MACS scores St Helena ocean freight contract
St. Helena’s government has finally found a new provider of ocean freight services after a 12-month search. After assessing the tender criteria, MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping GmbH & Co. (MACS) was determined to be the most suitable provider of the service.
Final contractual elements have been agreed between the parties and a contract has been signed. There are now discussions ongoing around the transition between the current service provided by Meihuizen International and the new MACS operation. Once finalised the commencement date will be confirmed. It is anticipated that the arrival date at St Helena for the new service will be April 2024.
MACS have been chosen based on an assessment of both the technical quality of the submissions and the price offered for the service, the St Helena government said. At an initial five-year term, with the option for a further five years, this also provides the Island with confidence in shipping services for the foreseeable future.
The service will include a dedicated vessel shipping cargo directly between St Helena, Cape Town and Walvis Bay. It will be calling at the Island approximately every four weeks.
Minister for the Treasury and Economic Development, Mark Brooks, said, “as an Island territory this government knows how important shipping services are to our businesses and community. It’s important to appreciate the challenges of running a service to such a remote island with comparatively low volumes of freight when considered against other cargo routes. We import many vital goods, from food to construction materials, so it’s been important to take our time in identifying the right firm to partner with to deliver shipping services. We are very pleased to be in the position we are in and the confidence this will give to the community.”
A spokesperson from MACS said, “we all at MACS are very grateful for having been awarded this contract which has a long-standing tradition which comes with big responsibility. We look forward to a close cooperation with SHG, contractors on the Island and its community with the aim of achieving the best possible result for all”.
A detailed schedule and rate card will be made available early in the new year on completion of discussions around the transition. Merchants and shippers will then be able to begin booking freight with MACS and other suppliers for future service.