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BusinessHawassa city Admin, shipping enterprise spar over dry port project

Hawassa city Admin, shipping enterprise spar over dry port project

Hawassa customs office complains the delay of the construction of the dry port is causing havoc

Executives of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE) are unhappy with the relocation a new site for putting up a dry port in Hawassa, citing the location is far from the industrial park in the city.

Four years ago, the city administration allocated 3.5 hectares of land inside the Hawassa Industrial Park. The ESLSE embarked on constructing the dry port on the land at a cost of 100 million birr.

However, last year, the city administration reversed its decision, giving the land to another investor. In replacement, the city administration gave another 3.5 hectares of land located far from Hawassa city.

“The new site is very far from the city and is not accessible by surface transportation. It cannot help exporters in the Hawassa Industrial Park. Plus, the new land is not approved by the Ethiopian Maritime Authority,” said Roba Megersa, CEO of the enterprise.

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The enterprise, which is responsible for developing and administering dry ports, also halted the construction of the Hawssa dry port, after incurring losses amounting over nine million birr.

According to a letter written on April 25, 2022 by the Ethiopian Customs Commission Hawassa branch office, exporters and importers operating at the Hawassa and Yirgalem industrial parks are unable to process shipments, as the construction of the dry port has been delayed by four years.

The industries are forced to use Modjo dry port, 202 kilometers away.

In the letter, the commission urged the city administration to urge the Enterprise to finalize the construction of the Hawassa dry port.

“We have asked the Hawassa city gadministration to put pressure on Shipping Enterprise. The port is used for direct storage of imported goods so that it can be used closely by the business community,” said Gedana Tsegaye, deputy general manager with the operations department at the Commission.

The Ethiopian Maritime Authority, which is responsible for approving sites for putting up of dry ports, said it was not congruent with the logistics roadmap, and ordered further studies, be made on the new site.

“A dry port in Hawassa will be of great benefit to logistics players if it is fully serviced. However, the construction of the dry port is in progress, so it is not too late. Even if the construction of the dry port is delayed, it will not be a problem for local importers and actors, since they are using the nearby Modjo dry port and terminal on a convenient highway in addition to the industrial parks,” said Yeshi Fekede, communication affairs director at the authority.

Roba said the dry port in Hawassa will serve importers and exporters in southern part of Ethiopia using Kenyan ports. “For those who use Djibouti port, Modjo is convenient.”

Officials of the Hawassa city administration did not respond to The Reporter’s request for comments.

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