Grootfontein train station is new logistics hub for DRC and Zambia

10 Jul 2019 18:00pm
GROOTFONTEIN, 10 JUL ( NAMPA) – Grootfontein’s TransNamib Train Station was on Wednesday promoted to a logistics hub for Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the Walvis Bay harbour.
A logistics forum held at Grootfontein on Wednesday attended by executives from TransNamib, Walvis Corridor Group, the Namibia Ports Authority, fuel transporters and courier services, also unanimously agreed with the decision to load and off-load goods from Namibia or the DRC and Zambia at Grootfontein and distribute them to different destinations.
At the event, TransNamib’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Johnny Smith, said the idea to convert the Grootfontein Train Station to a logistics hub was first discussed with some key business stakeholders from the DRC and Zambia, where it was endorsed as an ideal model.
Smith said the business model has many advantages, since it largely cuts on the transport distance from Lubumbashi in DRC and Lusaka, Zambia, where volumes of copper products are loaded on trucks via the B8, B1 and B2 trunk roads to Walvis Bay and then shipped for exports to the western markets.
Smith said at the moment, trucks from the DRC, Zambia or Namibia travel about 2 500 kilometres from Walvis Bay harbour to Lubumbashi, therefore, with the introduction of the Grootfontein hub, these trucks will have to travel a distance of about 1 400 kilometres.
He said that the goods from Walvis Bay harbour to Zambia or DRC will be transported by trains from the harbour to Grootfontein where they will be then off-loaded, and immediately loaded onto trucks to the destined areas in DRC or Zambia.
Smith said one cargo train from the Walvis Bay harbour will be able to load fuel commodities and goods of 30 trucks at once.
Smith said TransNamib is prepared to dedicate four trains a week for this business idea.