Massive shipment of sulphur arrives

A record-breaking shipment of sulphur arrived in the Port of Walvis Bay on Friday.
Otis Daniels_Finck
Coleman Transport was contracted by a local Uranium mine to offload and transport 42 000 tons of sulphur from the Port of Walvis Bay to the mine.

The transport company provides temporary employment to 40 local people in different capacities during the off-loading period.

The cargo, worth an estimated U$5 million, arrived from Russia on the bulk carrier Yi Long Shan that docked in the Port of Walvis Bay on Friday.

A part of the consignment of sulphur 17,000 tons, was originally destined for the Zambian market, but as a result of Covid-19, the sulphur was made available to the local market.

Namport acting CEO Kavin Harry welcomed the business.

“This is a very good development in terms of volumes and for the country’s economy. We are looking forward to similar shipments arriving and the handling thereof.”

The Yi Long Shan is the biggest sulphur carrying vessel to dock at the Port of Walvis Bay.

The bulk carrier was built in 2013 and sails under the flag of Hong Kong. It has a carrying capacity of 56 637t DWT and is 189.99m in length with a width of 32.26m.

The first shipment of sulphur weighing 31 000 tons arrived August 2019, followed by a second shipment of 33 000 tons in December 2019 and a third consignment of 22 000 tons in January this year.

Coleman Transport manager Johan Oosthuizen said that it would take two weeks and an estimated 1 250 truckloads covering a distance of over 300 000km to offload the cargo and transport it to its final destination.

“This translates into approximately 3 000 tons of sulphur being offloaded and transported per day. We are making use of local transport companies from as far as Rundu to assist with the transportation of this cargo.”

Oosthuizen hailed the exercise as a boost for the economy especially now and in light of the country’s borders being closed.


Founded by Ronnie Coleman in 1993, the company has grown from humble beginnings into a road cargo transport and logistics solution of choice for mining companies in Namibia as well as other industries requiring inward transport of consumables.

The company has headquarters in Windhoek, with depots at Rosh Pinah, Walvis Bay, Tsumeb, Springbok, Gauteng and Cape Town.

Coleman Transport is no stranger to the handling and transportation of sulphur, with over 24 years’ of experience in the field. The company is at the forefront of transporting quarterly shipments of sulphur arriving at the Port of Walvis Bay.

Coleman Transport is currently in the process of constructing a 10 000m² warehouse facility to store 60 000 tons of sulphur, mining reagents, and mining repair equipment for import and export purposes.

Storage space at the warehouse in Arandis and which is strategically placed for easy access to rail, will mainly be used for sulphur in transit to the Zambian and DRC markets.

The environmental certificate is already approved but due to the Covid-19 regulations, the process of completing the warehouse, was put on hold during the initial Covid-19 lockdown period.

Coleman Transport said it initially expects shipments of 50 000 tons to arrive starting September 2020, of which 30 000t is destined for the local market while the remaining 20 000t will be bagged with Coleman Transport’s own Bagging Plant at the Arandis warehouse.

The bagged product will be railed to Grootfontein in conjunction with an existing agreement between Coleman and TransNamib. From there it will be placed on road for onward transportation to the north. This operation will create Namibian employment in both the Arandis and Grootfontein areas and create 200 loads per month for road transport.

These volumes can be expected to grow to over 1 700 loads per month in the medium term, giving the Namibian logistics industry a well-deserved boost.