Maersk Launches RoRo Container Service Between Tunisia and Italy

RoRo loading containers
Maersk is providing a niche service with a RoRo between Tunisia and Italy (Maersk)

Published Dec 21, 2023 4:32 PM by The Maritime Executive


Maersk is highlighting the launch of a unique new service, a RoRo transporting containers weekly from Tunisia as it works to build its offering as an integrated logistics company. The service is being offered as an alternative to the company’s feeder service from Tangier as a faster alternative for shippers.

The new service was launched in mid-November working in conjunction with Italy’s Groupo Grendi, which has a logistics service to Tunisia and also provides the operations at the port of Cagliari on Italy’s island of Sardinia. The service is positioning Cagliari as a logistics hub to efficiently serve a growing but still complex market for operational management in North Africa, says Grendi.

“Our new offering is reducing the transit times to and from Tunisia significantly while also adding reliability and efficiency to the supply chains of our customers in this important market,” says Ruben Moratinos, Maghreb Head of Sales at Maersk.

Maersk contacted for the RoRo Wedellsborg to maintain the weekly service between the Port of Rades in Tunisia and Cagliari. Built in 20214, the vessel which is 11,630 dwt is owned by the Danish firm Weco. The vessel had been part of the Nordana operation which Weco acquired from DFDS in 1984. They had deployed the Wedellsborg on a trans-Atlantic RoRo service before closing down Nordana in 2017. 

Registered in Italy, the ship is one of the unique vessels in service for Maersk. It is 589 feet (179 meters) in length with 2,600 lane meters and a stern ramp. However, for its service, Maersk is only using the vessel to transport containers. Maersk highlights that the new transport solution is connecting the growing Tunisian market to its mainliner services to and from Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. 

The RoRo is leaving the port of Tunis Rades (Tunisia) every Friday evening, calling the Cagliari (Italy) on Saturday, and connecting with Maerk’s hub port in Tangier (Morocco) on Thursday. Starting in January 2024, they will also be offering a connection to the eastern part of Algeria with the reopening of the port of Annaba which Maersk highlights will boost the intra-Mediterranean trade.

To ensure seamless and reliable logistics in Tunisia, Maersk reports it has established a wide range of value-added services including the availability of a bounded warehouse, airfreight, less than container load cargo (LCL) as well as supply chain and 4PL solutions. Other integrated logistics services include customs service, inland transportation, insurance, depot services, and cold chain logistics.

The unique operation bypasses the busier container terminals in Tunisia while also providing a link to the company’s feeder service in the region. It is a new alternative for shipping providing a link to Europe.