Developing the Namibia Logistics Hub Initiative

Attracting new opportunities

13 May 2019 | Infrastructure

Clive Smith; WBCG’s Acting CEO; “The Logistics Hub Project aims to deepen economic integration and put in place measures to improve competitiveness and enhance closer trade and investment linkages.”

The advancement of the Namibia Logistics Hub initiative continues to gain traction as the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), through its Logistics Hub Project, pushes forward, implementing the strategies and plans detailed in Namibia’s Logistics Hub Master Plan.

The Hub Master Plan defines an international logistics hub as a place where a complete package of international logistics services is readily available in order to serve market demand for international logistics.

Integrated services consist of major functions required for international trade, including an efficient port, storage (operation base for logistics industry), an efficient transport network, collection and distribution of goods (international logistics companies) and cross-border arrangements.

The aforementioned elements of functions alone do not guarantee success of an international logistics hub. It is obvious that presence of substantial volume of market demand is a necessary condition for any hub to succeed. “No demand, no hub”. In this regard, development of a “hub” must include effective market development as well.

With the commencement of the countdown for the commissioning of the new container terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay, slated for August 2019, the WBCG has intensified efforts to attract more volumes and additional investment in infrastructure.

Core focus areas

Under the Logistics Hub Project, a number of additional studies and programs to support this initiative have been rolled out and completed over the past year.

Amongst them was the Strategic Marketing Study, which looked at the current trade in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), focusing on major volumes to and from markets like Zambia, DRC, South Africa and Botswana. Through this, the most suitable cargo type was identified and is supported by a strategic intervention plan to move more cargo on the Walvis Bay corridors.

The most recent project under the Logistics Hub initiative was the launch of the Namibia State of Logistics report, an important tool to gauge key areas in driving the initiative.

According to WBCG’s acting CEO, Clive Smith, the roll-out of this report serves as the benchmark for Namibian logistics activity and is a noteworthy milestone, since Namibia is one of the first African countries to have developed a report like this.

“Sustaining the momentum gained under the Logistics Hub Project whilst enhancing our business development activities to attract new opportunities to Namibia, remain one of our core focus areas. That being said, WBCG constantly re-evaluates its approach to the market.”

Smith added that this translates into fostering alliances and closer working relations with existing and potential members as well as users of the Walvis Bay corridors. “The Logistics Hub Project aims to deepen economic integration and put in place measures to improve competitiveness and enhance closer trade and investment linkages. Looking forward, the project aims to tackle the areas of capacity building, strategic marketing, better integrated border management, green logistics, port and corridor development.”