MSC Project Cargo Solutions Help Drive Africa's Industrialisation


MSC Project Cargo Solutions Help Drive Africa's Industrialisation



MSC, known as the world's largest container carrier, has been taking care of oversized "project cargo" freight that won't fit in 20 or 40-foot box for over 40 years. From Asia to West Africa, and all over the globe, our specialized teams are capable and ready to deal with a variety of requests for oversized cargo.

Our extensive inventory of special equipment gives us the capability to transport large, heavy, and irregular sized cargo. For example, we can handle cargo using floating, mobile, or Gantry cranes. Our teams are extensively trained and offer destination-specific knowledge and support for oversized cargo requiring special equipment such as platforms, open top containers, or flat racks.

Africa is increasingly benefiting from this niche area of cargo shipping. For breakbulk cargo being transported to West Africa, MSC offers direct connections to our Lomé hub in Togo from across the world. From Lomé, we can directly arrange for cargo to be brought anywhere in the West Africa region, for example Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, or imported into Togo itself.

Detail oriented and dedicated

We recently transported three breakbulk packages of piping from Tianjin, China, to our terminal in Lomé, where they were then sent onwards to their final destination in Nigeria. The pipes will ultimately be used for the development of the energy sector, feeding into the industrialisation of the country.

We pay maximum attention to the entire process and to all levels of operation. As far as the planning and transportation process of large shipments is concerned, as soon as we receive the request for quotation, a taskforce is activated in order to evaluate the feasibility and the risks that may occur during the treatment of the packages and to make corrections.

The three packages of cargo were inspected by on-site experts in Tianjin, and then two were loaded using a shore gantry crane and one using a floating crane for the heavier weight. The team of stevedores ensured that each piece of cargo was safely attached to the lifiting systems, and each piece was loaded onto a designated flat track container. They were then safely stored and lashed once loaded onto the ship by the team on the ground. Each package was lashed individually in the manner best suited to the weight and size of the cargo.

Justin Ohuonu, Port Captain and Terminal Efficiency Manager explained the process at the LCT:

“The Lomé Container Terminal has all the necessary infrastructure, handling equipment, and expertise to handle this kind of cargo. For this shipment, all the required resources were mobilized, and a synergy was established in order to achieve the desired result for the customer. As usual, special attention was paid to the whole process; from planning, to the operations on the quay, to the final delivery of the packages.”

The Pearl of Africa

To date, the Lomé Container Terminal is one of the top container terminals on the African continent. With a storage area of 53 ha, a quay length of 1050 meters, and a dock depth of 16.60 meters, all kinds of ships are welcome. Coupled with this infrastructure is a highly qualified and dedicated staff ­­– meaning that at LCT there is no wait for ships in the harbor.

In 2021 LCT passed the milestone of one million containers per year, and throughout 2022 so far has a performance level above 32 gross moves per hour (GMPH).

With the latest generation of equipment, LCT is ready for any cargo handling needs. Equipped with nine ship to shore (STS) cranes with two more on the way, two mobile cranes, 27 rubber tyred gantry (RTG) cranes and more than 70 trailer trucks, the terminal has a wide variety of resources to call on. Mobile cranes especially allow agility and precision when handling heavy cargos and ensure an increase in volumes handled and reduction in a ships time spent in the harbour.

The combined excellence of the LCT staff and resources available ensure it lives up to the promise of excellence expected by partners and shippers using the facility.

Global coverage, customized solutions

Included in our customized cargo solutions:

  • Expert stowage planning onboard our vessels
  • Customs clearance and documentation
  • Inland collection and deliveries using a variety of equipment
  • Stevedoring, port lashing, and port storage facilities
  • Global and regional coverage with regular weekly services
  • Loading, lashing, and securing the cargo at the origin port or nearby depot
  • Local experts liaising directly with the port
  • Dedicated customer service

We are committed to finding the best transport solution for special cargo, whatever its dimensions, weight, or destination.