Container Traffic at Djibouti Port Waves by 25.8pc

The increase is in sharp contrast to the drop in cargoes destined to Ethiopia

The container traffic at Djibouti`s Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) has seen a swell of 25.8pc, following the takeover of the new managing company, according to Djibouti Ports & Freezone Authority (DPFZA).

Following the departure of DP World, Djibouti’s Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company has signed a deal with the Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) in February 2018. The management agreement was signed with a concession of raising performance at the Doraleh Container Terminal, allowing it to handle an additional 300,000 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEU).

The DCT became operational in 2009 and DP World, the Dubai based company that is currently managing Berbera Port in Somaliland, has been operating it after winning a 30-year concession. However, the deal was terminated in February 2018 by the Djibouti government alleging the Dubai based company for misconduct over a concession to operate the terminal. Later it has awarded the concession to PIL, which was founded fire decades ago by a Chinese entrepreneur and currently has five subsidiaries and over 18,000 employees.

Just three months after the new agreement with PIL, DPFZA reported that the port’s capacity is boosted from 25 containers a crane an hour to 34. The DCT’s quay is 1,050m with 18m depth and can handle 1.6 million TEU. The facility also operates eight super-post-Panamax container cranes. The Terminal is the largest revenue generator in the country and absorbed a large number of employees.

“All the shipping lines have reacted positively to this change, from day one” Aboubaker O. Hadi, chairman of the, told Fortune. “We have known each other for many decades; they know very well the local capacity. That is why they immediately diverted business to Djibouti, without hesitation. And they were right.”

The volume increase is generated by transhipment containers traffic, shipment of goods or containers to an intermediate destination, then to yet another destination. These transhipment containers destined to the Red Sea and East Africa Ports. About 52pc of these containers are destined to Mombasa Port, while the remaining goes to Port Sudan, Dar-El Salam and Durban, according to the Authority.

A report by EX Africa, a specialist intelligence company that forecasts on African political and economic risk to businesses, backs the report of the Authority.

“Djibouti’s exports are dominated by transhipment services, which have seen continued expansion in capacity,” reads the report by EX Africa released in May 2018 and dubbed as Djibouti Country Risk Report.

Aboubaker sees a prospect for further growth in transhipment “in the coming weeks.”

This increase in port traffic is in sharp contrast to drop in cargoes destined to Ethiopia, where there is a significant fall in imports due to severe forex crunch. On a daily bases, Ethiopia has been receiving 1,000 containers a day in multi-modal, and exports 300,000 containers a year.

However, this figure has dropped by three folds these days, according to Kibru Mesfin (Cap.) representative of the Ethiopian Shipping & Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) in Djibouti.

Since the 90’s, about 97pc of Ethiopia’s import-export cargo is ferried through Djibouti ports while two percent and a percent are shipped through Port Sudan and Berbera, respectively. Currently, the imported freight of Ethiopia hits 13.5 million tonnes while the export reaches more than 1.8 million tonnes a year.




Published on Jun 16,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 946]



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