BY BLAIR PRICE
THE WORLD’S LARGEST CONTAINER SHIPPING COMPANY is muscling into Papua New Guinea. Yet overcoming the infamous delays in PNG’s ports will not be an easy feat.
The Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council has estimated that the rate of container discharge in PNG’s ports is more than six times slower than Singapore.
But this is only one of the inefficiencies it identified, as productivity is also hindered by other delays with customs clearance, quarantine processes, the slow transmission of documentation and problems moving cargo from the port to targeted destinations.
Ultimately the ongoing issues at the nation’s ports create additional costs to PNG businesses, impact the country’s growing export industries and can even add to inflation because many critical goods are imported into PNG.
While the APNG Business Council will continue to lobby for more improvements, container shipping giant Maersk Line has identified another business opportunity.
Maersk has recently started a fortnightly service to PNG that connects to its global network through the Malaysian port of Tanjung Pelepas to Port Moresby, Lae and Madang.
“Maersk Line is world renowned for delivering cargo on time and our goal is to bring the same service integrity to PNG as we have to the rest of the world,” Maersk business development manager Len Phillips told PNG Report.
Maersk is not deterred by the challenges of operating in PNG.
“Over the last few years, Maersk Line has been through extensive shipping development in areas outside the traditional global shipping lanes,” Phillips said.
“Most of these areas offer unique logistical challenges similar to PNG and the solution usually takes the combined efforts of all players in the supply chain.
“Port delays do add costs to shipping operations, and improvements in getting vessels to transit through ports allows lines to look at servicing more ports in a vessel rotation,” he said.
Source: PNG Report