INTERNATIONAL - Namibia's newly inaugurated container terminal is set to boost the country's trade prospects for both local and international clients once commissioned and open for business.
The container terminal constructed on 40 hectares of reclaimed land in five years by China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) more than doubled the containers terminal carrying capacity to some 750,000 containers.
Some of the business persons who operate the various day to day activities in the town were interviewed by Xinhua recently. Basil Karedzera, a Clearing and Forwarding agent in Walvis Bay, who handles vehicles bound for landlocked countries like Botswana and Zambia, said the new facility is definitely going to make business transactions smoother.
"The container terminal with the larger carrying capacity will now ensure that our goods will not immediately be sent to privately owned storage facilities which often charged us an arm and a leg for storage fees," he said.
Karedzera is of the view that once the new facility is commissioned the delays currently being experienced in accessing the containers will be reduced and more time will be availed to their actual export or import business.
The Walvis Bay port handled 274,504 freight tonnes of vehicles in the 2018/2019 financial year, a significant increase of 39 percent as compared to previous financial year, according to the Namibian Port Authority (Namport), which shows that with the new container terminal is set to bring more business transactions.
The new port terminal which also features a dedicated cruise liner berth and a marina breakwater is also likely to encourage the bigger international tourist liners to bring in tourists in the port city, a move greatly appreciated by restaurants and other service providers.
Abantu Restaurant's manager, Senhai Martin told Xinhua that she can not wait for tourists to start trickling into the city and enjoy the African cuisine dishes they offer.
Business has generally been slow, but with the cruiser liner berth, we expect an influx of tourists to bring us more brisk business. We can not wait to welcome them to the land of the brave, she added.
According to the acting CEO of Namport, Kavin Harry, the logistics hub concept remains an integral part of Namport's strategy to develop the country's largest port to become the preferred gateway for the Southern African region.
"With the new dry ports for landlocked members like Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Zambia, business in terms of cargo processing and facilitation and the collection and distribution of local regional and international cargo from the new container terminal will improve," he added.
Harry said the new container terminal and associated development in so many ways will boost the attractiveness of the port of Walvis Bay.
The Vice President of CHEC Li Yi, on occasion of the inauguration said his company stands ready to provide investment, construction technology, knowledge transfer, and an operational One-Stop Service to participate the development of Namibia.