Magazine article African Business

A Ship Called Sandra

Magazine article African Business

A Ship Called Sandra

Article excerpt

The esteem with which the Mediterranean Shipping Company holds the man who runs the South African operation, Captain Salvatore Sarno, became evident when they named a ship after his wife.

The sleek, 273m merchantship, MSC Sandra, was launched last October with the traditional bottle of champagne across the bows. Captain Sarno said of the ceremony: "My wife Sandra and I have experienced one of the most emotional days of our lives - it is an old dream come true.

The MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company of Geneva, Switzerland, is a privately owned shipping line, founded in 1970.

It has grown rapidly to become one of the leading global lines, growing its fleet to reach the rank of the world's second largest carrier in 1998 in terms of the number of vessels operated (134) and the 4th largest carrier in respect of container slot capacity.

Four new vessels, each with a capacity of 4000 containers came into service at the end of last year, and further maxi-class ships each carrying 6,400 TEUs have been commissioned for delivery beginning in June this year.

An employer of more than 800 local people, MSC has invested more than R130m to establish a strong South African presence. The company owns buildings in Durban, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth and construction of its new R30m Cape Town offices is underway.

Neopolilan credo

In addition to its commercial fleet, South Africans have enjoyed voyages on Mediterranean Shipping cruiseliners, the most recent being the Symphony which returned to Italy last year having spent four years in and around South Africa, carrying a total of over 100 000 passengers to various destinations. …

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