Freight distribution assessment

  • Development of freight movement flow maps and identification of distribution hubs.
  • New data collection and analysis of existing information.


As part of an integrated transport policy study, Arup undertook an assessment of freight distribution throughout Botswana. The aim was to improve freight transport efficiency within and between towns.

Published statistics were used, along with internal reports produced by Botswana Railways and Air Botswana, to determine the current situation in the country.

However, the data presented in these reports was becoming outdated and was in need of refreshing. In the absence of recent information, new data was collected during the traffic survey period.

To obtain current information, a wide range of interviews was undertaken, including interviews with the freight licensing authority and other government departments; selected retailers, wholesalers, distributors and service providers; customs officials and representatives from Botswana Railways.

Information obtained from existing regional transport studies and stakeholder workshops was also incorporated into the assessment.

The existing and new data was analysed and used to develop freight movement flow maps and identify distribution hubs. Arup’s study was used by the Ministry of Works and Transport to inform policy on freight.

Following the project's findings, government and private sector operators will collaborate to develop options for lower-cost transport solutions in remote parts of the country, and the potential use of road train technology for livestock and mineral transportation will be investigated.

The Ministry will be encouraging Botswana's city councils to undertake urban freight planning – after Arup’s assessment demonstrated the value of this strategic approach.

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  • Freight train in Botswana. Credit Jean Dulez/Locomotives of Zimbabwe and Botswana.

    Arup's study combined new data collection with existing information to produce a comprehensive picture of freight in Botswana.