Kanime leads Namport’s transformation drive

When Andrew Kanime was appointed Namport CEO in 2020, his main objective was to set up the company’s strategic roadmap for the next five years.

In no time, Kanime drafted a corporate strategy that sought to address a number of Namport’s challenges, including turnaround times, need for skills upgrade and new cargo handling equipment.

The new CEO is confident Namport’s corporate strategy – built upon four pillars – will position the company as one of the best performing seaports in Africa.

These pillars are Building institutional capacity, Driving operational efficiencies, Enhancing customer and stakeholder value and Optimising sustainable growth.

The cornerstone to these pillars is Namport’s customer service and the company began the shift towards its strategic outlook by launching the organizational culture transformation programme in July 2021.

“Upon completion and embedment, we are confident that it would enable us to entrench a positive culture across the organisation and amongst all our employees,” says Kanime.

With best customer service practices in place, Namport is now looking to optimise its operations despite financial demands.

The company has decided to replace its cargo handling equipment, although this will be done gradually, starting with those areas where the requirements are more precarious.

“We presently have, amongst others, the purchase of new reach stackers, rubber tyre gantry cranes, forklifts, wharf cranes, spreaders, docking blocks and cradle wheels for the Syncrolift at various stages of procurement,” says the CEO.

The aim of introducing these new equipment and assets is to address the current challenges faced by the company’s ports with equipment unavailability and downtimes.

“We are also rolling out a new terminal operating system for general cargo and the Syncrolift and this will go a long way in streamlining the paper-based processes and enhancing the timeliness of our billing,” Kanime says.

This will work hand-in-hand with the company’s shift towards a digitally inducive ecosystem that will be efficient for customers.

This means that many of the company’s current processes will be automated to allow customers to have documentation processed through the ports from the comfort of their offices and without incurring running costs.

“The first phase which will migrate the physical orders which we presently receive and process through the customer care desks to a virtual environment is already undergoing trial testing ahead of full implementation. Thereafter we will continue with other phases covering amongst others the cargo gating processes and truck bookings.”

Between 2014 and 2019, Namport invested most of its financial resources on the watershed project of the New Container terminal. This, unfortunately, created a gap in investments towards cargo handling equipment.

“The very depressed economic environment and constrained financial resources have thus not allowed us to roll out these acquisitions at a fast pace as we would have wanted to. In the meantime, we have been burdened with equipment breakdowns and shortages,” says Kanime.

With the ultimate goal of becoming one of the continent’s best seaports by 2026, public private partnerships (PPP) will play a crucial role in the rollout of critical infrastructure and facilities in the company’s ports.

The development of the common user manganese export terminal at the Port of Luderitz and the development of the common user bulk terminal at the Port of Walvis Bay are currently part of the company’s list of PPP initiatives or being considered for implementation.

Namport is also looking at PPPs in the possible concessioning of the Walvis Bay New Container Terminal, the construction and operation of the LPG and LNG terminals at North Port here in Walvis Bay and Green hydrogen production and export from both North Port and the Port of Luderitz.

“This will provide external capital for the upgrade and expansion of amongst others, warehouses and other cargo handling facilities in our ports whilst simultaneously allowing Namport to focus on other much needed investments in equipment, systems and other common user core infrastructure,” the CEO says.

The company continues to review its operations to determine any areas where there are wastages and inefficiencies so that these can be addressed.

As the fourth wave of COVID-19 takes root, the pandemic has not been without its impact on the business of Namport, particularly with shipments.

The demand in North America for imported goods has created immense capacity for shipping and the diversion of vessels to service the North American market.

This has been at the expense of less lucrative and relatively smaller markets such as Africa, and Namibia has not been spared.

“Therefore, we have, since the first quarter of this year, seen a serious increase in blank sailings, very low turn times and shortage of containers especially the twenty footers which we use for exports of mineral ores and as dictated by the laws of supply and demand, a steep increase in freight rates.”

2021 was, however, capped off with some successes, despite the challenges.

Namport saw an increase in the volumes it is handling through the ports year on year, albeit marginal.

Total twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) increased by 2% while bulk and break-bulk volumes have increased by 10%.

In November the company received its first passenger vessel at the Port of Walvis Bay, the Europa, after the last call in the first quarter of 2020 following a ban due to the pandemic.

The decision was taken following in-depth engagements with all role players and authorities to ensure that there is no risk of new infections.

“Amongst some of the measures we have implemented are pre-arrival notifications and documentation on the COVID-19 status of all passengers and crew on board and the testing of passengers for the virus by the Port Health Officials and Medical staff aboard the vessels before being allowed to disembark from the vessel.”

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Last modified on Wednesday, 05 January 2022 16:39

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Joomla! Debug Console


Profile Information

Memory Usage

Database Queries