The port of Mombasa has recorded improved efficiency attributed to the construction of the second Container Terminal, improved handling services and faster transfer of cargo on the standard gauge railway to Nairobi.
The Kenya Port Authority managing director Daniel Manduku said yard congestion has reduced enabling better operations and planning.
“Our performance was boosted by unprecedented growth in both transit and transshipment business due to the provision of adequate yard space particularly after the construction of the Second Container Terminal and investment in cargo handling facilities,” Mr Manduku said while addressing the media during a tour of the port to assess operations.
The port handled 1.425 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (teus) in 2019 representing a 7.3 per cent growth over the previous year.
On transshipment, the port registered 197,272 teus from 105,333 teus registered in the same period in 2018, representing a growth of 87.3 per cent. This year’s projections are put at over 200,000 teus.
Mr Manduku said quick transfer of cargo through the Standard Gauge Railway to the Inland Container Depot in Nairobi has solved port congestion and they now expect to dispatch more than 10 trains daily pulling 108 wagons starting this January due to increased cargo traffic.
“We are currently doing 100 per cent ex-hook railage, which has greatly improved management of increased cargo volumes thus preventing congestion at the port,” he said while adding that, “We are also allowing access of private truckers to ferry the cargo to assist in making port more efficient.”
According to KPA, the port handled over 34 million tonnes of throughput cargo by the close of 2019 compared with 28.550 million in 2018.
The port of Mombasa is projected to handle above 2.5 million teus by 2022 after the completion of the second Container Terminal, which is expected to increase the holding capacity by more than 950,000 teus.
Mr Manduku said KPA is targeting to have the port ranked the third best in Africa in terms of cargo volume in the next three years. It is currently ranked fifth after Port Said in Egypt, Durban in South Africa, Tanger-Med in Morocco and Alexandria in Egypt.
To reclaim lost business to the Dar es Salam Port, KPA is working on marketing campaigns and pushing for the use of the Ksh8.4 billion ($84 million) Kenya-Tanzania link road through Taveta to northern Tanzania and Burundi, which has not been in use despite its completion in 2017.
Despite the increase of cargo throughput, the Mombasa port has recorded reduced transit cargo to Burundi, which has moved its business to Dar.
This year, the Dar es Salaam port received more than 600,000 teus compared with 1.425 million teus handled at the port of Mombasa.
More than 58 per cent of the containers handled at the port of Dar es Salam were domestic and 42 per cent were in transit while 70 per cent of cargo that pass through the port of Mombasa are for the local market with the rest going to east and central Africa.
Last month, Tanzania and Burundi ministers of Transport held meetings on the proposed railway from Uvinza in Tanzania to Musongati in Burundi.
The Mombasa port handled 1.425 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (teus) in 2019 representing a 7.3 per cent growth over the previous year. On transshipment, the port registered 197,272 teus from 105,333 teus registered in the same period in 2018, representing a growth of 87.3 per cent. This year’s projections are put at over 200,000 teus.
The port is projected to handle above 2.5 million teus by 2022 after the completion of the second Container Terminal.