In preparation for the upcoming short agricultural season starting in August, ELAN has worked closely with Freight Forwarders to be better prepared to handle the seasonal spike in agricultural shipments from Mongala, North and South Ubangi.
Freight Forwarders handles logistics for shipments of agricultural products to Kinshasa. They collect information on agricultural products and volumes needing to be shipped to Kinshasa.
They then provide that information to transporters, negotiate prices, inform traders of incoming boats, and ensure products are ready to be shipped when the boat arrives. Boat operators pay freight Forwarders a commission per bag loaded in exchange for the service.
Products were getting stranded in the ports of the Mongala and Ubangi rivers, sometimes for months, as few boats pass through these ports. As a result, traders were reluctant to buy products from small farmers. But with the more efficient and reliable service under Freight Forwarders, smallholder farmers and traders can more quickly offload their harvests and boat operators can make more trips, improving ROI for all parties.
ELAN worked with Freight Forwarders by supporting improvements to their operations and financial management in preparation for the season beginning in August. Freight Forwarders will be working in the same seven ports in North and South Ubangi, but hope to grow volumes shipped from these ports by as much as 20% year over year. Freight Forwarders was originally only operating between Kisangani and Kinshasa and with ELAN’s help have expanded to include North and South Ubangi and Mongala.