MSC launches India-Africa service
August 31, 2016: Mediterranean Shipping Co. has introduced a new container service between India and Africa with an aim to improve transit times and enhance delivery to those destinations. In a customer advisory, MSC said its weekly Cheetah Service connecting key ports in India, Pakistan, the Middle East and East Africa will use a fleet of five vessels, each with a capacity of about 2,200 twenty-foot-equivalent units, the report suggested. The port rotation will be as follows: Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates; Karachi, Pakistan; Mundra and Nhava Sheva (Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust), India; Salalah, Muscat; Mombasa, Kenya; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Mogadishu and Kismayo (every three weeks), Somalia; and back to Jebel Ali. The service will begin with the sailing of the MSC Positano from Jebel Ali on September 7, according to the announcement. The Cheetah offers the following transit times from JNPT: 9 days to Mombasa, 12 days to Dar es Salaam, 16 days to Mogadishu and 20 days to Kismayo. The new service could prove a boon to the India-Africa trade, which stood at $72 billion in fiscal year 2014 to 2015, according to official statistics. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month paid a five-day visit to African nations in an effort to boost bilateral ties.