Impact of COVID-19 on Transport and Logistics Sector in East Africa

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FEAFFA and Shippers Council of East Africa
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African Economic Research Consortium
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic presented EAC Partner States with monumental challenges that affected different sectors of their economy. As a response, the Partner States instituted measures to mitigate the spread of the virus while, at the same time, ensuring that such measures did not adversely affect the economic wellbeing of their citizens. Specific measures were instituted addressing the transport and logistics sector in the region. These measures, however, affected the operations of the sector. This report presents findings of the study that sought to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 on the transport and logistics sector in East Africa. The study addressed five specific objectives: 1. To provide an inventory of the key containment measures instituted by the EAC Partner States to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the transport and logistics sector. 2. To identify and enumerate operational challenges faced by transport and logistics industry stakeholders at the height of the pandemic in the EAC region. 3. To estimate the increase in time, cost, and additional complexities encountered in clearing and forwarding cargo during the pandemic in the region. 4. To establish gaps in the interventions by the EAC Partner States in ensuring the continued flow of cargo across borders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 5. To propose operational and policy measures that could be instituted to make COVID-19 and future pandemic responses. To address the objectives of this study, a descriptive research design was adopted. The study focused on a population that comprised of various stakeholders in the transport and logistics sector, including shippers, transporters, and clearing and forwarding agents. In terms of the geographical scope, the study focused on key players within the transport and logistics sector operating and using the Northern and Central Corridors for movement of cargo and trade facilitation. The study covers the period between March 2020 and March 2021. Both probability and non-probability techniques were used. Stratified random sampling technique was used to identify respondents for an online survey while judgemental sampling was used in identifying the sector experts for interviews and focus group discussions.