UGANDA – Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL), a step-down subsidiary of Diageo through the East African Breweries Plc, has launched a UGX 17.6 billion (US$4.6m) top-of-the-line logistics warehouse and empties handstand facility at its plant in Port Bell, Luzira.

The facility features an Empties Hardstand and Beer Membrane Filtration (BMF) Plant, which can accommodate Full Goods Storage of 7,294 Pallets and Empties Storage of 8,171 Pallets; a Forklift Handling Capacity of 7,350 cases per forklift per day and; a Truck Capacity of 132 trucks per day.

Its establishment is in line with the brewer’s expansion plan and will improve the business’ logistics and storage capacity.

UBL’s Managing Director – Andrew Kilonzo said, “We are driven by the purpose to be a beacon of excellence in manufacturing in Uganda and the wider region.

“And by increasing our production and storage capacity, we will be able to improve efficiency, cut costs and in turn increase our tax remittances to the Government in support of service delivery.”

According to the maker of Bell Lager, the project will save it UGX 2.47 billion (US$653,000) per annum and boost its production capacity, heightening its fight against presence of illicit alcohol in the local market.

Research from Euromonitor International puts the contribution of the packaged drinks in the industry to the economy at only 35.5%, with a very significant portion of the industry 64.5% staying unpacked and illicit.

This illicit and counterfeit product costs the government over UGX 1.6 trillion (US$423m) annually in leaked taxes.

The Commissioner General of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) – John Musinguzi, hailed UBL for not only being tax compliant but also a champion of sustainable manufacturing through projects that protect and replenish the environment.

“I want to applaud UBL for being a model manufacturer in adopting and implementing innovations in tax collections, such as the Digital Tax Stamps, in addition to promoting environmental sustainability.

“It is through the efforts and commitment of companies such as yours that we will achieve our vision of transforming Uganda,” he said.

Commissioning of the facility follows UBL’s launch of the Diageo One App, a self-service portal to enable its customers such as stockists, retail shops, restaurants, distributors and bars to buy products directly from its distributors.

The East African country is the third Diageo Market to launch the app across the world after Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC and Kenya Breweries Limited.

Other than ensuring direct connection to distributors, the B2B e-commerce application will communicate on brand information and promotions.

Fostering a convenient ordering system, the platform is fashioned with a tracking system and undertakes delivery of ordered items in 24 hours.

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