Africa is on the fast-track to economic development. While the continent has not been left unscathed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank believes its economy will not be hit as badly as that of other regional blocks.
Strong growth in shipping traffic
Businesses lie at the forefront of these far-reaching changes on the continent. Trends in shipping are a bellwether of how the African economy is performing. “Shipping traffic has picked up over the past few years in Africa, and new routes are opening up with India, the Middle East and Turkey. Europe, which used to account for 80% of trade with Africa, now stands at just 15%,” says Hervé Zongo, General Manager Côte d’Ivoire, CMA CGM Group.
“Developing an integrated range of transport services for the African market”
According to Pascal Hirn, Vice President Africa Lines CMA CGM, “Logistics is one of the key factors that will help to step up and secure the continent’s future development. Investing in deepwater terminals alone is not enough. That needs to be supported by a genuine strategy within the continent.”
Eric Bonnemaison shares his view: “Today, an African producer looking to export their production to another continent has to reckon with a shipping cost of €2 per kilometre for their containers. That puts it at a major disadvantage to other countries where overland transport costs are far lower. We need to build facilities that will enable local producers to export their goods at a lower cost because an economy that does not export usually struggles to expand. That is why CMA CGM Inland Services (CCIS) is to open up three new hubs in Egypt, South Africa and Nigeria—Africa’s three leading economies.” Creating a larger number of logistics hubs in Africa helps to foster the development of the domestic markets.
“Since it acquired Delmas, CMA CGM has managed to build and expand a highly extensive network of shipping services. Rodolphe Saadé’s aim today is to develop an integrated range of transport services for the African market,” explains Paul Haéri, Vice President CEVA, Business Development Africa.
With CEVA Logistics, the Group will soon be in a position to offer an extensive and seamless catalogue of logistics services spanning 41 countries on a continent where the sector remains highly fragmented. “Some of our customers still have reservations about expanding into Africa given the issues they may face,” notes Pascal Hirn. “We want to able to support businesses with their development by building a full-range of transport services, including both shipping and air freight solutions, as well as customs clearance, storage and intermodal transport services.” And, by doing so, help Africa raise its sights further still.
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