The Beninese Government decided to reintroduce the Taxe de Voirie (road tax) for all cargo moving to and through Burkina Faso and Niger from Cotonou port. The Taxe de Voiree is calculated as a 0.85% tax on the declared cargo value. The Taxe de Voiree has been in effect since 26 February.
Taxe de Statistique
The Beninese Government has throughout March considered implementing a deposit amounting to 5.2% of cargo value for cargo moving to Niger. The deposit would be repaid to the importer upon presentation of a certificate of consumption in Niger, however for goods continuing to Nigeria the deposit would be used to pay the difference between the Niger and Nigeria transit duties.
After discussions with Niger importers the Beninese Government decided to abandon the deposit on 2 April and business will thus continue as usual.
As several of our clients have sadly experienced, our transhipments through Algeciras port have been hit by delays. The delays were caused by an overflow of volumes in December and January. Further an accident in the end of 2007 prompted the Spanish authorities to stop three of our cranes which has decreased the handling capacity.
We have added capacity to remove this bottleneck and firmly expect this work to be finished by week 15 after which we will be back to business as usual. Severe port congestion in West Africa is the reason why the problem has not been solved earlier.
To accommodate for the growing volumes APM Terminals has invested heavily in developing the transhipment capacity in Spain and Morocco by expanding Malaga and Tangiers terminals. This will give Maersk Line the needed port capacity to secure reliable transit times in the future as rightfully expected from our clients.
Please ask your Maersk Line representative for further details.
Departure of David Skov
The Managing Director of Maersk Benin S.A. since 2004, Mr. David Skov has accepted a position in APM Terminal’s global headquarter in the Hague, Netherlands. David Skov left Benin on 12 March after 3 years of strong growth and development for Maersk Benin. David Skov was the driving force behind Maersk Benin’s investments in an Inland Container Depot, a doubling of our terminal space and two Mobile Harbour Cranes. All these initiatives have allowed Maersk Benin to triple our volumes in the period. On 06 March, The King of Abomey knighted David in recognition of his positive contribution to Benin.
David’s successor will be announced within the next month and Maersk Line will host a client arrangement to welcome the new Managing Director. In the interim period Mr. Thue Petersen will take over David’s responsibilities.
Planned client parties
In an attempt to give our clients the best possibilities to raise concerns to the Management of Maersk Benin in a relaxed and casual environment we will increase the frequency of our client arrangements. This is also to honour the many good suggestions we have received from our clients during our customer satisfaction surveys to increase the number of client events.
The next client event is planned to take place when the new Managing Director of Maersk Benin S.A. is appointed.
Update on off dock situation
Due to a number of external and internal factors there have been delays in removing stripped goods from the Maersk off dock. This has understandably led to frustrations on the part of our clients, something we regret deeply. To ensure a lower and decidedly more stabile turnaround time of the containers we are rolling out a process improvement program headed by our Process Excellence Manager with the assistance of a number of stakeholders from the operational and commercial side of the issue. Further a complete re-pavement of the off dock is undergoing at the moment. We expect both projects to be fully implemented within the coming months allowing a smooth handling of the import peak season.
New BAF calculation
As was separately communicated during week 9 by our sales staff, Maersk Line has per 1 April introduced a new formula for our floating Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF).
The formula builds on elements such as fuel consumption, transit time, and imbalances of container flows – with merely bunker price changes determining the BAF level. This means that you as a customer will pay a BAF which rises when fuel prices climb and benefit from downward trends as the bunker price fluctuate.
With the introduction of the Maersk BAF formula, our customers will experience a fair and equitable way of applying BAF.
If you want to learn more about the Maersk Line BAF formula you can check our new “BAF Calculator” on www.maerskline.com/baf. With this tool you can calculate your own trade specific BAF and make simulations of upwards and downwards movements in bunker prices. In addition, the tool will explain the variables behind the BAF formula, provide an extensive Q&A, and carry news about upcoming BAF changes.
Should you have any questions please contact your Maersk Line representative.
Maersk Line has seen a very strong development in import volumes over the past years. In expectation of continuous growth the Maersk owned stevedoring company COMAN is undertaking an investment in doubling the surface area of their yard in the Port of Cotonou. In connection with the investment in mobile harbour cranes and an off dock facility this will allow Maersk Line to meet future demand while avoiding capacity constraints and congestions. The expansion of the yard is expected to be finished within 2008.