Four ROROs heading for Walvis Bay

Vehicles destined for local market, neighbouring countries

20 May 2019 | Infrastructure

Taná Pesat: Namport: " This signifies an increase of 39.9% and an 8% contributing to the total cargoes handled at the Port of Walvis Bay."

The Port of Walvis Bay will receiving calls from 4 Roll-on/Roll-off (RoRo) ships later this month, the provisional port log indicates.

They will discharge over 350 vehicles destined for the Zambian, Zimbabwean, Botswana and local markets.

Three vessels will call in the third week with a fourth expected to arrive in the last week of May.

The Eternal Ace will arrive first, on 20 May, from Brunswick in the USA en route to East London in South Africa. The Glovis Cougar will arrive from Antwerp, Belgium, and the Hoegh Shanghai from Tangier, Morocco, on 22 May. The Prime Ace will arrive from Tema, Ghana, on 31 May. These vessels are heading to Durban in South Africa.

The port authority explained that in the event of two RoRos docking on the same day and time, one vessel will have to wait on anchor for space, if not available.

The Port of Walvis Bay is Namibia's largest commercial port, receiving approximately 3 000 vessel calls each year and handling about 5 million tons of cargo.

The Namibian Ports Authority has since January 2019 to date received 12 RoRo vessels.

Taná Pesat the corporate communication manager for Namport explained that the vehicles arriving at the port are not counted per vehicle (or unit) but by freight tonnage instead.

“The number of vehicles handled at the Port of Walvis Bay during the recorded financial year 2017/2018 was 196,271 (freight tonnes) in contrast to the number of vehicles handled in the financial year 2018/2019 which was 274,504 (freight tonnes) respectively. This signifies an increase of 39.9% and an 8% contributing to the total cargoes handled at the Port of Walvis Bay. Most vehicles are exported to landlocked SADC destinations such as Zambia, Zimbabwe, DRC and Malawi.

The importation of new and second-hand vehicles has steadily grown and is set to increase. An area of land that can accommodate 3 500 vehicles has been identified for future growth.

Namport already indicated in its 2014 Annual Report that it was looking to attract imports from a major new car manufacturer through the Port of Walvis Bay and said it will be developing a new car terminal as a public-private partnership for such purpose.

RoRos can berth at designated areas only due to the access ramp that has to be lowered.

They are designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter.

This is in contrast to lift-on/lift-off vessels, which use a crane to load and unload cargo. RoRo vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port and can carry up to 5 500 vehicles per load.