The enthusiasm around the Port of Kribi is real

For the Port Commander, "Ship-owners and shippers who are gradually discovering the many assets of the Port of Kribi do not hesitate to seize the opportunities offered to them".


Charles René KONTELIZO
The Port Commander

More than 200 ships accommodated at the port of Mboro at the end of 2018: are you surprised by this momentum, from the very beginning of the launch of the commercial operations of this port?

Indeed, between 02nd March, the date of the first commercial ship call at the container terminal, we have accommodated, as of 27th December 2018, around 190 ships, and it should be noted that during the same period, we accommodated 20 ships at the multipurpose terminal. We have thus reached the symbolic milestone of 200 (two hundred) ships at the port of Mboro (on-shore traffic) in ten months of operation. It is worth noting that in Kribi offshore, we accommodated 59 oil and gas vessels.

 

We are not surprised by this enthusiasm because ship-owners and shippers who are gradually discovering the many advantages of the port of Kribi do not hesitate to seize the opportunities offered to them. Traffic will increase, and we might be overwhelmed very quickly by the many requests, if we do not anticipate.

 

What is the main characteristic of traffic: where does it come from? What is its nature (is it transhipment, export)?

The traffic underway at the Port of Kribi is essentially liner traffic; in other words, generally speaking, the same vessels return regularly according to a schedule that must be strictly respected. However, it is not excluded that ships may be received on an ad hoc basis for special or occasional operations. These are ships that do "Tramping".

As for its origin, for the time being, the main sources are Europe and Asia (Middle and Far East). But we should soon receive traffic from America (North and Latin), as our Port is ISPS certified; this means that we can trade directly with the United States of America. As for the nature of operations, there is a lot of transhipment on feeder vessels taking back containers to neighbouring ports such as Douala, Port-Gentil, Libreville, Matadi, etc. There are of course import and export operations taking place. However, it should be noted that on the multi-purpose terminal, so far only bulk biomass and log exports have been carried out.

 

What is the work of the Harbour Master's Office in this functional building?

The Harbour Master’s Office is in charge of:

  • regulation and maritime traffic and control tower management;
  • ship piloting (onshore and offshore) and monitoring of towing and mooring activities;
  • enforcement of operating laws and police regulations in port areas;
  • protection of the marine environment;
  • prevention and control of fire and pollution;
  • control of the movement of people and goods;
  • compliance with the provisions of the occupation authorisations for port areas;
  • monitoring issues pertaining to the security and safety of PAK's movable and immovable property, personnel in service, as well as PAK Executives;
  • coordination of special state services (Gendarmerie, Police, DGRE, DST);
  • maritime and port security and safety.

 

On the container terminal, what volume have you processed so far?

The company "Kribi Conteneurs Terminal" (KCT) handled around 4,900 containers TEU on its terminal during the first month of operation (March 2018). The following month, it almost doubled (9700 TEU). Statistics show us traffic of 103,840 TEU at the end of October 2018: the threshold of 100,000 containers was therefore crossed in seven months of activity.

 

How do ship-owners and crew react to the infrastructure provided by the Port of Kribi?

Prior to and after its opening, the Port of Kribi received numerous visits from ship-owners, economic operators and potential investors from various backgrounds. When looking at the infrastructures and superstructures built and made available, they all expressed their pleasant surprise to see that the Port of Kribi has moved from being a project into being a tangible reality. The various solicitations that the Port Authority permanently receives attest to this enthusiasm.

 

Most operators say that one of the challenges in the coming years in Kribi will be the handling rate as the port has few terminals.

Indeed, the handling rates contribute significantly to the length of the ship's stay at dock. The total duration of the ship's call is the key element that has a considerable impact on the cost and transit time of the goods, which in turn are parameters of the port's competitiveness. The limited number of available berths may indeed be a factor in port congestion in the event of high demand. The latter will increase. This is the reason why the Kribi Port Authority anticipated by quickly launching the Port extension works of the phase 2.

 

How will you to maintain the right standards?

To remain in line with good international standards, everyone must continue to play their full role as we have done until now, hoping that logistics will follow for the satisfaction of increasingly demanding customers.

 

What has changed with the commissioning of the multi-purpose terminal?

The indirect operation of the multi-purpose terminal by KPMO Group is a good thing as it immediately brings us traffic that is expected to increase and become regular. We now have a port that has permanent activity on its 2 (two) terminals; a vivid evidence that the dream has become a reality.