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Ports, Transport and Logistics Sector News Round-Up, 7/2020 (13 April – 8 May 2020)

15 June 2020
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In light of the rapid pace of infrastructure and transport developments across Africa, our Ports, Transport and Logistics (PTL) Sector Group is pleased to present Bowmans’ latest PTL news round-up. Our regular round-ups bring you a selection of pan-African PTL-related stories and keep you up to date regarding developments in the space across Africa.

We draw on a network of multi-disciplinary experts across Africa in fields as diverse as project finance, construction and environmental law, to keep you in the know about developments and thought leadership in the PTL space.

The articles to which we refer readers are, unless stated otherwise, neither written nor edited by ourselves and appear in their original form. Bowmans does not necessarily agree with opinions expressed in those articles.

This edition includes news headlines and links to articles from a variety of sources, covering stories from Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Puntland, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

For Coronavirus (Covid-19) related updates from South Africa…

Please see our dedicated ports and shipping web page for details of Covid-19 related regulatory changes, directions and updates in South Africa since 16 March. We also have a page dedicated to aviation regulatory changes, directions and updates.

Other news continues below…

Transnet and truckers to iron out port booking system snags (South Africa)
Source: Freight News (8 May 2020)
Transnet officials are set to meet with industry stakeholders next week to address some of the teething problems being experienced with the truck booking system currently being piloted at the Port of Durban. Read the full article here.

Namibia open for business after lifting lockdown restrictions (Namibia)
Source: Freight News (8 May 2020)
The Namibian government has lifted all restrictions on the import and export of goods, with the country entering Stage 2 of lockdown regulations. Read the full article here.

Kenya’s Rift Valley Railway gets a second chance (Kenya)
Source: Africa Ports (8 May 2020)
With construction of Kenya’s standard gauge railway (SGR) at a premature end due to financial constraints, still a long distance from the intended destination of Malaba on the Uganda border, attention has turned towards rehabilitating sections of the colonial-built metre-gauge Rift Valley Railway (RVR). Read the full article here.

TPT is using the Covid-19 challenge to flag other challenges (South Africa)
Source: Freight News (7 May 2020)
Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) is using the challenges of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic as an opportunity to identify challenges that directly affect South Africa’s ports system, TPT general manager for new business development, Siyabulela Mhlaluka, has said. Read the full article here.

Pemba Port logistics base takes shape (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (7 May 2020)
According to a report on Radio Mozambique last week, Phase 1 of the Pemba logistics Base has been concluded. Read the full article here.

Contract signed to construct pier and landing facility at Mozambique’s Palma (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2020)
Portugal’s Mota-Engil and Belgium’s Besix have secured a contract involving the Total LNG project in northern Mozambique. Read the full article here.

Saldanha’s Oiltanking MOGS takes its first shipment of crude oil (South Africa)
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2020)
The Port of Saldanha’s Oiltanking MOGS terminal ‘came alive’ recently with the first delivery of crude oil brought to the port and pumped from there into the terminal from the 157,747-dwt crude oil tanker SONANGOL CABINDA (IMO 9575589). Read the full article here.

Rwanda tightens controls over trucks arriving at borders (Rwanda and Uganda)
Source: Africa Ports (6 May 2020)
Rwanda has remained resolute in not allowing foreign truck drivers arriving at the borders of the East Central African country to enter Rwanda. Instead they have to hand over their cargo to local Rwandan drivers for onward carriage. Read the full article here.

SADC border update: Chirundu queue 10km into Zim (Zimbabwe and Zambia)
Source: Freight News (5 May 2020)
The queue of trucks south of the Chirundu border into Zambia stretched for 10 kilometres into Zimbabwe earlier this afternoon as no resolution to the congestion and delays experienced at that border seemed forthcoming. Read the full article here.

Reports of changes and new appointments within Transnet divisions (South Africa)
Source: Africa Ports (5 May 2020)
According to reports surfacing yesterday, sweeping changes are in the process of being made within the Transnet group of companies. Read the full article here.

Maersk Line-operated Santa Catarina sets new Port Maputo container record (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (4 May 2020)
On Wednesday last week, 29 April 2020, the Port of Maputo and the DP World-operated Maputo Container Terminal welcomed Hamburg Süd’s container ship SANTA CATARINA, operated by Maersk Line, which set a new record for not only becoming the biggest container ship to call at the Mozambique port, but having the highest TEU interchange per single vessel of 3,310 TEU. Read the full article here. Also reported in  Freight News here.

ExxonMobil Rovuma LNG project slows down due to COVID-19 & low oil prices (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (4 May 2020)
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic together with non-economic oil prices are the factors in an expected slowing of the Rovuma LNG project, which aims to produce from a deepwater block off Mozambique containing more than 85 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Read the full article here.

Airfreight capacity dive puts Africa’s agri exports at risk (Africa)

Source: Freight News (30 April 2020)
The International Air Cargo Association (Tiaca) has raised concerns about the significant 70% drop in capacity from Africa to Europe which is putting perishable exports at risk. The figure is based on research by CLIVE Data Services. Read the full article here.

AfCFTA launch postponed as continent focuses on Covid-19 (Africa)
Source: Freight News (30 April 2020)
The Covid-19 pandemic has scuppered plans for the July 1 launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Read the full article here.

TNPA presses ahead with Ngqura Liquid Bulk Tank Farm despite Oiltanking Grindrod stalling (South Africa)
Source: Africa Ports (30 April 2020)
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) says that since turning the first sod for a new liquid bulk Tank Farm in the port of Ngqura complex early last year, it remains on track with its part of the development. Read the full article here.

Tender for Port of Luanda Multipurpose Terminal extended (Angola)
Source: Africa Ports (30 April 2020)
The tender calling for proposals for the concessioning of the multipurpose terminal in the Angolan Port of Luanda, has been extended until 29 May as a result of the state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Read the full article here.

Uganda in a COVID-19 quandary over long-distance transit truck drivers (Uganda)
Source: Africa Ports (30 April 2020)
Uganda may introduce a relay system where foreign truck drivers would have to leave their vehicles at the borders where they would be sanitised before Ugandan drivers would take them to their destination within Uganda, or to the next border where another relay driver would be available to drive the cargo to its eventual destination. Read the full article here.

Lines bypass SA ports as delays persist (South Africa)
Source: Freight News (30 April 2020)
Vessels are increasingly bypassing South African ports as the lockdown in the country continues to keep its harbours operating at low capacity. Read the full article here.

APM Terminals commissions additional two mobile harbour cranes at Apapa (Nigeria)
Source: Africa Ports (29 April 2020)
In the wake of criticism that APM Terminals had failed to invest sufficiently in the terminal at Apapa, Nigeria, APM Terminals has taken rapid steps to address the matter and last week with the commencing of an $80m upgrade the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, commissioned two new multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art Mobile Harbor Cranes (MHCs) in the Lagos port. Read the full article here.

Walvis Bay Whopper! Largest container ship to call (Namibia)
Source: Africa Ports (29 April 2020)
The Namibian Ports Authority on Friday 24 April had reason to feel proud of its new container terminal, after receiving the largest vessel to ever dock in Namibian waters. Read the full article here.

Four new RTGs for Guinean Port of Conakry (Guinea)
Source: Africa Ports (24 April 2020)
Guinea’s Port of Conakry in West Africa has taken delivery of four new rubber tyre gantry (RTG) cranes. This brings to eight the number of RTGs available at the Conakry Terminal, a subsidiary of Bolloré Logistics. Read the full article here.

Autonomous Port of Douala lays out plans for the future (Cameroon)
Source: Africa Ports (23 April 2020)
The Autonomous Port of Douala has revealed its thinking with regard future development of Cameroon’s main port and as one of the principal gateways to the Central African region. Read the full article here.

Cameroon’s Kribi port cargo volumes up 17 per cent (Cameroon)
Source: Africa Ports (22 April 2020)
Port statistics made available show a general increase of 17% in cargo handled during 2019 at Cameroon’s deepwater port of Kribi. Read the full article here.

Clear your cargo please says GPHA, restrictions on movements don’t apply (Ghana)
Source: Africa Ports (22 April 2020)
Ghana Ports & Harbours Authority (GPHA) has appealed to cargo owners to clear all goods from the country’s harbours, saying that cargo movements are exempted from the current restrictions placed on the movement of people throughout Ghana. Read the full article here.

Nigerian Ports Authority orders further 14-day suspension of terminal demurrage fees (Nigeria)
Source: Africa Ports (22 April 2020)
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has issued instructions that terminal operators at Nigerian ports must extend the suspension of demurrage fees for the additional 14-day lockdown period ordered by the Federal Government. Read the full article here.

Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway 90% complete, says Federal Government (Nigeria)
Source: Africa Ports (21 April 2020)
According to Nigeria’s Federal Government the railway project involving a 4ft 8 1/2 ins  standard gauge railway (SGR) between the port city of Lagos and Ibadan has reached the 90% stage of completion, with only the section linking the new line to the Apapa port still to be completed. Read the full article here.

Tazara suspends cross-border passenger rail operations due to COVID-19 concerns (Tanzania and Zambia)
Source: Africa Ports (21 April 2020)
The management of the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) says that goods (freight) train operations along the length of the TAZARA network, from the port at Dar es Salaam to the terminus in Zambia, are continuing as normal. Read the full article here.

Puntland bans cross-border trucking (Puntland and Somalia)
Source: Africa Ports (21 April 2020)
Dalsan Radio in Mogadishu report that cross-border trucking has been banned in a measure aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus in Puntland. Read the full article here.

Nigeria’s Shippers Council concerned over lower port revenues (Nigeria)
Source: Africa Ports (17 April 2020)
The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), which may appear to be an industry-formed body but is actually an agency falling under Nigeria’s Ministry of Transportation, says it is concerned with the reduction in revenue accruing to the federal government because of restrictions with the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full article here.

Tanzania government provides US$4.322 million for TAZARA (Tanzania)
Source: Africa Ports (17 April 2020)
The Tanzanian government has allocated 10 billion Shillings (US$4,322,255) to the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) for the upkeep of the railway and its operation. Read the full article here.

Trade lull will allow time for reflection about AfCFTA (Africa)
Source: Freight News (16 April 2020)
Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in July is looking increasingly unlikely, but this trade agreement may still be Africa’s silver lining amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Read the full article here.

Kazungula bridge awaits ‘finishing touches’ (Zambia and Botswana)
Source: Freight News (16 April 2020)
Excitement is mounting over when exactly the Kazungula Bridge will officially open after information surfaced on social media showing that it’s practically and structurally complete, with the exception of “finishing touches” that remain outstanding. Read the full article here.

Tanzanian road transporters anticipate cargo decline (Tanzania)
Source: Africa Ports (16 April 2020)
A decline on transit cargo arriving at the port of Dar es Salaam and destined for the landlocked countries neighbouring Tanzania is anticipated by the Tanzania Truck Owners Association (TATOA). Read the full article here.

Port of Beira has increase in cargo volumes (Mozambique)
Source: Africa Ports (16 April 2020)
According to a report by Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, the port of Beira has experienced an increase in containerised cargo being handled at the port. Read the full article here. Also reported by Freight News here.

Ghana reports cargo traffic in ports unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions (Ghana)
Source: Africa Ports (16 April 2020)
Ghana Maritime Authority says there has been no noticeable decrease in shipping arriving at Ghana’s ports since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the full article here.

Tanzania keeps borders open & Dar es Salaam to maintain port services (Tanzania)
Source: Africa Ports (15 April 2020)
Tanzania has decided to keep its borders open despite the COVID-19 crisis, after President John Magufuli said closing them would gravely hurt eight of Tanzania’s landlocked neighbours who depend on the Tanzanian ports, especially the Dar es Salaam port. Read the full article here.

Economic Impact of Port of Durban Delays (South Africa)
Source: Africa Ports (14 April 2020)
The ongoing 10-year wrangle between the Transnet Port operations and the road freight fraternity has not contributed to improving the efficiency of the Port of Durban. Read the full article here.

Four new straddle carriers arrive for Cape Town Container Terminal (South Africa)
Source: Africa Ports (14 April 2020)
It was good news for the Cape Town Container Terminal at the weekend after the arrival of four new latest generation straddle carriers, which will help mitigate the impact of windy weather on terminal operations. Read the full article here.
Also reported by  Freight News here.