A World Bank funded report by Matt Mac Donald, 2016 states that, imports of transport and logistics services make up 55% of Uganda’s total service imports while Uganda’s transport and logistics exports are only 3.7% of Uganda’s total services exports. Such inefficiency costs the country over USD 784,611,160 millions (3 trillion Uganda Shillings).
Résumé: Avec le soutien de l'Union européenne (UE) et du Département pour le développement international (DFID), TradeMark East Africa et le ministère des Travaux publics et des Transports et Uganda Railways Cooperation vont construire un centre de logistique commerciale de 8,8 millions de dollars stimuler le commerce dans la région.
With support from European Union (EU) and Department for International Development (DFID), TradeMark East Africa together with Ministry of Works and Transport and Uganda Railways Cooperation are set to construct an $8.8m (over 28 billion Uganda Shillings) Trade Logistics Hub in Gulu, a move expected to stimulate trade in the region.
The main objective of the Hub is to contribute to reduced barriers to trade for both Northern Uganda and the neighboring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This Gulu Logistics Hub (GLH) will serve the trade corridors of Kampala – Gulu – Elegu/Nimule – Juba Trade Corridor; and Gulu – Pakwach Goli/Pader/Lira/Vurra DRC Trade Corridor.
Proposed developments on the Gulu Logistics Hub
- The container yard
- Railway siding
- Container freight station
- Warehousing complex
- Vehicle holding area and traffic flows
- Access roads, truck stop (parking);
- Administration building
- Container light repair workshop
- Customs office
- Perimeter wall, Security gate & guardhouse.
Trademark East Africa Acting Managing Director Damali Ssali said the hub will provide functions such as container and break-bulk, handling and storage facilities, space for stakeholders dealing with freight transport (freight forwarders, shippers and transport operators) and the provision of accompanying services such as customs inspections, tax payment, maintenance and repair, banking and information communication technology connections.
“The hub is expected to improve capacity of transport infrastructure in Northern Uganda to serve markets in South Sudan, Northern Uganda and parts of DRC; enhance efficient management of freight transport through Northern Uganda and improve capacity to handle containers and other cargo in Gulu,” said Ssali. It also will provide for efficient humanitarian assistance; reduction in poverty; and increase in exports.
Why Gulu Logistics Hub?
In recent years Uganda has played a vital role as a distribution hub for South Sudan and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Improving logistics services will create employment opportunities. About 208,000 people are currently employed in the logistics sector in Uganda, a number that could rise to 522,000 by 2030.
A World Bank study (Uganda Diagnostic Trade Integration Study) highlights that importers in South Sudan and DRC keep supplies in bonded facilities in Kampala, and bring them into either country as and when needed, but with assurances of shorter lead times. As a result, Uganda has seen transit volumes grow, which has led to the emergence of a distribution industry especially in Jinja and Kampala.
Yet, the route to South Sudan and DRC passes through Northern Uganda, which is one of the country’s four administrative regions, with Gulu as its regional capital. The region serves as a border between Uganda and South Sudan.
Nature of Trade around the region
The Northern Corridor trade route to Juba, through the border at Elegu, passes through Northern Uganda. The region also borders parts of Eastern DRC with significant trade taking place through the border region of Arua.
Despite these large numbers, there is no distribution hub in the Northern Uganda. This means truck drivers operating in neighboring areas such as Kenya, DRC, South Sudan and Rwanda can always obtain commodities for export from one place.
Currently, truck drivers delivering imports to Uganda return with empty containers, undermining efforts to grow the country’s export sector. For example a truck delivering cosmetics in Uganda from Mombasa can return to the coast with grain. However, the driver needs to pick the grain from one place which saves time.
The northern region depends on other distribution hubs established around Kampala and Jinja, or on goods moving directly to their destination markets through Northern Uganda.
Officials during the Global Logistics Convention said the ope rationalization of the Gulu Logistics Hub is therefore expected to address some of the issues that hamper distribution of cargo in Northern Uganda South Sudan, parts of DRC.
They also expect efficient management of freight transport through Northern Uganda and improved capacity to handle containers and other cargo in Gulu for Uganda and the surrounding countries such as South Sudan, and DRC.
By 2040, Uganda is set to be a Logistics Hub in the region of East Africa with increased export trade to the neighboring countries such as South Sudan, DRC, through the various nations to the Mediterranean Sea. As African Mobilities Observatory - AMO/OMA, we believe with such shared infrastructural development programs, Uganda is bound to achieve the goal. What do you think of this???
Global Logistics Convention, GLC 2018, 17th - 18th, September, 2018. Kampala Uganda
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN.
laurence Ullmann Jerry Rawlings Mbabali marie-pascale baye NANYANZI RACHEAL Alwenyi Catherine Cassidy David Aurelie KOUASSI Kouamé Sylvestre KOUASSI Siaka Ouattara Krapa Kouassi Jacques Florentin KOUAME