Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Service Enterprise (ESLSE), the state monopole, has more than doubled its storage cost for containers at the dry ports. The decision came in the aim of discouraging overstaying containers at Ethiopia’s 7 dry ports.
The last adjustment was made half a decade ago, which came after a year since the Ethiopian Shipping Lines, Maritime & Transit Services Enterprise and Dry Port Enterprise were merged to form ESLSE.
According to Fortune, the new tariffs state that the importer will have to pay a storage cost for containers that stayed more than 8 days 99 Birr and 192 Birr for 20 feet and 40 feet containers respectively. The current rate for 20 feet and 40 feet containers is 43 Birr and 80 birr respectively.
When the containers stay for more than a month, the import will be fined as high as 418 Birr per day.
Commenting on the development, Berhane G/Egziaber, Director of planning and Business Develppment at ESLSE, sad “We aim to reduce the container congestion in dry ports”. “Some entities are using docks for years to store containers instead of storing them temporarily.”
In the last fiscal year, more than 656 containers passed the 60 days grace period set the Modjo Dry Port. Out of these containers, 188 of them were imported by the government institutions and public enterprises.
Commenting on the increase on the fine, Tekeste Abraham, the general manager of Basefa Trading, said they were unnecessary. “If the aim of the Enterprise is reducing the number of containers, raising storage cost will worsen the situation,” he said. “Importers usually fail to move the containers on time owing to the recurrent shortage of finance in the country.”
Kassahun Abberu (PhD), a freight forwarder and a partner of Akakas Logistics Plc, also gave his opinion and regarded the move was unwise. “Many importers leave containers at dry ports for reasons beyond their control,” he said. “Thus, price adjustment must not be taken as a blanket solution.”
Currently ESLSE is undertaking expansion works on the country’s dry ports. It has started 2 studies to open a dry port in Woreta and Humera as well as finalize the design for Meqelle Dry Port.