A future maritime logistics hub
With 1,600 km of coastline, four operational seaports and two other ports under construction, Angola is set to become a regional trade and logistics platform
In the vast revamping of the economy undertaken by Angola’s new government, the modernization of the transport infrastructure is absolutely key. The government ambitions to build a “modern, efficient and sustainable transport sector, but also to become a world reference in terms of public-private partnerships,” said in November the Minister of Transport, Ricardo de Abreu, quoted by Angop news agency.
In particular, in this country with 1,600 km of coastline, ports are strategically important not only for the dominant oil and gas sector, but also, obviously, for all trade. Angola has four sea ports: Luanda, which handles 70% of the country’s imports; Lobito, in the central part of the country, which is mainly specialized in minerals; Cabinda, in the eponymous enclave in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, which provides for the oil and gas industry; and Namibe in the south, which is primarily used for fishing.
Two new ports are set to be built: the deep water Caio Port, which is located in Cabinda and should be ready by 2020, and Porto de Dande, another deep water facility situated 50 km north of the capital, which will mainly shift cargo from the port of Luanda.
Increasing port capacity and traffic means that Angola also needs to strengthen its logistics capabilities. A leader in this area is the Angolan company Cabship. Established in 2009, it provides logistical solutions to the oil and gas, mining, energy, and construction industries and has offices in Cabinda, Soyo, and Luanda as well as affiliate offices in Cape Town, Dubai and Houston.
“Our services are unique in Angola; no other company does what we do,” says Cabship’s Chairman and CEO, João Filipe. “We started as freight forwarders, shipping agents and stevedoring and we evolved into management of docks and terminals, in particular for the oil industry. We are also involved in the whole supply chain of petroleum materials. Through its association with Global Logistics Network, Cabship has the ability to handle freight from anywhere in the world.”
Filipe says there is “tremendous growth potential” in logistics, and hopes that the sector will attract foreign investment and know-how. “We could create logistic hubs through public private partnerships or build-operate-transfer schemes not only for the oil and gas industry but also for telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, minerals, construction and agriculture.” In particular, he hopes for more cooperation with the United States in the oil and gas sector, in petrochemicals, and in renewable energy. “There are many areas in which Angolan and US-based companies can collaborate. As Angolan entrepreneurs, we need to start a dialogue with the US to create an environment for good business to flow,” says Filipe.