Namibia to become a logistics hub
The role of transport and logistics has become increasingly important for Namibia’s economy. With the rapid growth in cargo volumes along the Walvis Bay corridors and the benefits that the trade routes have to offer, Walvis Bay has been identified to become the logistics hub for Southern Africa.
The Port of Walvis Bay, with its deep water depth and stable weather conditions, is strategically located to accelerate the growth of the SADC region as a whole by providing a gateway to Southern Africa. Costs and time savings are achieved along the Walvis Bay corridors by offering the shortest possible regional route on the west coast.
In terms of Namibia’s strategic plan, the National Development Plan 4 (NDP4) has made provision for the development of a logistics hub. Hence, the NDP4 has prioritised the creation of a logistics hub in Namibia with the aim to make the Walvis Bay corridors through the Port of Walvis Bay the preferred trade route in Southern Africa.
With the transport corridors fully established, it is now ready to be developed into economic development corridors that are ultimately a network of supply and distribution depots. Economic development in Southern African countries has accelerated.
Ultimately, the development of the port of Walvis Bay and the Walvis Bay corridors is clearly an advantage to accelerate growth for Namibia and the SADC region by offering Southern Africa an alternative gateway.
The Logistics Hub concept forms part of the greater efforts of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group to develop the Walvis Bay corridors as the preferred trade route for Southern Africa.
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group was created in 2000 as a service and facilitation centre to promote imports and exports via the Port of Walvis Bay. The group’s main competitive strength is its public-private partnership setup of transport and logistics stakeholders, allowing for the pooling of resources, expertise and authorities from both the regulators and operators.
The Walvis Bay corridors are a network of transport routes comprising the Trans-Kalahari Corridor, Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (also known as the Trans-Caprivi Corridor), the Trans-Cunene Corridor and the Port of Walvis Bay.
The deep-sea port of Walvis Bay allows for direct access to principal shipping routes. The port offers shippers a time saving of up to five days between the SADC region and Europe and the Americas. Walvis Bay is a congestion-free port with competitive turnaround times, complemented by first-class infrastructure and equipment, ensuring, safe and reliable cargo handling with zero pilferage. Fast, efficient and safe road and rail transport along the Walvis Bay Corridors further reduces transport costs and makes the regional economy more attractive to global players, as envisaged under the NEPAD initiatives.