This week Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Transnet Ports Terminals (TPT), through the Port of Durban, welcomed the first vessel to arrive at the port on the new MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service recently introduced by Hapag-Lloyd and its alliance partner, Ocean Network Express (ONE).

The container vessel, MV NEW JERSEY TRADER, was welcomed into port on 5 November with a ceremonial tug spray and plaque exchange. The vessel was built in 2011 and flies the flag of Malta.

Hapag-Lloyd’s new MIAX service offers direct connections and fast transit times between South and West Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, Colombo (Sri Lanka) and La Réunion.

It is connected to the Global Mainline Network via the key ports of Jebel Ali (Dubai) and Colombo.

A total of nine ships with a capacity of 2,800 TEU each, will be deployed for the new service. While the Port of Durban is seeking growth opportunities from Hapag-Lloyd and ONE, this transaction is yet another milestone for the Port and the container industry at large.

GM: Port of Durban, Moshe Motlohi, said, “TNPA looks forward to supporting Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express through this new venture. The Ports of Durban and Cape Town will play a key role in regional integration through the lines’ existing global network.”

TPT’s Acting Chief Operations Officer Velile Dube welcomed not only the new vessel but also the new service as it will short-circuit destinations between ports in Asia, South and West Africa, increasing efficiencies for the customer. “We are always looking at ways to improve our service levels with the aim of facilitating cost competitiveness in markets our customers compete in,” added Dube.

The first port rotation for the service is: Jebel Ali ▪ Mundra ▪ Nhava Sheva ▪ Colombo ▪ La Réunion ▪ Durban ▪ Cape Town ▪ Tema ▪ Lagos (Tincan and Apapa) ▪ Cape Town ▪ Durban ▪ Jebel Ali.

Hapag-Lloyd said, “The MIAX service’s maiden call to Durban followed by Cape Town is a momentous occasion for us. Our new MIAX will connect the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent to South Africa and West Africa with a quality service. We are very excited and look forward to growing in South Africa and Africa as a whole.”