In the modern world, many ship owners, agents, cargo handlers and insurance brokers are turning to the fast-expanding ports of Africa, from the northern coasts of Morocco to the more southern ports such as Luanda in Angola and Namibia’s Wavis Bay. As the business grows, so does the demand for reliable local expertise, surveyors and international correspondents.
Reports such as that of Drewry, dated September 4, 2017, state that shipments have seen a ‘3 percent increase’ throughout the year. It was also reported by Heavy Lift News at the end of August this year that agreements have been reached by large shipping lines such as that of the new deal between Maritime Transport Logistics (MTL) and Universal Africa Lines (UAL) to ‘cooperate with their services to the ports of Mauritania and Senegal’, due to the high demand. ‘The shipping line says it has identified a big potential in the oil and gas markets of Mauritania and Senegal, and its client base has been requesting that it expands its services in these countries’.
In a speech held at a forum held in Accra this month to mark the Second Annual West African Ports Evolution, Ghana MMA reports that Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Association, Samuel Ntow-Kumi said the expansion of both Tema and Takoradi Ports will improve the fortunes of the country through the maritime industry. “These projects are part of a grand national strategy to position the ports of Ghana as the leading trade and logistics hub of West Africa. The vision of GPHA is to develop and position the port of Tema as the leading container hub of the region, and Takoradi as the dominant oil and gas services hub,” he explained.
The desire to expand and develop the business hubs that are the ports of West Africa brings with it moves to improve day-to-day cargo handling and introduce new technology. The need for reliable P&I correspondents such as the Budd Group with its well-established network of offices and expertise in each African port is likely to see a dramatic increase as port business continues to grow.