To maintain the commendable economic growth that has been registered in the country over the last several years, one of the strategic measures taken by the Federal Government of Ethiopia is merging the former three public enterprises that have until recently been operating separately in a rather similar and interdependent maritime sub-sector; namely, Ethiopian Shipping Lines S.C, Maritime and Transit Services Enterprise and Dry Port Enterprise.
The Ethiopian Shipping and Logistics Services Enterprise (ESL for short) is the result of this merger. This newly amalgamated enterprise came into being following the issuance of Regulation by the Council of Ministers (Regulation No. 255/2011), and is vested with the huge responsibility of rendering sea-transport & logistics services to the country’s importers, exporters, and investors in a more effective and efficient way, by reducing transit time, cost and handoffs. Besides, a truck operating company named Comet Transport SC has recently been transferred to ESL following a government decree issued in the mid of 2014.
As set out in the regulation issued by the federal government of Ethiopia in 2011 (Regulation No. 255/2011), the objectives for which the ESLSE is established are:
1.To render coastal and international marine and inland water transport services.
2.To render freight forwarding agency, multimodal transport, shipping agency and air agency services.
3.To provide the services of stevedore, shore-handling, dry-port, warehousing and other logistics services;
4.To provide container terminal services.
5.To engage in the development, management and operation of ports.
6.To establish and run human resources development and training center in the fields of maritime profession.
7.To study the country’s import and export trade demand and thereby develop technological capacity in order to render maritime and transit transport services.
8.To engage in other related activities conducive to the achievement of its objectives.
ESL has a multitude of vessels, heavy duty trucks, sea and dry port facilities, chicaneries, etc that enable it render efficient sea and land transport services as well as sea and dry port services.
ESL has its headquarters located in the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with main branches at Djibouti, Modjo, and Kality (the former Comet) and other branches in Mekelle, DireDawa, Kombolcha, Semera and Gelan towns. It also has a Maritime Training Institute at a place called Babogaya in Bishoftu (former Debrezeit) Town.
The Enterprise is re-starting the building work of its Head Office, the process of which has been interrupted for some years due to construction related problems. The giant building in Laghar area is a 20 storey sky scraper that may accommodate all the enterprise’s functions at head office level, upon finishing, as well as partially serving as an apartment.
According to the Regulation issued by the Council of Ministers in 2011, the enterprise is supervised by the Ministry of Transport and has a Board of Management comprised of eight higher officials from various ministries.
After its establishment in Nov.2011, ESL embarked on designing an organizational structure that could bring together the functions of the former three enterprises in to an integrated operation. Accordingly, the enterprise put in place its own new organizational structure in Dec 2012 on the basis of which, it has one chief executive officer and four deputy chief executive officers appointed by the government to lead and direct the enterprise at top management level.
The enterprise has four sectors led by the four deputy CEO's, namely:
1. Shipping Sector
2. Freight Forwarding Sector
3. Port & Terminal sector
4. Corporate Services Sector
There are also some 18 departments and 8 branches that report to the deputy CEO's depending on line of function.
The following diagram depicts an overview of the organizational structure of ESL.