Port Trade Performance experienced a significant slowdown in calendar year 2016 owing to sluggish growth in world trade and excess ship capacity in global shipping. More significantly, a report by Alphaliner projected a global container throughput growth of only 0.3% in 2016, which also saw increased consolidation among shipping lines. Amid an unpredictable global outlook and a conservative increase in our economic growth rate in Mauritius from last year, we fared relatively well this year.
Trade in the port in 2016 reached the highest, to top 7.3 million tonnes for the first time. Total Container Traffic registered a growth of 7.6% from 361,109 TEUs in CY2015 to 388,514 TEUs in CY2016. Herein, there was a 16.5% surge in Total Transhipment Container Traffic from 105,225 TEUs in CY2015 to 122,587 TEUs in CY2016 while Total Captive Container Traffic witnessed a new peak 3.9% from 255,884 TEUs to 265,927 TEUs.
However, we witnessed a minor decline of 0.4% in the total number of vessel calls from 2,947 in CY2015 to 2,934 in CY2016. This was mainly caused by fluctuations in the number of calls effected by tankers, fishing boats and vessels calling at outer harbour.
The Total Cargo Traffic reached a record-breaking volume of 7,273,377 tonnes.
On Friday 3rd November, The Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) Chairman, Ramalingum Maistry, officially announced the holding of the first-ever Mauritius Maritime Week (MMW) 2018.
Planned from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th January 2018 at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Balaclava, this week-long event is set to showcase Port Louis Harbour as the preferred maritime gateway in the region for five main sectors, namely, container transhipment, bunkering, cruise tourism, seafood and ancillary port services.
The MMW 2018 will integrate the Indian Ocean Ports and Logistics (IOPL) 2018 Conference and Exhibition, the largest annual container port, transport and logistics exhibition and conference in the Indian Ocean region organised by Transport Events, now in its 12th successful year.
According to Ramalingum Maistry, “this event will see senior C-level port executives interact with the region’s leading shippers, cargo owners, importers/exporters, shipping lines, freight forwarders, logistics companies, ports, terminal operating companies, railway operators, port equipment and service suppliers from the Indian Ocean islands and countries from Africa, Europe, and Asia.
To ensure productive networking and exchange of ideas during the Mauritius Maritime Week 2018, MPA and Transport Events have planned the following:
- A Technical Site Visit to Port Louis’ port facilities, container terminals and logistics centres including the official inauguration of the new extended quay and ship to shore cranes at the Mauritius Container Terminal on Tuesday;
- CEO Forum themed “Mauritius as the preferred regional maritime gateway”;
- The Indian Ocean Ports and Logistics Exhibition and Conference on Wednesday and Thursday; and
- To highlight Mauritius unique position as the hub for international cruise, a showcase on Vanilla Islands incorporating a visit to the Christian Decotter Cruise Terminal and an exciting opportunity to enjoy a Catamaran cruise to the beautiful Indian Ocean islands on Friday.’
Furthermore, the two-day IOPL Conference will feature 35 world class conference speakers addressing issues, challenges, solutions and innovations in port operations, shipping, supply chain and logistics strategies in the Indian Ocean region.
There will also be commercial opportunities for 50 exhibitors and sponsors to network directly with delegates at this major annual international maritime transport trade event for the Indian Ocean islands.
“Our unique positioning in the emerging markets means that we bring the spotlight on the world’s latest port development projects. We are excited to highlight Mauritius next year. We have worked hand in hand with local port authorities in all of our events, and our collaboration with MPA will ensure that the conference addresses pertinent issues as an industry platform for dialogues in the maritime industry in Indian Ocean islands,” said Mr Rory Doyle, Managing Director of Transport Events.
Port Trade Union acclaims port productivity
The president of the Port Louis Harbour and Docks Workers Union, PHDWU, Jose Francois, is all praise for the authorities for the good running of port activities. He told this paper that workers and the trade union are faring well and are working together for more productivity in the harbour as new equipments are being installed and new incentives given to all workers.
“I have a special word of thanks for the current Prime Minister who, from the time he was Minister of Finance, has had a keen interest in the development of the port and focuses on his objectives to make of the harbor the most performing port in the region. I appeal to Pravind Kumar Jugnauth to see to it that representatives of the PMO on the board of the Cargo Handling Corporation are more attentive to the objectives of government and not to deal in outside matters.”
“If the same focus is applied by one and all, there will be no excuse why Port Louis cannot become the hub of the Indian Ocean,” Francois said.
He requested that Pravind Jugnauth pay a visit to the port area, meet the workers and investigate whether there is no place for further development similar to the Island Containers Terminal, which he inaugurated recently.
Finally, I would like to support the idea of recruiting workers living in the vicinity of the harbor, such as Roche Bois, Tranquebar, Cassis and Cité Vallijee. However, persons residing far away from the port area should equally be given jobs, if they are better qualified than those living in the neighbourhood.”