Find Freight, Shipping and Logistics expertise in Zambia
Freight and shipping services are available to, from and within Zambia via land, air and water.
In 2010 Zambia’s imports from the rest of the world were worth €3.9 million and exports €5.4million. Zambia’s principal export products are copper, cobalt, electricity and tobacco and the main export markets are in China, Switzerland, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Korea. Imports into Zambia, mostly machinery, transportation equipment and petroleum products, come from South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, China and Kuwait.
As a landlocked country, Zambia’s only access to the sea is via Tanzania, Mozambique or South Africa, the nearest seaport being Beira in Mozambique, while Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Durban in South Africa are also important. Mpulungu port on Lake Tanganyika is overseen by the Mpulungu Harbour Authority and is the country’s only major port. It provides an important route for exports (of which around 96% are Zambian) and imports coming from Tanzania, Burundi and further afield.
There has been major redevelopment of transport infrastructure, roads and bridges in particular, which connect Mpulungu port to the rest of the country and further redevelopment is planned to bring other major roads up to the same standard. In terms of railways, the Zambian and Tanzanian governments combined to run the Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA). The TAZARA lines handle approximately five million tonnes of freight every year. Another important element in Zambian rail infrastructure is Zambia Railways. Following a period of financial instability the company was nationalised in 2012 when the government implemented the compulsory acquisition of concession rights which had previously been given to the Railway Systems of Zambia (RSZ) Ltd. There are eight airports with paved runways in Zambia and airfreight services are available at all major airports including Lusaka airport in the capital of the country.
The Ministry of Communications and Transport and the Ministry of Trade and Commerce are responsible for the management and planning of transport infrastructure and domestic and foreign trade policy respectively.
In the World Bank Logistics Performance Index (2010), Zambia ranks 138th out of 155 countries worldwide with a score of 2.28 out of five for overall logistics performance. This places the country below the average for both the sub-Saharan regional group (2.42) and the lower middle income group (2.54).
There are many operators in the freight and carriage sector including international companies such as DHL, Hellmann and World Freight Logistics that provide logistics, shipping, clearing and forwarding services. The Zambia Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association is the industry body.
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. The LPI(2010) shows that Zambia ranks most highly in terms of customs where is comes 111th but lower down in infrastructure (140th), shipment (128th), logistics (149th), tracking (130th) and timeliness (131st).