CMA CGM resumes service for cashew export from Guinea-Bissau to India and Vietnam

Every year in June, the French shipping group CMA CGM resumes its biweekly Bijagos Shuttle container service (for three to four months), connecting by sea the small West African tropical country of Guinea-Bissau with the Spanish town of Algeciras (approx. 3,500 km ). So what? You could ask in India. This special sea container service exports huge quantities of cashews from Guinea-Bissau to India and Vietnam.

In 2022, Guinea-Bissau exported 2,31,000 tons of raw cashew nuts.

CMA-CGM announced that the dedicated service to Asia will operate from the Port of Bissau to Algeciras every two weeks from mid-June 2023 until the end of the cashew season.

The Bijagos shuttle service is operated entirely by CMA CGM using two 1,700 TEU (20ft Equivalent Unit) vessels. The first ship will be the LION, leaving Bissau on June 24th. The shipping company announced that a substantial stock of 40-foot containers was available in Bissau.

This unique product (service) takes place during the seasonal export of cashew nuts from Bissau to India and Vietnam. The line said it had its own hubs in Mundra, Port Klang and Singapore.

Once the smaller shuttle service reaches Algeciras, the containers of cashews are transhipped onto mainline ships (large vessels that offer direct services to various global destinations) on the westbound EPIC Europe Pakistan India Consortium (EPIC) service, serving the ports of Jebel Ali, Khalifa , to reach port; Karachi; Nhava Sheva and Mundra.

Other major shipping companies such as Maersk and MSC also offer various modes of transport, including multimodal, for exporting cashew nuts from Guinea-Bissau to India.

A November 2022 industry report said cashews are by far the most important crop in Guinea-Bissau, accounting for 60 percent of the country’s exports. It is the main source of income in rural areas. The estimated area under cashew nut cultivation is 223,000 hectares with an annual production of 230,000 tons, making Guinea-Bissau the fifth largest producer in the world. Most cashew nuts produced in Guinea-Bissau are exported to India for processing.

According to the report, Beta Group, the Kerala-based food company that owns the Nut King brand, will set up an industrial unit for the cashew business in the West African country of Guinea-Bissau. Subsequently, $100 million was announced for that country over five years.

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