Marguisa – Madrid, Spain

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Interview with

Mr. Andres Cadenas

Head of Sales & Marketing, Container Line Division
Andres Cadenas

First, Andres, can you please tell us about the history of Marguisa? Are you a shipowner, a shipbroker, a liner agent, a forwarder, or all the above?

Marguisa was founded in 1990 with the name Mares de Guinea (abbreviated to Marguisa), offering regular sailings from Spain to Equatorial Guinea and mainly returning logs and sawn timber.

Today, Marguisa Shipping Line is part of a holding group called Sea & Ports. It offers regular services covering trades between the Mediterranean Sea, the North Continent, South America, Asia, the Middle East and the East Med to two main destinations: the coast of West Africa and the Caribbean Sea. Marguisa is the leading carrier to and from Equatorial Guinea and is a well-known operator in other West African countries.

Additionally, Marguisa has developed a regular service to the Carribean and the Gulf of Mexico and has a wide range of maritime services accommodating all kind of cargo, using regular weekly full container services, monthly ro/ro services and monthly MPV services for project cargo in West Africa and the Caribbean.

Marguisa equipment
Shipping loading

I understand that you are very active in the African trade. Can you tell us more? What kind of services do you offer going into Africa? Also, are you using both owned and non-owned tonnage?

Yes, West Africa is at the heart of our core business. Our PC service offers regular direct weekly departures from Valencia, Algeciras and Tangier Med to West Africa (Lome, Cotonou, Bata, Malabo, Kribi, Douala and Libreville). Additionally, the PC service connects (via one port of transhipment) the North Continent, East Med, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the Far East, North America, The Gulf of Mexico and South America with West Africa.

It enjoys the support of five modern PC geared ships with a capacity of 3.600 TEU, fully celled and geared. PC is the faster and more reliable service on the market and It connects practically the entire world with West Africa via Valencia, Algeciras and Tangier Med as transshipment hubs.

The new Marguisa Calabar service offers weekly departures to Calabar. The main trading areas, including the Far East, South East Asia, North Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, India and the Middle East, in addition to many other regions, will henceforth be linked to Calabar via the transshipment port of Malabo. The new Calabar feeder will connect with our well-known MAS service at Malabo on a fortnightly basis.

With this new service, Marguisa is offering its customers an effective alternative to the ports of Onne and Port Harcourt as entry gates to the Cross River and Akwa Ibom areas. Global coverage, regularity, service integrity and competitive transit times will translate into cost savings for our customers.

Thanks to our extensive network of agents and the dedicated team located in Calabar, we are committed to meeting customer requirements in terms of high-quality services, as well as smooth booking, operation and documentation processes.

The MPV service offers regular monthly departures from the entire Mediterranean (including the black sea) and European ports to West Africa’s main and secondary ports and to ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It enjoys the support of a fleet of class A modern heavy lift ships, highly specialised in project cargo. All operated ships are geared to ensure the loading of all kinds of heavy cargo. We also enjoy the complete range of additional equipment such as spreaders, lashing material, etc.

On the operational side, we have the most experimented team of port captains for African ports, who personally attend all loading and unloading operations of the ships, assisted by a qualified crew. These ensure the best service for our clients.

Loading a truck onto a ship
Crane lifting a container

Regarding African trade, traditionally I would think that France and the UK (and possibly even Italy) would have an interest, at least in shipping. Why do you feel that Spain and Equatorial Guinea (via Marguisa) have such a close link?

There is a historical link between Equatorial Guinea and Spain. One of the official languages in Equatorial Guinea is the Spanish, which makes business between both countries very easy. As a Spanish company working in Equatorial Guinea for more than thirty years, we feel that the country is like our home. All our staff have spent plenty of time living in the country, myself included. It helps very much to understand customers’ needs and how we can be involved in developing Equatorial Guinea.

Our group, Sea & Ports, has made huge investments in Equatorial Guinea over the past few years. Terminales Multiproposito de Guinea Ecuatorial (TMGE) is the stevedore operating in Bata & Malabo who belong to our group. International Maritime Agency S.A (IMAGESA) is the Ship Agency belonging to our group as well. We have more than 200 employees in Equatorial Guinea and that’s the main reason why we’re leading this market. We are very professional and customer satisfaction is our goal.

Our commitment to Equatorial Guinea is huge. It’s not only business. In fact, what we have is a partnership, and we are very proud. Our customers trust in us, not only like a carrier. They look for logistics solutions and we are ready and glad to assist them.

Do you have wholly-owned offices in Africa or elsewhere outside Spain?

As I’ve said, our group has offices in Equatorial Guinea (Bata and Malabo) for our core business. We also have offices in Spain (Valencia, Barcelona, Alicante, Algeciras, Bilbao, Vigo and Madrid), as well as in Hong Kong and Mauritania.

Shipping heavy equipment
A large container vessel

Tell us about your client base. Are they mainly shippers, freight forwarders or a natural mix?

We have a mixed customer portfolio. We work with the biggest freight forwarders and directly with the biggest importers in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroun and Libreville. We’ve also worked with local companies on FOB or CFR shipments. Our flexibility and transparency make things very easy, as we respect all roles. We’re focussed on customer service and helping them to transport their goods as fast as we can and for the lowest possible costs.

A container being loaded onto a vessel.
A container being transported by vehicle.

How can you be reached for further information?

If someone wants additional information, contact details are updated and available on our website, www.marguisa.com. We are always ready to make customers happy 😉.

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