"To be viable, the project must take into account the imbalance between imports and exports of some countries in the region," said Julien immediately Audibert, Director of Freight and Transit Limited, a company specializing in the transportation of goods by road maritime, in particular.
Constraints that must be overcome to establish a shipping line indianocéanique are many argued Julien Audibert. "Madagascar, for example, has only one port, one of Tamatave, which has the appropriate port infrastructure." While the Big Island is positioned keystone of food security project.
"Such a project is not viable in the current state of things. There is not yet the necessary volume of trade ", for its part, another operator, who wished to remain anonymous.
His explanation: if a ship was to serve all the islands of the region, it should charge the same freight rates as other vessels using the same shipping lanes to be competitive and offer a cost attractive for trade.
"But to be profitable, its cargo it should be around double what is currently practiced," said the operator. It takes, for example, $ 600 per container, Mauritius to Madagascar.
Profitable for a boat dedicated to shipping in the Indian Ocean, it would take about $ 1,000. Ranjoy Neerohoo, Managing Director of Maersk (Mauritius) Ltd, feels the same way.
"We must consider other factors. For example, more than one boat is small, the cost will be high, "he adds. And to support such an approach, the state subsidies involved become imperative, he said.
Another important point: the nature of the region's ports. If Port Louis, Le Port, Reunion, and Tamatave stand, others may be a problem.
Especially where transit is long or irregular because of port facilities, among others. "To amortize the costs, we need a critical mass of containers exchanged," added Julien Audibert.
"The market itself is small and limited," says Ranjoy Neerohoo. According to him, a line dedicated to the maritime region can be viable only under certain conditions. First, it must be sustained and regular service.
Then, the flow of exports and imports in the region makes it possible to fill the containers. "A container that does not move also has a cost," he recalls.
A certain volume of maritime trade already exists, moreover, between the countries of the Indian Ocean area. Besides agricultural products, this volume also concerns textiles, among others. In addition, the current service plays on routes used by medium and large carriers.
So there is a maritime communication between them, without it being specifically dedicated to the issue of food security.