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IUMI Webinar on 15/11/2018: The risks and tricks associated with loading cocoa beans in containers

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given by Caroline Paul, Manager DPS Africa

For registration, click  here

Nigeria’s cocoa harvest

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Kindly note the below article published by BLOOMBERG on 12/09/2018 for your reference.
INTERNATIONAL – Nigeria’s cocoa harvest is threatened by floods and an outbreak of fungal disease as heavy rains fall in the West African country’s main growing regions, the cocoa Association said.
“It has been raining heavily and nonstop, almost daily since late July,” Sayina Riman, president of the Cocoa Association of Nigeria, said by phone from the southeastern cocoa-trading hub of Ikom, where he runs a 112-hectare (276-acre) farm. “Just as flooding is threatening the survival of the cocoa trees, excessive rain is boosting the spread of black pod disease.”

A fungus that attacks both pods and trees, black pod spreads fast in damp weather, causing pods to shrivel and turn black while trees whither. The worst-affected southeastern cocoa belt could lose as much as 40 percent of its estimated output of 72,000 metric tons of cocoa beans, according to Riman.

Nigeria currently ranks joint fifth with neighboring Cameroon among the world’s biggest cocoa producers, with the International Cocoa Organization estimating its 2017-18 output at 240,000 tons. The local cocoa association estimates that production will be little changed in the 2018-19 season due to start in October.

Nigeria has two cocoa seasons comprising the smaller midcrop running from April to June, and the main crop from October to December. More than 60 percent of Nigeria’s cocoa is produced in the southwestern region, with the city of Akure as the main trading center.

Lomé: the first container terminal of Africa

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The Autonomous Port of Lomé in Togo made a major investment in order to be able to receive ultra-large container ships.


Thanks to the intensive development efforts of the port of Lomé, the port became the first container terminal in Africa. Since some years, huge modernization and extension of the infrastructures took place. Today, Lomé is the only port to enjoy deep waters in the region.


The project required 80,000 m³ of cut and fill earthworks, the construction of 169,000 m² of heavy-duty port roadways, four kilometres of storm drains and dedicated treatment plants and 7,400 metres of water pipes. It also concerned access control facilities, utility and security buildings, as well as a washing station.
Since a few years, the shipping company MSC manages the new container terminal, having a length of 300 metres, which can welcome big tonne vessels. These developments drastically increased the exchanges between Togo, the Middle East and China.  All these investments allow the Lomé port to be one of the most modern of the world and to be a transit port for various sub-region destinations such as Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali, which activities represent around 20% of the volume undertaken by the port.


The port of Lomé is also fitted with a third pier now, 450 m in length, with a draft capacity of 15 metres.

Togo_ wp_Port-de-Lomé_Eiffage International

East Africa adopts electronic system to track lorries

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East African customs authorities have adopted an electronic system to track lorries travelling between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to speed up journeys

The trackers will allow officials and traders to monitor trucks travelling to and from the Kenyan port of Mombasa. A device will be attached to vehicles and is intended to help prevent hijacks and goods being tampered with.

Uganda, which pioneered the project, says journey times could be cut from three-and-a-half days to just 36 hours.

The geo-mapping, known as the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking (RECT), will apply to the main road stretching from Mombasa port to the Rwandan capital, Kigali, known as the “Northern Corridor”.

Officials will be able to monitor journeys on a map and be able to immediately detect any detours.

About 90% of goods through the region are transported by road with the risk of cargo being targeted by criminals. Customs officials say drivers have also been known to take diversions and siphon off freight, for example offloading coffee and adding stones to make up the missing weight.

There has always been that unpredictable aspect of not knowing whether your goods will reach or they won’t reach and that in itself is a very serious discomfort, now this will resolve that problem. The level of assurance guarantees the buyer abroad or the supplier from this end that what was sent will be what is contained in that particular container. The system will also mean that all appropriate tax is properly declared.

The amount of time spent clearing goods at Mombasa ports will also be significantly reduced, according to Bernard Kibiti from the Kenya Revenue Authority. The whole process would be more efficient and would result in less paperwork.

From Mombasa to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, a truck spends about 80 hours stuck at border posts. A lorry is stopped at either side of the Kenya-Uganda border, taking an estimated 40 hours to clear both, and the same time at the Uganda-Rwanda border. With the electronic tagging a driver will be checked and present their papers once at each border.

Three East African Community countries hope the seamless movement of goods enabled by the electronic cargo tracking system will attract even more investment to the region.


Our DPS agent comments in Kenya:


This project, if fully implemented, will reduce transit losses by 90%. The introduction of geo-mapping, known as the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking (RECT), in the “Northern Corridor” (the main road stretching from Mombasa port to the Rwandan capital, Kigali) will enable customs officials to monitor journeys on a map and to be able to immediately detect any detours.


We have handled several cases on behalf of underwriters in Uganda/Rwanda who have suffered huge losses due to a lack of a proper mechanism to monitor cargoes while in transit from the port of Mombasa to Rwanda/Uganda, as summarized below:


  1. A company based in Kigali, Rwanda imported 112 flat screen televisions. The container left the Mombasa port with the shipper’s seals intact. However, only 64 flat screens were  received at the consignee’s premises.
  2. Another receiver in Uganda imported 36 pallets of paper reels. The conveyance left the Mombasa port with the shipper’s seals intact, but was found abandoned along the Mombasa – Nairobi highway. Upon opening it was noted loaded with sand although the shippers seals were intact
  3. Another receiver Imported 400 bags of rice (50 kg). The container was received with the shipper’s seals  at the port of Mombasa. However, it was delivered at the nominated CFS with tampered seals. Upon opening of the container for verification it was found completely empty.


We are confident that the introduction of this project will assist in monitoring both trucks and containers from the port of Mombasa to the final destination, thus reducing transit losses by a big margin.