Hapag-Lloyd Expands with Africa Liner Service Acquisition 

African container liner service
Hapag announced the acquisition of NileDutch

Published Mar 18, 2021 7:21 PM by The Maritime Executive

Africa is becoming one of the new concentration markets for the liner industry. Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd announced that it will be continuing the consolidation of the container shipping segment with the acquisition of one of the leading carriers to the region. This comes as other lines have announced plans to consolidate and expand their service to the African continent.

Hapag-Lloyd has entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire all shares of the Dutch container shipping company Nile Dutch Investments based in Rotterdam. With over 40 years of expertise, NileDutch is one of the leading providers of container services to and from West Africa. Among the company's network are 19 offices and agencies within West Africa, including a presence in Angola, Congo, and Cameroon.

“Africa is an important strategic growth market for Hapag-Lloyd,” said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd. “The acquisition of NileDutch strengthens our position in West Africa and will be an excellent addition to our existing activities on the continent. Our combined customer base will benefit from a denser network from and to Africa as well as from a much higher frequency of sailings. We welcome the new colleagues from NileDutch and hope that together we can further develop our business in Africa in the years to come.”

With 10 liner services, around 35,000 TEU of transport capacity, and a container fleet of around 80,000 TEU, NileDutch connects Europe, Asia, and Latin America with West and South Africa. The company generally operates smaller ships with a capacity of under approximately 8,000 TEU. 

According to company management, joining Hapag will provide the opportunity to further develop its African business while providing a broader global reach. The completion of the transaction is subject to the approval of antitrust authorities.

Hapag’s move to strengthen its position into West and South Africa comes as other carriers have also been expanding their links into Africa. Last fall, Maersk announced it would be folding its Safmarine operations into the Maersk brand while earlier this week Ocean Network Express announced a new service linking Asia and East Africa. Due to start at the end of March from Shanghai, ONE will be providing a direct route to Mombasa, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The new route is in addition to two other East Africa services provided by the network.