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Lack of forex distressing shipping, logistics enterprise

Lack of forex distressing shipping, logistics enterprise

  • Enterprise bags over 445.4 million birr before tax

The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) is suffering because of poor cooperation from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia in regards to foreign currency availability for its logistic service, officials of the Enterprise said.

In an exclusive interview with The Reporter, CEO of ESLSE, Roba Megerssa, said his Enterprise’s annual demand amounts to more than USD 600 million as “the nature of our business is carried out with foreign currency”.

 “Even though the shortage of foreign currency is a nationwide challenge, we have not been able to access our own money which is deposited at CBE.”

He also said that the Enterprise has already deposited USD 100 million, but has not been able to access the currency when they need it.

Referring to a directive issued by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), Roba said that his Enterprise was supposed to be a prioritized  customer, but that has not been the case so far.

Despite the challenges, the Enterprise announced that it has been able to bag over 445.4 million birr before tax from freight forwarding and logistics services through shipment and multimodal transport services in the first quarter of the current fiscal year. 

However, officials of the Enterprise indicated that the total revenue that was registered in the stated period fell short of its target which had been set at some 538.4 million birr.

The Enterprise’s officials, led by the CEO, presented the Enterprise’s plan and work performance to the Public Enterprises Standing Committee of the House of People’s Representatives on Thursday.

According to the officials, the Enterprise achieved 83 percent of the target that was set for the first quarter. The revenue came mainly from the provision of sea transport, freight forwarding and port services. The officials said that the Enterprise has managed to transport over 985.9 thousand tons of imported goods from the Port of Djibouti to dry ports through multimodal means. Its earlier target was to transport some 1.25 million tons of goods.

Regarding exports, the officials said that 70,000 tons of goods have been transported.

“Export was declining and we even considered abandoning export service. However, due to the improvement of fares in international freight service, we have been able to reap encouraging profit this year,” an official from the Enterprise told members of the Standing Committee.

ELSE was re-established in 2011 by merging three autonomous public enterprises – Ethiopian Shipping Lines SC, Maritime and Transit Services Enterprise and Dry Port Services Enterprise.

This newly-amalgamated Enterprise is responsible for rendering sea-transport and logistics services to the country’s importers, exporters, and investors in a more effective and efficient way, by reducing transit time, cost and handoffs. Besides, a truck operating company named Comet Transport SC has recently been transferred to ESLSE following a government decree issued in mid-2014.