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                we need well-equipped men and women. Trained human resources is a key factor in the success of any logistics chain. A well-equipped port without qualified staff will never achieve its objectives.
The performance of a port also lies in the freight rates charged by the shipping companies and the turnaround time of the vessels. The longer a ship stays alongside, the higher the cost and the same for the goods. Thus the effectiveness of the port generally reflects the speed and reliability of the services provided.
The recapture of the hinterland (the landlocked countries), which is an undeniable asset for the PAD was set in motion. On the instructions from the Government of the Republic, we had to create two representations in Bangui, CAR and N'Djamena in Chad. Managers have been appointed. It's about reclaiming lost market shares.
The attractiveness of a port is the result of the fre- quency of vessel visits. Standardization actions of all activities and renovation must be able to boost the attractiveness of the port of Douala-Bonabéri. And all this contributes to making our port com- petitive in a competitive environment.
What are you doing to streamline access
to the port area that often slow down certain activities?
The Port of Douala experienced congestion the last time in 2014, since then, preventive mea- sures are taken by the Port Authority in synergy with the main actors in the export chain to avoid any deficit in fluidity. Besides let’s say deficit in fluidity rather than clogging.
A Monitoring Committee has been set up by the Top Management of the Port Authority of Douala for this purpose. The body, which brings together all the actors in the logistics chain, is permanently responsible for the implementation of measures adopted for the search of more fluidity in export operations. So once again, the Port of Douala- Bonabéri does not suffer from clogging.
Concretely, it was in February 2018 that we deci- ded to take strong measures to stem the saturation of wood and container terminals, and prevent an emerging congestion. The export fleet occupancy rate was then 130%, with more than 6,000 containers in stock at the container terminal and gantry yields extremely low. The waiting time of container ships at the base buoy was greater than 15 days and the average transit time of export containers on the terminal was close to 17 days, against less than normal 08 days.
Wood terminal parks were 82% and 83% occu- pied at the log and logging yards, respectively.
Faced with this situation, it was necessary to react promptly to reverse the downward trend of fluidity. Actions carried out for this purpose mainly consisted in:
• Modifying and simplifying the customs proce- dures for embarkation, with the elimination of the analysis of image scanning in the pre-boarding procedure;
• Increasing the handling rates, through the acquisition of additional handling capacities of the operators of the terminals concerned, cou- pled with the significant improvement in the ope- rational availability rate of the said equipment;
• Improving the handling efficiencies, particularly at the container terminal, increasing the perfor- mance of platform gantry cranes, which ave- rages 17 movements per hour per gantry crane and at the wood terminal, where the delivery rate of ships is up and is about 1800 cubic meters per day per ship;
• Better organization of work in the said termi- nals, with the abolition of entry quotas establi- shed by DIT, with greater transparency in the communication of boarding forecasts between the shippers and shipping lines.
And the results were quickly felt. To date, fluidity is fully restored on containerized exports. Transit times for export containers in this terminal are now below the 07-day regulatory exemption, and the waiting time for container vessels at the base buoy is zero (0 day).
At the timber terminal, the marketing and boar- ding yards are respectively 67% of logs and 65% of cuttings, on the one hand, and 68% of logs and 30% of cuttings, on the other hand, of their capacity; far below the threshold of the accepted standard of 70%, beyond which the terminal is in a state of congestion.
All this was possible thanks to the synergy of actions between the main actors of the port of Douala- Bonabéri, and our determination not to live 2014.
Does this mean the situation is now normal in port operations for export to the port of Douala-Bonabéri and that we will no longer talk about congestion, or preferably of deficit in fluidity?
We work to ensure that fluidity is permanently experienced in the port through cyclical actions. The solution to the problem of fluidity at the Port of Douala is structural. Actually, the current plat- form of the Douala-Bonabéri port combine was built in 1980 and sized to handle an annual traf- fic of about seven (07) million tons of goods.
Yet, this capacity is largely exceeded, since it pro- cesses about twelve (12) million tons of goods today. Since 1980, there have been no major investments to increase the reception capacity of
ships and the treatment of goods; not mentio-
ning a serious deterioration of port infrastruc-
tures and superstructures, the invasion of certain wharves by shipwrecks, the siltation and silting
of water bodies, quaysides and docks, the >>>

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