Maersk bullish on investing in Egypt, says decision contingent upon higher port traffic
Maersk interested in Egypt opportunities, but appetite is dampened by low volumes, high port fees: Logistics and transport services provider Maersk is keen on expanding in Egypt and is currently studying opportunities in energy, infrastructure and fuel shipping through its office in Cairo, according to Technical Superintendent Lars Christensen, Al Mal reports. Christensen said the company was engaged in “positive talks” with the government, but that the decision to invest is contingent upon an increase in the volume of cargo handled by Egyptian ports, where numbers dropped by c. 60% over the last two years as port fees were increased. Other ports in the region lowered their fees, and the “significant difference” in cost is making it difficult to attract new lines to Egypt’s ports unless the government decides to slash tolls, Christensen recently told Enterprise. The government has been working to offset higher port fees through discounts and other incentives in order to attract new shipping lines to the Suez Canal area, particularly after an alliance — made up of Yang Ming, Hapag-Lloyd, K Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and the NYK Group — decided to cease operations at East Port Said in protest to the hike in port fees last year.