The owners of Trade Path International, the logistics company responsible for handling 70pc of Ethiopia's flower exports, have opened a local SEKO office, as part of a strategic partnership with the US-based SEKO Logistics Company.
Two brothers, Dawit and Nebiyu Wubshiet, established Trade Path six years ago, with a capital of two million Birr. This company used to charter cargo planes from Ethiopian Airlines to ship flowers to the Netherlands.
In March 2012 Ethiopian decided to use its cargo planes all for itself as well as handling flower shipment starting from the farms. Trade Path's business has suffered since then, but continues to participate in the cargo by using Emirates as well as passenger aircraft of Ethiopian.
The deal with SEKO seems to have come at an opportune moment for the company.
"It was a good alternative for us since our sales volume has dropped after Ethiopian Airlines took over," Dawit, managing director of SEKO Ethiopia said.
SEKO Logistics Company has a presence in 45 countries, where 150 SEKO officers have been opened by local business people who fully own the businesses but operate as strategic partners of SEKO. The Ethiopia office was inaugurated on November 9, 2012, at Sheraton Hotel.
SEKO Logistic, which is established in 1976, makes 300 million dollars revenue.
This company asked the brothers to set up a SEKO office, according to Dawit. Their acceptance of the offer was followed by a month long evaluation. SEKO requires that the SEKO offices have five professionals with relevant experience in the logistic sector and accreditation by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The new company will provide all logistic services including air, ocean, inland transport, freight forwarding and customs brokerage for customers targeting both import and export markets of Ethiopia.
As all the SEKO offices throughout the world are connected and has real time and web based applications, customers can manage their orders and products from their own location.
For using the global operating platform and IT solutions that connect all the offices, SEKO Ethiopia will pay 10pc of its profit and a monthly fee to SEKO Logistics.
The company is also planning to become a multimodal operator if the government opens the sector for private operators. A draft regulation by the Council of Ministers requires that private multimodal operators need to have a capital of 10 millionBr.