Meet the Begoma office in Zambia
Why is a Swedish freight forwarder establishing an office in Zambia? Well, it may sound a bit odd, but there are several explanations. There is a great need for transport to and from the Copperbelt in northern Zambia. So, there are many development and business opportunities here. In addition, Begoma’s founder Göran Malmberg has worked on several major logistics projects in Zambia and therefore has extensive knowledge of the country as well as a vast network.
Begoma Zambia was established to provide transport services to other freight forwarders and transport companies that transport raw materials on behalf of mining companies and global commodity traders. From the mines in northern Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, copper and cobalt metals are transported to the ports of Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa, Walvis Bay in Namibia, and Beira in Mozambique, as well as to Johannesburg, the commercial centre of South Africa. The shipments back to the mining industry usually contain mining equipment such as machinery spare parts, steel products, sulphur, lime, and various chemicals used in the mining industry.
Begoma also offers road freight services within the SADC and COMESA countries. SADC, the Southern African Development Community, is an organisation that promotes cooperation and economic development in its member countries. COMESA, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, is a free trade organisation with 19 African member states.
Begoma’s office in Zambia started its operations at the end of 2022 under the leadership of Mr Bill Mashata, and they have already invested in ten truck with flat bed trailers. Soon, the fleet will be expanded to meet the escalating demand for transportation to and from the copper and cobalt mines in Zambia and Congo.
But there are challenges. According to Mr Bill Mashata, there are three factors, in particular, they struggle with every day:
- Road infrastructure – Many roads are in a deplorable state, causing increasing transit times and wear and tear on the trucks.
- Border controls – Despite the cooperation of SADC and COMESA countries, trucks take a long time to cross borders, often two to three days but sometimes even longer.
- Fuel – Fuel prices constantly fluctuate, making planning and pricing difficult.
Begoma hopes that its establishment in Zambia will be part of the development of improved traffic flow and increased trade in the region. With Mr Bill Mashata’s background in business administration and soon to be graduated in project management, as well as his extensive experience in the logistics and freight forwarding industry and ability to plan, coordinate and execute tasks, he is very well placed to succeed.