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Port of Durban from above

Intermodal connectivity holds key to African trade facilitation

17 Oct 2017

Presenting at African Ports Evolution 2017 in Durban, IRU highlights the role of internationally harmonised transit systems in offering highly effective tools to boost trade across all transport modes.

Acting as the mouthpiece for the road transport industry at the African Ports event, IRU’s regional director for Africa, William Petty, focuses on the connectivity between road transport and other modes – particularly maritime – underlining how border processes are the key to improved trade facilitation. 

He comments, “A functioning multi-lateral or regional transit system – like TIR – would cut the need for individual national approaches to controlling transit goods en route through different customs territories. Border processes create critical pressure points along the cost-time trajectory. A recent example being the new arrangements for transit trucks in Zimbabwe, and the immediate impact this has had on border delays and ultimately the cost of doing business.”

Rather than considering port efficiency in isolation, the solution is to bring together all the factors that connect ports with the hinterland, as this can be where the biggest inefficiencies occur. 

By saving time with reduced border processes and by minimising the costs of paperwork and guarantees, the overall cost of transport is reduced – significantly boosting the export competitiveness of regional products on the global market.

The premiere maritime forum in Africa, African Ports Evolution 2017 will gather participants from the maritime transport industry across more than 12 African countries to discuss new strategies for growth and the rapid evolution of the shipping industry in Africa, demonstrating how to reduce transport costs and boost economic development.