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Walvis Bay freight transport grows amid COVID-19

PUBLISHED 12 MAY 2020   

Freight transport through the port of Walvis Bay has grown amid the global Covid 19 restrictions, according to the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG).



The logistics industry promotion says in its latest May 1 newsletter that the route from Walvis Bay to Ndola in Zambia, as well as Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo, handles significantly more freight as essential goods are transported to Namibian neighboring countries.

According to the WBCG, containment due to the coronavirus in the continent has necessitated changes to transport routes.

"The port of Walvis Bay and its routes are seen as an efficient and safe trade route to Southern Africa, hence the increase in new businesses carrying their cargo on our route," the group says.


One notable newcomer to cargo transport through Walvis Bay is the company Zalawi Haulage. Zalawi is one of the main carriers on the north and south routes from the port in Durban to the central parts of Africa. They are now bringing up to 1,700 tons of copper cathode from the southern DRC to the port of Walvis Bay, according to the WBCG.

Zalawi Haulage is a subsidiary of Bolloré Africa Logistics, the largest transport and logistics operator in Africa. The group has a network of 250 subsidiaries in 55 countries, of which 46 are in Africa.

According to the WBCG, they have been approaching this operator for business for some time and were recently given the opportunity to provide their services to Zalawi. Bolloré Africa and their carrier Zalawi Haulage needed urgent intervention to facilitate the transport of the copper cathode from Kolwezi. The WBCG and Namport's business development team helped the company ensure that all the necessary facilities, services and paperwork were in place.

"It took us five days to resolve it, which is quite fast in the current circumstances," says the WBCG's Business Development Manager for South Africa. Irvaan Maharaj.

"The client was impressed with the level of service and efficiency provided by all parties."

Maharaj thanks the Ministry of Trade and Industry for their prompt assistance with the necessary certification. “Although the pandemic creates an unfortunate situation, it has also provided Walvis Bay the opportunity to grow its footprint as a gateway into the region.

“Potential clients are becoming more aware of the benefits of using our corridors and the ports of Walvis Bay and Lüderitz.
This will certainly lead to increased business opportunities in the near future and growth in the industry, ”he says.

Meanwhile, on April 24, Walvis Bay welcomed the massive Maersk Sheerness - the largest ship ever to visit the most important Namibian port. The ship is longer than 335 meters, while the tallest ship previously stopped at the port was 290 meters long, according to Namport acting chief executive. Kavin Harry.

"Namport has taken a huge step through our investment in building a modern container terminal, enabling the port to compete internationally," says Harry.

“Our ship-to-shore cranes are now moving 35 to 40 containers per hour,” he adds