Businesses continue to be frustrated at the congestion at Douala Port, Ghana.
Reports suggest up to 60,000cbm of logs destined for China are still stuck, awaiting shipment. The situation has worsened with ships having to leave with only part cargos; in some cases, sawnwood shut out from loading is being left by the quay.
Almost all export shipments from Cameroon pass through Douala Port which also serves landlocked Chad and the Central African Republic.
Shippers complain that the procedures and costs (direct and indirect) for getting goods out of the country are a major challenge.
In a letter to the government, the port’s Director General said the lack of investment in infrastructure is one of the main causes of the congestion.
When it was first built, Douala Port was equipped to handle seven million tonnes of cargo annually. However in the past year, around 12 million tonnes were passed through the facility.
To mitigate the problem, businesses in Brazzaville, northern Congo, are starting to truck their goods 1,500km down to Point Noir Port. The long distance land route may be costly but is still cheaper than the costs arising from long delays, high charges and possible short shipment penalties from shipping through Douala.