RoRo traffic from Europe to South America

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Q&A with Ms Laura Bos, liner services of NMT International Shipping BV Netherlands


When was NMT established, who owns it and where do you have your own offices located at the moment?

NMT was established in January 1999 and started its operations in the Netherlands. The headquarter is nowadays located in Purmerend (just above Amsterdam). The entire NMT Group has 31 own offices and agents expanding over 50 countries. NMT is able to act and operate on a global scale to bring shipping solutions that suit the global shipping needs of clients from every corner of the world. The backbone of our Global RoRo Shipping business is founded on our long term and exclusive booking channel with Eukor Car Carriers Ltd.. This agreement, in addition to our own operated services and contracts with the other major RoRo lines, secures the unrivalled global NMT RoRo shipping presence.

Describe the trade route into South America, loading and discharging ports and give us some idea about the type of RoRo vessels that you are using in the service currently?

The South America service started in the Spring of 2014, loading in port Zeebrugge (Belgium) to Ecuador, Peru and Chile. Throughout the years we were able to expand this service, with an additional direct loading port at Bremerhaven and with the support of our Short-sea department we can easily arrange pre-carriages from the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and the Mediterranean Sea. Recently we’ve had a change in the routing which increased our range even more. Instead of going via Panama canal directly to the West Coast, we now first call Brazil (Santos) and Argentina (Zarate) on the East Coast. Via the Strait of Magellan we then continue our service from San Antonio up north to Iquique, Callao and Esmeraldas.

Is it your own tonnage or are you chartering according to demand? Is your service a liner service RoRo with fixed departure times or do you have a certain amount of sailings per year spread out?

We offer a fixed monthly service from Zeebrugge & Bremerhaven to South America. This is a fixed sailing, loading in Zeebrugge around the 20th of the month with a transit time of +/- 20 days before calling it’s first discharge port in South America. The upcoming vessel “Orchid Ace” is planned for loading on the 23rd of November in Zeebrugge. The December sailing “Meridian Ace” will be loading a bit earlier, 19th of December at Zeebrugge port.

(complete sailing schedule)

November sailing: Orchid Ace

Zeebrugge 23/11
Bremerhaven 28/11
Santos 10/12
Zarate 12 /12
San Antonio 22/12
Iquique 24/12
Callao 26/12
Esmeraldas 28/12

December sailing: Meridian Ace

Zeebrugge 19/12
Bremerhaven 22/12
Santos 10/12
Zarate 12 /12
San Antonio 22/12
Iquique 24/12
Callao 26/12
Esmeraldas 28/12

The October sailing was Euro Spirit:

The upcoming November sailing is Orchid Ace:

The December sailing is Meridian Ace:

Give some some examples of cargoes that you have carried into South America.

Depending on the destination we have carried both new and used trucks, truck trailers, cranes with many static counterweights, agricultural machines and we can also offer full static Mafi shipments with the assistance of our own NMT Tugmaster and Mafi Fleet.

What is the ramp capacity and door height opening of the typical RoRo ships that you employ? Can you provide a couple of pictures of your ships in service?

Depending on the available vessel we’ll have a minimum ramp capacity of 80 mt to 150 mt and a door height beginning from 4.90 meters to 5.10 meters high.

Where are the rates to South America controlled?  Can you accept fob cargoes as well (with freight payment in South America)?

Rate requests can be sent to our group mail WCSA which is controlled at NMT Headquarters. We accept both prepaid and collect shipments, these can be paid in our European accounts or in the accounts of our agents locally in Chile, Peru and Ecuador. We also have our own NMT office in Bolivia to assist local clients with any commercial or operational questions.

Can you accept shippers own containers as well onboard? Do you have your own mafi trailers and if so what is the weight/length capacity of same?

NMT is focused on RoRo shipments, however we can accept containers based on shipping them by means of our own mafi trailers. We’ve got several types of mafi trailers which can carry from 70 to 120 mt maximum.

How did you end up working in NMT? How many years have you been there and what is your background in shipping? Describe why you like to work in NMT and what do you find fascinating about the shipping business.

I started working at NMT roughly 5 years ago after finishing my Masters degree, in which I focused on international trade and shipping law. I started at our Africa & Australia service and currently am responsible for the South America trade. Starting the South America trade was a nice challenge in which we had to build our network and service from scratch. Even though the NMT Group is a huge organization, we still try to keep a personal connection with each other worldwide. This personal touch makes us feel like we are all part of one NMT family instead of “just” a general organization. What I find fascinating in the shipping industry is the network it’s build on, it is a small world wherein relationships are the key for a successful business. Secondly it’s a very dynamic sector, there’s always a new challenge to tackle and fortunately with our great support system we can assist worldwide with these queries.

Laura Bos LL.M.
Liner Services South America
NMT International Shipping B.V.
as agents for NMTC B.V. (NMT Lines)