Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in Rwanda

The freight and shipping of goods in Rwanda take place via air and land. The Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) is responsible for the maintenance and development of the sector. It is a public, autonomous body under the Ministry of Infrastructure. It has special departments for air, marine and rail transport which oversee the development of their specific transport infrastructure. The RTDA aims include reducing transport costs, maintaining the transport network and improving transport safety.

The European Commission estimates that in 2010, Rwanda’s imports of foodstuffs, machinery and equipment, steel, petroleum products, cement and construction material from Kenya, EU and Uganda were worth €0.8billion. The country’s exports of coffee, tea, hides and tin ore mainly go to Kenya, DRC and EU and had a value of €0.3billion in 2010.

As Rwanda is landlocked, its nearest seaport being about 1,400 km away, water transport is virtually non-existent. Lake Kivu is navigable only by native craft and shallow drift barges and has not yet been developed as a potential trade route. The three main ports for fishermen and passenger ferries are at Cyangugu, Gisenyi and Kibuye.

Road transport is the main form of goods transportation. There are over 14,000km of roadway of which the majority is unpaved. Air transport is the secondary mode, but is limited to certain goods. There are seven airports in the country of which four have paved runways. Kigali Airport in the capital of the country is the principal airport for airfreight in Rwanda and as a transit point for freight coming to DRC.

Rwanda does not have a rail transportation system, but uses the railroad systems of neighbouring countries (Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya) as transit routes for goods originating from or destined for Rwanda. The Rwandan Government is in the process of planning a connecting railway from Rwanda to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam to provide a direct link to international transit routes (2009).

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. Rwanda scores 2.26 for LPI (2012), this put it slightly below both regional and income group averages with 2.46 for sub-Saharan Africa and 2.37 for low income countries. Overall Rwanda ranked 139th out of 155 countries worldwide.

Global leaders in freight forwarding and couriers services, Fedex, DHL, TNT and UPS (the latter represented in the country by East African Cargo SA); all have a presence in Rwanda. The Rwanda Freight Forwarders Association is the industry body which represents all clearing and forwarding firms operating in Rwanda.

The World Bank Logistics Performance Index (LPI) scores countries on various aspects involved with shipping and logistics on a scale of one to five with five being the highest. Rwanda ranks highest for tracking (121st) out of 155 countries. It ranks lower in terms of customs (127th), infrastructure (148th), shipment (138th), logistics (147th) and timeliness (124th).

Freight, Shipping and Logistics organisations in Rwanda
Rwanda Revenue Authority Customs Department