Interim Sea Freight Service between Ascension/St Helena


6 March 2023


Government, Travel and Shipping


The AIG wishes to inform the public that it has agreed a contract with Meihuizen International to provide cargo freight shipping services between Ascension, St Helena and Africa. This will be an interim service for the calendar year of 2023 only.  The shipping service will begin in April 2023, with the first arrival of goods at Ascension expected on approximately 9 May 2023.


This follows the announcement by AW Shipping Management Ltd (AWSML) last year that the MV Helena service to St Helena and Ascension would come to an end, and the last voyage to Ascension would be in December 2022.  At the end of last year, the St Helena Government (SHG) then announced the award of a 12 month interim contract to Meihuizen International to provide cargo services to St Helena. Following this the AIG have negotiated an extension to three of the voyages under that contract to include a service to and from Ascension.


The new service will be operated using the MV Maria da Paz between Luanda (Angola) and St Helena with stops at Walvis Bay (Namibia), St Helena and (on three of the voyages) Ascension, from where it will return to Luanda via St Helena.  The new service will allow for two transhipment routes, one from London Tilbury and another from Cape Town, along with introducing new consolidators and potentially opening up new options to source goods and materials in Luanda and Walvis Bay.

The approximate arrival dates for each of the three voyages to Ascension are 9 May 2023, 7 September 2023 and 4 December 2023. A full schedule is being finalised and confirmed dates will be published in due course.


The AIG have worked closely with the Island Council to agree the provision of this interim service and the AIG will subsidise the service on the St Helena-Ascension-St Helena legs.   A longer term solution is under negotiation as part of a tender process being run by the SHG, which the AIG is participating in.


Commercial cargo rates for the first voyage on the St Helena-Ascension-St Helena legs will be similar to those charged for the MV Helena’s final call in December 2022, although rates for different types of cargo will vary.  The AIG will review the uptake of this interim service after the first voyage to determine whether cargo rates on subsequent voyages will need to increase. Cargo rates for shipments from Luanda/Walvis Bay/Cape Town to and from St Helena will be charged separately by Meihuizen International.


The AIG understands that several operators have shown interest in the provision of a substantive replacement cargo shipping service for St Helena from 2024 onwards.  As part of the tender evaluation for this service, the AIG will seek to secure the best option for all parties to extend a call at Ascension to a number of voyages each year.  The AIG will provide an update on the SHG led tender process once more information becomes available.


For general information on the 2023 interim service, including cargo rates (between St Helena and Ascension), please contact Kitty Georg by email: or by telephone 66244.


For specific enquiries, including cargo rates between Luanda/Walvis Bay/Cape Town and St Helena, please contact Meihuizen International directly at:


Maria Anderson – email:  cell: +27(0)834555001

Richard Fortune – email: cell: +27(0)834555006

Office Landline tel: +27(0)214405400