There has been an air of excitement and expectation around the offices of Woker Freight Services (WFS) lately. In the past two weeks the WFS offices have resembled the packed and seemingly chaotic throng of Wall Street brokers in the throes of trading. This unexpected flood of clients was due to the increasing vessels calling on the port of Walvis Bay with shipments to landlocked countries such as DRC, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and even Malawi.
"Often vessels arrive simultaneously which makes it quite challenging to deal with - 200 to 300 vehicles at the same time, not to mention a huge volume of containerised cargo," said Max Benade, supervisor for corridor freight at WFS.
"The customs clearing procedures in Walvis Bay is often quite fast - between three and four days - but it is difficult with a large volume of consignments to get all the paperwork done. Usually we receive the documents five days in advance, but with the increasing volumes we find walk-in clients that don't know the local procedures and simply believe you can hand in your documents today and have your cargo released within the hour. That would be fantastic, but it is unrealistic," Benade added.
Although the increasing volumes have been a welcome revenue boost for many logistics agents in Walvis Bay, the trend has prompted the need for more storage space outside the port. To address this need, WFS expanded its break-bulk storage facilities. The new facility is located a stone's throw away from the port and provides temporary storage for break bulk cargo that clients are not always able to collect within the free time period provided by the port.