The present paper looks at selected East African transit corridors which provide access to seaports as gateways to link landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) with overseas trading partners.
The report suggests three complementary courses of action to improve transit transport efficiency and sustainability:
Building institutional capacity through corridor management arrangements, including formal agreements, where and as appropriate;
Improving the reliability and predictability of transit operations by trust-building measures between public regulators and private operators, such as risk-management customs systems, which allow for fewer en route checks, shorter delays and smaller convoys;
Developing and operating transport nodes, or freight hubs, with a particular focus on the consolidation of small flows, to create critical masses required to achieve economies of scale, higher return on investment on both infrastructure and transport services, and lead to the development of effective intermodal transit operations.
These actions are to be viewed as precursors to an economically viable and environmentally sustainable operation of the transit corridor. They will bring on a “change of culture" that encourages the confidence of shippers and carriers, operating in a setting that rewards compliant behaviour, builds trust and attracts investment, promotes larger-scale trade operations, improves transport service quality and reliability, and enables strong cooperation among stakeholders along transit corridors, including ports, serving transit trade to and from landlocked countries.
This report may be, in this context, considered as an early contribution to the analysis of the recent progress in the field of transit transport for the trade of LLDCs, in the context of the preparation for the Almaty Programme of Action review process taking place in 2013.