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Multiuse Doraleh Port to handle millions of tons of Ethiopia’s goods Introduces major cuts in prices of port service

The Government of Djibouti has decided to reduce its prices in all port services across the newly built Doraleh Multipurpose Port (DMP) where the general cargo, dry bulk and vehicles will be enjoying much of the price cuts.

During a visit to the DMP, Wahib Dahir Aden, CEO of the multipurpose port, told Ethiopian journalists that the adjustment in the price of port services came after a recent government decision.

Asked about the latest price adjustment at the DMP, Aden said that an average 45 percent price decrease will be made on all port the services. However, the adjusted price is yet to be effective as it had only been decided recently, the CEO added.

According to Aden, the construction of the recently inaugurated DMP has consumed some USD 580 million and has been able to provide port services to 1.7 million metric tons of goods, thus far. The port has also docked 220 vessels since it started operations.

“We have invested USD 580 million in the new port to enable Djibouti to become the main gateway to Ethiopia” The CEO said.

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Among the facilities DMP has been equipped with 16 big cranes have been installed to discharge cargos from vessels daily. Out of the USD 580 million Djibouti has invested the 72 million was used to develop port docksides, equipment and other facilities. Cargo management, vessels discharging, vehicles booking systems and the like are some of the latest operational systems peculiar to the DMP, according to Aden.

Comparing DMP with Port of Djibouti, Aden explains that the size of the draft which has 16 meters depth which can accommodate a vessel with 100,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) against the 48,000 dwt of the old port’s capacity. That, in turn, translates into benefiting Ethiopian customers in terms of decrease in port handling fees for cargo while chartering vessels. “As you charter big vessels, fees for the cargos tends to decrease significantly”, Aden said.

In its organizational, operational and managerial set ups, DMP according to the CEO is a game changer to the region’s port service facilities. One of the changes introduced at DMP has to do with the durations of vessels. Time for vessel zonk (an area where vessels halts) is currently at 7 days at DMP while at the old port (Port of Djibouti) it needed some 20 days to accomplish a similar task. 

The specialized multiuse DMP offers a range of services at its oil, container, bulk, general cargo and other facilities. Vessels at the DMP, depending on their size, pay USD 17,000 up to 25,000 on average, the CEO said. According to Aden, DMP provides cost effective services by reducing hours spent while docking at the port helping customers to make use of the opportunities.

Journalists have been given access to visit DMP where a vessel named Maria was unloading some 50,000 tons of fertilizer shipped from Morocco’s OCP Africa, a giant chemical fertilizer maker. Inspectors of the Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE) were at sight analyzing the chemical and weight of the fertilizer consignment. Maria has been at the DMP berth docked at least for the last 22 days. Inspectors also told The Reporter that some vessels spend days due to unavailability of trucks. Sure, trucks can bee seen by the yards. However, a few reach the port in time, they said. Carnes discharge the bulk and packaging machines bag the fertilizer in 50 kilograms and load on the back of trucks.    

The overall systems of operations and services at the DMP have transformed the industry. Djibouti has been providing services at five specialized ports including the old Port of Djibouti and DMP and aims to become a regional logistics hub.

According to the information posted on DMP’s website, there are 6 berths stretching 1200 meters long and having up to 19 meters water depth. Extending across 690 hectares of land, the DMP has a container terminal within an area of 23 hectares. Another 53 hectares of land is dedicated to serve as a general cargo yard; 20 more for bulk terminal and 15 for vehicles yard. The total capacity of DMP is estimated to handle some 8.8 million tons every year and at least for the coming 50 years Ethiopia says it will depend on the ports of Djibouti for its goods. 

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