MC Easy Freight

MC Easy Freight — Mauritius

mceasy_hiddenimg

Interview with

Mr. Curtis Barbier
Agent Network Director

First of all, Curtis, tell us about the history of your company. Who owns it? What is your main business? What made you choose the name MC Easy Freight?

MC Easy Freight was launched on 31st July 2000 and stands out today as one of the leading, full-fledged freight & logistics providers. Over the years, we have established and nurtured a vast and reliable network of professional partners all over the world, thus providing a fully integrated supply chain for inbound, outbound, and cross-trade cargo.

Licensed by the Mauritius Revenue Authority customs department as a Freight Forwarder and FIATA member, we sit on the Administrative Committee of the Mauritius Association of Professional Freight Forwarders.

Our activities encompass all logistics and counseling services:

— Sea Freight
— Air Freight
— Cross-Trading
— Multimodal Transport Combinations
— Warehousing
— Consolidation
— Customs Brokerage
— Project Cargoes (Air and Sea)

We have experience in air charter since, to date, we have air freighted 27,000 kgs GWT equipment.

Since October 2017, MC Easy Freight forms part of ‘La Sentinelle Group’, the leading media group in Mauritius. This integration has opened doors to more penetration in African landlocked countries where we attend to door to-door deliveries of educational printed matter for educational projects funded by UNICEF. Founded in 1962, La Sentinelle Group publishes more than 30 titles and employs over 600 people clustered into three main business sectors: Media, Printing & Distribution, & Logistics. 

In August 2014, MC Easy Freight opened its own subsidiary in the Republic at the heart of the capital of Madagascar, Antananarivo and close to Ivato international airport. 

What prompted the choice for your company name?

Our co-Founders are Clarel Michaud and Marino Martin. The from where the initials MC came from. Easy Freight … We make Freight Easy.

Tell us about the port of Mauritius and what connections are available to/from Mauritius?

Port Louis, our only port, is at the crossroads of main shipping connections and positions itself as the preferred, regional, transshipment hub. Transshipment represents 52% of our container traffic with captive cargo at 48%.

From a lighterage port, Port Louis is now a modern, containerized port in continual upgrading to meet challenges in the shipping industry.

The port operates three distinct terminals:

Terminal I: Bulk maize, molasses, inter-island trade and fish port

Terminal II: Fuel. Coal, fertilizers, cement, general cargo and some cruise ships. Geared container vessels when terminal III is congested.

Terminal III: The Mauritius Container Terminal (MCT): Fully containerized vessels with a 22 TEU per hour productivity. The terminal works on 3 x 8 hours shift all year round except on 1st January. Vessels can operate on an alignment of 800m quays dredged at 16.5m and served by 8 shore gantries (3 Super Post-Panamax and 5 Post-Panamax shore cranes). The port offers a berthing window service to shipping lines facilitating their vessel operations at Port Louis.

The container yard covers can accommodate up to 21,000 TEUs including 576 reefers and is serviced by 16 RTGs and 50 trailers. Customs runs two container scanning units.

Shore cranes can handle loads up to 70,000 kgs. No mobile cranes are operated by the port but can be rented from specialized, heavy load companies.

Since 2008, fuel and heavy oil tankers have been operating at an oil jetty at the port entrance with a 4.0 million ton capacity per annum.

In its endeavor to cement its position as the preferred regional hub, the Mauritius Port Authority has commissioned a techno-economic, feasibility study on the construction of an Inland Container Terminal opposite the existing MCT. The port vision for 2040 is very promising:

Year     Captive   Transhipment   Total

2020    294,000       472,000      768,000TEUs

2025    354,000       679,000     1033000 TEUs

2030    420,000      904,000     1,324,000 TEUs

2035    487,000   1,119,000         1,606,000 TEUs

2040    560,000   1,382,000     1,942,000 TEUs 

The CNOI Shipyard (Chantier Naval de l’Ocean Indien) stands as one of the leading ship repair and shipbuilding yards in the Indian Ocean.

More than 350 vessels have entered the CNOI dry-dock since 2003. The shipyard offers full shipbuilding and repair facilities: mechanics, steelworks, pipeworks, painting, tank-coating, electricity, electronics (sub-contracted), hydraulics, cooling systems, bilge and tank cleaning, carpentry, and cranage up 130T.

A dedicated quay is allocated to cruise vessels.

Do you have heavylift cranes available or floating cranes?  Are you able to handle flatracks and oversized cargo coming into the islands, and if so, could you provide us with a few examples?

Though the port does not have shore cranes, such cranes can be rented from private companies.

Keep in mind that the port can handle out of gauge 20’ and 40’ containers as well as loads of 70,000 kgs under their shore cranes.

Special arrangements have been made whenever heavy and/or out of gauge loads are to be moved either to or from the port. Electric turbines and motors for sugarcane factories and the Central Electricity Board are among the heavy loads to move.  

Recently, I have seen that the Mauritius Development Board is trying to make the island into a transit hub for airfreight between Asia and Africa. What more could you tell us about that? I also understand that you have some major events planned to promote the island.

There was a project in which Mauritius aimed to become a bridge between Africa and Asia based on an agreement between Air Mauritius and the International Airport of Singapore for the creation of an ‘air corridor’ between the African and Asian continents. Air Mauritius hopes to open new prospects in a highly competitive environment. Changi Airport is a major hub of Asia. It hosts 120 airlines and is connected to 317 destinations worldwide. Singapore Airlines is one of the best airlines worldwide and operates a network of 64 destinations. The correspondence in Asia will be provided by Singapore Airlines and its subsidiaries, Silk Air and Tiger Airways, serving 90 destinations in Africa. Air Mauritius will provide flights between Singapore and Mauritius, as well as regional flights between Mauritius and African destinations and those of the southwest Indian Ocean.

There is also promotion of Mauritius through conferences organised by the economic development board. Examples include:

Mauritius: Gateway to Africa

Mauritius: The logistics platform to trade in Africa

The modern logistics infrastructure of the Mauritian port results in cost-effective shipping of cargo to Africa in a relatively short time frame. Advantages comprise the following:

— Zero corporate tax for trading activities
— Exemption from customs duty on all goods imported into the Freeport zones and free repatriation of profit
— Reduced port handling charges for all goods destined for re-export
— Access to the local market: 50% of re-export value
— Excellent logistics and distribution supply chain with cold chain facilities
— Low costs of operations (USD 330 in Mauritius Freeport compared to USD 2,000 in UAE’s Free zone).
— Preferential market access to COMESA and SADC RECs.

Since the implementation of our project in the Mauritius Freeport, we have benefited from strong and continued support from the broad network of available service providers. The reliability of such support greatly facilitated the start of our operations. The modern infrastructure and excellent sea and air connections also influenced our decision to set up in Mauritius. Notably, the Board of Investment has always been ready to assist us to ensure the smooth running of our business. Today, we’re looking forward to a long-term trading relationship with Mauritius

Additional advantages include:

— Impressive track record, political stability, and more than three decades of sustained economic growth
— Secure investment location with established rule of law
— Freest and most business-friendly country in Africa
— Peaceful, multi-ethnic community with a unique lifestyle in a blend of cultures
— Flexible, bilingual (English/French), and skilled workforce
— Investment-friendly regulatory regime
— Open to foreign investors and talents
— Ocean State with one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world
— Preferential market access to Africa, Europe, and the USA
— State-of-the-art infrastructure
— Convenient time zone (GMT +4)

How would you suggest that people contact you?

Our web site: www.mceasyfreight.mu

Contact person and address: Curtis Barbier, Agent Network Director, 20 Borneo Street, Port-Louis, Mauritius

Direct Line: +230 204 7807 | Mobile : +230 5255 4773

Email: cbarbier@mceasyfreight.mu