KIGALI, Rwanda- Global trade enabler DP World inaugurated its Kigali Logistics Platform in the presence of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, and DP World Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem.
The facility, which has been operational since September 2018 in test mode, has an annual capacity of 50,000 TEUs. When operating at full capacity, it has the potential to save Rwandan businesses up to US$50 million a year in logistics costs. Since the commencement of its operations in the Rwandan capital last year, Kigali Logistics Platform has reduced truck-turnaround time which used to be an average of 10-14 days to just three days.
Kigali Logistics Platform serves as a gateway to the heart of Africa, connecting Rwanda to neighbouring countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The facility will also access the port of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, securing two trade gateways to the sea. The railway from Mombasa port in Kenya will pass through Uganda to Rwanda and also the railway from Dar Es Salaam to Kigali is under construction and will have its final cargo rail siding located at Kigali Logistics Platform. Linking railways to the Kigali Logistics Platform has the potential to dramatically reduce logistics costs for exports and imports via international gateways on the coast.
At present it costs three times more to transport a container from Kigali to Dar Es Salaam as it does to transport the same container from Dar Es Salaam to Shanghai. Commenting on the inauguration, Bin Sulayem, said, "We believe in the economic potential of Rwanda and the African Great Lakes region. DP World is proud to support Rwanda in its ambitions to establish itself as a key services and trade hub for the region, and to accelerate further economic growth by sharing our knowledge and expertise in innovation and technology. As we inaugurate Kigali Logistics Platform, we are delighted by the impact it has already had on businesses and the community. "We look forward to building on our strategic partnership with the Rwandan government to expand the logistics and trade sector, by empowering the Rwandan people to increase the attractiveness of the country as a key trade hub in Africa." Kigali Logistics Platform has already contributed to socio-economic progress through the creation of 667 direct and indirect jobs, with 98 percent local employment.
The Kigali terminal also contributes to the elevation of living standards in nearby villages through business development projects and internship opportunities for young adults from economically challenged families. The facility utilises state-of-the-art technologies to ensure maximum security and transparency for its customers. It is the only cargo terminal in Rwanda monitored by 24-hour CCTV with customers able to access real-time tracking through mobile and online portals. Operational time is reduced via articulated forklifts and modern narrow aisle racking system (VNA) in warehouses - a first for Rwanda and only the second of its kind in Africa. The $35 million project spans over 130,000 square metres, including a 12,000 square metre container yard and a 19,600 square metre warehousing facility. DP World and the government of Rwanda are exploring the expansion of Kigali Logistics Platform to Phase 1.2 and Phase 2 to increase efficiency and provide more logistics solutions.
"The introduction of new logistics routes paired with smart warehousing systems will improve access of Rwandan businesses to global markets, boost economic development and drive new investments into the Rwandan economy. The Kigali Logistics platform will revolutionize the way trade is handled in Rwanda, which was only made possible through the cooperation and constant support of the President of the Republic of Rwanda Paul Kagame and the Rwandan government," Bin Sulayem concluded.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.