Container shipping line, MacAndrews has launched door-to-door
services for shippers that are based in North America, Europe, the
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
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.