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Demand for storage facility to serve the Manu River Union

Liberia is a net importer of basic food items such as cereals (mainly rice), fast-moving consumer goods (FCMG), live animals and animal products. The reliance of the economy on imports implies a dependency on warehousing and logistics services to ensure imported commodities are safely stored pending distribution to final users and consumers.

The Inland Storage Distribution Facility (ISDF) was conceived as a strategic response to the limited storage, distribution and logistics infrastructure within the Manu River Union (MRU). As has been demonstrated in the previous market demand studies, there are limited formal storage options in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

The ISDF is an inland terminal that will consist of general warehousing, with some limited temperature-controlled ambient storage, and cold-storage facilities. The facilities will be dedicated to mainly import cargo being transported in, out and among the MRU countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The ISDF is intended to be open-access (often referred to as a “common user” facility) and under the management of a competent warehouse operator possessing recognised international qualifications for ambient and cold-chain management.

As part of the due diligence required to finalise the financing arrangements for the facility, a final technical assessment was commissioned. Genesis was contracted to undertake one component of this assessment which entailed a final demand study for the facility.

The demand study arose through an independent due diligence of the May 2019 updated market study, which recommended that a final round of on-the-ground research was required to:

  • Reaffirm market and product categories and value-added services;
  • Update the estimates for the facilities demand throughput;
  • Inform/confirm the previous affordability analysis.

Genesis undertook extensive stakeholder consultations with over 20 small, medium and large companies in Monrovia with support from SMEC South Africa, CPCS, and Kaizen Consult.

Based on the findings gathered through the stakeholder consultations, Genesis identified the appropriate target market; the commodity groups the target market imports; the optimal import volume quantity required for the ISDF minimum capacity utilisation; the temperature requirements for the target market’s commodity group; and the willingness to pay for the facility.

The findings from our work aided the technical partner to optimise the facility’s size.

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