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Updated 03 Jul 2020

Will Walvis Bay be your new export hub?

A new port in Namibia is nearing completion and can give landlocked Southern African countries a much needed, high capacity export channel. 

Nicole Crampton, 26 October 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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Walvis Bay in Namibia is positioning itself to become a leading trade hub for landlocked countries of Southern Africa. “It will greatly increase the throughput capacity of the Port of Walvis Bay, which is already rated as one of the most efficient ports in Africa. This will greatly benefit the economies of the landlocked countries of Southern Africa and in turn that of Namibia,” says Xu Yuqing, the CHEC deputy project manager. Now your business can expand its reach by exporting and/or importing through Walvis Bay and connecting with the West.

Related: Challenges (and a few opportunities) when doing business with Namibia


“The Walvis Bay corridors want to offer efficient cost-effective service routes for trade with Africa,” said Johnny Smith, chief executive of the Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG). This development route isn’t only a port expansion, but will also strengthen trade corridors via road and rail networks.

Here are a few insights into the Walvis Bay Port to ensure your operation is ready to utilise it as soon as it opens for business:

1. It offers much needed capacity 

The expansion has managed to more than double the ports previous capacity. “In the past, we reached 340 000 containers per annum. This expansion will take our capacity to 750 000 containers per annum,” says Elzevir Gelderbloem, Namport’s port engineer. They are expanding the port using two mega projects in the two areas of the port, namely North port and South port. 

The container capacity isn’t the only area of the port that is being expanded. “We are also expanding the non-container handling facilities, so the whole port is expanding. The North port has already been dredged to a depth of 16.5metres below chart datum,” Gelderbloem added.

While the north side is gearing up for more commercial trading, the south port will host a new container terminal for cruise liners to boost tourism. This could be a lucrative business opportunity for you either as an exporter/importer or to support the increasing tourism that will be coming in through Walvis Bay. 

2. It opens fresh channels of trade 

Walvis -Bay -Namibia

Walvis Bay port is well positioned to service the entire southern African region. Compared to the port at Cape Town, it is said to offer increased accessibility, efficiency and less congestion, making it a primary choice for exports/imports from American and Europe, according to a report by

Related: 3 Hard learned lessons in navigating Namibia

Organisations in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe already consider this port the nearest and fastest trade gateway to global markets. The speed of offloading goods at the port continues to give it a competitive advantage, while the increasing speed at border crossings also makes trading easier and faster. “The border between Namibia and Botswana was one of the fastest in Africa and now only took 30 minutes to clear it,” says Smith. 

Namibia is part of numerous trade corridors, which are an integrated system of roads and rail networks, which landlocked Southern African countries can take advantage of. Trade corridors Namibia are a part of include: Trans Kalahari, Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Corridor, Trans-Cunene and Trans-Oranje Corridors. This will give you as a business in a SADC country, the ability to export or import internationally and continue to grow your business’ reach.


  • You could invest in Walvis Bay port’s waterfront and marina development including hotels, restaurants and recreational developments, to take advantage of the tourism.

  • Or develop trade routes to the port now to ensure your competitiveness and profitability when it comes to exporting.

  • Use the new trading corridor to start exporting or importing from international suppliers. 

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Nicole Crampton

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