Democratic Republic of Congo Transporters
A large number of small companies mainly operating in the informal sector provide road transport and engage in pitiless competition, frequently overloading their trucks.
They are able to accommodate any influx in demand. Road transport costs are generally very high. They vary, but may go up to US$0.15 per tonne/km.,
which is higher than the usual rate in Central Africa of US$0.13 per tonne/km. and more than three times that of US$0.05 per tonne/km. in southern Africa.
(Source: Diagnostic Trade Integration Study, Ministry of trade, small and medium-sized Entreprises, www.worldbank.org)
Most of the transporters included on the following contacts list offer multimodal transport:
The truck companies which have the largest fleets mainly operate near large cities and along mining road corridors. These companies are registered and can theoretically operate nationwide but, more often, they are located in a certain region and they know the neighboring provinces. Most of these transporters can offer solutions through multimodal transport (i.e. river and road).
The companies operating in the West of the country (mainly between Matadi and Kinshasa) are using vehicles able to circulate on paved roads but have limitations when on deteriorated surfaces. Companies based in the South, East, North and North East of the country have more technical capacities and know-how of the severely damaged road network. Therefore, it should be carefully analyzed before hiring a company for a work outside their normal zone of activity.
Transportation costs are expensive in DRC, much more than neighboring countries (except CAR), but the price is not the main or only factor to consider. Vehicle quality, driver experience, feedback from other organizations, knowledge of the region and ability to back up a convoy in difficulty (by sending other trucks) are essential points to examine.
A short list of “heavy duty” transporters which have very special vehicles and reputation in their expertise of going “where the others don’t go.”
Outside these companies, there are numerous smaller businesses, often in the informal sector, but which could of help for short and easy trips. See 4.2.7 Democratic Republic of Congo Transporter Contact List for more information.