Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Government Continues to Ignore Court Rulings as Container Terminal Trade Proceeds

Logistics Cool Chain Set Up to Promote Landlocked Country Trade
Shipping News Feature

DJIBOUTI – ETHIOPIA – It seems the powers that be which seized the Doraleh container terminal from Dubai headquartered port and logistics management group DP World back in February 2018 are treating the matter with some disdain and continuing with business as usual.

Despite losing a slew of Court cases (six to be precise), and facing fines payable to DP calculated by independent assessors as somewhere north of $1 billion, the Djiboutians have simply ignored the rulings, despite the contract between the two clearly stating which Court had jurisdiction in case of disagreement. The reasons for non-payment of any compensation by the Djibouti authorities, which we listed in full previously, seem spurious to say the least.

A month or so after the seizure the Ethiopian government took a 19% stake in the Somaliland port of Berbera (51% owned by DP World), again problematical as Somaliland is not recognised as an independent state by Somalia, yet now it appears that Ethiopia is making use of the Doraleh terminal for the export of temperature sensitive cargoes.

On 22nd August the first refrigerated container was loaded onto a Djibouti bound train, carrying 24 tonnes of avocados from the Koga area of Ethiopia to the Société de Gestion du Terminal à conteneurs de Doraleh (SGTD) for subsequent shipment to Europe. This cool logistics project is the result of a cooperation between the governments of Ethiopia, Djibouti and the Netherlands and is seen by Ethiopia as a key strategic step towards allowing it to export efficiently its cooled goods including fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Ethiopian Minister for Transport H.E. Dagamawit Moges saw off the first container at an inauguration ceremony at Modjo Dry Port to mark the major milestone and Tewodros Zewdie, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) made the point that the fruit and vegetable traffic has the potential to become ‘the next flower sector’, with Chairman of DPFZA Aboubaker Omar Hadi, a member of the Cool Logistics Steering Committee overseeing the two countries initiative, adding:

“This innovative cool supply chain Modjo-Djibouti-Europe for fruits, vegetables, flowers and other perishables will balance the trade and maximise the use of Ethio-Djibouti railway.”

Photo: Doraleh terminal.