Chinese-built logistics hub inaugurated in Ethiopia to promote e-commerce

ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Ethiopian Airlines has inaugurated a new e-commerce logistics hub in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, to meet the surging demands of online shoppers and retailers.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony that took place on Thursday, Ethiopian Minister of Transport and Logistics Alemu Sime said the new e-commerce facility aims to streamline operations and inventory management before goods are dispatched to customers.

"Today's inauguration marks the unveiling of a model facility, poised to set a standard for the private sector to emulate. This infrastructure is pivotal in simplifying logistics, reducing costs and enhancing efficiency, ultimately elevating logistics performance," Sime said.

Built by China National Aero-Technology International Engineering Cooperation, the e-commerce logistics hub covers about 15,000 square meters and has a capacity to handle 150,000 tonnes of goods annually.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ethiopian Airlines Mesfin Tasew, on the occasion, said the launch of the "modern e-commerce facility," after two years of construction, reaffirms the airline's unwavering dedication to catch up with emerging innovations and technologies and enhance its service delivery.

"It (the facility) is probably the first of its kind in Africa, and this move by Ethiopian Airlines sets up the e-commerce industry on the continent and follows the global trend," said Tasew, indicating that the airlines invested 55 million U.S. dollars to make the facility a reality.

Noting that e-commerce has come out to be a driving force shaping the way business operates and consumers interact, Tasew said the new facility will revolutionize the way the airline connects and conducts business and open up new avenues of opportunities.

The CEO said the Ethiopian Airlines has established a strategic partnership not only with Chinese construction companies but also with Chinese technology companies specializing in e-commerce such as Alibaba to make its dream a reality.

"When it comes to operation, we work very closely with Chinese e-commerce companies. We transport e-commerce goods from China to other parts of the world under the strategic agreement with them. Now, we can bring the goods from these companies to Addis Ababa. We sort and re-aggregate the goods here and transport them to other African destinations," Tasew told Xinhua.

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