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Simatech risks pirates with Somalia box service

Simatech risks pirates with Somalia box service
Dubai: Middle East feeder service provider Simatech has launched a fortnightly service to Mogadishu from DP World's Jebel Ali port.

In Somalia the ships will be handled at the Mogadishu Port Container Terminal, developed and managed by Simatech Group. Simatech's ANIA, a 1,684 teu vessel sailed to Mogadishu with 535 containers, leaving Dubai on 13 February and following an initial trial voyage by the ro ro vessel AL SALMY 5 in December 2012.

Traders in Somalia have long been relying on the slower and less secure services of small break bulk vessels since container lines suspended services to the Somali capital due to political unrest and the threat of piracy.

Commenting on the launch, Mohammed Al Muallem, senior vice president and managing director, DP World, UAE Region, said, "We welcome Simatech's new service to Mogadishu through Jebel Ali, which then links Mogadishu and Somali through the regional gateway with the entire world. It is a significant step that will support the further development of the Somalian economy, which in the longer term will address the problem of piracy by providing a livelihood for Somalians."

M G Maghami, Chairman of Simatech group added, "This new container service of Simatech has come as a great relief to the importers and exporters of Somalia as they are able to transport their cargo safely and speedily."

Simatech plans to eventually upgrade the service to weekly.

Somali pirates recently released the Royal Grace and oil tanker Smyrni following undisclosed ransom payments.