Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents Association

EFFSAA Weekly Newsletter, Vol. 01, No. 021

Ethiopian-DHL, AeTrade Group Partner to Transport Historical Parcels Under AfCFTA

Ethiopian-DHL, AeTrade Group Partner to Transport Historical Parcels Under AfCFTA

Ethiopian Airlines-DHL and African Electronic Trade Group partner to transport historical parcels in the African Continental Free Trade Area. The partnership is meant to invoke the start of trading of the African Continental Free Trade Area market and the operations of the African E-Commerce Platform in the continent.

The first batch of the goods has arrived at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport on 01 January 2021 at a ceremony graced by high-level officials from the public and private sectors, AU, DHL and Ethiopian Airlines Group.

Working in collaboration with African Union Commission and the African business community with a vision to enhance intra-and inter-African trade, the African Electronic Trade Group transports fragile trophies to various African countries as African Continental Free Trade Area commences. So far, the fragile goods have passed through Eswatini, South Africa and Ethiopia – the three countries have signed and ratified the AfCFTA Agreement.

The smooth and reliable connection between the source and the final destination is possible because of the partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and the African Electronic Trade Group. This partnership joins the pre-existing continental partnership between Ethiopian Airlines and DHL that has strengthened the multimodal logistics systems established by Ethiopian at its hub in Addis Ababa.

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Railway Corporation, Chinese Company Sign MOU to Develop Infrastructures

Railway Corporation, Chinese Company Sign MOU to Develop Infrastructures

Ethiopian Railway Corporation and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop infrastructures connecting the national railway line with Awash Petroleum Depot.

According to Ministry of Transport, the agreement will connect the National Railway to the Awash National Petroleum Depot, which is capable of holding up to 130,000 cubic meters of fuel. The agreement also include the construction of facilities vital for loading and unloading services in the project area.

The construction of the whole project is expected to consume close to 55 million USD which is going to be covered by the government of Ethiopia. The project is slated to be finished within a one-year period.

The agreement will have significant contribution in connecting the Ethio-Djibouti railway with the Awash – Kombolcha – Haragebaya railway project since CCECC will build an infrastructure that connects the Chinese built 756 kms Ethio-Djibouti electrified rail line to the 390 kms Awash-Kombolcha-Hara-Gebeya rail line.

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Wereta Port and Terminal has handled 5058 TU containers in the last 10 months

Wereta Port and Terminal has handled 5058 TU containers in the last 10 months

The Woreta port and terminal which is found in Fogera Woreda, South Gondar is achieving better results in providing complete logistics services in the northern part of Ethiopia.

It is to be recalled that the first phase of the construction of 27 hectares of land was completed in 2012 EC.
In less than a year, the port and terminal has been able to handle 5058 TU containers. In the first six months of the 2013 Ethiopian budget year, the port has achieved tremendously by handling 4,669 containers.

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Digital course on preventing wildlife trafficking in the supply chain now available in multiple languages

The course ‘Prevention of Wildlife Trafficking’ launched by FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, is now available free of charge in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish).

In 2019, FIATA and TRAFFIC teamed up to deliver a three-module digital course to raise awareness of wildlife trafficking and its impact on the supply chain. The course equips freight forwarders with the skills to fight this illicit trade by providing essential information to detect, respond to, and report instances of wildlife trafficking. The translation of this course into multiple languages will allow a broader reach of the topic to the global freight forwarding community.

“We are very pleased to continue our collaboration with TRAFFIC and have this important course on the prevention of wildlife trafficking made more accessible to our industry stakeholders,” said Dr Stephane Graber, FIATA Director General. “Freight forwarders from all around the world have the opportunity to support the efforts of protecting wildlife and reinforcing the integrity of the supply chain. This course gives them a multilingual tool to take appropriate action in the event of dealing with suspicious cargo.”

Wildlife traffickers misuse the legitimate transport and logistics services provided by the freight forwarding industry. According to TRAFFIC, this illegal trade is the fourth largest black market in the world and impacts more than 7,000 species of animals and plants.

In 2017, FIATA included wildlife trafficking in the minimum standards for the FIATA Diploma in International Freight Forwarding.

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What Will the African Continental Free Trade Area Mean for Shipping?

The start of this year heralded the implementation of the AfCFTA (African Continental Free Trade Area), a flagship project of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 to stimulate intra-African trade. The project aims to create a single continental market for goods and services through a comprehensive agreement by member countries that will see more African resources traded within the continent. The agreement will cover 1.2 billion people with an estimated combined consumer and business spending amounting to $6.7 trillion in 2030.

One of the guiding objectives of AfCFTA is to lay the foundation for establishment of a Continental Customs Union, which will seek to harmonize customs matters by member countries and implement trade facilitation measures. Customs delays in most African countries have been singled-out as one of the major reason that contributes to high cost of shipping commodities to Africa, as goods in some countries can take close to 10 days to complete customs clearance. The borderless African Continental market envisaged in AfCFTA will definitely be a step forward in reducing the cost of shipping in Africa and improving efficiency in the industry. For example, the East African Community has so far installed 25 one-stop border posts that have significantly reduced the amount of time goods have to spend going through customs.

The maritime trade aspect of AfCFTA will still be dependent on foreign-owned vessels, as no African country features among the top 30 ship owning countries in the world as of 2019. Another point to note is some countries will benefit more from AfCFTA, especially large economies with well-developed transport infrastructure and hub ports, like South Africa, Egypt and Morocco.

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China Merchants signs US$350 million deal for Shekou-style revamp of Djibouti port

China’s biggest port operator has moved to consolidate its foothold in Djibouti after it agreed a financing deal with the East African nation to turn its Port of Djibouti into an international business hub.

China Merchants Group signed the US$350 million investment deal with state-owned company Great Horn Investment Holding on December 29, paving the way for the revamp of the port, which is more than a century old.

Located in Djibouti City, the US$3 billion project is to be modelled on the southern Chinese port of Shekou in Shenzhen that is integrated with a free-trade zone and business centre. State-controlled China Merchants played a key role in Shekou’s development.

Aboubaker Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA), said the project would have “a profound impact on the future course of our country and advance Vision 2035”, the nation’s development strategy.

Speaking at a signing ceremony held via video link, Hadi said it would turn Djibouti into a world-class business hub, creating thousands of jobs and wealth.

The project is one of many involving Chinese companies in Djibouti – a tiny coastal nation of about 1 million people, strategically located in the Horn of Africa at the intersection of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

They include Huawei Marine’s project to connect Djibouti with Pakistan via an undersea fibre-optic cable. And Chinese lenders and China Merchants Ports Holdings, a subsidiary of the group, funding the mega US$590 million Doraleh Multipurpose Port, just west of Djibouti City. The Chinese port operator is also developing what has been billed as Africa’s largest free-trade zone, which will provide property and corporate tax incentives for investors.

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Gulf States End Three-Year Embargo on Qatar

In a deal brokered by the Trump administration, the Saudi and Qatari governments have agreed to stand down from a three-year diplomatic dispute that disrupted the flow of regional trade. As part of the agreement, they have reopened their mutual borders – maritime, air and land – in a show of good faith ahead of a signing ceremony scheduled for Tuesday.

The reopening was announced by the government of Kuwait, which contributed to the negotiations. “Based on [Kuwaiti leader] Sheikh Nawaf’s proposal, it was agreed to open the airspace and land and sea borders between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar, starting from this evening,” said Kuwaiti foreign minister Ahmad Nasser al-Sabah in a televised address Monday.

The border shutdown began in mid-2017, when a Saudi-led coalition – including the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia – blockaded Qatar’s shipping, air traffic and (where applicable) land border crossings.

The embargo had immediate effects on Qatari shipping interests – like the UAE’s ban on Qatar-bound cargo, which closed off all Qatari access to the key boxship hub of Jebel Ali – but Qatar was able to partially offset these losses by creating alternative shipping services and boosting trade with Iran. Its status as the world’s largest LNG exporter has continued unchanged, insulating its economy from regional restrictions.

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