Hamburg Süd, the German shipping group, has revealed that it is to launch its own agencies in Italy and Egypt in a bid to increase its Mediterranean presence.

The company will open a head office in Salerno, Italy, as part of a joint venture with Gallozzi Group. Named the Hamburg Süd Agency South Italy (HSASI), it will open on 1 January and will replace existing partnerships with Costamar and Joint Maritime Agencies.

In Egypt, the new agency will be established under the banner of Hamburg Süd Maritime Agencies Egypt and will be located in Alexandria. The operation is a joint venture between the Hamburg Süd, Tabadol and Mesco.

'With the establishment of propriety agencies in Southern Italy and Egypt, all Hamburg Süd services can, with effect from 1 January 2009, be handled there via one contact instead of through two agencies as at present,' the group said in a statement. 'This means shorter channels of communication and faster decision making, to the advantage of our customers.'