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Private freight forwarders are looking at the Mojo Dry Port for the cargos they are transporting to and from the sea ports.
The Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association (EFFSAA) stated that it has concluded a study that indicates possible ways the private sector will be able to get a place for their cargo at the major dry port in the country.
Currently the first dry port for the country is owned and only provides service for the cargo that operates under the state multimodal monopoly Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE).
Logistics experts told Capital that international organizations like the UNDP and WFP are interested to boost the logistics sector of the country by including the private sector.
They now have adequate attention for the initiative to involve the private sector in the Mojo Dry Port activity.
The World Bank has provided USD 150 million to improve the Mojo Dry Port operation and to make it a multiuser and multipurpose facility.
The Mojo dry port and terminal is laid on a 62-hectare of land. When expansions are complete, it will lie on 128 hectare of land.
Currently, Mojo dry port and terminal accommodates the country’s 80 percent containers storage imported from abroad.
Salahadin Khalifa, Chairman of Board of Directors of EFFSAA, told Capital that EFFSAA’s major aim is to support the members and to make the logistics sector efficient.
“In this regards we have found ways to work at the Mojo Dry Port with the public enterprise and have been discussing the issue with the relevant government body that allowed us to come with a detailed study,” he added.
“As a government policy supporter, we have been working on the study and it has now been finalized and will be presented in the coming week in the presence of stakeholders from the government and international organizations,” Salahadin said.
He said that they have gotten positive response from international organizations like the World Bank and WFP to make the planned target a reality.
Mojo Dry Port is a common use facility that will provide service for the private sector on the area that is exclusively saved for the private actors.
“Currently the dry port is fully owned by ESLSE but it is possible to outsource some of the plots for the private sector with the aim to make the logistics sector more effective,” he added.
Salahadin hopes that it will be a good exposure for the private actor to experience the multimodal operation, which is now fully managed by the state logistics enterprise.
Since the government introduced the multimodal operation about eight years ago, the private sector actors have claimed that the operation is monopolized by the government operator.
In different occasions they have argued that the private sector has to engage with the multimodal operation with ESLSE as part of the free market competitiveness.
Recently, the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority (EMAA) has drafted the directive that the freight forwarders will operate the multimodal scheme on a sub contract bases under ESLSE.
However the issue is not yet concluded. On the other hand EMAA has also proposed a new scheme that selected freight forwarders to engage in the multimodal operation on the businesses that are connected with Hawassa Industry Park, the biggest textile and garment industry park.
The prominent industries that joined the Hawassa Park are targeting to export their products fully. In this regard the government has considered including private logistics companies to provide logistics service for the multimodal scheme with the aim of accelerating logistics activity and export.
Experts said that the private sector and the authority are discussing on the draft idea issued by EMAA .
The freight forwarders have also provided 15 comments on the draft idea for the benefit of the association, according to a report presented during a general assembly that was held at Sheraton Addis on Tuesday October 31.
Salahadin said that on the draft document that EMAA sent to the association, it is indicated that ten selected companies will be engaged in the multimodal operation related with the Hawassa Park activity. “We provided our comment on the directive’s plan to include all freight forwarders that have a capacity to operate on the multimodal scheme. The other major points that we raised is that the multimodal scheme has to be open for other sectors or areas besides the Hawassa Park,” he added.
The association formed about two decades ago,is now rearranging the articles of association to include additional members from the logistics and related sectors.
The general assembly has agreed to restructure the articles of association to include individual professionals, corporate companies like importer or exporters and honoree members.