MacAndrews to Deliver Afghan Cargo

Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Container shipping line, MacAndrews has launched door-to-door services for shippers that are based in North America, Europe, the Middle East or the India sub-continent and trade with Afghanistan.

The shipping line is promoting Port Qasim in Pakistan as the most efficient cargo gateway for Afghanistan. It has established a network of through transport services which connect to its EPIC, Indamex and Swahili Express container shipping services which all make regular, scheduled calls at Pakistan's main port.

MacAndrews now offers efficient onward connections to and from hubs in Kabul, Jalalabad and Khandahar over Port Qasim. It is optimistic that the services will satisfy an increasing demand for regular and dependable cargo movement services to the region. The line is able to accommodate aid, security forces and commercial cargoes.

>From Port Qasim, transit times are around eight days to Kabul and six days to Jalalabad and Khandahar (after completion of transit formalities with Pakistani customs). MacAndrews is routing cargo for Kabul and Jalalabad via Peshawar, whilst cargo in transit to Khandahar will cross the border at Chaman.

Jim Robb, General Manager, Indian Trades comments: "With the international community continuing to pledge billions of dollars in aid for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in Afghanistan, major cargo flows into the country are evident.

"Pakistan has been a gateway for Afghan imports and exports for more than half-a-century and whilst the regime in Afghanistan appears to support the idea of forging multiple trading routes rather than depending on one, we believe that Port Qasim offers the most efficient gateway for international trade.

"Looking ahead, Afghanistan's opening of its borders will provide new opportunities for landlocked countries in Central Asia to take advantage of the transit corridors to access the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf through Pakistani ports.

"Ironing out the barriers to developing these routes will help change trade directions and accelerate Afghanistan's reconstruction as it grows into a major trade hub between Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia."

"In Europe, MacAndrews has been offering door-to-door intermodal solutions to its customers for over 30 years. Serving Afghanistan is a logical extension to our developing presence in the trades between Europe; North America and the Indian Sub Continent." Traditionally an intra-European regional container shipping line, MacAndrews began to expand from its core European services in 2003 when it started offering a service between Europe, the Middle East and India / Pakistan buying slots from the EPIC Consortium. Last year, the company joined the Indamex Consortium to offer a service between the Indian sub-continent, Middle East and the US East Coast, where it operates the 3600 teu Indamex Colorado.

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