ESLSE’s Jigjiga vessel marks new record in containerized cargo

The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) vessel sets a new record on containerized cargo shipment to Berbera Port.
It is recalled that ESLSE’s vessels commenced regular scheduled liner service at the Berbera Port, Somaliland starting from July 2021.
The dock of the Ethiopian vessel was the first after 20 years. Since the commencement of regular operation, the Ethiopian vessels have been providing significant services to customers in the neighboring state.
As per the latest information Capital obtained from Roba Megeresa, CEO of ESLSE, the Jigjiga vessel, one of the 11 vessels ESLSE’s owns, has been docked at Berbera with a record of container consignment.
“Last week, Jigjiga docked at the Berbera Port with 758 Somaliland’s containerized cargos, which is a very huge consignment that was never serviced at the port not only by our flag carriers but also for those who are dominant on the global containerized cargo operation,” Roba explained.
The CEO reminded that his vessels had been transporting about 200 containerized cargos to Somaliland which have now been spiking as he stated, “This has immense meaning for the sector.”
“Our vessels market has widened,” he added.
Experts on the sector stated that operating with containerized shipment has been a lucrative business for the shipping lines.
Since ESLSE expanded its container box possession, it has stated that the operation of containerized cargo has expanded massively.
In the recently concluded budget year, ESLSE has increased its owned container by over three folds to reach 14,000 from about 3,000.
“Containerized cargo shipment is very profitable and has enabled us to change our bulk cargo vessels to operate with containerized cargo consignments,” Roba recently stated highlighting how the possession of boxes have become a game changer not only in serving cargos in Africa but also other new destinations.
Roba said that in related with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and other factors, bulk ports in India have become congested, “Due to that transporting cargos with containers has become preferable. It is one of the reasons for the increment of containerized cargo which we are now handling.”
Ethiopian vessels have been transporting up to 11,200 metric tons of bulk cargo in a single voyage for the Somaliland market since it reintroduce its operation after two decades.
Jigjiga is a general cargo vessel that was built in 2013 sailing under the flag of Ethiopia with a carrying capacity of 28,084 DWT, which is similar for other general cargo vessels ESLSE operates.
The public enterprise has also two tankers that mostly provide lease services for other operators.
In the 2021/22 budget year, the Ethiopian vessels made a mark on cross trade services amplifying the performance of ESLSE, a sole flag carrier in Africa.
In the budget year, the vessels that were operated by ESLSE were in good condition to carry out cabotage services for cargos in neighboring African ports.
The logistics service provider managed 7.2 million metric tons of import/export cargos in the budget year despite global challenges with some expected incoming cargos having reduced.
In the budget year that ended on July 7, the vessels that were operated by ESLSE were in good condition to carry out cabotage services for cargos in neighboring African ports.
A couple of weeks ago, Roba said that through the cabotage operation scheme, the export cargos from Massawa of Eritrea, and containerized cargo of Djibouti have been transported by ESLSE vessels, besides providing regular service for bulk and containerized import cargos to Somaliland.
The logistics giant has also embarked on an initiative to connect Mombasa (Kenyan port) to other destinations with Ethiopian vessels, and has currently a fleet to other ports in the southeast coasts of African countries like Tanzania and South Africa besides some sort of voyage to western African nations.
The cabotage initiative has allowed the Ethiopian vessels to be a major revenue and hard currency sources for the Ethiopian enterprise.
“The cross trade operation at some point is a good strategy for ESLSE to widen its presence besides a significant hard currency generation for the enterprise,” Roba said.
In the budget year, the vessels that ESLSE operates have contributed to generate 1.8 billion birr, “The vessels have become profitable for the first time.”
“One of the major reasons for the best performance of our vessels was the cross trade,” Roba explained.
ESLSE has also concluded its process to add two more vessels that will be built in two years time once the contract is sealed.
This time around, the vessels will be supramax bulk carriers, which is highly preferable in managing bulk cargo at high volumes in the global market. As a result, there are huge expectations for an upward trend in the coming years, as the logistics giant upgrades from the current ‘Handysize’ general cargo vessels.

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