DP World has inaugurated its Kigali Logistics Platform, which has been operational since September 2018 in test mode, offering an annual capacity of 50,000 teu.
When operating at full capacity, it has the potential to save Rwandan businesses up to US$50m a year in logistics costs according to the operator.
Since the commencement of its operations in the Rwandan capital last year, the facility has helped to reduce truck-turnaround time which used to be an average of 10-14 days to just 3 days.
The logistics platform is envisaged 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 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 the Kigali Logistics Platform.
Linking railways to the platform has the potential to dramatically reduce logistics costs for exports and imports via international gateways on the coast, noted DP World.
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.
Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, DP World chairman and CEO, stated: “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.”
The facility utilises modern technology to ensure maximum security and transparency for its customers and 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 a modern narrow aisle racking system (VNA) in warehouses – a first for Rwanda and the second of its kind in Africa.
The US$35m project spans over 130,000 sq m, including a 12,000 sq m container yard and a 19,600 sq m warehousing facility.
DP World and the Rwandan government are exploring the expansion of the platform to Phase 1.2 and Phase 2 to increase efficiency and provide more logistics solutions.
Bin Sulayem added: “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.”