Beyond Cocoa, Coffee and Cotton: Discover the Other Agricultural Commodities Africa Ships with MSC


Beyond Cocoa, Coffee and Cotton: Discover the Other Agricultural Commodities Africa Ships with MSC



Africa is famous for its coffee, cocoa, cotton and cashew nuts, but did you know the continent is also a leading producer of sesame seeds, citrus fruits, chickpeas and more? By providing African producers with access to improved internal transportation links, better equipment, and more regular and reliable shipping services, MSC is helping to support both intra-African and export trade.

Agriculture and agribusiness are driving economic growth across Africa, employing more than half of the continent's population and representing over 50% of the gross domestic product (GDP) of some of its nations. Its fertile plains and agricultural know-how produce many of the world’s most important and highly-prized crops, including cocoa from the Ivory Coast and Ghana, tea from Kenya, coffee from Ethiopia and cotton from Egypt. Little wonder that its agriculture and agribusiness markets are projected to exceed US$1 trillion by 2030.

Did you know? 

Up to 70% of food produced in Africa is grown on small farms. Improvements in shipping and logistics infrastructure will help to bring these goods swiftly and efficiently to markets 

Supporting the growth of African produce

African agriculture is about more than cocoa, cashews and coffee. The continent is also one of the leading producers of fruit, vegetables and legumes, including chickpeas, sesame seeds, citrus fruits and more.

These types of agricultural produce require meticulous care and specialist support throughout their entire journey to preserve freshness, taste, texture and aroma. That’s why it’s so important for Africa’s rural producers to have access to the vital equipment and knowledge they need to maximize the shelf-life of their harvested goods, reduce food wastage and ensure first-class produce on arrival.

MSC assists African smallholders and enterprises by providing the solutions and services they need to transport their goods swiftly and efficiently to markets across the continent and overseas.

Agriculture in Africa holds vast growth potential,” says Clio Guagente, MSC’s West Africa Export Trade Manager. “Not only does the continent produce a wide range of crops, but its agricultural business landscape is also evolving rapidly. Thanks to MSC’s investment in maritime and inland services, producers can access the transport and logistics infrastructure they need to succeed.

Connecting Africa to its most important markets

Backed by our seasonal flexibility and the MSC “personal touch”, we connect African producers to key markets around the globe through our regular, frequent and reliable shipping network. This includes:

  • Direct calls and frequent sailings between the main cashew exporters in West and East Africa to importers around the world;
  • Specialist equipment and support for leading cocoa-producing countries, including Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Nigeria;
  • Inland transportation and specialist shipment preparation services for the world’s top coffee producers in Ethiopia and beyond, including depots with dedicated stuffing areas for coffee, container pre-stacking facilities and a bonded area to speed up the customs clearance process;
  • A sea, road, rail and barge network connects the world’s largest sesame seed-producing regions in Africa with key trade centres in Asia, Europe and North America; and
  • Specialist seasonal services to support fruit and citrus fruit producers in countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa and the Ivory Coast. 

Helping African agriculture achieve its potential

With dedicated teams in more than 40 countries, MSC and its subsidiaries provide door-to-door solutions for dry and food-grade cargo to keep perishable produce in perfect condition throughout its entire journey.

By combining our global shipping network with dedicated warehouses, depots and packaging facilities in strategic locations around Africa, plus container repair centres, stock monitoring services, documentation and customs solutions, and GPS tracking, we make life easier for producers by providing one single logistic operator from plant to vessel.

We are working with agribusinesses across Africa to ship an even wider range of agricultural commodities. Look out for future updates as we add new inland and shipping solutions to share produce from Africa’s garden with the world.

MSC container being moved by truck through the landscape of trees

" Thanks to MSC’s investment in maritime and inland services, producers can access the transport and logistics infrastructure they need to succeed.  "

Clio Guagente MSC's West Africa Export Trade Manager