Promote unloading of Botswana bound containers at Dry Port in Walvis Bay to reduce logistics costs
Sea Rail Botswana is adamant that the promotion of destuffing of Botswana import containers at their Dry Port in Walvis Bay will reduce transport and logistics costs by about 20% and increase volumes. The need to return empty containers to Walvis Bay or alternatively gate-in Johannesburg will be removed from the transport leg and flexibility will be added to the delivery of goods directly to the customer’s doorstep with tautliners especially for FMCGs. The issue of limited number of days and risk of demurrage on shipping line containers will also be removed on the leg.
SeaRail recently commissioned a 3000 sqm underroof storage shed at the dry port in December 2020 which is available to warehouse cargo safely after being destuffed from containers. The company is committed to its objective of being a catalyst to Botswana’s growing economy by creating appropriate infrastructure, processes and a supportive environment to encourage international trade. The reefer station with 48 plug-in points at the dry port provides for staging and cross-packing refrigerated goods and positions SeaRail as a one stop shop for FMCGs.
SeaRail -a subsidiary of the state-owned Botswana Railways, is a transport and logistics company established in 2013 to develop and operate a dry port land leased by Botswana Government in Walvis Bay, Namibia. The Patriot on Sunday is reliably informed that, Sea Rail and BITC are considering opening a bonded transshipment warehouse at the Kasumbalesa border post between DRC and Zambia to facilitate growth in regional trade and the Walvis Bay corridors. Already Sea Rail has received a fair share of business volumes heading to DRC, a country with a population of nearly 90 million people. “Currently, from April to October 2021, we have received the 76 TEUs of reefers through the dry port destined to the DRC as one of the growing volumes through the dry port,” revealed Derrick Mokgatle, acting General Manager of SeaRail.
On the other hand, BITC Chief Executive Officer, Kelotsositse Olebile has in the past announced that some of the major constraints to landing goods in the DRC market are the complex trading regimes and exorbitant cost of logistics. “To ease this burden on domestic companies, BITC conceived the idea of establishing a bonded warehouse facility in the North-Eastern part on Zambia closer to the Kasumbalesa Border Post to serve as a distribution point for Botswana products into South-East DRC,” he said.
BITC is Botswana’s integrated Investment Promotion Agency with an encompassing mandate of investment promotion and attraction, export development and promotion including the management of nation brand. Last year,BITC and Sea Rail signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost the latter’s volumes at the DryPort. “We also have a MoU that was signed in February 2020 which among others is for BITC to refer investors wishing to set up in Botswana to liase with Sea Rail for logistics solutions via Walvis Bay. Sea Rail seeks to expand services abroad, to improve mobility of goods in and out of Botswana, beyond DRC and Namibia as such Sea Rail is grateful for having been selected as a partner in development alongside BITC,” explained Mokgatle.
Competition is rife in Walvis Bay for depot services. To deal with this tight competition, Sea Rail said it will continue to forge new strategic partnerships. “It is critical for Sea Rail therefore to build strong relationships and offer excellent service with the clients that it turns so that they can be retained. Opportunities for value added services are always explored to differentiate our services from the competition. Sea Rail also continuously explores opportunities for synergies with other agents for partnership relationships rather competitors,” noted Mokgatle.