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A week after the business community held a meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, and complained about the slow pace of goods delivery by the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE), the enterprise published a list of 355 companies whose containers lie at the Mojo Dry Port.

The announcement warns the shipment owners that it will take actions if they do not collect their containers immediately from the dry port.
According to the notice the enterprise published on the state owned daily Amharic newspaper Addis Zemen, last Friday November 2,  the newly amalgamated enterprise urged its clients to collect their goods from the Mojo Dry Port urgently or face legal measures.  
Customs process and the logistics service issues were emphasised as major problems at the consultative meeting with investors engaged in the manufacturing industry, chaired by the newly appointed PM. Local and foreign industrialists from different sectors had complained repeatedly about drawn out customs clearance procedures and complicated transportation and logistics services managed by ESLSE.
Local importers who have been complaining that their goods were stacked at the Port of Djibouti for more than eight months were not present to collect their goods after a repeated notice according to Ashebir Nota, a senior public relation officer at the enterprise. 
“We have even approached companies physically apart from making telephone calls to convince them to collect their containerised goods. Only few responded,” Ashebir told Capital.
Previously if a containerised good stay at the Port of Djibouti for more than six months, the Djiboutian government will confiscate it and auction it out. To avoid such a move the Ethiopian government agreed with the government of Djibouti to move the containers to Ethiopian Dry ports before the due date. The Ethiopian government incurs all the cost associated with moving the containers from Djibouti Port to either Mojo or Semera Dry Ports.
The problem has been magnified since the government decided to put the multimodal scheme under the mandate of the state owned amalgamation of ESLSE; the Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Ethiopian Maritime Services Enterprise and Ethiopian Dry Ports Enterprise in the beginning of the past budget year.
Previously, before the government set up dry ports, when owners were not present to collect containerised goods that are brought to the hinterland by government bodies within six months, the government will auction it through the Merchandise and Wholesale Trading Enterprise following the decision of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. That is the practice before the merger of the three state enterprises. However, there seems that a gap is created following the merger.   
“There are containers which are moved in such a manner almost three month ago, but no one was present to collect them. We are discussing with the concerned governmental bodies on ways to get rid of such containers through legal means,” Ashebir added.
ESLSE claims that more than 5,600 containers which are brought to Mojo Dry Port are waiting for their owners to collect them. That has congested Mojo Dry Port and forced the enterprise to release a public notice.  Most of the containers are in the dry port zone from three months to a year period.
A high level government delegation has been deployed to Djibouti to diffuse cargo transportation bottleneck observed at the port of Djibouti three month ago. Since then reports indicate that the number of trucks moving goods from the port to Ethiopia has increased. More than 150 trucks have been transporting 300 containers per day. 
The massive congestion at the port of Djibouti was blamed on the ESLSE’s new multimodal scheme to handle the import and export of the country.  At the time, some 22,000 containers and several vehicles were reportedly stranded in Djibouti. Insufficient trucks and slow custom clearance were also noted as the major reasons behind the congestion of import items at Djibouti. Meanwhile, the congestion of dry ports in Ethiopia; Mojo and Semera, due to a customs clearance delay had also exacerbated the congestion in Djibouti port apart from the problem that might arise from lack of harmonisation among the employees of the three amalgamated enterprises.  
Meanwhile, transportation of goods categorized as dangerous merchandise, goods for projects, factory raw materials, pharmaceuticals and perishable cargoes were given a waiver and their clearances from Djibouti port expedited. 
The ESLSE has exclusive control not only of the state import and export activities but also the private one too.