The activities of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise are hampered by deteriorating roadways connecting the Port of Djibouti to the Ethiopian border via the Galafi checkpoint, according to the Enterprise.
The freight trucks that transport import and export commodities across the Djibouti corridor have been damaged and require major servicing and repairs because of the bad condition of the road, the Enterprise stated. Vehicles moving freight from Djibouti to Ethiopia face accidents due to damaged roads spanning up to 200 kilometers.
“We are buying interchangeable vehicle parts, such as tires and spare parts, with our limited foreign currency, but as the Ethiopian government shows commitment to follow the issue, not enough attention has been given from the Djiboutian side,” Roba Megersa, CEO of the Ethiopian Shipping Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE), said.
Drivers and cross-border vehicle owners’ associations have repeatedly complained that the issue has been unresolved for many years and that neither the Djibouti nor the Djibouti government has proposed a solution.
Over 80 kilometers of Djibouti’s 200 kilometers are damaged.
The Enterprise has claimed that it will be unable to complete the three monthly journeys via the Galaffi route. Discussions have taken place with the head of the relevant Djibouti authority, who has expressed a willingness to repair the 60 km of asphalt road that has been seriously damaged in Djibouti, according to Roba.
Enterprise vehicles presently utilize Dawalle’s route as an alternative, but after Galaffi’s route is reconstructed, the Enterprise anticipates that it will become the primary cross-border trade corridor.
Aside from the Djiobuti road, the Enterprise’s vehicles encountered difficulties on highways leading to northern Ethiopia, such as the Abay route and the Wereta-Woldiya route.
“We have a good business at Wereta Dry Port and need to invest in expansions,” Roba said. “Yet, the road, which has been affected by the northern Ethiopian war and the under-construction facility, has limited us.”
The Enterprise earned 2.19 billion birr in profit before tax in the first half of the current fiscal year after earning 19.4 billion birr revenues from its services. During the reporting period, it transported almost 2.4 million tons of imports and exports. Container cargo services have decreased by 12.8 percent compared to the same period last year, Roba says.