The Grimaldi Group restarts connecting the Mediterranean with West Africa, announcing the opening, as from the 26th of October, of the new "Mediterranean Express” service (MEX). The Mediterranean-West Africa route is not new to Grimaldi, as the Group has been serving it continuously from the mid 70's until 1999.
The new line, dedicated to the transport of rolling freight, containerS and project cargo, will directly link the ports of Salerno, Genoa, Marseilles and Valencia with the ports of Dakar (Senegal), Lome (Togo), Lagos (Nigeria) and Cotonou (Benin) every 18 days.
The con/ro vessel deployed on this route will initially be the "Thebeland," which will be replaced in early 2011 by the "Repubblica di Roma". This vessel will be joined by the m/vessel “Medcoa Lome”, operated by the French shipping company Navitrans. Both companies have made a "space share agreement", which guarantees on each vessel the availability of space for freight booked by the other operator.
The "Repubblica di Roma”, with a gross tonnage of 42,000 tons and a length of 216 metres, is able to transport up to 650 TEU, 1,100 cars/vans and 2,200 linear metres of rolling cargo at a speed of 18 knots. The "Repubblica" class vessels are also equipped with two cranes on the weather deck capable of handling up to 40 tonnes and a stern ramp capable of loading up to 150 tonnes of freight units.
With the new MEX service, the Neapolitan Group aims to further strengthen its presence both in the Mediterranean and West Africa, offering its customers not only a direct service between these two geographical areas, but also several transhipment opportunities, via Salerno and Valencia, taking advantage of the various Grimaldi connections to and from the Eastern Mediterranean.
Moreover, the Grimaldi Group will link, with very competitive transit times, the whole Mediterranean with other ports of Africa thanks to its regular services from its Dakar terminal. Ports served in transhipment are Banjul (Gambia), Conakry (Guinea), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia), Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Tema (Ghana), Douala (Cameroon), Boom (Republic Congo), Pointe Noire (Congo-Brazzaville) and Luanda (Angola).
Currently, the Grimaldi Group links regularly West Africa with North Europe, North an South America for the transport of rolling cargo, containers and project cargo, deploying a fleet of 25 ro-ro multipurpose vessels.