Govt to allow the private sector in multimodal scheme

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The Ministry of Transport is considering sharing the multimodal (land, sea, or road) transportation services with the private sector.
Since the government introduced the multimodal scheme about three years ago it has been decided to control the system on monopoly basis. The private sector engaged on logistics service has been complaining about the monopoly for the last couple of months.
They have also pointed out the issue to the Prime Minister to get the opportunity to be involved.
Aiming to boost the multimodal system, the government has formed an enterprise with the amalgamation of three public logistics enterprises, Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Dry Port Services and Maritime Enterprise.
A week ago the government stated that it has interest to include the private sector in the scheme.
Getachew Mengiste, State Minister of Transport, told Capital that the aim of involving the private sector is to speed up logistics facilities.
“We are considering how the private sector will take part in the multimodal scheme,” the state minister explained.
“We will not decide by our self but we will involve other stake holders and we will discuss it thoroughly,” Getachew said.
He declined to give the exact time when the government will allow the private sector to engage on the scheme.
Frequent private requests to deliver import containers, quickly has forced the Ministry to consider allowing the private sector in the multimodal service. “The multi modal service that we have been doing for the last three years has been deliveringproducts in around seven days but we would like to see that number reduced to five days,” he said on the discussion with representatives of major import/export actors and logistics companies, held on Saturday December 27, at Elilly International Hotel. 
Freight forwarders and shipping agents have been stated their concern that the multimodal scheme has significantly damaging their business. 
‘‘We are drafting the documents that will allow the private sector to get involved in the multimodal scheme, then we will conduct a meeting to have a feedback from stakeholders,” said the state minister added.
The private sector representatives told Capital that in several occasions the government stated that it will allow the private sector to be involve in the multimodal scheme. “But it is very delayed,” they said.
Multimodal Transportation Implementation Directive enforce all shipments that belong to the government to use multimodal transport through Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE). In addition the directive also instructs all vehicles of three tonnes or less to be under the new scheme and goods being shipped through the ESLSE, which was formed with the conglomeration of the three enterprises, are responsible to use a multimodal transportation service. The multimodal arrangement is a scheme whereby the transportation of goods is under a single contract but performed with two or more different means of transportation. The transporter is accountable for the entire journey, including the shipment’s delivery at the final destination. The transportation can be carried out by rail, sea, and road.