USA: Naming Ceremony for New Safmarine’s MPV at Port of Savannah


Steamship company Safmarine held a naming ceremony in Savannah for its newest vessel, the Sahara, Friday.

Built at the Wuhu Xinlian Shipyard in China, the ship is Safmarine’s second newly-built multi-purpose vessel (MPV), which allows the service to handle both containerized and break bulk cargo.

“We are pleased they have chosen to celebrate with us the addition of this versatile vessel to their fleet,” said Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz. “Ocean carriers like Safmarine help to make the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal an important gateway to global trade for the U.S.”

Safmarine CFO Rob Harrison said the flexibility of the company’s MPV fleet sets Safmarine apart.

“Our investment in new vessels allows us to meet our customers’ requirements and partner more closely with them,” Harrison said. “The Sahara is one of three vessels in Safmarine’s Corex service, which calls on Savannah once a month.”

The Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal experienced record growth in exports in calendar year 2011, thanks in part to the commitment made by Safmarine. Total export tonnage through Ocean Terminal reached 560,621 tons, an increase of 27.2 percent over the previous year. Top export commodities included machinery, liner board and wood pulp.

Safmarine’s Corex service port rotation includes Camden, N.J., Savannah, Houston, Takoradi, Tin Can Island (Nigeria), Onne, Douala, Abidjan and San Pedro. In addition to the Corex service, Safmarine provides container ship service MECL 2 to the Port of Savannah’s Garden City Terminal. The company’s major trading routes include Northern Europe, Africa, the Mediterranean, Middle East and Southern Asia. The Sahara, designed to carry several types of cargo, will serve trade between North America and West Africa.

The vessel’s “godmother,” Anita Edmondson, Director of International Logistics at M-I SWACO, officially bestowed the vessel’s name at the event on Savannah’s riverfront Friday.

“I am delighted to be the godmother of this new vessel, which is a symbol of Safmarine’s long-term commitment to the MPV trade and to supporting our business,” said Edmondson. Houston-based M-I SWACO supplies specialized equipment to the drilling industry, and is a Safmarine customer.

In conjunction with the naming ceremony, Edmondson donated $1,500 to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Federation and Pilar Maurial of Safmarine’s E-commerce section gave $3,000 to The International Seamen’s House. In addition to Safmarine executives, officials from several of the carrier’s major customers and the Georgia Ports Authority also attended the naming ceremony.


World Maritime News Staff, February 13, 2012;

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