The Reporter (Addis Ababa)

17 May 2014

Ethiopia: ESLSE to Inaugurate New National Carriers Today

The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESLSE) is scheduled to inaugurate its new flag carrier ships in Djibouti in the presence of leaders from both countries.

"Indeed, it has been a while since we received the ships but the inauguration has been selected to meet the 50th anniversary of the enterprise," Vice CEO, Chief Engineer Alemu Ambaye said.

The enterprise has bought nine new flag carriers for a total outlay of USD 300,000,000 of which eighty percent had been secured from the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of China on a commercial loan. The Ethiopian Shipping Line was founded in 1966 as a corporate enterprise leaving 49 percent to an American and Dutch companies. Currently, it owns 12 national carriers, nine of which have been bought recently for the inauguration this Saturday in Djibouti.

ESLSE has owned some 34 ships so far in its fifty years of operation, making trips to the far east and Asia via the Indian Ocean their major destinations. Now, the major destinations have changed to Middle Eastern countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China in the Far East.

The former Ethiopian Shipping Lines terminated the Mediterranean ports where it traded with South European countries particularly with Italy in the 1980's, which led the national flag carrier to focus on the East, according to the Vice CEO. The ESLSE is comprised of three sub-enterprises, Shipping, Maritime Transit and Dry Port Services.

Despite the mounting pressure from investors and importers who complain about the delay on delivery and an unconvincing uni-modal operation on steel and other project equipments, the enterprise hails the success it has achieved in the last decade. It states that its capacity has been drastically transformed, from 47 000 tones total to 400000 tones shipment in a single sea route.

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