A Comparative Study of Dry Ports in East Africa and China

Gerald Wanzala Werikhe, Zhihong Jin


The period between 1970s and 1990s witnessed a number of global changes. Significant ones were; liberalization of trade, deregulation of many economies, and emergence of economic integrations of countries and regions. These changes in addition to innovation and advancement of ICT impacted on trade and the shipping sector. Thevolume of trade, the cargo transported by sea, and the number of shipping vessels increased thus putting pressure on existing sea ports. Dry ports were introduced as a way of accessing the hinterland and also reduce the pressure on the bottle necked, congested and inefficient sea ports. Theadoption of dry port concept began in Europe and North America, followed by Asia, South America and then Africa. This trend created the need to conduct studies about this sector. This paper therefore tries to compare historical perspectives, developing mode, and management model of the dry ports sector in China, a high income developing country, under a socialist system, with advanced shipping infrastructure, against the East African region, which is characterized with low income countries, free market policies, anda largely less developed shipping infrastructure. The paper also presents discussions on the pros and cons of both systems from which, conclusions and recommendations are drawn to support future studies and policy formulation. This paper not only serves the purpose of contributing to existing academic knowledge in respect to dry ports, but it also gives the policy makers and practitioners in the logistics and trade sectors a chance to compare the practices in the two developing regions and apply what is suitable for a particular case.

Keywords: Comparative study, Dry Ports, East Africa, China

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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