Djibouti approves 66 freight forwarders to operate at its ports


Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFA) announced it has selected qualified freight forwarding companies to undertake logistics activity from the Djibouti ports.
The authority had distributed a circular in April to freight forwarding companies enumerating the standards freight forwarders have to meet including expertise and capacity requirements to be selected.
DPFA has selected 66 freight forwarding companies to carry dispatches from the port to different destinations mainly in the east Africa region.
Experts told Capital that the new arrangement would greatly improve the logistics movement from the port and Ethiopian freight forwarders should link up with the chosen 66 companies. Previously there were thousands of companies operating in Djibouti as freight forwarders.
Logistics is the major service sector and backbone of Djibouti’s economy. The government of Djibouti and DPFA have engaged on several new projects and activities to modernize and streamline the sector. The current measure is considered as one of the reform processes.
The sector actors in Ethiopia, who are working jointly with Djiboutian freight forwarders, told Capital the new measure will reinvigorate the two countries’ economy and companies, and Ethiopian importers too.
Ethiopian freight forwarders said that previously their Djiboutian counterparts took minimum or no responsibility for the goods they transport from the port, leaving Ethiopian freight companies carry greater risks in case of damage or loss. “The current measure will protect interests of Ethiopian freight forwarders,” one cargo company owner said. Logistics experts, on their part, said that Ethiopian companies that do not have adequate capacity and man power will also be affected by the new system but the sector will be more professional and tightly elevated.
Previously, freight forwarders in Ethiopia and Djibouti could get a working license quite easily.
The selected companies that are registered in Djibouti have commenced operation in Djibouti ports staring from May 1, 2015.
The Djiboutian government is undertaking an expansion and building of new ports and logistics facilities in collaboration with international companies. Djiboutian ports are the major logistics hubs for Ethiopia’s cargo. The development of new ports will make Djibouti one of the major logistics hubs not only on the continent but also internationally.