Operational results from Praia seaport for 2014 are likely to be slightly higher than those seen in 2013. The initial forecasts by port director Alcídio Lopes indicate that figures for the traffic of passengers and merchandise will not differ greatly from the previous year. What is certain, however, is that the port saw a reduction of some 10% in dockings by long- and short-haul ships in 2014.
“We haven’t yet processed all of the data, but in general terms 2014 was very similar to 2013. There was a reduction in dockings by long- and short-haul vessels. The drop in the number of short-haul stops came as a result of the loss of a number of ships, such as the Pentalina B, the John Miller and the Sal Rei. All of this had a mild impact as well on cargo traffic, which went from 210,000 metric tons in 2013 to 207,000 in 2014. In contrast, we registered interesting growth of some 5% in container traffic. The improvement in our operational results are likely a consequence of the slight increase in revenues and container storage, as well as, perhaps, a reduction in our operational costs.”
If these forecasts prove correct, Praia seaport will have seen some 630,000 metric tons of traffic in terms of merchandise, and some 97,000 passengers arriving from domestic and international origins.
Although the results are considered “modest,” if the investments made in Praia port are taken into consideration, there are advantages that the “new” port has been to show in terms of port operations and their multiplying effect on the economy in Praia. Alcídio Lopes explains: the waiting time for ships to dock was reduced to zero in 2014, thanks to the expansion of the port, and this fact, he stresses, resulted in gains, especially for container vessels, which are now able to unload their cargo in record time.
“If last year the regularly scheduled lines would lose an average of four days waiting to dock, this year this period was completely eliminated,” specifies Lopes, in whose opinion the work carried out at the port has provided greater efficiency and safety in terms of operations, as well as a higher level of comfort for users and obvious gains for the Cape Verdean economy.
2014 also the operationalization of the Cargo Village. According to Lopes, this terminal significantly improved the performance of the activities carried out at the sea port in the Cape Verdean capital. The Cargo Village’s 3,000 square meters of office space also came to occupied by shipping agents, customs services, dispatchers and a bank.
In 2015, the directorship of Praia sea port plans to invest in organizational improvements and greater efficiency in port services, as well as in consolidating the use of the infrastructures unveiled throughout the course of 2014, improving and re-qualifying access zones and making improved conditions available for short-haul and passenger vessels. The measures come in a year that is expected to see the privatization of port operations.