New information portal says what's hot and what's/not in African shipping
SHIPPERS tend to blame carriers and port operators for on-time delivery failures, but there is much more to blame, says former Maersk/Safmarine publicist Victor Shieh, whose new online platform tracks problems in Africa.
His African container shipping information portal - - has now released an analytical report on port congestion, carrier reliability and dwell times in the region.

It identifies structural congestion in African ports located in extended urban areas, limited road and rail infrastructure, poor customs procedures, security concerns, poor dredging and labour trouble.

"If we analyse SeaIntel Maritime Analysis' vessel reliability for the first half of 2015, many lines in trades such as Asia-Africa have recorded their best performances for the last three-and-a-half years in terms of scheduled arrivals," Mr Shieh said.

"Productivity at the quayside and at the stacks have improved at many terminals. However, actual container deliveries perform poorly with less than a one-in-two chance that your cargo will arrive on time at the customer.

"If you contrast the remarkable progress achieved in the construction of the second canal at Suez or the new rail link between Addis Ababa and Djibouti with reduced draft in Durban, the traffic gridlock on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos, and a constant two-week wait to berth at Douala, Cameroon, we believe there is a need to provide shippers with true information to facilitate trade to and from Africa," Mr Shieh said.

"As we observed since we started back in October 2012, African ports have experienced extreme highs and lows and will continue to do so for the rest of this decade," he said.