Nov 30, 2018: Connected to the railway operated by Societe d'Exploitation du Transgabonais (SETRAG), the new logistics platform by Bollore Logistics in Lastourville, Gabon will store, manage and carry processed wood in containers from the production sites in the forest to the Owendo Container Terminal (OCT), 557 kilometre away.

With an area of 14,000 square metre, the hub will be able to handle 4,500 TEUs per year during the start-up phase. It will streamline the timber shipment process for the four main forestry companies in the province of Ogooue¬Lobo. The effective start-up took place on November 13, with the reception of the first train of 15 wagons loaded with empty containers for the region's four forestry companies, Precious Woods and Compagnie Equatoriale des Bois (PW-CEB), Societe des Bois de Lastourville (SBL), Societe des Bois de Koulamoutou (SBK) and Bonus Harvest (BH). By joining forces with Bollore Logistics and SETRAG, the four companies are seeking to address the difficulties encountered in shipping their processed timber by road, and to limit transshipments between the production sites and container terminal.

To further improve the efficiency of the new site, Bollore Logistics plans to set up a central office offering administrative and customs services in early 2020. The containers will then be cleared through customs directly in Lastourville instead of Libreville. As a result, the time required for operations and shipment, including packing the wood into containers, shipping it to the port and completing loading formalities, should fall by 15 days, bringing gains in productivity between 15 to 20 percent.

“The new hub in Lastourville has a number of advantages for all the players in the timber industry. The opening of a customs office in 2020 will round out our existing services, making it possible to cut transit times for significant gains in productivity and substantial reductions in cost,” Jean-Francois Ollivier, MD, Bollore Transport & Logistics in Gabon.

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