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 25 Sep 2019

by Staff Reporter

Photo: Contributed.


SEARAIL Botswana is working towards commissioning a refrigeration (reefer) station within its facility next month.

The company is planning to construct a 3 000m2 storage shed at the port of Walvis Bay, which is expected to be commissioned early next year.

In addition, the company will be adding refrigerated container plug-in points and under roof storage facilities at its dry port at Walvis Bay to offer multiple services.

SeaRail is a Namibian-registered company that operates the 'Botswana dry port' facility adjacent to Namport at Walvis Bay, with the mission to handle cargo for all SADC countries, especially Botswana's landlocked neighbours. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Botswana Railways.

“The SeaRail facility is located within the port boundaries at Walvis Bay, giving it extra security and proximity to the quay side. The company offers value added services such as de-stuffing and stuffing of containers.

“It also offers a one-stop shop for total logistics services such as transport to destinations in southern Africa within two days, through cooperation with its reliable partners,” said the acting managing director, Derick Mokgatle, who claims it is the preferred dry port facility when it comes to effectiveness and excellent service delivery.

SeaRail is a full bonded facility with the competency to handle project cargo.

According to Mokgatle, the facility has ample space to accommodate huge cargo volumes coming in at once, therefore putting the company in a good position to attract project cargo.

“We are therefore focused on attracting big projects in Botswana and the rest of southern Africa that can have a big impact traffic wise.

“For example, we have just completed the delivery of the Okavango Bridge project materials, which arrived at Walvis Bay in June 2019. This was a big milestone for SeaRail to demonstrate our capability to the market. The total volume of that cargo was 10 000 tonnes. We arranged to have it stored in the dry port and thereafter arranged transportation to the site in Botswana,” said Mokgatle.

Although the company is also affected by the recession like others, Mokgatle says it is still keeping afloat and performing well.

“The advantage of our dry port facility is the lack of congestion and the efficiencies we have to quickly handle bulk cargo, Ro-ro vehicles and containers that require de-stuffing or stuffing. In this regard, although the recession is impacting all of us, we still experience growth in general cargo volumes.

“We also offer competitive rates of handling and transportation. We therefore have an edge, to divert cargo that would otherwise go to other regional ports, to Walvis Bay, thus creating new business. So given this, we believe we can still push for growth in volumes at this juncture.”

The company welcomes the idea of the Zimbabwean dry port that opened recently at the Walvis Bay Port, saying it will add value to the Walvis Bay port. It is eager to form collaborations that will help divert more volumes going to Zimbabwe through other regional ports. This, according to Mokgatle, will benefit the entire industry.

The 36 233m2 port offers container and break bulk handling with a capacity of 17 000 containers annually, vehicle handling with a capacity of 3 600 vehicles annually, and general warehousing space, as well as the potential to develop specialised warehousing to be able to handle a combined 80 000 tones.

The dry port is also designed to have a cold storage facility with the capacity of handling 10 000 tones.

SOURCE: The Namibian