Challenges of transporting retail goods into a landlocked country : the case of importing into Zimbabwe.
Landlocked countries over the world are presented with vast challenges in the import market. Importing goods, especially business-to-consumer goods come with a list of matters such as, transport costs, fluctuating exchange rates and fixed procedures and regulations that make the process complex, strenuous and slow. The main purpose of this study was to examine the challenges of transporting retail goods into landlocked countries with special attention to logistical activities involved in transporting into Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe depends on its neighboring countries to receive its merchandise. This dependency involves a lot of regulations, procedures, costs and several other factors that make it a challenge to be a landlocked country. This study reveals all the requirements, and the major challenges that Zimbabwe faces to receive foreign merchandise. Most of the literature that has been conducted on this study focuses on the general challenges of being landlocked. Every landlocked country faces different challenges and therefore the literature in this study was closely related to the country of study. Due to the nature of the topic that was studied, data was collected using qualitative methods. This was done in the form of personal and online interviews, field notes and visual diaries. Data was collected from both South Africa and Zimbabwe, and this resulted in a lengthy period in data collection process. From the findings of the study, it was clearly evident that Zimbabwe faces many challenges in receiving foreign merchandise. The issue of delays due to border complications, insufficient trucks to manage the delivery of merchandise as well as expenses that have to be incurred as a result of each of the complications to mention a few were some of the challenges outlined in the research. The study focused on the issues surrounding the transportation of retail goods into Zimbabwe, a landlocked country. The research objectives were achieved as the results reflected that indeed landlocked countries are disadvantaged compared to maritime countries when it comes to easily accessing world markets. The study finally recommended that cross border trading regulations need to altered so that they can be more lenient towards landlocked countries.