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Operators propose changes to Modjo Dry Port
Mekonnen Abera (left) conferring with Salahadin Kalifah on how to embrace the needs of private logistics operators at Modjo Dry Port facilities

Operators propose changes to Modjo Dry Port

News facilities to be incorporated in Dry Port expansion project

Upon the request made by the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority (EMAA) to the Ethiopian Freight Forwarders and Shipping Agents’ Association to undertake a study that would provide insights into how to engage the private sector in the upcoming USD 150 million Modjo Dry Port and Terminal expansion project, the association has proposed a multipurpose common use facility to be constructed to ease the logistics conundrums Ethiopia faces at this time.

It is to be recalled that the World Bank Group has availed the required finances for the expansion project which will double the carrying capacity of the dry port facility from the current 14,500 containers.  

Early in the week, members of the logistics operators association met with officials of EMAA to learn the outcomes of the study conducted by the freight forwarders. Among the issues the proposal incorporated the common use facility is one of them; meanwhile bulk cargo facilities which require the installation of silos for imported goods is another one which was proposed by the association. The proposed facility is also expected to construct special zoning for handling steel bars, oversize and heavy cargos, machineries, trucks, containerized cargos, bonded warehouse facilities, assembly centers and the like.

For the purpose of handling export cargos, the planned common use facility is said to have empty container storage yard, stuffing services and coffee centers which will help to establish quality control, bulk storage area, bagging and the like. They further requested the government to consider facilities for oilseeds and pulses, leather and garment export center, perishable cargo zone fitted with cold storage units and airfreight links to mention but some.

Salahadin Khalifa, president of freight forwarders and shipping agents’ association, said that private operators are pushing for more crowding in effects to be able to partake in multimodal and bounded warehouse operations. Detailing the outcomes of the proposed study, Aman Wole, IATA and FIATA accredited instructor at the Ethiopian Aviation Academy said that private logistics operators are looking for more enabling environment to operate.

Expanding at a plot of 138 hectares, the Modjo Dry Port facility which is set to be a modern logistics hub in the country is hoped to become a state- of-the art facility in the logistics sector in the country.

Founded in 2009, the dry port facility is currently catered for 70 percent of all imported items in the country. Modjo Dry Port located 73 km east of Addis Abeba and 553 km from Djibouti.

Listening to the propositions made by the private logistics operators, Mekonnen Abera, director general of EMAA, said that the expansion project needs the participation of the private sector but he also asserted that they the private sector contribution should go a bit further than seeking mere market opportunities.