Construction of Gulu Logistics hub is set to commence in June next year, according to Uganda Railways Corporation (URC). The announcement came following a completion of the projects design by a local consultant UBUNTU and UK based Turner & Townsend.
The US$29 million (Shs107.3 billion) hub is designed as a dry port with both rail and truck terminals. Construction is set to begin with phase one which covers 24 out of the 54 acre piece of land allocated by the URC and funded by European Union together with UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) through Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA).
The project will contain warehouses, container terminals and general lifting equipment’s. The facility shall be offering handling and storage services, space for stakeholders dealing with freight transport; freight forwarders, shippers and transport operators and accompanying services such as customs inspections, tax payment, maintenance and repair, banking and information communication technology.
The land chosen for the project is adjacent to the current Gulu Railway Station. Several studies have shown that the city (Gulu) is served by international trunk roads linking Mombasa, Kampala, and Juba and it is also crossed by the international one-meter gauge railway. The town has the largest airfield after Entebbe hence it offers bulk storage for goods and serves as a waiting point for cargo trucks.
Upon completion, the hub is expected to facilitate logistic movement in Uganda through the Northern Region by reducing transport costs, improving efficiency in the movement of goods and serving South Sudan as well as the Democratic of Congo (DRC).
It is also projected that the facility will create many jobs in maintenance, assembly, machinery repair, dry docking, packaging, labeling, and administrative work. Other opportunities will be created in accommodation services, hotels, restaurants, and retail shops.
The farming sector in Gulu which produces plenty of grains such as groundnuts, maize, simsim, and rice will also benefit from the hub. There will be a warehouse to receive and store the grains, workers in the value chain of the logistics hub and large players in the logistics industry to serve the sector. The project will be commissioned in June 2022 and its operation will be tendered to the private sector, who will run it as a concession.