The recent call of the 2,500-TEU capacity Safmarine Nuba at the Matadi Gateway Terminal (MGT) – ICTSI Group company – has opened the door to the new shipping system benefits for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
“The call, which took place at the end of January, marked the first call by a gearless containership and the first by a vessel with a capacity as high as 2,500 TEUs. The deployment of a vessel of this size unlocks economies of scale as well as provides the most cost-efficient means of serving the capital city of Kinshasa,” ICTSI said in their latest release.
MGT, with support from the Government of DRC, has also a two-step plan in place to realize strategic dredging in the Congo River up to a draught of 12.5 meters, thereby opening the door to Panamax class vessel calls.
According to ICTSI, this will be demand triggered as will a third phase, under development, which will facilitate access for the slightly larger WAFMAX vessels, which will require a draught of 14 meters.
“The MGT is built to handle vessels of up to WAFMAX dimensions and as such the Safmarine Nuba was straightforward to berth and work,” commented Tim Van Campen, MGT director general. “We see this as a step on the road to handling even bigger vessels as demand builds, eventually up to WAFMAX dimensions from direct calls.”
The terminal is having a positive impact right along the supply chain, and is delivering tangible practical benefits to cargo owners, a scenario we expect to grow as demand builds, even larger vessels are phased in and the terminal reaps the benefits of comprehensive continuous improvement programs.