Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in Lesotho
As a landlocked country Lesotho’s only access to the sea is via South Africa. The nearest and most important port is Durban, which can accommodate deep-sea ro–ro ships alongside other facilities. The country’s capital and business centre, Maseru, is linked to Durban by rail and road. The Maseru rail line, a branch of the South African railway network and the only line in Lesotho, connects Maseru to the South African Bloemfontein-Bethlehem line and solely provides freight services. This is operated by the South African government owned Transnet.
The country’s main airport, Moshoeshoe I International Airport, is located 20 km south of Maseru and is operated by the Department of Civil Aviation. In 2011 the airport cargo store was re-launched in order to promote speedy and efficient freighting. Alongside this, South African Airlink Cargo has entered into an agreement with the South African Airways and other airlines by which cargo from around the world can be shipped directly to and from Lesotho without undergoing customs formalities in South Africa. Express cargo imports to Lesotho average at about 5 tons per month, whilst exports are only around 200kgs per month (2011). As part of their commitment to developing a competitive air freighting industry in Lesotho, Airlink Cargo are converting two of their aircrafts into dedicated freighters.
The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index (2012) placed Lesotho 132nd out of 155 countries in terms of infrastructure. It received a score of 2.12 out of 5, compared to the sub-Saharan African average of 2.29 and the lower middle income average of 2.37.
A number of international courier and freight companies, including DHL, Freight and Courier Group and Skynet Worldwide Express, have offices in Lesotho. There are also a number of local firms based in Maseru, prominent amongst these Lesotho Express Delivery Service.
A key service provider in the country is Interfreight Lesotho which provides a total service from forwarding to delivery. It handles around 90% of the goods produced by the country’s textile industry, a sector vital to the economy. As part of this, it works in conjunction with Interfreight South Africa, to provide a cost-effective airfreight import service using dedicated cargo vehicles from Johannesburg International Airport.
The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index ranked Lesotho 142nd overall out of 155 countries, with a score of 2.24, 39.5% of the highest performer, Singapore. Each country is scored from one to five, with one being the worst performance in terms of logistics, infrastructure and customs amongst other categories. In all of the categories – customs (143rd), international shipments (143rd), logistics competence (112th), tracking and tracing (148th) and timeliness (131st) – Lesotho scored below the average for both a sub-Saharan nation and for other lower middle income countries.
Industry members are represented by the Lesotho Clearing Agents and Freight Forwarders Association. The Ministry of Public Works and Transportation oversees developments.
|Freight, Shipping and Logistics organisations in Lesotho|
|Hua Sheng Imports & Exports||
|P & P Freight Co.||