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 fully 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 facility is expected to pave the way for growth in Rwanda's agricultural sector by benefiting farmers who have been expanding their produce beyond tea and coffee, to export a range of vegetables and fruits 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, said: “We believe that the new cold storage facility will dynamically assist Rwanda in promoting its exports for perishable goods to meet market demand while facilitating the market entry of new customers for our businesses through land and sea, as we were limited to air freight facilities in the past.”
The recent opening of the 500-sq m cold storage is part of DP World Kigali's objectives to enable smarter trade and reduce logistics costs in Rwanda, by attracting investment and offering companies new options for their stored imports and exports.
By enabling the safe and efficient storage of perishable goods to meet the global standards of various multi-nationals, the cold storage will play a key role in supporting Rwanda's growing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) sector, with the nation gradually transforming into a hub for international and Pan-African events.
The cold storage 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.
A representative of the American fast food KFC set to open branches in Kigali in January 2020 said: "DP World Kigali is a great solution for us as it provides end to end solutions in terms of transport from Dar Es Salaam/ Mombasa to Kigali (PTS), Bonded Warehousing, Cold storage and local delivery which eases our logistics by having one contact person for the overall operations as opposed to dealing with several agents. We have gained time and with the new service, our 'cold chain' is guaranteed while we are waiting to open shop in Kigali."
The cold storage could be beneficial for pharmaceutical companies as it would increase their import capabilities.
Sumeet Bhardwaj, CEO of DP World Kigali, said: “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.”
“The cold storage represents a notable step towards forming a home-grown end-to-end-logistics eco-system, 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,” he added.
“The cold supply chain adheres to stringent global HSE standards and offers customers efficient and tailored options for their various storing needs,” he added.
To date, several local and multi-national companies have signed up to utilise the new cold storage and the DP World plans to expand capacity to 1000 sqm in 2021, to cater to larger volumes of cargo in the future, supporting Rwanda's economy.
In October 2019, DP World inaugurated the Kigali Logistics Platform in the presence of president of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame and DP World Group chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, where the two parties discussed the future outlook and growth plans for the platform.
The facility, which has been operational since September 2018 in test mode, has an annual capacity of 50,000 TEUs and 19 000 sq m bonded warehousing capacity, making it one of the biggest logistics hub in East Africa. When operating at full capacity, it has the potential to save Rwandan businesses up to $50 million a year in logistics costs. – TradeArabia News Service