Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association

EFFSAA Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 01, No. 012

Construction of Tunnels on Awash-Woldiya Railway Project is Completed

Awash-Woldiya Railway

Ministry of Transport announced that all 12 tunnels under the Awash Woldiya railway project are fully completed and ready for operation. The total length of the 12 tunnels is more than 10 km. The longest tunnel is located around Woldiya and covers a distance of 2.3 km. According to Ministry of Transport, the current level of implementation of the project has reached 91.88 percent.

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Ethiopian’s Brand New A350 to Carry Medical Equipment Provided by Airbus Partner

Ethiopian A350

Ethiopian Airlines will take delivery of new A350 aircraft from Airbus facility in Toulouse, France today. For the ferry flight of the A350 planned for today, the Airbus Foundation has prepared up to 4 tons of medical equipment. The equipment are provided by the Airbus Foundation partner association called ‘Aviation without Borders’ and mainly consists of hospital beds, wheelchairs and walkers among others.

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Paperless e-System

Webb Fontaine’s team of international experts and technicians were on the ground for 3 years in Ethiopia to assist the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) staff with the deployment of Webb Fontaine’s eCMS that was designed and customized for this project and rolled out across all operational ECC stations in Ethiopia. It is also available online for all trade users (carriers, declarants, companies, etc.)

The fully paperless e-system caters for social distancing rules without hindering the capacity of customs officers to assess and access submitted documents. In addition, ECC removed the need for physical submission of documents by adopting Webb Fontaine’s facevet Officer Desk module, allowing full digitalization of documents.

“The advantages are clear to see: dwell times are significantly reduced which means the Customs clearance process is two times faster than before. With simpler and optimal processes Customs can clear goods, faster and more efficiently. With more control and trade facilitation, revenue has increased dramatically. Ethiopia Customs Commission has been able to increase Customs generated revenue by over 30%, this is a major asset in the context of the economic growth of Ethiopia.” Said Pascal Minvielle – Executive Director, Technology & Projects Implementation – Webb Fontaine Group

According to Mr. Minvielle, the system provides complete control, transparency and visibility of all transactions. Goods are now tracked at every step of the Customs process. Customs digitalization removes all manual steps in the Customs clearance process, this means a reduced chance for errors and fraud. The system itself includes specific tools for tracking irregularities and under invoicing practices.

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Ethiopian Cargo Pharma Wing Ready to Distribute the COVID-19 Vaccine

Ethiopian Cargo Pharma Wing

Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services has announced its readiness with all required capabilities for the distribution of potential COVID-19 vaccine across Africa and the rest of the world.

Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services was instrumental in facilitating the flow of medical supplies including PPEs across the globe in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by deploying its state-of-the-art cargo terminal, which is the largest in Africa with annual capacity of around one million tons and compartmentalized temperature controlled cold storage facilities.

“We are the major cargo partners of WHO, WFP donor governments and philanthropists in facilitating the flow of essential medical supplies owing to our massive cargo facility including our Pharma Wing, our large dedicated freighter fleet and well trained manpower. As the world prepares to welcome COVID-19 vaccine, we will be at the forefront to further discharge our responsibility in the distribution of the vaccine across the globe.” Ethiopian Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam remarked.

Equipped with different climate chambers ranging between -23°C to 25°C covering an area of 54,000 square metres, dedicated cool dollies, dedicated pharma team, lease/handling of Envirotainer and DoKaSCH-TS active containers, real-time temperature monitoring system and fully temperature-controlled operation, the Pharma Wing of Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services is best suited for handling of pharmaceuticals and all types medical supplies.

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Construction Fast-Tracked at China PLA’s First Overseas Base in Djibouti

China is expanding fast and wide in Africa. Its foray into Djibouti, a small but strategically located country in Africa, is a clear reflection of the Communist nation’s foothold in the continent. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Support Base in Djibouti has become an increasingly important outpost in the Horn of Africa.

China began constructing its first People’s Liberation Army (PLA) overseas base at Djibouti’s Doraleh Port in March 2016. Djibouti is a strategic port on the mouth of the Red Sea with easy access to the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean.

The work at this base and port activities have continued through the entire pandemic. The construction is now at fever pitch, as seen in latest high-resolution satellite images. This multipurpose port at Doraleh, Africa’s biggest and deepest, was established by Chinese PLA as only a logistics base for humanitarian help and disaster relief. However, soon it was realized that China sitting on the edge of Doraleh is able to monitor entire world’s sea lines of communications which have to pass through the Bab el-Mandeb waterway that links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

China’s hold has increased over small countries in Africa since the establishment of this base in Djibouti. China has been able to provide many small countries with military equipment and thus control even the political hierarchy in those countries.

The Chinese facility is barely 7km away from the United States’ sole military base in Africa – Camp Lemonnier – established in 2001. In 2018, the US Department of Defense complained to the Chinese government about lasers being directed at aircraft from the base.

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Shanghai First Port in the World to Handle More Than 4m TEU in a Month

Shanghai Port

Shanghai has obliterated its own monthly container handling record, becoming the first port in the world to handle more than 4m TEU in a calendar month.

Shanghai, the world’s largest box port, handled 4.2m TEU in October, up 15.7% year-on-year, smashing the monthly record it had set in July by 297,000 TEU. The news from Shanghai comes as liners have enjoyed record rates on many trade lanes out of China in recent months.

“This shows the current strength of demand, but that might not last for many more months. We hear anecdotal reports of western ports somewhat melting down, but it appears that Shanghai – and the Asian ports generally – have the ability to rise to peak demand challenges,” commented Andy Lane from Singapore-based container shipping advisory CTI Consultancy.

Shanghai handled 43.3m TEU last year, a commanding 6.1m TEU lead over second place, Singapore.

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Bill Gates Joins Nuclear-Powered Shipping Push

Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world, has turned his attention to getting ships powered by nuclear energy.

The Microsoft co-founder, who turned 65 last week, is also chairman of TerraPower, a nuclear tech company announced a new venture with Mikal Bøe’s CORE POWER, French nuclear materials handling specialist Orano and American utilities firm Southern Company. The four companies plan to develop molten salt reactor (MSR) atomic technology in the United States.

“The change in the industry is going to be massive and maybe catastrophic because you will have ships going 50% faster because the fuel is essentially free once you’ve paid the upfront capex investment and the tanks will be empty because you will have cheap electricity around the world without intermittency,” Sohmen-Pao mused.

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Maritime Accidents Monthly Report October 2020

Maritime Accident

Maritime Bulletin (MB) priority is to find out about maritime accidents, involving merchant marine ships, ASAP. MB monitors only some major accidents in their development and outcome, i.e. further development of most part of reported accidents isn’t monitored.

A number of accidents though known to MB, aren’t included – like trivial accidents with ferries, or NUC problems which were fixed by crew and didn’t require towage. Fishery is, generally, monitored, but only major accidents are reported.

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