In the maritime transport sector, shipowners like to say, “a ship is made to sail”. That is to say that when stationary, a machine does not yield profit. In the same vein, the Grouping of Land Carriers of Cameroon (GTTC) states that “a truck only brings in money when it's moving. Prolonged parking is bad for business”. Last Thursday 12 December, the National President of GTTC Ibrahima YAYA led an 8-member delegation to the Port Authority of Port (PAK) for an audience he has specifically requested.
In the absence of PAK’s General Manager, the GTTC delegation was received by the Operations Manager, Wilfried Michael MAMA AWOUMOU, flanked with other PAK officials among which Charles René KONTELIZO, Harbour Master (COMPORT) and Jean Emmanuel ZOA ZIBI, Head of the Cooperation Unit (CELCOOP). From the onset, the Operations Manager assured the guests that “the problem of transporting goods in and out of the port of Kribi is being closely examined”. As for Ibrahima YAYA, GTTC came to Kribi for the following reasons: visit the port of Kribi, learn about its operations and peculiarities, and also table issues reported by truck drivers. On this last concern, GTTC underscored that there are two types of challenges that truck drivers are facing in Kribi:
- First, the time required for GPS installation, which too long in truck drivers’ opinion. Whereas the passage time at the port is amazingly fast, that is an average of two hours, the time used to install GPS at the Customs administration is unusually long, taking weeks and even a whole month.
- Secondly, the absence of parking areas equipped for a proper rest for transporters without overcrowding the city and, above all, avoiding conflict with the Urban Council.
PAK is well aware of these issues and is already working towards finding solutions, especially through talks with the Customs administration and the ongoing construction of parking areas.
As concerns PAK functioning, the GTTC commended innovations put in place in Kribi among which paperless procedures and the devolution of administrative services located out of the port. For instance, one notes that before arriving in Kribi, transporters notify the port of their arrival by email. As soon as they enter the city, most formalities are done there, upstream, before entering the port. Hence, trucks enter the port only to load and unload goods.
Finally, the Harbour Master deemed it necessary to explain that “the mission of the port authority is to facilitate the passage of goods, without neglecting safety operations among which GPS installation”. Reference was made to the good faith of Customs Administration and the transporters were urged to be patient until this hurdle was completely removed.