Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services
Managing Director Fitsum Abadi was the man with a long queue at
TIACA Toronto. The emerging national carrier of Africa continues to add
partner airlines in countries far and wide across the dark continent,
supported by an ambitious growth program that among other things features
a joint venture with DHL, the addition of an expanded service offering,
and also new advanced long and medium range aircraft joining the ultra
modern Ethiopian fleet.
With eight dedicated cargo aircraft, six
B777-200F, two B757-200F, and more to come, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics
Services is the largest cargo operator in Africa.
“Just last year Ethiopian inaugurated
a state-of-the-art cargo terminal built at its main hub in Addis Ababa
that can move 600,000 tons annually.
“That number jumps significantly to
about a million tons annual throughput factoring in our total capacity
at Addis Ababa.”
Vision 2025 Ethiopian Cargo’s projection
of itself predicts 19 dedicated freighter aircraft (11 B777, four B767-300,
and four B737-800) by 2025.
“For us, it is all about growth and
expansion as we work to bring modern logistics to a burgeoning manufacturing
base in Africa,” Fitsum Abadi declared.
Earlier this year Ethiopian Airlines Cargo
& Logistics and DHL reached an agreement to jointly incorporate a
logistics service company in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian holds a 51 percent share while
DHL own 49 percent in the joint venture logistics company. It makes sense
at first glace, if for no other reason than DHL has enjoyed a long and
positive shipping arrangement as an Ethiopian Cargo customer, to the tune
of about $50 million annually.
“We are seeking to provide seamless
solutions to shippers across a multi-modal chain,” Fitsum said.
Straight out of the gate, the JV with offices
in Addis Ababa and elsewhere is focused on delivering logistics services
to manufacturers in the newly established industrial parks open and building
Ethiopia has suffered from logistics inefficiencies
that the carrier hopes the JV will help eliminate, especially the bottlenecks
transporting goods from African manufacturers to and from Djibouti and
onto European and American markets.
But key to all of this will be the continued
centralization of logistics activity in some 15 industrial parks.
“Adama, which opened October 7, joins
others like the flagship Hawassa Industrial Park and the Bole Lemi Industrial
Adama’s focus is textiles, apparel,
vehicle assembly, and a food-processing cluster.
“It is expected to open jobs vacancies,
continuing a trend to produce significant amounts of products for export,
while we in logistics accelerate support in every aspect needed.”
No doubt that these parks serve as a foundation
as Ethiopia drives to become Africa’s manufacturing hub.
You Need It
Of all the backgrounds you might meet in
air cargo today, Fitsum Abadi’s, who was proud to be in Toronto,
Canada, in October, might be one of the most unique. He came to air cargo
as a former performance auditor for hospitals.
Fitsum holds an MBBA from New Hampshire
Fitsum is the father to five boys, and
lives with his wife, Mekdes, and children, (clockwise) Michael, Biruk,
Nathaniel, Ebenezer, and Abrahim.
He admits that while family is the center
of his life, “being at an airline is an addiction.”
Dear reader, if you are starting to think
that maybe you missed the collective genius at work in Africa today as
Ethiopia and other countries move toward innovative transportation to
support a growing manufacturing situation, you’ll get no argument
from us. We’d just encourage you to stay tuned for more.
“It’s all about One Africa-One
Sky,” Fitsum insists.
“As a country and as a continent we
want to be both export and import driven so several forces—both
in the private and government sectors—are working toward that goal.
“Of course, we are a continent of
rich resources and fertile land so we will continue to emerge, developing
our way upward into international commerce.
“Ethiopian Group will accelerate investment
and be a partner to countries in Africa that see a great airline as a
vital force in developing international commerce.
“We are partnering a new paradigm
for Africa,” Fitsum Abadi said.