The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) says Malawi is paying 15 percent more to transport goods from the sea compared to other countries in the trade bloc.
According to Comesa group financial advisor Sandisiwe Ndhlovu this is because landlocked countries incur vehicle operation costs which push up the cost of transporting the goods.
“For landlocked countries, there are the vehicle operation costs in addition to the transport costs which we pay normally. These includes fuel and capital cost, among others. This ups the transportation costs by 15 percent, hence, increasing the transport costs,” he said.
In addition to high costs, Ndhlovu said Malawi also loses revenue to risks on the road due to theft and leakages.
“These increase the cost of doing business especially to the transporters,” he said.
The 2016 United Nations Economic Report on Africa shows that Malawi’s transport sector accounts for 56 percent of landed transport costs and 30 percent of export costs, thereby increasing the costs of imported consumer goods and hurting Malawi’s regional trade competitiveness.