The preferred seaport in Africa

Namport reached yet another milestone.

23 February 2021 | Supplements

The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) handled 20 000 MT of bulk sulphur destined for the Zambian market, when a bulk sulphur bagging operation took place at the Port of Walvis Bay in a joint operation led by Namport, Steve Doring and Woker Freight Services in January this year.

The operation required offloading while the vessel was quayside, with sulphur being fed into Hoppers and then bagged to achieve a target of 3 000 MT a day.

The commodity was transported in trucks which will carry a return load of copper from Zambia to reduce freight costs and to optimise the economies of scale.

Both commodities are to be stockpiled at the Port of Walvis Bay until regular shipping calls are hosted to collect an estimated 120 000 MT of stockpiled copper monthly.

The copper from Zambia will be transported to the Port of Walvis Bay for further export to eight other countries, including China, Germany and Russia.

Tino Hanabeb, Namport’s commercial executive, said that the aforementioned activities affirm the company’s strategic positioning as a connecting Port not only to landlocked countries in Africa, but also to countries beyond the continent.

“The volume growth is expected to be supported by additional sulphur imports of 130 000 tons earmarked for the copper mines of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This will provide return loads of copper from Zambia and DRC that will further increase copper exports from 18 000 tons to 40 000 tons per month.”

Manica Group was awarded about 22 000 square meters of land at the Port of Walvis Bay and the company has acquired two bagging systems which will be used for the bagging of sulphur at the quay. The availability of a bagging system will attract more commodities to be handled at Namibian Ports.

NUMBER ONE

Namport stands testament to offering value added services and expanding its client base to achieve its vision of becoming the number one sea port in Africa.

The impact of Covid-19 has had a major impact on the number of vessels that have called at Namibian ports in the first ten months of the current financial year (1 April 2020 - 30 January 2021), with 1 037 vessels (16 000 063 gross tonnage) in comparison to 1 April 2019 - 30 January 2020 when 1 466 vessels (13 592 995 gross tonnage) called at the ports.

The gross tonnage of vessels handled also decreased significantly due to the disruption of shipping lines globally and severe shortage of empty containers.

During the reporting period, Namport remained operational, as staff members continued to work during this critical time and achieved momentous milestones as traditional ports were forced to close temporarily.

Despite the anticipated negative outcome affecting the performance of global shipping lines, Namport maintained a steady operation, handling total cargo of 4 346 153 gross tonnage during the financial period 2020/2021 (1 April 2020 - January 2021) in comparison to the previous year, recording 5 066 203 gross tonnage for the financial period 1 April 2019 - January 2020.

The 16.6% decrease is due to persistent instability in the market and general unfavourable commodity prices.

The total of 128 779 TEU’s (20 foot container boxes) were handled in 2020/2021 (during the first ten months of the financial year) in comparison to the 135 194 handled in 2019/2020 (during the first ten months of the financial year).

“The impact of trade volumes has slowed due to rolling lockdowns brought on by Covid-19, turnaround times at border posts, securities in its corridors, and efficiency at both ports. However, Namport has managed to foster strong relationships with customers from DRC, Zambia and South Africa.

“Namport remains a constant presence in these markets, thanks to the dedication and unwavering commitment of staff rendering a world-class service to clients. More than ever, the Ports Authority remains committed to making ours the port of choice for international markets”, Hanabeb continued.

“We are optimistic that as countries open their borders, their economies and trading activities will return to full swing.”

Photo Caption

Maersk Sheerness offloading cargo at the new container terminal in Walvis Bay. Photo Namport

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