The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG) embarked on a marketing drive from 17 to 21 October 2022, to engage various stakeholders and lobby Zimbabwean logistics businesses to make use the port of Walvis Bay. These engagements were fruitful, as they culminated in a proposed strategic alliance with Bak Logistics, one of Zimbabwe’s biggest transport and logistics companies, with various partnerships that enable it to have an international reach.
The proposed partnership will enable Bak Logistics to assist the WBCG with marketing and business development activities in Zimbabwe, in exchange for the WBCG opening opportunities for Zimbabwean cargo through Namibia. The collaboration ensures that the Walvis Bay Port and Corridors are constantly promoted to the Zimbabwean market.
According to Mr. Mbahupu H. Tjivikua, the CEO of the WBCG, the strategic partnership with Bak logistics aims to drive volumes on the import and export of goods from Zimbabwe via the port of Walvis Bay. “We are forming a strategic partnership with Bak Logistics. We complement one another. We will share information and possibly increase our market share while at the same time ensuring that we create efficiency in the supply chain,” stated Mr. Tjivikua.
Mr. Joshua Mukarati, Head of Supply Chains at Bak Logistics said that Walvis Bay has all the ingredients of a good port, especially in terms of efficiency, reliability and safety. He
shared that the parties are working on getting transport costs down on the 2300 km Harare to Walvis Bay route. “Zimbabwe exports about 250m kg of tobacco and the partners believe getting half of that through Walvis Bay would be a game charger in terms of bringing rates down,” said Mukarati.
The partnership discussions with Bak Logistics began in 2020 and progressed in January 2022, when the WBCG hosted Bak Logistics in Namibia. The WBCG facilitated meetings for the delegation with key industry stakeholders, as well as visits to the port of Walvis Bay and the Zimbabwe Dry Port.
As part of the engagements, the WBCG conducted Business-to-Business (B2B) engagements with potential and current customers in Zimbabwe. The engagements also served as a follow-up to last year’s Namibia Zimbabwe Trade Mission, and they aimed to re-engage key business decision makers and relevant stakeholders while also providing an update on current developments at the port and along the corridors. Furthermore, the team presented Namibia as the preferred trade route for serving as a supply chain solution for the Zimbabwe market.
The team met with ZimTrade, MSC Shipping, the Zimbabwe Horticulture Growers Association, FSG Fertilizer, and ALRO Shipping, among others. In addition, the team paid visits to the Hwange Colliery Mining Company and the Zambezi Coal & Gas Company to discuss potential coal exports through Walvis Bay.