Interviewing Mr Hazem Abdelrahman, MD Easyfresh Egypt Ltd and head of Easyfresh African Expansion. Mr Abdelrahman speaks about Africa and its reefer logistics developments, including comments about African peculiar infrastructures and ports
1) It is a fact that Africa requires the expertise of reefer logisticians like EASYFRESH, with a proven track in dealing with perishables. Parallelly there are a number of local freight forwarders that need the tutorship, guidance and partnership with international experts like you. Which alliances would you seek to expand throughout Africa ?
Africa is still a virgin land full of growing opportunities ,where reefer expertise cannot be enough. Seeing the diversity of regions/growing products ,every area in Africa is dictating it’s our needs and requirements.
Logistics resources /Support have been present in AFRICA for long time where global /regional forwarders and specialist are present ,giving tutorship to some extend to locals. However, This has been /is still challenging in some regions like west Africa and East Africa where customers are used to deal directly with Carriers. Positively, our industry is dynamic and needs also innovation that Easyfresh is always ready to support and sustain through an organic growth..
2) Africa is huge, full of contrasts and with a tremendous potential.Only to feed Africans by 2020, local food production has to grow a 130% in Africa, plus an increase of 60% of food imports from all over the world. Which countries or areas would you prioritize? Would you combine alliances and partnerships with local partners with own set ups, like the successful Easyfresh Egypt operation you are driving ?
Challenging Arenas have always been Easyfresh focus . West Africa /East Africa has not the culture of intermediary business model .Our ambition into Sub-Saharan Africa is to develop this value added logistics service into this fragmented and open market .
Initial phasing steps ,Into these regions, would land into agency representation with local partners where will bring our expertise and best practice sharing to imbed our Easyfresh Culture and Spirit to our representatives and to our end partners/valuable customers.
3) Easyfresh expertise in reefer trades, remarkably in Europe is unbeatable. Your European organization, owns and manages coldstores, and offers transports solutions to the “cream of the cream” of the industry, being receivers, exporters, retailers or other key players. For historical reasons, Africa is very tied up to Europe and the Africans love to work tightly with Europeans. How are you going to combine both ; your African expansion and your abilities and strength in Europe ?
Not with standing emerging Asian and Middle East influence in Africa Market ,Africa and Europe are sharing long trade spirit which getting strengthened year on year due to many strategic reasons.
Dealing mainly with refrigerated cargo, the geographic position is helping short connecting time adding value to shelf life of products. Our aim is to build this notoriety into /from Africa by offering end to end first class service to our business partners and customers.
4) While you develop your logistics activities, I am sure you will attract a number of investors to cooperate and support you in specific African projects . It is a fact that refrigerated warehouses, attached to container terminals shall be an extremely profitable business, for those who act & react on a first instance. Do you have any specific projects that you’d like to share with us and that you’d like to develop within the next two years ?
Absolutely, this is mandatory to the development cycle, otherwise nothing is moving into the right direction… There are number of hot spots in Africa could be typical examples of those needs like; Maputo port in Mozambique whereby it is needed for the South African citrus coming from the north part in South Africa. Dar Es Sallam port in Tanzania to cater the super quality pineapple … Mombasa port in Kenya to handle the best avocado we can find ever … Djibouti to handle the Ethiopian meat …. Dakar port in Senegal to deal with the green beans … A lot of opportunities may come out of this land with the oldest soil and heavy rains.