COVID-19 and Logistics

Juni 9, 2022

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Europe needs a strong Africa. Lets open our eyes to it, lets get rid of last century’s mindset and colonial consumer behavior. That’s why we promote quality products Made-in-Africa in Europe – and yes, this is also about educating the #nextgeneration.

Importing goods from Africa is a venture that can be challenging even at the best of times. As you can imagine, the current Covid pandemic has made the logistical challenges much, much worse. In this post, we’d like to update you on our logistics situation on the ground at the moment.

Restricted movement across countries

Currently, in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19, some African national borders are completely closed. In addition, air as well as maritime traffic is severely restricted. The logistics sector has taken a huge hit and some actors in this sector may never recover. The situation is even more difficult for land-locked countries or countries with relatively small ports, Like Benin where our partner product Tambour is made. For those interested in more details on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Maritime and Logistics Sector please see this World Bank Document.

Our efforts

A bit of background: We are shipping goods from mainly three different parts of Africa: West-Africa (Benin & Ghana), East-Africa (Kenya) and Southern Africa (South Africa). Each of these regions are facing their own challenges. We have tried, where we can, to tap into the insights of our African partners to find home-grown logistical solutions. It has in part worked and in others we are utterly stuck. The most interesting part is with our shipment from West-Africa.

Our partner Tambour is based in Cotonou in Benin, which is not really on the maps of most freight forwarding companies. After discussions with our African partner and DHL, we decided to first use road transport to Accra in Ghana where the Tambour bottles will be pooled together with the products from our partners 57 Chocolate and Kaeme for a sea shipment from Accra to Germany. This would be both cost effective and environmentally sensible. However, Togo, the country in between Ghana & Benin, has for some months now closed its borders. The consequence is that the road-transport part of shipping from Togo to Ghana now must go around Togo instead of through it. Turning a 360km journey into a much more expensive 1600km one. Please look up the map and chuckle with us that our Logistic partner told us that this is the only way to get our shipment to Accra!

Our continuing endeavours

Although we have accepted that we won’t be able to bring our partner products to you Christmas, we remain hopeful, like everyone else, that normal business activities will resume in 2021. With our amazing Partners we intend to keep working to find solutions to the current challenges and we will not rest until we manage to find creative and cost-effective logistics solutions without losing sight of sustainability concerns. We will keep you informed on all developments! Africa is a continent full of potential, outstanding entrepreneurs and high-quality brands. We are confident that we’ll find the way to make these products part of your everyday life soon.

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