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SHANGHAI: June 2, 2018. Evergreen is adding capacity to its East Africa Service (AEF) with three direct calls from ports in Central and southern China to Mombasa to support increased Chinese investment in East Africa.

Evergreen Line and COSCO are adding one vessel each to five 4,200 TEU vessels currently deployed by the two carriers plus X-Press Feeders on a seven-week service rotation that also includes Singapore, Port Klang (West) and Colombo.

A 2017 report by Ernst and Young predicts that Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia will all grow at an annual rate of more than 6.0 percent for the next 10 years.

MombasaA similar report by McKinsey last year says Africa–China trade has been growing at approximately 20 percent per year since 2000 and foreign direct investment has risen 40 percent over the past decade.

In 2015 the value of the two-way trade was US$188 billion, according to the consultant, followed by India (US$59 billion), France (US$57 billion), US (US$53 billion) and Germany (US$46 billion). China invested US$21 billion in infrastructure that year while the next highest investor, France, spent US$3 billion.

Evergreen says its AEF service extension “is an appropriate reaction to customer demands within the China - East Africa trade”. McKinsey estimates there are 10,000 Chinese companies operating throughout the continent with nearly a third involved in manufacturing, 25 percent in services and around 20 percent each in trade, construction and real estate.

“In manufacturing, we estimate that 12 percent of Africa’s industrial production—valued at some US$500 billion a year in total—is already handled by Chinese firms. In infrastructure, Chinese firms’ dominance is even more pronounced, and they claim nearly 50 percent of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market," according to the report.

In late June the Port of Mombasa reported a new record in container operations with the discharge of 3,872 TEUs in less than eight hours. Head of Container Operations Edward Opiyo said every vessel at the port now finishes at an average of 40 gross moves per hour.

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