1. Can you please tell us about your organization while highlighting your major services?
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company is a leading global container carrier, port terminal operator and logistics provider. The company has been active in Africa since the early 1970s and is today making significant investments across the continent. In addition to our intercontinental shipping services, MSC helps to catalyse intra-African trade through our regional feeder sea networks and local inland services.
2. What services are you most excited about at the moment?
MSC has created the first proper container transshipment hub in the ECOWAS / Gulf of Guinea region through our investment in Lomé Container Terminal (LCT) in Togo and this has already translated to increasing volumes of cargo passing through the port of Lomé. The exciting part is the way in which Lomé pivots between global and regional sea networks and transportation links to hinterland countries. This gives both MSC and our sister company, MEDLOG, the opportunity to use Lomé as part of a fully integrated transportation and logistics service.
3. How do you think the Nigerian government’s plan to increase port and terminal activity will impact your business and the transportation/logistics industry?
We are in favour of a clear ports development masterplan and the shipping and terminal community is eagerly awaiting further information on this. Any new port development needs to be implemented hand in hand with the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the movement of goods and traffic to and from the ports. In fact, this is the greatest challenge in Nigeria right now in terms of final door to door transport costs. In general, we welcome plans to boost activity, provided the right infrastructure, backed by long-term commitments, is put in place.
4. Can you tell us a little more about your activities in the region?
MSC Nigeria Ltd is the agent for Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. in Nigeria. MSC offers its global port coverage to shippers and consignees in Nigeria, through dedicated terminals in Lagos and Port Harcourt, and is since 2017 the second largest container line by volume in Nigeria. MSC is present in over 40 countries across Africa, providing local customer service and expertise as well as access to our global transportation coverage. MSC is active across West Africa and our logistics business, MEDLOG, is growing rapidly as an independent provider of services such as warehousing, storage, documentation and road haulage. MEDLOG works in conjunction with either MSC’s services or the services of other shipping lines, depending on customer needs.
5. What in your view are the challenges to developing effective supply chain solutions in Nigeria?
Roads, roads, roads . . . the lack of adequate road infrastructure is the key challenge to address in order to reduce supply chain costs for importers and exporters.
6. What effect do you think the government’s collaborative effort with private companies like General Electric in modernizing and expanding Nigeria’s locomotive sector will have on the transportation and logistics sector and how?
Developing the railways is definitely going part of the way to addressing the infrastructure gap that leads to high logistics costs in Nigeria. However, rail is not necessarily an alternative to a well- developed and well-maintained road system. The government needs to do a proper cost-benefit analysis to determine if rail should be a priority for funds and resources, ahead of developing a road network that would link all major towns and cities with safe, secure and well-engineered roads. Nigeria is crying out for the latter.
7. Based on the ongoing plans and current development within the transport and logistics sector what would you say is the future outlook for this industry?
The future outlook will depend on the final execution of projects in several areas. First, proper port development, based on need and strategic location of facilities, in order to bring down logistics costs. Nigerian ports are among the most expensive in the world and this needs to be recognised and addressed, because it ultimately affects the price of goods on the shelf. Second, regional roads are slow and in poor condition, leading to a high rate of accidents with both human and economic costs arising. Much agricultural production is wasted due to inability to get product to market in time, especially in rainy seasons. However, with proper planning and the proper selection and execution of projects, there is a huge opportunity to make giant steps to reduce logistics costs and open up markets for domestic producers.
8. What are your areas of interest at Multimodal West Africa 2018, considering the success of the last edition?
We look forward to meeting current and future clients and further promoting the services and brand of MSC and MEDLOG in Nigeria and elsewhere in West Africa. Shippers are increasingly recognizing us for the full range of sea and land transportation services that we offer and the corresponding broad oversight and control over cargo that we can provide to our customers.
Managing Director, MSC Nigeria
Andrew Lynch oversees MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company’s container shipping liner agency and related commercial, operational, logistics and other activities of MSC in Nigeria.
MSC is a top three shipping carrier in Nigeria and also has port terminal investments and rapidly growing logistics and inland transportation businesses through its independent logistics arm MEDLOG.
Andrew’s career in shipping began more than 20 years ago with K Line (Europe) Ltd’s global headquarters in London, as assistant trade manager on the Asia – Europe, Asia – Mediterranean and Europe – Mediterranean trades.
He was subsequently a Line Manager, Commercial Manager and General Manager at X-Press Feeders, working in Italy, Switzerland and Spain, and Operations Manager with outsourcing company DA-Desk Dubai.
His African experience started in 2012 as General Manager at a division of Hull Blyth Ghana Ltd, a shipping agency active in Ghana and Nigeria. After a two-year stint managing MSC Ghana Ltd., he moved to Lagos in 2015 to become Managing Director of MSC Nigeria Ltd. Andrew has an honours degree in Maritime Business and Maritime Law from the University of Plymouth in the UK.