers, which detect attacks and threats.
Separately, CMA CGM has also appointed Arnaud Thibault as deputy vice president of its Africa lines, effective at the end of January. Thibault is currently regional director and managing director of CMA CGM South Africa. That role will subsequently be filled by Estève Servajean, deputy vice president in charge of the African network of agencies.
In December 2013, CMA CGM launched the Rhino Express feeder service, which extends the carrier’s coverage to five ports in Mozambique, including two new ports, Quelimane and Pemba. The carrier already offers coverage of Mozambique via its Mozex and Mascareignes services. The port rotation will be as follows: Durban, South Africa; Maputo, Beira, Quelimane, Nacala, Pemba and Maputo, Mozambique; and back to Durban.
“This new service allows providing a faster and reliable connection for all cargo from Europe, the Mediterranean, India, Middle East Gulf and South America, while opening the opportunity to develop cabotage in Mozambique,” Friedberg said.
[Editorial Note: Updated 1/31/2014 based on new information received from CMA CGM regarding the company’s piracy protection measures.]