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Rail will determine future of Ports


Rail will determine future of ports serving southern Africa

By Ed Richardson 

Massive investment in the ports serving southern Africa has raised the physical capacity to move containers, bulk and breakbulk between vessels and the quayside, but landside connections remain a challenge.


This has shifted the focus to rail – with the consensus being that the most competitive port in the region will be the one with the best multi-modal and bulk rail connections. According to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) website, member states have around 64 maritime and inland waterway transport projects in development.


Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Walvis Bay in Namibia are singled out. “Regional rail master planning needs to be linked to new and expanded port development — a major departure from the existing approach to rail planning,” according to a study commissioned for the African Development Bank-funded Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).