Railway to DMP to start this month

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Djibouti Port meets Ethiopian Transporters

The Ethio-Djibouti railway connecting Doraleh Multipurpose Port (DMP) to the main line has been completed and is expected to begin scheduled cargo transportation by the coming month.
Ethiopia and Djibouti concluded the modern electric railway system in 2017 to transport both cargo and travelers, but the railway line connecting the port to transport cargo directly from the recently built state of the art logistics facility in the region DMP, to central Ethiopia was still under construction.
Wahib Daher Aden, CEO of DMP, told Capital that the railway line that connects the port to the main line is now completed and test cargo transport has already been undertaken.
The next step is for the joint corporation Ethio-Djibouti Railway Company to execute the planning to commence regular cargo transportation via railway, which is the only electric heavy railway line that connects two countries in the region.
The currently completed line, which is less than one kilometer from the mainline to inside the port, would allow cargo to get to the train directly whether containerized or bulk. The new achievement is expected to accelerate the cargo fleet to Addis Ababa and back to Djibouti.
DMP officials led by Wahib Daher Aden met transport companies in Ethiopia on Friday August 30 at Elilly Hotel to talk about the logistics activities at the port and the entire route. Wahib Daher said that the transporters are the first clients for the Port and would like to communicate directly with them, to exchange information on the newly introduced systems in the modern port as well as discuss any issues drivers may encounter inside the port.
During the discussion the Ethiopian transporters claimed that the road condition in the Djibouti side is very bad and that not only it takes days to cross but it damages the trucks, besides the accidents.
The DMP head acknowledged the complaint and said that the rehabilitation project to improve the road inside the territory of Djibouti is underway and in fact expected to be finalized in 2020.
The construction of 40km road from the Ethiopian border to inside Djibouti is already under construction and the remaining segment is under tender process and will also be commencing soon,” Wahib told Capital.
He said that the project is being closely followed by high government officials who are very conscious of the situation.
“The Ministry of Transport of Djibouti and Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority is involved in the road rehabilitation project,” he added.
The CEO recalled that the road project via Ali Sabieh -Dewalleh to Dire Dawa is open for transport and said that it is a good alternative, until the maintenance of the road via Galafi is done. “The Dire Dawa line is high quality and it’s about three hours of a drive for those who come to Dire Dawa for the weekend from Djibouti,” Wahib explained.
The meeting that was chaired by the CEO and Habon Abdourahman Cher, Commercial Director of DMP, also received several comments from the transporters and shared opinions about the operation of the port.
Tadele Assefa, representative of Get As International, said when accidents occur in Djibouti the cost of crane service, he estimated at around 100,000 birr, is very high. Others insisted the need for the port facility to allow drivers’ assistants and representatives of the freight forwarding company to have access inside the port in addition to the truck drivers.
Wahib explained that all incidents requiring crane services inside the port or nearby is offered by the port freely. But for crane service costs for incidents happening far from the port, he will address the issue with the relevant body at the Ministry of Transport of Djibouti upon his return.
“Regarding restricted access to the port, the rule complies with international standards in relation to ensuring security,” but he said he understands the need and would allow drivers’ assistants to get in the port provided they get an entrance badge,” the CEO said.
Seyoum Bemelaku, head of Tikur Abay Transport, said the day to day port activity should be available on the Internet to get clear information.
Habon responded that the DMP new website that will show the port activity on a daily basis will commence the service by the coming month. “There will be a hotline to accelerate the port activity and help the drivers resolve any problem that may occur in the port,” she added.
Wahib Daher explained that all the rules and regulations in place is according to international safety standard and that it will actually allow the transporters to trace and track on a real time basis their trucks and cargoes and immediately act if there is any issues that may delay the transport.
The CEO invited the transporters to visit the facility to better understand the operation and activities at the port.
He told Capital that the port plans to invite Ethiopian transporters to visit the facility in the coming year and organize such kind of meetings at least once a year.
“Our meeting is very fruitful and enabled us to clarify some operations and also understand the challenges they face in the logistics business in general,” Wahib said.