Report highlights new approach to West African trade

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Paper boatsThe owners of the portal have produced their first analytical report that measures African port incidents and analyses trends, new developments and carrier shipping performance statistics on the main African trades with Asia and Europe.

The report is the first of its kind to provide data since October 2012 on incidents in African ports and will be produced every six months to provide an accurate tool for shippers, traders, logistics and terminal operators, as well as port authorities, investment institutions and non-governmental bodies.

The first report features four major drivers of African trade including African main port highlights with a congestion update, schedule reliability for the African trades to and from Asia and Europe, average dwell times and vessel size development at Africa’s main ports.

“As we observed since we started back in October 2012, African ports have experienced extreme highs and lows and will continue to do so for the rest of this decade” said Editor-in- Chief Victor Shieh.

The misperception that container lines or terminal operators are entirely to blame for poor timely container delivery is apparent with the data collated from from the previous 20 months on a daily basis.

“If we analyse SeaIntel Maritime Analysis’ vessel reliability for the first half of 2015, many lines in trades such as Asia-Africa have recorded their best performances for the last three and a half years in terms of scheduled arrivals. Productivity at the quayside and at the stacks have improved at many terminals.

“However, actual container deliveries perform poorly with less than a one in two chance that your cargo will arrive on time at the customer” he added.

A variety of challenges exist, from structural congestion in African ports located in conurbations with limited road and rail infrastructure to poor customs procedures, security concerns, poor dredging programmes and industrial actions.

“If you contrast the remarkable progress achieved in the construction of the second canal at Suez or the new rail link between Addis Ababa and Djibouti with reduced draft in Durban, the traffic gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and a constant two-week wait to berth at Douala, we believe here is a need to provide shippers with true information to facilitate trade to and from Africa” Mr Shieh concluded.