Quadrant ship joins GEX fleet
By K. K. CHADHA
QUADRANT Container Line (QCL) of South Africa will provide a new 1,500 teu vessel to the consortium operating the Good Hope Express Service (GEX).
Quadrant Express, launched in Poland in February, will enter the service next month.
The vessel will be chartered by QCL from affiliate Griffin Shipping Holdings.
QCL is one of the five members of the consortium which started the weekly service in January linking Japan, Asia, South Africa and the east coast of South America.
The others are NYK Line of Japan, CSAV of Chile, Nantai Line of Taiwan and Norsul of Brazil.
With the induction of the Quadrant Express, the consortium will operate 11 vessels with minimum capacity of 1,500 teus each on a 77-day round voyage.
As a member of GEX, Quadrant will offer a fixed-day weekly service from the Far East to the cast coast of South America.
QCL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Grindrod Unicorn Group (Grincor), which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
The group has been involved in the transportation of goods by sea, air and land in South Africa and internationally for more than 60 years.
Its main operating subsidiaries are Unicorn Lines and Griffin Shipping Holdings, incorporating the Eastbourne group of companies in Hong Kong.
Unicorn Lines provides shipping services on the South African Coast and operates and manages liner trades to the west and east coasts of Africa, South America, the Arabian Gulf, Indian sub-continent and the Indian Ocean islands.
Unicorn also manages and charters vessels for its liner services and bulk trade. It charters vessels to third parties, operates a national network of container depots in South Africa and provides marine and industrial services.
Griffin, which was listed in Johannesburg last year, is the group's international arm and is mainly involved in the ownership of multi-purpose vessels and containerships for charter to third party operators worldwide.
Hong Kong Maritime Co is QCL's general agent for Hong Kong and China.
The Taiwanese agent is United Shipping Corp, a sister company of Hong Kong Maritime.
QCL managing director Robert Sainsbury said that as the service grows, the company will look to expand its agency network into outlying areas and the Indian sub-continent to cater for feeder cargo.