The St. Helena Government after a process of 12 months has entered into an agreement with a new provider of ocean freight services for the island of St. Helena.

It was assessed that the German liner company MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping (MACS) to be the most suitable party for the provision of this service of both the technical quality of the submissions and the price offered for the service at an initial five-year term, with the option for a further five years.

The shipping service to the remote island will include a dedicated vessel shipping cargo directly between St Helena, Cape Town and Walvis Bay where it will be calling at the Island approximately every four weeks.

Final contractual elements have been agreed between the parties and a contract has been signed, as the St. Helena Government informs.

Now discussions are ongoing around the transition between the current service provided by Meihuizen International and the new MACS operation.

Once finalised the commencement date will be confirmed, but it is expected that the arrival date at St. Helena for the new service will be April 2024.

Mark Brooks, minister for the treasury and economic development, said: “As an Island territory this government knows how important shipping services are to our businesses and community. It’s important to appreciate the challenges of running a service to such a remote island with comparatively low volumes of freight when considered against other cargo routes. We import many vital goods, from food to construction materials, so it’s been important to take our time in identifying the right firm to partner with to deliver shipping services.”

Furthermore, he added that “I’d like to thank Meihuizen International for the service provided to the Island since the start of 2023. They were able to provide a service to St Helena at short notice, and we are grateful for their partnership over the last year.”

“We all at MACS are very grateful for having been awarded this contract which has a long-standing tradition which comes with big responsibility. We look forward to a close cooperation with SHG, contractors on the Island and its community with the aim of achieving the best possible result for all,” said a spokesperson from MACS.

Video credit: MACS