First, it is important to define a draught. According to Bertrand NDI, Harbour Master (ComPort) of Kribi, « it is the depth to which a vessel penetrates the water from the underside of the keel to the waterline. Thus, the notion of deep draught is related to the vessel, its size and its loaded volume». It is worth recalling that Kribi is a deep-sea port, dredged to 16 metres, an unusual feature in Africa.
Since the start of operations in March 2018, the Port of Kribi has been accommodating vessels of various sizes daily. But in recent months, the shipowner MAERSK has been sending huge vessels of more than 14 metres deep to Mboro. The specificities of the three largest deep-draught vessels that berthed in Kribi are shown in the table below.
Logically, these big vessels bring more containers to be unloaded. Therefore, in view of traffic trends, KCT, the Container Terminal operator, anticipated the volume increase by signing an agreement with PAK to provide space for the handling and storage of empty containers on the dock of the Multi-purpose Terminal of the Port of Kribi. In the opinion of the Harbour Master, “this is evidence not only of good intelligence and collaboration between the partners of the Port of Kribi, but also of the flexibility of the Local Port Authority, which is ready to proactively tackle infrastructure constraints”. Pending the completion of Phase II of the port extension work, the use of the multi-purpose dock is open to container ships based on careful planning and scheduling of calls, in order to avoid congestion at the Port of Kribi.