Tech Wisdom: Africa Trade to Weather Storm
Eastern and Southern African container volumes have been affected by global and regional trade hitches, but long term growth is anticipated.
The analsyis was presented in a recent paper by Senior Shipping Consultant with Dutch shipping consultancy Dynamar Dirk Visser, and contains details elaborated upon in Dynamar's 200-page East & Southern Africa Container Trades Report.
Compared to East Africa, West African ports host ships that are bigger, more carriers and more international port operators, explains Visser.
The West African service employing the largest units is a veritable hub-and-spoke operation, connecting the Lomé hub with a large number of regional ports by feeder. However, such a hub and spoke system is not found in East Africa.
Nonetheless the East African state of Somalia has seen ever more containerships are coming to its ports.
A worldwide trade slowdown has hit the Eastern and Southern African economies, but not all of them.
South Africa, normally the regional growth generator, has struggled while Kenya does very well and Mombasa expects a throughput of 2.5 million TEU by 2020.
Two planned East African Corridors - Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor (LAPSSET) and Mwambani Port and Railway Corridor Company (MWAPORC) - have had to endure delays, stagnation and external skepticism.
Growth forecasts for 2015-2020 however predict volume increases of CAGR 3.2% for Southern Africa and 10% for or East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands combined.
"Sixteen of all Africa's 56 countries are landlocked. Their lifeline is the connection with the nearest seaport in an adjacent country. Inland transport is two-and-a-half times more expensive than ocean carriage. It means that the welfare of 228 million people in eleven East & Southern African countries is impacted as they pay more for their imports and get less for their exports."
In Africa as a whole, the overall number of full containers carried is anticipated to exceed 7 million TEU for the first time in 2020.