(Ecofin Agency) - Egypt will increase the operating hours of its ports from 16 hours per day to 24 hours. According to the transport minister Hesham Arafat, this measure is to cut the long delays of wheat shipments’ clearance.
The official indicated that this new operation timetable should generate no additional fees to shippers. However, he did not specify how long the policy will last and when it will take effect.
Let’s note that although it is welcomed by many traders who had to pay demurrage fees for operations exceeding 16h, this measure is however insufficient to streamline the country’s supply system that is one of the most complex in the world.
According to a Cairo-based trader interviewed by Reuters, this approach from the government does not take into account the real problem which is the low storage capacity inside the ports.
USDA indicated that Egypt's complex mechanisms of wheat supply could generate additional costs of £1.4 billion in 2018.