Mon 27-01-2020 21:21 PM
KIGALI, RWANDA, 27th January, 2020 (WAM) - Following the inauguration of the Kigali Logistics Platform last October, DP World has expanded the portfolio of Rwanda's imports and exports for fresh produce and various perishable goods through the opening of the country's first full-fledged cold storage.
The Kigali Logistics Platform serves as a key gateway to the heart of Africa through several road links, connecting Rwanda to neighbouring landlocked countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, and Uganda. The Platform also enjoys connectivity with the Port of Mombasa in Kenya and Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, securing two key trade gateways to the sea.
The opening of the new 500-square-metre facility is expected to pave the way for growth in Rwanda's agricultural sector by benefitting farmers who have been expanding their produce beyond tea and coffee to export a range of fruits and vegetables to the international market. DP World's cold supply chain provides end-to-end transport, reducing cost and delivery time and helping Rwandan importers and exporters.
Jean-Bosco Songa, a vegetable exporter using DP World's new facilities, stated, "We believe that the new cold storage facility will dynamically assist Rwanda in promoting its exports of perishable goods to meet market demand while facilitating the entry of new customers for our businesses by land and sea, where we were limited to air freight facilities in the past."
By enabling the safe and efficient storage of perishable goods to meet the standards of various multinationals, including stringent global HSE standards, the cold storage facility will play an important role in supporting Rwanda's growing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions sector, with the nation gradually transforming into a hub for international and Pan-African events. The cold storage facility is also expected to support the growth of Rwanda's hospitality sector, with five leading 5-star international hotel chains opening over the last six years.
The cold storage facility could also be beneficial for pharmaceutical companies as it would increase their import capabilities.
Sumeet Bhardwaj, CEO of DP World Kigali, remarked, "By providing cold supply chain solutions to meet the increased demand for moving fresh, perishable goods in Rwanda, DP World's new facility will expand the operations of the Kigali Logistics Platform while enabling greater volumes of imports and exports across key sectors, such as FMCG, healthcare, and hospitality.
He added, "The cold storage facility represents a notable step towards forming a home-grown end-to-end-logistics ecosystem, as we work closely with our Rwandan partners to build the foundations of a unique trade gateway for the Great Lakes region and East Africa that is compelling in scope and cost."
To date, several local and multinational companies have signed up to utilize the new cold storage unit, and DP World plans to expand its capacity to 1000 square meters in 2021, to cater to larger volumes of cargo in the future, supporting Rwanda's economy.
The facility, which has been operational in test mode since September 2018, has an annual capacity of 50,000 TEUs and a bonded warehousing capacity of 19,000 square metres, making it one of the largest logistics hubs in East Africa. When operating at full capacity, it will have the potential to save Rwandan businesses up to US$50 million per year in logistics costs.