A logistics hub is a centre or specific area designated to deal with activities related to transportation, organisation, separation, coordination and distribution of goods for national and international transit, on a commercial basis by various operators.
There has been a pre-feasibility study that has been carried out by Trade Mark East Africa on the viability of Gulu as a Logistics Hub for Uganda for the following reasons.
- Gulu town is served by an international trunk road linking the Mombasa Seaport and Kampala to Juba.
- Gulu town is linked to regional and international markets by a metre gauge railway originating from Mombasa through Tororo to Gulu and eventually to Pakwach. The line is dilapidated and is undergoing rehabilitation.
- The Gulu Airport is the second biggest Airport in Uganda after Entebbe International Airport.
Since peace returned to Gulu it has become land filed with a lush maize, rice and sesame farms among commercial forests funded by foreign agribusiness investors namely.
AFGRI which is a leading South African Agricultural services and food processing company with a core focus on grain commodities has invested over $10 million in the last three years in maize farming in Gulu.
Amatheon Agri Holding a German company has spent $15 million cultivating maize, sorghum and sunflower on a 1,700 hectare piece of land in Nwoya.
Apart from the foreign investors, Gulu Agricultural Development Company a cotton ginning company which provides more than 55,000 smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda with access to the international agricultural market is becoming a major source for exports of cotton.
The Gulu Agricultural Development Company also buys sesame, sunflower and chilies from more than 10,000 local farmers, for local and export markets. There is huge unmet demand for these products, especially for organic sesame from Japanese, European and Chinese buyers.
The following private sector manufacturing companies are also on board;
Mukwano Group is keen to increase their production of the sunflowers to produce cooking oil and Sugar
Nile Breweries is seeking produce sorghum for beer production in the Gulu region.
British American Tobacco gets tobacco from the region.
The logistics hub will provide a neat, efficient and centralized means of exercising control of cargo through standards monitoring, sanitary and phytosanitary control and collection of customs duties on cross border trade, the government also believes that establishment of the Gulu logistics hub will result in an increase of trade flows which will be beneficial to the Northern Uganda region and the country as a whole.
The Gulu Logistics Hub Project is part of the 2030 Master Plan on Logistics in the Northern Economic Corridor that is being implemented by the government with a vision to be the ‘’Leading Economic Corridor with Integrated Transport and Logistics Systems In Africa.’’