Second State of Logistics Report launched

Building block
Leandrea Louw
Walvis Bay • [email protected]

The second Namibia State of Logistics report was launched in Walvis Bay on Thursday.

This report builds upon the work of the first report (launched in 2018) and includes a section that investigates the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

Speaking at the launch, deputy works and transport minister Veikko Nekundi said that Namibia has made great strides towards developing transport infrastructure.

“This not only benefits Namibians, but also our neighbouring countries. Not only do we have good transport infrastructure at our disposal, we have a port with great potential to stimulate regional economic integration. The port of Walvis Bay is well equipped, reliable, safe, and efficient and is expanding rapidly. For the fifth consecutive year, Namibia has retained its position as the country with the best road network (number one) on the continent.”

According to the first report, the logistics sector grew by an average of 16.1% from 2007 to 2017. The report also states that Namibia's logistics costs have declined by 11.4% to stand at 15.6% in relation to GDP in 2017, having peaked at 17.6% in 2016.

‘Crucial document’

“This report is a crucial industry document as it provides fact-based metrics and knowledge about the sector and logistics activities which are essential to establish reliable benchmarks. It also allows the marketing, advertising and advancing of the Logistics Hub not only in the region, but internationally,” Nekundi said.

According to the second report, prior to Covid, the industry was following Namibia's economic trajectory as measured by its GDP, but was then hit by the pandemic.

“Like all other countries' industries, the logistics sector suffered from reduced demand and has been affected by delays as well as additional regulations but, although weakened, has survived.”

The minister lauded the logistics industry for its resilience.

“Essential supply chains have continued to operate, goods have been transported and delivered, and trade has continued, allowing businesses, communities and individuals to survive. All this was done under challenging circumstances, strict quarantine rules and more complicated border procedures.”

Looking ahead

WBCG chief executive Mbahupu Tjivikua said that the process of developing the next strategic plan with positioning Namibia as the Logistics Hub, is on track.

“This is not only to the benefit of Namibia but to the hinterland and the world economy at large. Our neighbouring countries need us now more than ever. Our competitiveness in the global arena will also be determined by our responsiveness to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Are we ready as a nation? Only the fittest will survive, therefore we need to adapt or die.”

Tjivikua said that most businesses now need to start operating on a 24/7 hour basis.

“We need to embrace a new culture. Our borders and the relevant agencies need to provide services on a 24-hour basis. We need to beef up our service levels and start playing in the big leagues with Singapore, China and Dubai amongst others. A serious paradigm shift is required in our sector.”

He added that the next State of Logistics Report will investigate aspects of capacity building and skills, the development of key infrastructure along trade routes, the role of women and SMEs in the transport and logistics sector, road safety, transport security and trade facilitation, as well as the transformation from transport corridors to economic development corridors.