PUBLISHED ON December 15th, 2014

Uganda remains Mombasa port top customer

MOMBASA, Kenya – Uganda has maintained top spot as the biggest transit market of the cargo passing through Mombasa port in Kenya writes GEORGE OTIENO.

This has been revealed by the Kenya Ports Authority management during the release of the port’s performance for the year 2013 and for the period covering January to October 2014.

The report indicates that Uganda has continued to increase its usage in the facility whereby in the last ten months its handled cargo has grown by 9.1 percent registering 4.9 million tons up from 4.1 million tons in the year 2013.

While delivering the report during a stakeholder’s dinner held at Severin Sea Lodge in Mombasa Kenya, the Kenya Ports Authority managing Director Gichiri Ndua also noted that the port had observed massive growth especially after construction and commissioning of birth number 19.

“I am also glad to report that transshipment has also recorded a robust performance by posting 492,000 tons of cargo in the first ten months of 2014 against 130,000 tons recorded in the corresponding period in 2013 reflecting an increase of 279.7 percent” said Ndua.

In the report Sudan retained the second biggest transit position despite having dropped by two percent a matter which has been linked to the political instability, as Democratic Republic of Congo also maintained its third position despite declining by a whopping 21 percent.

Other East African Community member countries which performed well in cargo transit from the port include Burundi which recorded modest growth of 13.6 percent from 45,000 tons of cargo in 2013 to 51,000 tons, while Rwanda recorded 11 percent growth to realize 198,000 tons up from 178,000 tons in 2013.

In the years 2013 the port of Mombasa registered a total throughput of 22.3 million tons up from 21.9 million tons handled in the previous year. The container traffic however slightly dropped t! o 890,000! TEUs compared to 903,000 TEUs which was registered in the years 2012.

Kenya’s Transport and Infrastructure Principal Secretary Nduva Muli on the other hand admitted that a lot more need to be at the port to improve its efficiency especially on the the port automation.

“We have our fair challenges that were faced over the year 2013, we must push Kenya Ports Authority to implement the issue of automation so that we do not take long to identify where the cargo is and ensure that our systems work faster since we are still constrained in our systems,” Nduva said.

The principal secretary asked cargo clearing agents at the port to remain on duty during this festive season to avoid congestion.

Source: The East African Business Week

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