Port congestion in Banjul is currently causing significant service disruptions not only for the Port Authorities but most specifically to the charter shipping companies. As a result, several shipping lines have reviewed their economic model in relation with the port of Banjul as they’ve increased the emergency congestion surcharge on containers bound for Banjul.
As the Managing Director of The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), Ousman Jobarteh, recently acknowledged it in several interviews with national media outlets, the port’s expansion plan is more than urgent as the growing number of ships coming into the Port of Banjul to berth, and the commensurate number of containers to handle in this regard slows the pace of revenue that GPA harvest from shipping companies.
The other side of the coin is that as the congestion is increasing operation costs and generating significant service disruptions for the shipping lines, these shipping companies revise their tariffs and business model to adapt the Banjul unpredictable situation. Of the several shipping lines the Chronicle asked about the incidence of the operation cost caused by the congestions at the Port of Banjul, all agreed to be looking into the how to adjust to the context.
A major client of GPA, French container ship owner CMA CGM has announced to have already revised its current Emergency Port Congestion Surcharge (PCS) effective September 25th for cargoes bound to Banjul until further notice. The new tariffs are indiscriminately applicable to all cargoes bound to Banjul from worldwide. The revised emergency port congestion surcharge will be on prepaid form in addition to Ocean freight for all cargoes dry, reefer, OOG and breakbulk.
GPA commissioned a Royal Haskoning study in 2018 to produce a new Port Master Plan (2018-2038). The Master Plan is to guide the infrastructural and institutional reforms, both of which are needed to meet the growth in traffic. The total targeted area for the Port expansion project is about 58,000 square meters notably through the acquisition of Half Die properties in Banjul for more space to handle the growth of containers at the Port.