Namport Quayside Bulletin - March 2021
March 2021

Namport continues to grow amidst the empty container shortage phenomenon

For the financial year 2020/2021 year, the shipping industry globally is experiencing a shortage of empty containers and Southern African ports have not been spared. The knock-on effect from the COVID-19 pandemic has hamstrung exports and imports of cargo worldwide.


The crisis has ascended, firstly due to the decrease in the number of available containers; secondly, most ports were congested as the number of labourers were reduced. Thirdly, a drop in the number of ships operating, and fourthly, the impact of consumer buying patterns as societies experienced rolling lockdowns and uncertainty about their employment, severely hindered the shipping liner business.


Namport continues to work closely with stakeholders in order to alleviate the shortage as best we can. The disruption of the empty container shortage is pre-empted to subside, as from June 2021. However, our efforts to curb the shortfall of empty containers continues to hamper clients’ businesses.


Namport continues to increase cargo handling volumes year on year


Namport continues to increase its share of cargo handling and position itself as the preferred gateway for the SADC market. The cargo handling volumes increased despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 


The overall cargo volumes handled at both Namibian ports increased by 633,830 tonnes or eleven percent (11%) in comparison to the previous financial year (1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020) respectively.


The TEU’s (containerized boxes) handled over the year ended 31 March 2021 increased year on year by 7,338 TEU’s or five percent (5%) on the back of increased transhipment volumes. The surge of transhipment volumes was due to the disruption in carrier networks resulting in vessels being re-routed to the Port of Walvis Bay.


The bulk and break-bulk volumes also increased by 498,733 tonnes or fourteen percent (14%) in comparison to the previous financial year ended (1 April 2019 – 30 March 2020).


The commodities which recorded the largest increases are copper, charcoal, bagged salt, fish and fish products, petroleum, wheat, vehicles, sulphur and manganese ore. Overall, we remain positive about the medium to long-term prospects of the business.


We anticipate the growth trajectory to remain for a while, premised on focused marketing efforts, operational efficiency enhancement and the containment of costs.

Automation at the Port of Walvis Bay on track

The Namibian Ports Authority is in the process of rolling out a General Cargo Terminal Operating System (GCTOS) at the Port of Walvis Bay. On Friday, 26 March 2021, Namport initiated external stakeholder engagements, informing clients and stakeholders alike about the exciting change from manual systems to semi-automation that has begun.


The LogStar Terminal Operating System, a state-of-the-art solution platform, will be implemented, as part of the automation process, in four (4) phases. The modules to be introduced in phases are as follows:

  1. Berthplanning
  2. RORO & Cargo vessels (includes Quayside, yard and gate ops)
  3. Bulk & General Cargo vessels
  4. Container vessels and Syncrolift


Mr Richard Mutonga Ibwima, Manager: Terminals, emphasized that this system will increase efficiency in managing cargo operations at the Multi-purpose terminal, general cargo berths 1 - 8, digitalizing and streamlining the current manual processes and paperwork.


He added that Namport will also be introducing a CCTV system for the New Container Terminal section. "This is a first for us, it will help us in terms of addressing various situational operational management issues that we cannot see at the moment from our control and command centre and as well aiding on the spot decision making and solutions."


Ibwima further explained that "a small part in terms of terminal automation will be the introduction of an access control system for our gates, introducing various ways of managing our new container terminal gates, this will further speed-up time spent by our clients at these gates making sure we provide optimal yard turn-around time." 


This is indeed an exciting time as Namport works with stakeholders in addressing and fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic to better performance and turnaround time for clients and stakeholders at the Ports.


This is a milestone for Namport towards reaching automation and our vision to be the best performing seaports in Africa.


Click HERE to learn more about the LogStar Terminal Operating System

Launch of the State of Logistics Report 2020

Pictured FLTR: Ms Ursula Hein-Rooinasie (GIZ), Mr Andrew Kanime (Namport CEO and WBCG board chairperson), Mr Mbahupu Tjivikua (WGCG CEO), His Worship Trevino Forbes (Walvis Bay mayor), and Hon Veikko Nekundi (Deputy Minister of Works and Transport), officially launching the State of Logistics report

Namibia's State of Logistics Report 2020 was officially launched on Thursday, 25 March 2021, by the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Veikko Nekundi. The report details the state of Namibia’s logistics sector in 2020, with a focus on the impact of Covid-19 on various sectors within the industry.


Click HERE to download the State of Logistics report 2020

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