The National Maritime Transport Trade Facilitation Committee Meets in Douala

August 3, 2014 8:35 am

The National Maritime Transport Trade Facilitation Committee Meets in Douala

The 58th National Maritime Transport Trade Facilitation Committee meeting held in Douala on 23rd July 2014 under its chairperson Mr. Andre Fotso.  Held at the headquarters of the Cameroon Employers Trade Union popularly referred to by its French acronym as GICAM, her deliberations focused on congestion at the Douala port now reckoned to have reached an all-time high in recent history.

Since Douala port’s cargo throughput peaked at 105Million metric tons in 2013, all sectors of maritime trade using its platform are said to be equally choking. It is in this vein that committee members interpreted the abnormally long container dwell times hitting 100 days at the container yard operated by the Douala International Terminal (DIT). Acknowledging the economic consequences: higher costs compared to its regional rivals and traffic diversion, committee members tasked all stakeholders and the port community to propose lasting solutions complimenting action taken by government lately. A most urgent solution to the container terminal problems would be the relocation of container stripping operations to a freight station to be put up along the UDEAC Bolevard, thus justifying a similar request made by Mr. Emmanuel Etoundi Managing Director of the Douala port some time ago.

Other avenues to di-congest the port included the resumption of timber exports via the Kribi-Campo ports suspended without apparent reason some time back. Concluding their reflection the committee urged importers whose wares have kept abnormally long at the harbour to expedite action to clear them as this will be the only way to ease operations.

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