Assessment of Freight Transport and Transportation Infrastructures Along International Trade Route (The Case of China – Djibouti – Ethiopia)

Challa, Nathanael (2015) Assessment of Freight Transport and Transportation Infrastructures Along International Trade Route (The Case of China – Djibouti – Ethiopia). Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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Ethiopia is a landlocked country in East Africa. The ability to transport freight goods quickly, economically and reliably is very important to a nation’s prosperity and competence in global market. Currently the logistics system of Ethiopia is characterized by poor logistics management system and poor transportation infrastructures. In addition to that the country is mainly dependent on only Djibouti port for international trade. Its inland transportation is also underdeveloped as only road transportation is used for main share of freight transport. The objective of this thesis was to assess the freight transport and transportation infrastructures along the China-Djibouti-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) trade route via Modjo dry port. The sea transportation from China to Djibouti and inland road transportation from Djibouti to Addis Ababa was also studied including the inland road transportation infrastructures along with identifying the existing freight transport and logistics problems on the international trade route. Primary data has been collected using interview and questionnaire; also secondary data from different stake holders in the freight transport and logistics in addition literatures were used to enrich the assessment. The methodology used is qualitative and quantitative type for a comparative assessment and analysis. From the research it was found out that for containerized goods, the sea freight unit cost applied for 20TEU containers from Chinese ports of Tianjin and Shanghai to Djibouti port was USD 1,500 and USD 1,315 respectively. And for the inland road transportation, the freight rates from Djibouti port to Modjo dry port ranges from 1,734 to 1,854 USD per 20TEU container. This means it costs more to truck a container from Djibouti to Addis Ababa, than to ship the same container from China to Djibouti. In terms of time the sea transport will take a voyage time of 40days and 37days (including sea time and time in ports) from Tianjin and Shanghai ports to Djibouti port respectively. For inland road transportation from Djibouti to Modjo dry port, it takes 2 – 10 days on performance basis under normal circumstances. In the future there may be a cheaper alternative of oil pipeline and railway in the Djibouti-Addis Ababa route which are considered to be the more efficient and least cost modes of transport. As most authors agree, it is better to consider a variety of modes in combination so that the respective advantages/benefits of each mode are better exploited thus the Intermodal transportation (“Multimodal”) have most significant positive impacts over the freight transport i.e. Considering other alternatives beyond the current Shipping → Trucking system of freight transport to Shipping → Rail → Trucking and Shipping → Pipeline → Trucking (Oil transport). For the case of transportation infrastructures, 65.9 % of the trunk road Addis Ababa–Djibouti border is in a good condition, 13.2% in a poor condition and the rest of the percentage in fair condition. For the case of the Bridges along the same route; 53% in a good condition, 22% in a poor condition and the remaining 25% in fair condition. The road stretching from Djibouti Border (Galafi) to Djibouti Port, 28% is in good condition, 21% of the highway in Poor to Very poor condition and the remaining percentage in fair condition. The new Addis Ababa-Adama toll road, the new Awash River crossing bridge and the under construction outer ring road of Lebu-Akaki-Goro are expected to improve the flow of traffic in the route in saving a travel time and lowering the vehicle operating cost for instance the heavy vehicles are only paying for 38% of the benefit they have gained on the new toll road. The new Electrical (environmental friendly) railway from Addis Ababa to Djibouti is likely to improve the inland freight transport system with a faster travel time of 10 hours on the route relative to the average two days taken on inland road transportation and it may be able to replace at least 94TEU containers that were transported on inland road transportation. The use of ecofriendly mode of transportation of the Pipeline and railway system will enable saving of enormous amount of fuel and a great deal of foreign currency spent by the nation in importing that much fuel from the exporters, the related CO2 that would have been emitted to the atmosphere will be saved and the reduction of freight vehicles on the road will improve the flow of traffic on the route in reducing congestion and traffic accidents on the highway that in turn enhance the traffic safety and comfort of the road users on the route. The freight transport and logistics is still characterized having long time custom processing even if it is much better with respect to previous times and also 57% of the customers questioned chose ‘uni-modal’ transport over the so called “multimodal” transport. The new to be imported trucks by Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE) may improve and increase the capacity of the freight vehicle carrying capacity to 57ton/vehicle and also if the axle load limit is increased with 2ton/axle limit, there is going to be an improvement on the vehicle operating cost. The joint command post at Modjo dry port may succeed in reducing the congested number of containers and their dwell time on the port. The expansion projects in the Djibouti port and exploring other alternatives in the nearby ports may benefit the nation in the international trade. And also the full implementation of demurrage law and electronic cargo trucking system may enhance the customs service on the international trade route. The state owned ESLSE being the only “multimodal” transport operator (MTO) should work together with different private stake holders in addressing the issues of customer’s complaint and for the common benefit of the nation is expected rather than monopolizing the ongoing “multimodal” freight transport logistics service.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Civil Engineering
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Andriamparany Edilbert RANOARIVONY
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 11:53
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2018 11:53

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