Dubai-based MAG Container Lines, a division of the multinational MAG Group, has added three new automated vessels to its existing fleet, boosting potential capacity on its busy Iraq shipping route by an additional 60 per cent.
A total of US$6 million was invested in the IAX-class vessels, which have an individual cargo capacity of 301 TEUs, or 3,549 metric tonnes, with all three ships already operational.
Al Hussein, MAG Bride and MAG Pearl will serve demand on MAG Container Lines’ long-established UAE-Iraq route.
The company first began operations in 2005 as a pioneer liner from Khalid Port in Sharjah to the high profile private port Abu-Fulus, located 25 kilometres south of the commercially strategic city of Basra.
“In the last eight years we have seen demand for additional capacity on this vital commercial route almost double, and in the gulf region in general and the decision to invest in new vessels is part of a long term strategy to take MAG Container Lines to the next level of operational capabilities to serve our upcoming routes to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka,” said Hagop Gharnagharian, MAG Container Lines CEO, MD and Partner.
The addition of the three new ships brings MAG Container Lines’ fleet to a total of six container vessels, with a cargo capacity of 4,000 TEU and will transport all types of cargo.
“This allows us to maximise our Gulf operations with a fully committed schedule of 18 voyages per month as well as the flexibility in terms of managing client expectations and reducing our dependence on chartered vessels in peak demand periods,” said Gharnagharian.
In 2012, MAG Container Lines recorded turnover of AED 125.43 million, with Gharnagharian forecasting this to rise to AED 132.65 million in 2013.
“Looking ahead, we plan to double our fleet with the next five years and take our total capacity to 12,000 TEUs. We have identified several new areas of opportunity for MAG Container Lines with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka targeted as key markets for maritime trade sector growth in the next few years,” he said.
Ref: arabian supply chain