Friday 29 March 2019 | Distance travelled: 0km
Another day by the coast. We're far from idle but beginning to get restless. Chriszette de Beer, our contact at DB Schenker invited us for a tour of the harbour and lunch (at the Anchor, of all places).
Together with her colleague, Chriszette drove us round the port and showed us where the car would be coming in. It was all pretty interesting. Walvis Bay is a major port, but DB Schenker are small fry, or "mickey mouse", freight forwarders here. A container ship comes in every couple of days and discharges a few hundred containers. The ships are run by one of four main companies. Maersk, the largest, Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), a french company whose name escapes me and MACS line. Smaller operators do exist, but the vast majority of container ships, break bulk (larger items that don't fit into containers) and bulk (raw produce, like charcoal and salt) are shipped round the world using these companies.
We learnt about the process of discharge and how containers are sent through scanners as they leave the port before being taken to a freight forwarded like DB Schenker, where a customs official checks things over.
Following lunch, we went to the salt pans to the south of the town and saw how sea salt was made through the evaporation of sea water on huge pans. It actually looks pink initally, but is then belached to give it its familiar white colour.
I received an email from the COO of DB Schenker's Africa and Middle East section, telling me of his support and if I ever need some help, he's just on the end of the phone. It's amazing to have had their support and I think and hope that it'll save a lot of hassle as we travel across Africa.