The Transport Industry in Algeria

As a result of constant fiscal surpluses, Algeria has embarked upon a programme of public investment in infrastructure at levels that are no longer possible in Europe. The shortcomings in the Algerian economic structure means that there are myriad opportunities for spanish businesses.

Transport is the backbone that brings prosperity and sustainable growth to the economy of any country. Efficient, modern transport systems are a prerequisite for economic development, the welfare state, mass production and environmental protection.

The Algerian transport industry is undergoing profound changes and, over the last few years, a large number of projects have been undertaken to make the sector more efficient and effective in making a contribution to the economic development of the country.

Road Network

The road system in Algeria is one of the best developed in Africa. With an estimated total length of 112, 696 Km of which 29,280 are highways and some 4,190 large constructions such as ports, bridges, tunnels, etc. There are plans under way to add a further 1,216 Km-long highway which will join the city of Annaba in the far East to Tiemecen in the West of the country.

There is an on-going programme to upgrade existing roads and highways and, in addition to these 1,216 Km mentioned above, a further new 1,020 Km to connect the high mountain areas will be commenced in the near future. One other outstanding project is that to build the Transaharan Highway from North to South which will bring increased trade with the six countries which will be interconnected by the road: Algeria; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Chad and Tunisia.

Railway Network

Despite the vast size of the country, it only has 2,150 Km of track. Recent electrification of some sections will eventually lead to a High Speed Train network which will connect the main cities in the country.  The rail network is managed by the National Rail Transport Company (SNTF in its French initials) and services some 200 stations mainly in the North of the country.

The network breaks down into 299 Km of electrified line, 305 Km of double track and 1,085 narrow-gauge track.

Plans already under construction include the electrification of 1,000 Km and the building of 3,000 Km of new lines. The total network will be 10,000 Km by 2014. 

Air Transport

There has been a concerted effort and investment by the Algerian government to make air transport a real force behind regional and international integration. In the period from 2013 to 2017, Air Algérie will invest 60 million dinars ( € 600 million) in renewing their fleet of aircraft. The national flag carrier will be buying three new 150-seaters and upgrading the 3 Boeing 767 that are already in service. The plans also include the purchase of two cargo planes. Traffic for Air Algérie increased by 15% over the summer season and income reached 56 million dinars in 2011.

A number of airlines from Arab countries are studying the possibility of establishing closer links with a view to countering increasing competition in the international air-traffic market.

There is a total of 35 airports in Algeria of which 13 handle international flights, the largest of which is the Airport of Algiers with a capacity of 6 million passengers per year. The dominant operator is the state owned Air Algérie which offers flights to Europe, Africa, Canada, Chine and the Middle East. Several overseas companies operate flights to Algeria: Tunis Air; Royal Air Morocco; Air France; AlItalia; Aigle Azur; Lufthansa; Turkish Airlines and British Airways.

Sea Transport

The National Algerian Shipping Company (CNAN in its French initials) and the National Maritime Transport Company are the two companies operating in Algeria. There are passenger services to European ports and goods services to most of the world.

The vast majority of overseas trade goes through the eleven commercial ports in Algeria: Algiers; Oran; Annaba; Skikda; Arzew/Bethioua, Bejaia; Mostaganem; Ghazni, Jijel, Tenes and Dellys.

Leaving aside projects for oil and gas terminals, there is very little investment planned for Algerian ports.

Urban Transport

The Algiers Metro

The Algiers metro line was opened on 31st October 2011 with a total of 9 Km servicing 10 stations which made Algiers the first North African city to have a metro system. The Metro d’Algers Company has put out a national and international tender for the extension of line 1 of the metro.

There are also a number of other projects which have been initiated in Algeria over the last 5 years including the metro system in Oran. 

The Tram

In combination with the metro system, Algeria is also developing and modernising urban and interurban transport with the construction of tramways. The Algiers Tramway will help to solve transport problems in the Greater Algiers area. In 2012 there were 16’2 Km of line covering 28 stations and plans to increase this to a further 23 Km and 38 new stations.

As far as the tram in Oran is concerned, this was started in 2008 with the aim of servicing the metropolitan area of the city. This will be the longest line in the country with a total of 48 Km. There are projects for several other cities in the country: Sidi Bel Abbes; Batna; Ouargia; Mostaganem; Annaba and Sétif.

At International Team Consulting we can devise a business plan tailored to your company and your plans to approach the Algerian market.

For further information, please contact:

Cristina Danon
Consultant at International Team Consulting