The Ethiopian state-owned shipping monopoly intends to acquire 20 more reefer containers to address the increased demand for these kind of containers when transporting perishable cargo.
According to a senior official of the Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE) who spoke to The Reporter on the condition of anonymity, the Enterprise is currently planning to acquire 20 additional reefer containers in addition to the 30 that were previously acquired. This sort of container is largely used for exporting horticulture, meat, and other perishable items, and exporters are increasingly seeking it.
The 30 refrigerated containers were supplied by the Chinese company Dalian CIMC Special Logistics Equipment Co., Ltd. for close to one million dollars. To speed the shipment of products by train using these containers at Modjo Dry Port, a specialized terminal has been constructed.
The official seems convinced that the procurement will bring in investors in floriculture, fruticulture, and meat production, which will increase horticultural exports and foreign currency flow.
Tewodros Zewde, director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Exporters Association, applauds the enterprise’s efforts and predicts that it will attract foreign investment. One of the hurdles to foreign investment was the lack of availability of reefer containers.
The Director of the Association foresees that Enterprise’s use of its own containers will result in a 50 percent reduction in shipping costs. According to Tewodros, exporters are paying up to USD 15,000 to transport their agricultural commodities in refrigerated containers.
“Thousands of refrigerator containers are needed for the Ethiopian market. Investors aren’t interested in Ethiopia due to the lack of this type of container and the high cost of transportation as a result,” he said.
Ethiopia would also save foreign currency that was used to lease refrigerator containers from foreign suppliers, according to the official and the Association’s Director.