DRC to expand Congo Matadi river port to increase box volume
THE Democratic Republic of Congo is looking to develop its inland waterways to facilitate the container shipping trade by investing in terminal equipment and the dredging of its main port of Matadi
THE Democratic Republic of Congo is looking to develop its inland waterways to facilitate the container shipping trade by investing in terminal equipment and the dredging of its main port of Matadi.
The Banana Roads, at the mouth of the estuary is located eight hours by ship from the port of Matadi and the 92-mile-trip leads to the country's business point for imports and the last position before the river becomes unnavigable to all but the smallest craft due to the rapids which lie upstream. Here freight traffic switches to the Kinshasha railhead for an intermodal journey to the capital.
Now the Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT), a joint venture between International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI), the Ledya Group and SCTP SA is opening up the country to a cheaper alternative to road haulage of cargo on that initial river leg.
Last month saw the double first transit, with the arrival of a 2,500-TEU containership, reported UK's Handy Shipping Guide.
Previously ships needed deck equipment capable of self-loading and unloading but the terminal, operational since 2016, is now equipped with two Terex Gottwald Model 5 mobile harbour cranes, each able to handle up to 60 tonnes when working with an automatic twin-lift spreader and 50 tonnes in a single lift.
This equipment made possible the call of the Safmarine Nuba, unlocking economies of scale as well as providing the most cost-efficient means of serving the capital. MGT director general Tim Van Campen commented.
'The MGT is built to handle vessels of up to WAFMAX dimensions and as such the Safmarine Nuba was straightforwards to berth and work. We see this as a step on the road to handling even bigger vessels as demand builds, eventually up to WAFMAX dimensions from direct calls.'
A third Konecranes mobile harbour crane, now on order, will soon be installed, providing the ability to turn around a 2,500-TEU vessel in under 12 hours.
Container clearance from the terminal is claimed to be the most efficient in the DRC averaging around seven days, half the time typically taken and thereby promoting further supply chain efficiencies.