(Business in Cameroon) - Cotton exporters in Cameroon are exploring new ways to make the industry more effective. Last July 5, Bolloré Transport & Logistics announced it has successfully shipped 18,000 tons of cotton to India from the port of Douala, using an innovative containerless solution.
The shipment was made available to the shipper by Olam Agri, a local subsidiary of Singaporean agribusiness and trader Olam International, and belonged to Sodecoton (Cameroon) and Coton Tchad. "The synergy between the teams of Bolloré Transport & Logistics and those of Olam Agri has made it possible to optimize the constraints related to the handling of cotton big-bags (pictured) and to implement innovative solutions throughout the logistics chain. The collaboration has enabled us to create storage pallets, manufacture dedicated tools (spreaders) and adapt the equipment to the specific nature of the ship," Bolloré explained.
The cargo was shipped in "big bags", which are a type of bulky bags in which cotton bales are stored. “Our objective is to increase the use of this method to meet the various needs of our customers in an operational excellence way,” said the Head of Bolloré Transport & Logistics for the Gulf of Guinea region, Serge Agnero.
He explained that the solution helps overcome the deficit of containers caused by the imbalance in trade between Asia, Europe, and the United States. This deficit was exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic, making access to containers even more difficult and increasing the burden (higher costs) of import-export operations. Using "big bags" therefore comes as an effective solution that still guarantees the competitiveness of companies.
"If this operation proves successful, we will gradually reduce the use of containers for all our shipments outside West Africa," says Rohit Kumar, Shipping Director of Olam Agri Chad.
Let’s note that as part of this new strategy, Bolloré has moved its teams from Côte d'Ivoire and Togo to Cameroon to ensure the transfer of skills.