By Adam Hartman
THE Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) handled over one million tonnes of cargo along the trans-national corridors during the last financial year, which was a 30% increase from 2018/2019.
Corridor-volumes recorded in the past financial year ending 31 March show cargo volumes along the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor increased by 4% from 718 086 tonnes (2018/2019) to 743 646 (2019/2020);
The Trans-Kalahari Corridor saw a 42% jump from 35 375 tonnes (2018/19) to 50 368 tonnes (2019/20); while a decrease of 24% was recorded on cargo moved through the Trans-Cunene Corridor from 31 410 tonnes (2018/19) to 23 762 tonnes 2019/2020).
More cargo was handled through the Trans-Oranje Corridor which recorded an increase of 205 835 tonnes from 1 785 tonnes in 2018/19 to 207 620 tonnes in 2019/20.
The total cargo through all the corridors led to an average increase of 30% from 2018/19 to 2019/20.
According to a statement issued by Namport's executive for commercial services, Immanuel !Hanabeb, the largest portion of growth is reflected by the 11 531% increase in activity along the Trans-Oranje Corridor due to manganese ore exported via the port of Lüderitz.
"The benefit of the Trans-Oranje corridor is to serve the mines in Northern Cape as it is a much shorter route than any South African based port," stated !Hanabeb.
This TradePort and Namibia logistics deal came into fruition early last year. The first consignment was received through the port of Lüderitz last September.
"This arrangement will further contribute to Namport recording a total of 360 000 tonnes of cargo per year through Lüderitz, resulting in a predicted 60% overall volume increase as the Trans-Oranje Corridor increases its share of cargo volumes," he said.
Further recording of imports such as ship spares, steel, sulphur, and ammonium nitrate and steel imports performed well compared to the previous financial year 2018/2019.
Ship spares exports increased significantly due to the increased number of vessels at anchorage for repairs and maintenance.
The increase in marble exports led to a 26% increase compared to the previous financial year.
Sulphur imports increased by 10% compared to the previous financial year while the demand for ammonium nitrate also increased by 150%. Steel imports increased by 88% due to the various projects presently underway in the region and Namibia.
Because of the fast increase in manganese export through Lüderitz, Namport is currently in discussions with the Oldendorff Shipping line to have a barge option.
A barge is a long flat-bottomed boat for carrying freight on canals and rivers, either under its own power or towed by another.
In fact, about two weeks ago, Engen commissioned the barge 'Sarah' to increase its capacity to supply fuel to vessels lying at anchorage in Namibian waters, from Walvis Bay and Lüderitz ports.
Managing director of Engen in Namibia Christian Li said the company supports Namport's vision to attract increased cargo to and from Walvis Bay and position the port as a natural gateway for international trade, by offering direct access to principal shipping routes.
The barge is 77,4 metres long and 10,6 metres wide and has a pumping capacity of 200 cubic metres of fuel per hour.