Grimaldi optimises West African services
Grimaldi has added a fifth ship for the carriage of wheeled cargo to its Southern Express service between northern Europe and West Africa. On 10 September 2009 the Grimaldi Lines ConRo ship GRANDE BENIN was handled in Hamburg on its maiden voyage.
The GRANDE BENIN was built by Croatia's Uljanik shipyard. It is 211 metres long and 32.3 metres wide, and has a maximum draught of 9.75 metres. The ship is equipped with loading gear and can take a mixed cargo of 2,000 vehicles, 800 standard containers (TEUs) and 2,500 metres' length of any kind of cargo on wheels. Its ramp can be used for the conveyance of conventional goods and project loads with an item weight of up to 250 tons.
After calling at Hamburg, the GRANDE BENIN went on via Antwerp and Le Havre to visit Dakar, Lome, Cotonou, Luanda and Douala.
With 49,000 TEUs in the year 2008, container transport between the Port of Hamburg and West Africa achieved a 17.4 percent increase in the year 2008. Imports consisted for the most part of raw cocoa, wood and timber products, raw coffee, rubber and cotton. Exports were dominated by vehicles, plant and machines, electrical goods, used textiles and chemical products.
On the occasion of the ship's maiden voyage Salvator Cacace, the Italian captain of the GRANDE BENIN, welcomed Port of Hamburg captain Jörg Pollmann and representatives of Grimaldi Germany Dirk Peters and Stefan Schneider to the officer's mess on board, for a celebratory drink and freshly baked pizza. The guests showed the captain their appreciation by presenting him with a copy of the Hamburg Port Book and a maritime clock.
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