Transport and Logistics

Essential to every country’s economy is a successful transport and logistics sector, one which will allow commercial activity to flow unhindered from production to consumption. A successful transportation system also facilitates access to raw materials, services and operating, all of which are essential for the success of any viable business venture. Egypt’s unique geographic location combined with an expanding infrastructure base is enhancing the country’s position as a key global logistics hub for companies looking to do business in, or trade between, Europe, Asia and Africa.

To create a solid foundation for the multitude of projects which are set to take place over the next decade, the government has created a 2030 plan which focuses on the transport sector, with the aims of making it an integrated, well developed system that satisfies national and global developmental needs.

Much of the plan is already underway, and below you will find an overview of the most significant of these changes:

New Roads

Sohag – Red Sea Road: Connecting Upper Egypt to the Red Sea governorate.

Farafra-Dairut Road: Connecting Farafra in New Valley governorate to the southern city of Dairut in Assiut.

30 June Axis: Connecting Cairo to Port Said via Zagazig and Ismailia cities; in addition to linking several other main cities and governorates throughout the country.

Gabal El Galala Road: The Gabal El Galala is a highway that will be erected through the mountains on the Ain Sokhna road heading towards Zaafarana and Beni Suef.

Cairo – Suez Road: The project involves adding a service route on either side of the road as well as expanding the main road via an additional lane so that it becomes a five-lane dual highway which includes six bridges and a tunnel.

Dahshur – Wahat – Fayoum Road: Upgrades several parts of the Wahat road axis, as well as the southern Dahshur connection to decrease congestion.

Shoubra-Benha Road: The Shoubra-Benha road in Qaliyubia governorate is a freeway that will reduce traffic congestion on the Cairo-Alexandria agricultural road, which is used by around 140,000 vehicles each day.

Wadi El Natroun Road: Reopening of this road which links Cairo to Alamein City and the North Coast after more than a year of construction work.

Al Fouka Road: Linking Cairo with the extensions of the currently underdevelopment project of the West North Coast, located near Al Fouka and Ras El-Hekma areas. The new road will reduce the distance towards the coastal governorate of Matrouh, easing future trade access to Libya.

Upgrading the Railway System

Changes in the country’s railway system have been focused on improving the signaling system which is currently only 15% electrical.

– Additional changes include improving the Cairo-Alexandria line.

– High-speed rail from Alexandria, through Cairo, and on to Aswan have also been introduced.

– Chinese investments are being used to establish an electric train between Salam City and the New Administrative Capital, and 11 stops along the way.

Underground Metro

The plan here is to expand the reach of the metro system to accommodate for a growing capital. The overhaul project consists of three lines linking the capital districts with the center of the city, aiming to develop a modern and efficient underground transportation system. Lines 1 and 2 have been already been built, and line 3 is currently in progress.

New Airports

Two international airports, New Cairo International Airport and Sphinx International Airport were constructed in order to service the growing number of international travelers to Egypt and lessen the pressure on Cairo International Airport.

New Cairo International Airport will cater to the following areas: New Cairo, the New Administrative Capital, Port Said, Ismailiya, and Suez.

Sphinx International Airport caters to the following areas: 6th of October City, Sheikh Zayed, and six Upper Egypt governorates including Fayoum, Minya, and Beni Suef.

New Dry Ports

6th October port – Available area: 400 acres.
Burj Al Arab Port – Available area: 90 acres.
10th of Ramadan Logistics center – Available area: 250 acres.
New Damietta Logistics center – Available area: 15 acres.

Tunnels

One of the President’s areas of focus has been increasing the amount of tunnels in the area which link key areas of Egypt. Keeping in line with this, a project to create 6 new tunnels is currently underway. Three of the tunnels (two for cars and one for trains) will be created under Port Said and an additional three tunnels (two for cars and one for trains) in Ismaili and an industrial zone west of the Gulf of Suez, are under construction simultaneously.

New Means of Transport

The last couple of years have seen a surge in the introduction of car riding platforms such as Uber and Careem which has employed a significant portion of the nation, and modernized methods of Egyptian transportation.

As it stands, Cairo is Uber’s fastest growing city, and in their few years of operation in Egypt, they have already partnered up with the Nile Taxi service to provide ‘Uber Boat’, and are discussing plans to launch a public bus service to operate across all of Egypt’s governorates.

The undeniable success of such companies has inspired the likes of Egyptian start-up ‘SWVL’ to launch an app-based booking service for clean, new and efficient buses, which provide transportation at low prices.

River Transport

As well as Uber’s Boat service, Nile Taxi was recently launched to provide a new and environmentally conscious means of transport around the city, and has been hugely successful with locals and tourists alike.

Suez Canal Expansion Project

This monumental project expanded the canal to allow ships to sail in both directions at the same time over much of the canal’s length, and it now provides the shortest shipping route from Europe to Asia.

Aside from the canal itself, the expansion project includes a plan to open seven new tunnels (three in Port Said and four in Ismailia) and to transform a 76,000 km² area on both banks of the canal into an international logistics,commercial and industrial hub. A number of ship repair and rescue services will also be included in these developments. Additionally, as part of the project, ports will be launched at the entrances of the canal to put Egypt on the global supply chain map. It is expected that revenues from this project will double from $US 5.3 billion to $US 13.3 by 2023.

 

The Suez Canal Economic Zone 

Days after the inauguration of the New Suez Canal, the president issued decree No. 330/2015 to create a special economic zone (SCZONE) in the area adjacent to it, to support the projected regional development plan to turn the strategic waterway into an industrial hub.

The zone spans over 461 square kilometers and consists of two integrated areas, two development areas and four ports. The SCZONE aims to transform the area into a world-class global logistics hub and industrial processing center which serves European, Asian, African and Gulf markets and stimulates economic growth within the country.

Each area within the zone provides investment opportunities in Egypt’s leading economic sectors, namely, industrial and commercial enterprises, infrastructure and real estate development, logistics, amenities and technology.

Port expansions will also increase the capacity for handling maritime traffic and for offering related services such as ship building, stevedoring, bunkering, vessel scrapping and recycling. To facilitate business within the area, registration, licensing and permit applications have been streamlined so that investors from all corner of the world can apply quickly and efficiently.

Incentives

Companies operating within the SCZone are entitled to:

– 100% foreign ownership of companies.
– 100% foreign control of import/export activities.
– Imports exempt from customs duties and sales tax.
– Customs duties on exports to Egypt imposed on imported components only, not the final product.
– Fast tracked visa services.

Project Overview

The development project consists of the following:

Two Integrated Areas:

1 | Ain Sokhna

This region consists of a major industrial and logistics hub at the southern gateway of the Suez Canal, combining port facilities, industrial zones, residential areas, as well as road and rail connections between Cairo and Suez. A number of real estate development opportunities exist here for building residential communities. Suitable maritime-related activities include ship building and repair services, bunkering, vessel scrapping and recycling are also available.

Developments in this area also include the introduction of the Sokhna Port covering an area of 22.3 km².

2 | East Port Said

export-oriented industries. Real estate development opportunities include residential projects in East Port Said and Bardawil.

Similar to the Ain Sokhna developments, East Port Said port is also set to be expanded by 26 km².

Two Development Areas:

1 | Qantara West

A new residential area that is ideal for agribusiness projects due to its proximity to the Delta. Currently, there are 13.6 km² available for development in an area well supplied with water, electricity and sewage. Suitable logistics enterprises include warehousing services, transportation and distribution, and freight forwarding.

2 | East Ismailia

This area is set to be the ‘administrative centre of the SCZone, and will be ideal for high-tech industries, as well as educational and scientific research institutions. East Ismailia is located 10 km east of the Suez Canal and covers an area of 71 km². The area is fully serviced with a consistent electricity and water supply, offering prospects for research and development facilities, as well as commercial ventures and services. A tunnel is currently under construction to link East Ismailia with the Egyptian mainland, greatly decreasing east to west transportation time.