NAIROBI, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- East African shippers on Thursday decried the high cost of transport in the region while expecting a new railway to improve the situation
Shippers Council of Eastern Africa CEO Gilbert Langat told a media briefing in Nairobi that transport cost accounts for about 40 percent of the cost of goods imported and exported in the region.
"The East African region has a high cost of transport compared to the international average of 25 percent," Langat said.
According to the shipping industry, one reason for high cost of transport is the lack of proper transport infrastructure as well as levies charged along the road.
"Most of the goods are moved by road which is either inadequate or in poor condition," Langat said.
This makes trucks cover less distance in a month and hence their transportation costs per unit of merchandise tends to be high, he noted.
Langat said that once the Standard Gauge Railway, which runs from the port of Mombasa to Nairobi, is completed, it will be a game changer for the logistics sector.
"We estimate that transports costs will reduce and account for less than 30 percent of the cost of both imports and exports," he added.