Railway infrastructure causes decrease in cargo volumes
According to transportation company, TransNamib there has been a decrease in cargo volumes of about 19% since the beginning of the year in comparison to the same period in the last financial period 2011/2012.
TransNamib informed the Economist that the main factors that attributed to the decline include the decrease in output in the mining sector and in agriculture as well as decreases in bulk liquid and overnight parcels( TNX and OPX).
Cargo volumes in general decreased while costs to freight containers and building and construction increased as a result of unreliable and aged locomotives and equipment. TransNamib says that the industry also experienced an influx of new entrants in the market, resulting in increased competition. Global economic factors such as declining commodity prices, government restrictions and reduction in the importation of copper concentrate due to health factors at Namibia Custom Smelters and other operational inefficiencies are also amongst the causes of the decrease in cargo volumes.
Another cause for the decrease is said to be the unreliable railway infrastructure especially the Kranzberg to Tsumeb railway line which is the most critical route servicing the industries such as mining, building and construction and the transportation of containers to Northern Namibia and Angola. TransNamib noted that it is working hard to rehabilitate the railway lines.
Rehabilitation on the Kranzberg-Tsumeb railway line will commence as soon as the Ministry of Works and Transport has finalised with the tender selection process. Currently, the company has employed contract workers to repair the Aus Lüderitz line and completion of the rehabilitated railway line is expected by the end of 2013.