Ethio-Djibouti logistics giants ink deals to launch ‘sea-air’ logistics

The four cemented their agreements on a ceremony held on Thursday March 3 in Djibouti to harness the multimodal operation, ‘sea-air’ logistics.
Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (DPFZA) stated that the signing agreements will implement fully operational ‘sea-air’ logistics following various pilot operations. “This will include Djibouti as not only a business hub but also as a major actor in regional integration through an innovative multimodal transport system.”
During the ceremony International Djibouti Industrial Park Operation (IDIPO) which is the managing company of Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), and SGTD signed on sea-air freight cooperation, while IDIPO, Ethiopian Airlines and Air Djibouti penned tripartite service level agreements. In addition, IDIPO and Ethiopian Airlines further inked on air freight service agreements.
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of DPFZA, appreciated the four companies’ success during the trial period. He expressed that this achievement constitutes the ultimate step towards the implementation of a fully geared sea-air logistics model and should be noted as another milestone to bolster regional integration.
He reminded that over the past few years, Djibouti has built new infrastructures and upgraded the existing facilities to improve the connectivity whilst promoting a fully functioning multimodal system. “Today, we are witnessing the signing of a project that will complete the missing link in the multimodal transport system and will further consolidate Djibouti’s position as a hub,” remarked Aboubaker.
He added that sea-air logistics model is a game changer for the trade between Africa and the rest of the world in general, and Africa and Asia in particular. Djibouti’s geographical location gives her a key competitive advantage to become an efficient sea-air logistics center.
According to the Chairman, the advantage of the sea-air logistics is that it allows customers to manage their supply chains more cost-effectively and efficiently, offering a 50 percent faster service comparing to sea freight and 50 percent cheaper when compared to standard airfreight.
“For Ethiopia Airlines and Air Djibouti, this new approach has the potential to double the cargo volume and offers new solutions to the traders. As for DIFTZ, this service can work with the newly launched E-commerce platform Djimart.com, to meet customer’s evolving expectations, while for SGTD, this signifies more cargo flow,” he said.
“We are convinced that with our well performing infrastructures combined with the extensive networks of Ethiopian Airlines; this win-win cooperation will certainly unleash the economic potential of Africa,” he concluded his remark at the signing ceremony.
DIFTZ, SGTD, Djibouti and Ethiopian airlines which are the parties that signed the agreement bring a wealth of logistical expertise to the table. For DIFTZ whose role is as an operator in the sea air logistics has been able to attract customers through its innovative and competitive models. On the other end, Djibouti and Ethiopian airlines have been constant national flagship carriers which partner to connect Africa to the world and vice versa while SGTD is a former Doraleh Container Port.
“Today, our multimodal system is taken to higher lever with the launch of the sea-air logistics model, which is nearly unique in Africa,” Mohamed Aref, Head of Marketing Department of DPFZA, said.
“For almost four months now, we have been handling trial operations to create a smooth and well-coordinated chain. If today we are here to witness the signing of the agreement, it means that the parties are all well prepared for a larger rollout of the business,” he added.
The latest move that was on trial for months shall make Djibouti as a hub for air-sea logistics in the continent. “The signing of the agreements today will further consolidated the gains,” Mohamed Aref said.
Abel Alemu, Managing Director of Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Logistics, Abdourahman Ali, CEO of Air Djibouti, Abdillahi Adaweh, CEO of SGTD, and Jeffrey Ho, CEO of DIFTZ inked on the agreement documents, as Mohammed Hassen, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Ethiopia to Djibouti, and DPFZA Chairman bore witness to the proceedings.

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