MSC follows Hapag-Lloyd in increasing shipping opportunities for South African citrus this season

South African citrus sources has revealed that another international shipping line, MSC, will introduce extra opportunities for citrus exports when the new season starts in April.

MSC container ship Algeciras

This follows a previous announcement that Hapag-Lloyd is to increase loading at two South African ports, Durban and Gqeberha, by May, with the additional service running till September.

The Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa (CGA) said it was very pleased to welcome an additional direct shipping service from the ports of Ngqura and Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape this season.

“MSC, a global container shipping leader, has recently announced an additional service, running every Tuesday from the end of May to the beginning of September, during the height of the citrus season,” the CGA stated.

“MSC has provided the citrus industry with shipping services for many years and this expanded offering is a welcome development.”

The CGA noted that the additional service was good news for Eastern Cape citrus growers.

“Growers in Patensie, the Sunday’s River Valley and Kat River who export their high-quality citrus to Europe, will be able to make use of this option.”

These areas contribute a major part of the South African citrus export crop. The CGA previously stated that increased shipping opportunities would bring more stability to citrus exports.

The CGA is presently formalising its crops projections for the season, which are due to be announced in March.

“At present the CGA looks forward to the year with cautious optimism,” it outlined. ”The fruit on the trees is looking very good and we expect an increased crop yield in the coming season.”

There is also the potential for another record season, the CGA confirmed.

“It has been projected that South Africa can, with the committed support of all role-players, increase its citrus exports from last year’s 165.1m 15kg cartons to 260m cartons by 2032,” the industry body added.

”This will not only generate more revenue but create 100,000 more jobs on farm level alone.”