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The Cost of Being Landlocked

Although transit time for exports usually closely tracks the “infrastructure” time baseline3—which corresponds to the “baseline” in figure 3.3 (for example, less than a week to 10 days)—lead time for imports is often much higher, as illustrated by transit in Africa: • The highest lead times occur in central Africa (4 to 6 weeks or more on average on the import leg, including 2 to 4 weeks at a port), with only marginally better performance in east Africa. • In western Africa, the average lead time is shorter. On average, a ship’s arrival-to-clearance time in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) is limited to 10–15 days, which is better than the clearance time in some advanced countries. This is due in part to the competition between ports for transit trade in the Gulf of Guinea. Yet even in the most favorable situations, lead time is still much greater than necessary. On most journeys, shipments are delayed in processing due to multiple clearances in transit logistics. On the basis of numerous samples in several trade and transport facilitation projects funded by the World Bank, the causes for delays can be ranked as follows: • The most important source of delay is initiating transit4 in ports, which typically takes as much time as the final clearance for domestic goods. • The second major source of delay is final clearance at destination. • Border delays can also be a cause for concern, particularly in major regional border crossings.5 In Central Asia, trucks can face a delay of up to three days at the Uzbek-Turkmenistan border. Delays are due to (1) congestion created by haulers’ schedules, and inadequate and uncoordinated working hours in the various administrative offices; and (2) slow processing and duplication of tasks between the two border countries. • Other sources of delay include (1) mandatory freight procedures such as allocation decided by freight bureaus, or choice of transport authorized by transporter administration; (2) controls en route, including axle load controls (trucks were usually kept waiting for hours at several weigh bridges in the northern corridor between Mombasa and Nairobi in 2004, but the situation has improved since, partly due to extended capacity); (3) condition of the infrastructure; (4) trans-shipment at multimodal facilities or at the border (when trucks cannot go through and the merchandise needs to be unloaded to a vehicle of another nationality, which is common in Asia); and (5) customs convoy

The Cost of Being Landlocked  

This book proposes a new analytical framework to interpret and model the constraints faced by logistics chains in landlocked countries. The...

The Cost of Being Landlocked  

This book proposes a new analytical framework to interpret and model the constraints faced by logistics chains in landlocked countries. The...