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African Industrial Company Launches a Pan-African Shipping Company 

African shipping company
Arise's first project developed the new Owando port in Gabon (Arise IIP)

Published Nov 11, 2022 4:49 PM by The Maritime Executive

As the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) agreement gains steam, African manufacturing is expected to grow while also creating new opportunities in commodities and industrial operations. As many African countries transition to develop indigenous industrial and agricultural production, it is also giving rise to a new demand for dedicated shipping companies to provide a full range of maritime and logistics services for the mining and industrial sectors.  

Recently the South African government released preliminary plans for a national shipping company, and now an emerging African infrastructure developer, Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (Arise IIP), has launched a shipping company. Arise says the new shipping company is being launched to support African commodity growth.

“As many African countries develop their own processing and manufacturing capabilities to complement growing commodities exports, there is a strong demand for a bespoke shipping and logistics company that understands Africa and its needs,” said Captain Pappu Sastry, CEO of Arise Shipping and Logistics. “We will provide a full range of shipping and logistics services to meet their needs. This could be anything from landside infrastructure, ports, or transshipment and shipping. The value addition will be the innovative off-take or structural solutions that help junior mines grow and in turn help the local economies develop for long-term prosperity.”

Arise Shipping plans to create a fleet including bulk carriers, tankers, and specialized vessels while also providing a range of associated logistics services. Primarily, Arise Shipping and Logistics will provide services that complement the operations of its parent company Arise IIP, but will also build its own portfolio of customers. The initial customers are expected to come from the mining and commodities sector.

Arise IIP is a joint venture between the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), a financial institution created by African sovereign states, and the Abu Dhabi-incorporated Africa Transformation and Industrialization Fund (ATIF) launched in 2022 for African development. The company has grown from a single project in Gabon in 2010 to now delivering a wide range of industrial, infrastructure, and port developments in seven countries across Africa including Gabon, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo, Rwanda, and Chad. More recently, it launched shipping operations in Sierra Leone and Guinea Conakry.

The emergency of African industry and the opportunities its creating is also drawing attention from a broad range of shipping and logistics companies. Maersk and its APM Terminals, MSC and its TIL company, and Hapag-Lloyd have each made significant investments in Africa. The companies are also actively competing for the rights to develop new terminals and logistics operations around Africa.

Citing the dominance of international companies, the South African government is proposing to set up its national shipping company. The draft plan was recently released calling for a shipping company that would operate bulkers, tankers, and containerships as well as port and logistic operations seeking to strengthen the supply chain and take advantage of emerging opportunities for trade both in Africa and globally.