Six questions to Olivier Ncuti, Pan-African General Trading, LLC

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Present yourself and the position you have within your company.

My name is Olivier NCUTI, and I am the office manager at Pan-African General Trading, LLC, which has its head office in Kigali, Rwanda. Our website is www.palogistics.com

What are some of the services that your company offers? In which countries do you operate?

We offer the following international transport services:

  • Air, maritime and road transportation
  • Moving (from Kigali to various destinations)
  • Customs clearance
  • Stockage rent
  • Delivery

We work in Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the United Arab Emirates, but with our network of partners we can serve every country across the world.

What are the biggest challenges that your enterprise encounters in the exercise of its activities?

We are facing rising transport prices due to the fact that Burundi is a landlocked country. The nearest port is in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), which forces us to organize road transport from the port (which takes about 3-4 days in the best case scenario) to final destination (Bujumbura). This supplemental trip has an effect on the length of clearance procedures and also affects the product price. In addition, we are forced to rely on Tanzania for the majority of the trucks used for this trip, many of which are dilapidated and in poor mechanical condition. This may extend travel time by a week instead of 3 or 4 days forecast, with implications on transport costs. Delays are further exacerbated by lengthy customs procedures. Moreover, it is difficult for us to find other partners in Africa. In other parts of the world, our partnership with DHL in Kigali, Rwanda, facilitates our ability to find foreign partners thanks to their wide network and address book.

In your opinion, what solutions exist to these problems?

It is necessary to open up the country by developing railways and maintaining well-lit roads that would reduce transport time and therefore costs. This would have to be accompanied by an improvement of customs clearance procedures, since delays are mainly due to lack of skilled workers and professionals, insufficient to the number of files needing to be processed. Finally, in regards to finding African business partners, I think they would be easier to find if there existed a platform that could unite all of them.

Do your partners use new technologies in the execution of their logistics activities? Do you think that new technologies are sufficiently used in transport and logistics in Africa?

Yes. Our business involves the use of multiple new technologies necessary to carry out a logistical operation. They facilitate rapid communication. At Pan-African Logistics Ltd, we use a PAL Management System, a management software (quotes, invoicing), communication that informs the customer about the location of his goods, etc. New technologies facilitate rapid feedback and help improve the quality of service for increased customer satisfaction.

Which types of enterprises would you like to find and collaborate with on Bifasor?

The essential is not to find specific names, but to be able to find any completely reliable partners who are able to represent, and are able to deliver parcels to the satisfaction of our customers. We would like to extend our partnerships in order to gain speed, efficiency and market competitiveness.