Road freight/Rail freight news – Post date: December 15th, 2020

For detailed country-by-country information about road disruptions in Africa and all over the world, see the reports from the World Food Program, Bolloré Logistics and Logistics Cluster.


Intra-EU borders

Some borders are registering delays of more than 1 hour. This is the case between Romania and Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, Bulgaria and Greece, France and Switzerland, Germany and Switzerland, Croatia and Slovenia, and in the Eurotunnel.
Sixfold provides an excellent tool to check live information on queues at EU borders.


The UK Government is facing growing pressure to take action at the UK’s gridlocked container ports, as the looming Brexit deadline is also resulting in thousands of extra truckloads of goods heading to the channel ports in France, causing delays and traffic queues. The busy channel crossings are already feeling the strain of companies stockpiling before the transition period ends on 31 December. French hauliers are reporting an unprecedented volume of traffic on UK routes, with about 8,000 trucks a day estimated to be crossing the channel in each direction, 30% higher than usual. The extra trucks are causing traffic jams at the port of Calais, as well as near the Eurotunnel terminal (Fresh Plaza, 11 December).


South Africa: attacks against lorry drivers

A series of attacks and violence have been registered on South African roads, with dozens of trucks set on fire, cargoes looted, and drivers injured and killed. Many of the victims are foreign African drivers. South Africa, the continent’s second-largest economy, is a point of attraction for migrants from neighbouring Lesotho, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in search of work. As well as suspicions of xenophobic acts, it is also true that volatility in the trucking industry and competition on some roads is not new, and foreign drivers are the first victims (africa Logistics Magazine, 12 December).

Bamako-San Pedro road corridor progressing well

Construction of the road corridor between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali is almost complete, according to the African Development Bank. The infrastructure already links transporters and neighbouring populations in the two countries. The Bamako-San Pedro corridor, at a cost of $233 million, was launched in 2015 with planned completion in June 2021 (Commodafrica, 10 November).

From caravan networks to investment projects

Numerous megaprojects related to railways, highways, dams, fossil resources and renewable energy sources have either been completed or are under construction in Africa, and some new ones are in the implementation phase. There are giant projects being conducted within individual countries, along with other projects such as those of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which has invested billions of dollars to connect several East African and South African regions with highways and railways (Daily Sabah, 25 November).

Kenyan lawmakers against compulsory standard gauge railway

Kenyan MPs have recommended removal of the compulsory requirement for the use of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to transport cargo. This gives importers the freedom to choose their own means of transport, but spells doom for the commercial viability of the multi-billion-dollar project. Kenya has been pushing for compulsory freight from Mombasa to Naivasha via the SGR to make it economically viable, a move that has put the country on a collision course with some of its regional peers and truck drivers (The East African, 16 November).

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