THE Namibian Ports Authority recorded 274 504 freight tonnes of vehicles handled at the Port of Walvis Bay in the 2018/2019 financial year which represents an increase of 39%when measured against the previous fiscal year.
According to Immanuel Hanabeb, the Namibian Ports Authority’s Commercial Executive, aggressive marketing of Walvis Bay as the port of choice for Namibia’s landlocked neighbours saw a marked increase in the number of vehicles imported over the last two years.
“This significant increase of 39% in comparison to the 2017/2018 financial year is due to the aggressive marketing of our adequate facilities and services offered to our users.”
The numbers were augmented by 321 vehicles that were recently discharged from the Glovis Century Roll-on/Roll-off (RORO) vessel.
According to Hanabeb about 35% of the total freight tonnes went to Zimbabwe, 22% Zambia, 11% Botswana, 5% Malawi and 3% DRC. Only 24% were imported locally for the 2018/2019 financial year.
The agents for the vessel, NMT Shipping, confirmed that the units are destined for landlocked countries. According to Mr. Ashton Nash from NMT Shipping, there were some new vehicles loaded in Antwerp destined for Namibia but that the majority of the units were further exported to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Botswana.
Roll-on/Roll-off ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo, such as cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers, and railroad cars, which are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a platform vehicle, such as a self-propelled modular transporter. This is in contrast to lift-on/lift-off vessels, which uses a crane to load and unload cargo. RORO vessels have either built-in or shore-based ramps that allow the cargo to be efficiently rolled on and off the vessel when in port and can carry up to 5 500 vehicles per load.
NMT Shipping recorded their highest load of 558 units discharged for this year in January 2019. Two more RORO vessels are expected to call the Port of Walvis Bay during the month of July.
The location of the Port of Walvis Bay allows it to provide an easy and fast transit route between southern Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas.