Botswana Railways’ subsidiary, SeaRail has completed the construction of a 9.5 million Namibian dollar (P6.8m) warehouse measuring 3,000 square metres at Walvis Bay port, Namibia, BusinessWeek has learnt.
The facility adds to the dry port’s warehousing capabilities and is anticipated to greatly improve traffic volumes. The warehouse is suitable for high-value commodities and others that require under-roof storage like copper, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, fertilisers, processed foods, beverages, foodstuffs, grains, building materials, steel, general cargo, and mining products.
In an interview this week, Dry Port manager, Derrick Mokgatlhe said Sea Rail functions as a transport link to regional neighbours, diversifying port routes for Botswana’s strategic commodities.
“The Walvis Bay Dry Port has embarked on a number of initiatives to market the dry port on the back of dwindling traffic flow as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he told BusinessWeek.
Mokgatlhe said most of the marketing targets entities that move volumes as well as clearing and forwarding agents across the globe.
“Regionally it was mostly done door-to-door and through holding information sessions/conferences, which have been affected due to the COVID-19 restrictions. We have migrated to virtual platforms to speak to targeted groups,” he said.
In addition, he said the subsidiary also plans to intensively continue marketing on radio, print and online. Mokgatlhe highlighted the importance of sensitising potential clients in Botswana and across the SADC region continuously about Walvis Bay’s advantages, which include it being reliable, safe and cost-effective compared to other ports in the region.
“We are also able to handle perishable cargo through our Reefer Station that was commissioned in December 2019. The reefer station has 48 plug-in points and is targeted at products like fish and beef,” Mokgatlhe added.
Sea Rail offers a one-stop service that eliminates the need to shop around for various warehousing and logistics services.
In addition, the location of the Dry Port within the port boundaries is a key advantage that clients want for the safety and security of their goods in Sea Rail’s hands.
“It suffices to note that the efficiencies brought about by routing cargo in these corridors leading to Walvis Bay, is the main attraction since clients are looking for reliability and fast predictable turnaround times,” Mokgatlhe said.