Cargo handling up 10.4pc despite political activity

Cargo handling up 10.4pc despite political activity
A crane operator moves cargo at the Port of Mombasa

Cargo traffic at the port of Mombasa increased by 10.4 percent in the nine months to September due to increased handling capacity.

The port performance was particularly encouraging to the government as it sustained growth despite heightened political activity for the better part of the year.

According to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the port of Mombasa handled 22.8 million tons of cargo between January and September compared with 20.6 million in the same period last year.

KPA commissioned the second container terminal at the port last year which has enhanced cargo handling capabilities.

KPA Managing Director Catherine Mturi said the increased handling capacity has seen neighboring countries seek access through the port of Mombasa given the faster clearing times.

“It is worth noting that the good performance we have witnessed has partly been caused by presence of the second container terminal that has made tremendous contribution to the total traffic in the port since it became operational in April 2016,” Ms Mturi said.

Mombasa handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ms Mturi said transit cargo traffic increased by 8.5 percent to 6.5 million tons from 5.9 million tons last year as Uganda remained the biggest transit market, accounting for 81 percent of all transit cargo.

Imports accounted for 19.3 million tons, up from 17.4 million tons in the same 2016 period, an increase of 10.4 percent.

KPA data indicates that export cargo handling at the port of Mombasa rose by 3.2 percent to 2.8 million tons.

Ms Mturi said construction of a second phase is scheduled to start early next year and will provide additional capacity of 450,000 TEUs.

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