Container Traffic to and from West Africa has taken a huge decline over the last 3 months. There is no secret to the reason behind this. The economies of the 3 main West African exporters have fallen greatly due to the world fearing contamination from the Ebola Virus.
Sea freight cargo volumes have seen a huge decrease of 30% in West Africa, however the world’s largest shipping lines refuse to stop African operations. Maersk Line have split their African services, allocating a separate weekly vessel from Tangier specially outlined to call only in affected countries. The world’s second largest shipping line CMA CGM have also split their African service setting up a loop only calling at the majorly affected countries to avoid contamination.
Many ports are banning vessels that have called in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea from docking, with most Asian economies totally banning West African imports. Most shipping lines calling at the affected ports claim they are implementing protective measures when docking. These include banning crew members from departing the vessel while at port.
Many Shipping lines have said they will stay committed to serving countries stricken by Ebola and will continue running service through West Africa despite the massive decline in cargo volume to ‘avoid import and export dying out’.
The refusal to import and export through the affected countries is said to be severely affecting them due to the lack of local produce. Many far eastern countries are said to be standing very firm against importing and exporting to and from the West of Africa due to contamination fears. This is prompting a surge in Chinese exported Aluminium as the demand is getting higher and higher as African exports decrease.