"The cost of logistics stands at 20%, which is a very high load compared to international standards, set at 10%," said Khaled Ben Gharbia, president of CONECT International's transport trade association, in a statement to TAP on the sidelines of a meeting, held Tuesday in Tunis, on the role of transport in strengthening foreign trade.
The problems of transport in Tunisia, all modes combined, are huge, he said. For the maritime transport, the problem resides in the functioning of the Tunisian Company of stevedoring and port Handling (STAM) which suffers, these last years, of a deterioration of its fleet, all the more as it becomes specialised only in passenger transportation aboard the Tanit and Carthage boats. "The STAM no longer plays its role in the transport of cereals and hydrocarbons, in the absence of innovation in its fleet," according to Ben Gharbia.
The Tunisian Navigation Company (CTN), he said, is starting to recover and is looking for strategic partnerships from international carriers to deal with the market.
Ben Gharbia cited the example of Morocco who seized the opportunity to conquer the Russian market and take the place of European suppliers, when the Russian banned European imports of food products, thanks to its specialised logistics in agribusiness which has a series of shipping lines.
For his part, Exporter Foued Gueddich and vice-president of the agribusiness group at CONECT International, called for resolving the vandalism problems that occurred at the port of Rades which he described as a "catastrophe", a as much as 80% of container and semi-trailer transactions pass through the port of Radés.
"Today the port of Radés ensures only the entry and exit of three containers per hour, against 30 containers per hour before the revolution. He recalled that in 2009, a study conducted with a Japanese international office set a target of 300 containers per hour.
"The port of Radés suffers from problems of vandalism practiced by some of its agents. I I am obliged, as an exporter to send, my container to the ports of Sfax, Sousse or Bizerte, with an additional cost of 700 dinars to honour my commitments to my clients abroad, "he said.