Road/Rail freight news – Post date: June 26th, 2020

For detailed information about road disruptions in Africa please follow the reports of Bolloré and Logistic Cluster, which give a detailed situation report country-by-country worldwide.

Bolloré Logistics report; World Food Programme report; Logistics Cluster report.

For a selected summary download the file here.


Traffic remains much more fluid inside the EU countries in order to transport cargo; however, border controls are effective in many countries and long queues are reported, especially between central European countries. Waiting time can be up to 2–3 hours to cross a border. Borders between France and Germany, and Germany and Switzerland, continue to report queues and delays. We can still see delays in borders from Hungary to Romania, Romania to Bulgaria, Slovenia to Croatia.

Sixfold provides an excellent tool to check live information on queues at EU borders.

Kenya: Rethink relocation of cargo to Naivasha port

A Daily Nation editorial (18 June) states that the government’s directive on the use of Naivasha inland port for transit goods has sparked debate in recent weeks and should be resolved, as it has serious implications on regional trade. At the core is the question of viability and cost-effectiveness of the transit port, and the quality and adequacy of facilities at the Naivasha port.

Uganda, which is among the top users of Mombasa port, has twice written to Kenya in recent weeks to express objection to the use of Naivasha port on the grounds that it will raise freight costs and consequently increase the cost of doing business.

Kenya: Relief for Thika companies as cargo trains return

Companies in the town of Thika and the larger Mount Kenya region are relieved following the expected return of cargo trains that halted operations some 10 years ago (The Star, 15 June). This follows the ongoing rehabilitation of the 178 km Thika-Nanyuki railway by the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC). The rehabilitation is 80% complete, and six trains that will ply the route have been procured. Two will be commuter trains while four will haul cargo. More than 15 firms that deal in agricultural, marketing, fuel and vegetable oil manufacturing in the region have expressed interest in using the railway to transport their products. Fruit processor Del Monte Kenya Ltd is already hauling its goods via the railway, transporting 2,400 tonnes to Mombasa port via the railway every week.

4,500 km Lagos–Algiers road takes a step closer to reality

The completion of a strategic section in the Chiffa Gorge gives a decisive boost to the project – born more than 50 years ago – of a road linking Algiers and Lagos (The Africa Report, 22 June). The 7 km segment of the motorway between Haouch Messaoudi and Médéa due to be delivered in the coming weeks is the last of the Chiffa–Berrouaghia section (53 km), the most strategic of the expressway being built between Algiers and El Menia, over more than 800 km, essentially doubling the length of Algeria’s National Road 1. This closes a major project on the Trans-Saharan, which will one day link Algiers to Lagos, thanks to a 4,500 km motorway, of which 2,500 km will be in Algeria. Crossing this mountainous region, where the winding roads of the Chiffa Gorge have always been a bottleneck between the Algerian and the south of the country, was a great technical challenge. To achieve it, 5 km of tunnels and 14 km of bridges and viaducts, the highest piers of which reach 70 m, have been built since April 2013 by China State Construction Engineering Corporation, in particular in association with the Algerian public groups Sapta and Engoa. Nigeria and Tunisia have completed their portions, sometimes double-lane, and “generally on their own budgets”, as has Algeria (where 200 km of roads remain to be asphalted towards Mali), says Mohammed Ayadi, while Mali, Niger and Chad are using international financial institutions. Among the last to be completed, the Arlit-Assamaka section (225 km, Niger) should be delivered this year by ETPBHGT (Algeria) and Gepco (Niger).

Nigerian startup Plentywaka launches new logistics platform

Bus-hailing startup Plentywaka has launched a new business-to-consumer delivery service, Logistics By Plentywaka (LBP), an expansion of the company’s bus transportation network in Nigeria (Ventures Africa, 22 June). The Lagos-based service provides customers with same-day service and a range of logistical vehicles, cooling vans, trucks and bikes. The new service is in response to the city-wide lockdown and restriction of movement as part of efforts to curb the spread of the nationwide coronavirus outbreak. Logistics by Plentywaka is now looking for trusted partners and vehicle owners who will have the flexibility to earn money on their own schedule from an existing customer base of over 40,000 individuals and access to the technology infrastructure.

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