Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Port Operator Inaugurates 50,000 TEU Logistics Platform

Gateway Saves a Week or More in Truck Delays
Shipping News Feature

RWANDA – UAE – Global ports operator, DP World has officially inaugurated its Kigali Logistics Platform. The $35 million facility, which has been operational since September 2018 in test mode, has an annual capacity of 50,000 TEUs, and when operating at full capacity, it has the potential to save Rwandan businesses up to $50 million a year in logistics costs.

Since the commencement of its operations in the Rwandan capital last year, DP World says that the Kigali Logistics Platform has reduced truck-turnaround time which used to be an average of 10-14 days to just 3 days.

Kigali Logistics Platform serves as a gateway to the heart of Africa, connecting Rwanda to neighbouring countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The facility will also access the port of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, securing two trade gateways to the sea.

The railways from Mombasa port in Kenya which will pass through Uganda to Rwanda and also the railway from Dar es Salaam to Kigali is under construction and will have the final cargo rail siding located at Kigali Logistics Platform. Linking railways to the Kigali Logistics Platform has the potential to dramatically reduce logistics costs for exports and imports via international gateways on the coast. At present it costs three times more to transport a container from Kigali to Dar es Salaam as it does to transport the same container from Dar es Salaam to Shanghai.

DP World says that the Kigali Logistics Platform has already contributed to socio-economic progress through the creation of 667 direct and indirect jobs, with 98% local employment. The Kigali terminal also contributes to the elevation of living standards in nearby villages through business development projects and internship opportunities for young adults from economically challenged families. Commenting on the inauguration, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, DP World Chairman and CEO, said:

“We believe in the economic potential of Rwanda and the African Great Lakes region. DP World is proud to support Rwanda in its ambitions to establish itself as a key services and trade hub for the region, and to accelerate further economic growth by sharing our knowledge and expertise in innovation and technology.

“As we inaugurate Kigali Logistics Platform, we are delighted by the impact it has already had on businesses and the community. We look forward to building on our strategic partnership with the Rwandan government to expand the logistics and trade sector, by empowering the Rwandan people to increase the attractiveness of the country as a key trade hub in Africa.”

The facility utilises state-of-the-art technologies to ensure maximum security and transparency for its customers. It is the only cargo terminal in Rwanda monitored by 24-hour CCTV with customers able to access real-time tracking through mobile and online portals. Operational time is reduced via articulated forklifts and modern narrow aisle racking system (VNA) in warehouses, a first for Rwanda and only the second of its kind in Africa.

The $35 million project spans over 130,000 m2, including a 12,000m² container yard and a 19,600 m2 warehousing facility. DP World and the government of Rwanda are exploring the expansion of Kigali Logistics Platform to Phase 1.2 and Phase 2 to increase efficiency and provide more logistics solutions. Bin Sulayem, continued:

“The introduction of new logistics routes paired with smart warehousing systems will improve access of Rwandan businesses to global markets, boost economic development and drive new investments into the Rwandan economy. The Kigali Logistics platform will revolutionise the way trade is handled in Rwanda, which was only made possible through the cooperation and constant support of H.E. the President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame and the Rwandan government.”

Photo: The two central figures pictured are Rwandan President Paul Kagame (L) and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem (R) as they walk through the new facility.