Vehicle imports ­increase significantly

Positive sign

14 July 2019 | Infrastructure

Immanuel Hanabeb; Namport; “24% imported for the local market in the 2018/19 financial year.”

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) recorded 274 504 freight tonnes of vehicles handled at the Port of Walvis Bay in the 2018/19 financial year.

According to Immanuel Hanabeb, the executive for commercial services at Namport, this is an increase of 39% in comparison to the 2017/18 financial year.

He attributed the steep rise in percentage to aggressive marketing of the facilities and services offered to Namport users.

“Approximately 35% of the total freight tonnes went to Zimbabwe, 22% to Zambia, 11% to Botswana, 5% to Malawi and 3% to the DRC, with 24% imported for the local market during the 2018/19 financial year. The growth trajectory for the first few months of the new financial year also indicates that we are maintaining this upward momentum.”

Significant spinoffs

Hananbeb said that the arrival of RoRos and vehicles in particular brings significant spinoffs and contributes quite a substantial amount of money to the economy. “This is in part due to the fact that most of this cargo is not Namibian-bound. Towns and people along the corridors also benefit in terms of spending on fuel, food and levies. Once we relocate to the new container terminal, we will have a dedicated and additional space which will improve the storage aspect.”

The location of the Port of Walvis Bay allows it to provide an easy and fast transit route between southern Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. Namibia's largest commercial port, receives approximately 3 000 vessel calls each year and handles about 5 million tons of cargo.

Namport port engineer Elzevir Gelderbloem said once the new container terminal in Walvis Bay becomes operational, it will open up and double the port's capacity to handle all sorts of cargo.

“The inauguration of the new container facility is scheduled for 2 August with the start of operations scheduled for the end of August. The private sector should utilize this increased capacity and grow actual throughput.”