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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of cargo theft on the Walvis Bay port operations. The study was grounded in the pragmatic worldview. The study adopted an exploratory sequential mixed method. The sample size of 30 participants was drawn from an estimated population of 1000 officials at the Port of Walvis Bay using non-probability sampling technique. Purposeful sampling method was used to draw a sample of respondents from relevant departments. The study used an open-ended questionnaire containing semi-structured in-depth questions aimed at obtaining qualitative data and survey questionnaires consisting of closed-ended questions to collect quantitative data. Based on the results, the study found that cargo theft has possible effects on port operations which are: financial loss, customer loss, sustainability of port operation, and unreliability of port services. Furthermore, the study found that cargo theft has subsided after the recruitment of port security officials and the inauguration of a mobile police station within the port in 2013. The two security measures assisted in combating crime at the port and subsequently minimised cargo theft. The study further found that stolen cargo was recovered within a short period. Regarding the payments of the stolen cargo, the findings revealed that Namport pays for stolen cargo on the basis of the investigation outcomes. In addition, insurance payments results show that insurance pay-outs are paid out in different percentages based on the investigations outcomes. However, the performances at the port are fairly or less affected. Furthermore, cargo theft negatively affects other parties such as port customers, clearing agents and shipping lines. Cargo theft has negative threats on the supply chain of cargo which can have a negative effect on port operations. Most noteworthy threats are loss of customer’s trust, the unreliability of services, negative influence on port customers’ shipping lines including cargo owners, resulting into dissatisfaction, loss of finance, and lastly threats to the economy at large. The installation of CCTV cameras all over the port, the implementation of port security, the ISPS code compliance, security baselines, the complement of National Youth Service officials as well as the GIS system and Namibia police force officials are some of the strategies employed by the port to reduce and fight cargo theft at the port. The researcher recommends that Namport adds modern technology to the security measures already in place in tracing and proving whether the loose items are lost in the port premises or in transit. Finally, Namport is recommended to adopt strategies that can eliminate threats that cargo theft imposes in the supply chain. The study concluded that theft at the Walvis Bay port has reduced for the past 5 years and the theft that is taking place currently at the port has minimal effect on port operations but on other parties, clearing agencies, port customers as well as shipping lines to mention a few. The adoption of new technology will assist in combating the theft of cargo at the port. However, port customers are advised to do a background check on the shipping companies before using their service to avoid occurrences of loose commodities getting lost.



Theft, Port Operation, Port Effects, modern security technology, container, shipping companies.


Elago, E. (2019). Investigating the effect of cargo theft on Walvis bay port operations in Namibia. (Unpublished Master's thesis). Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek.