Enterprise Initiates Refurbishment of Dry Ports

Ethiopian Shipping and Logistic Services Enterprise starts refurbishment of local dry ports to accommodate import-export commodities right through Assab and Massawa ports, according to the CEO.

The Enterprise Chief Executive Officer, Roba Megersa told ENA that Komlbocha, Mekele, Semera and Wereta are among the dry ports under revamp for the services.

"We have Mekele dry port which is near to Masawa port, but it needs some expansion, so we are expanding the dry port for material storing and transiting services. And we have got a place from Wereta city administration, so we will continue our effort to construct a dry port in the city," he said.

The CEO added that the Semera and Kombolcha dry ports can be the best options to accommodate the import export market through Assab corridor, accordingly the enterprise is preparing to expand the services in the dry ports.

He pointed out that when Ethiopia starts to use the Eritrean ports of Assab and Massawa for import-export, containerization of cargo will substantially increasing steadily.

Therefore, the dry ports have to respond that demand by the development of a new multi-purpose terminal with space for the handling and storage of containers, including refrigerated and hazardous goods, he said.

Roba explained that the dry ports are expected to contribute towards reducing transport costs, transit frequency and congestion at ports as they are very close to both corridors.

The under renovation Semera dry port is comparatively near to Assab port with only 290 km,  Kombolcha dry port 390 km to Asseb, and 235 Km from Mekele to Masawa.

He said that the port are also expected to provides services for the handling and temporary storage of the services.

On the other hand, the enterprise is exerting efforts to work with several local and international logistic companies to further modernize the services quality in the ports, he added.

In this regard, he stated that it is preparing partnership and agreements with potential companies that can accelerate the services in the corridors and local dry ports.

"Now, preparations are in good progress," he said and adding that the Ethiopian government is set to start full service deliveries in the coming six months.

"We are preparing to begin full mannered services in less than six months. Because we already started infrastructural developments so we planned that the infrastructure development will be completed within three months," Roba said.

The ports of Masawa and Assab were the major gate for Ethiopia's import-export trade until the border war that broke out between the two countries in 1998.

After then, Ethiopia has been primarily using the port of Djibouti to access the international market; 95 percent of Ethiopia's imports and exports have been transacted through the port of Djibouti.

Yet, the recent rapprochements between Ethiopia and Eritrea have led the way for the reinstatement of warm relations including port services, transportation.

Ethiopian Airlines has already resumed flights to the capital Asmara, and is planning services to Massawa and the Southern port city of Assab soon.

Recently an Ethiopian commercial ship with the brand name "Mekelle" with the length of 166 meters and 27 meters heights was docked at the port of Massawa to be icebreaker after two decades.

  Addis Ababa September 16/2018(ENA)