THE country’s freight industry is operating at about 40% capacity as a result of continued dislocation of macro-economic fundamentals, an industry representative has said this week.
justify>Shipping and Forwarding Agents Association of Zimbabwe (SFAAZ) chief executive officer, Joseph Musariri, told businessdigest that the freight industry’s viability was under threat from a declining economy in recession over the past six years.
“We are operating at 40% capacity as an industry,” said Musariri. “Our business depends on
imports and exports, as you’re aware since 2000 import and export volumes started declining, hence freight business become enfeebled.”
Musariri said the closure of national airline, Air Zimbabwe cargo plane, Affretair and the National Railway of Zimbabwe’s inefficiency have resulted in the freight business battling for survival and aiming to break even.
“Zimbabwe no longer has a national cargo airline following the closure of Affretair resulting in the loss of air cargo business while the inefficiency of NRZ’s railway network, our biggest stakeholder, has compounded the decline of business as the volumes of goods moving in and out of the country are now limited.”
Musariri said a number of variables such as government’s land reform programme, company closures and shortages of foreign currency to procure raw materials by manufacturers had all combined to hurt the sector.
He however maintained that despite the hard times, a new generation of indigenous players, most of whom acquired experience in foreign-owned companies that had shut down due to the economic problems, would emerged.