The full operationalization of the Naivasha Container Inland Depot is expected to boost and promote economic potential and business competitiveness within the larger Eastern Africa member states.
Speaking at the site, East African Community PS, Dr. Kevit Desai, said the inland depot holds a huge potential in promoting interconnectivity and shared infrastructure within the member states, while ensuring seamless transportation of cargo from the depot to individual countries’ destinations.
Dr. Desai said the inland depot seeks to achieve and realize economic and social developments in the country and those of individual member states, while also opening opportunities for joint business ventures.
The PS said the construction of the depot by the government aims to enhance business and save time as well as the cost of transporting cargo from the port of Mombasa to other countries, which will promote high level of inter-trade along the Northern Corridor.
He said the depot which sits on an area of 100 acres in Naivasha and served by the newly constructed Standard Gauge Railway, will enhance efficiency and promote high level of manufacturing and value addition of goods that individual countries aspire.
“This depot is part of SGR logistics which brings the Mombasa port closer to by over 500KM in the Eastern Africa hinterland, thereby reducing time and cost of transportation of cargo to and from the port,” said Desai.
The PS said the depot has so far handled 11,000 TUES since the ICD freight operations were launched in December 2019 following the construction of SGR line, adding that the capacity will increase once individual transit countries kick start freight operations at their designated 50 acres of land at the expansive Naivasha Industrial Park.
Additionally, Dr. Desai said economic competitiveness will be promoted through enhanced partnerships and collaborations by the member states as Kenya puts major efforts at the various ports in integrating Customs Management Systems and in automation of systems and processes to enhance efficiency in the verification of pre-arrival and clearance of cargo.
The PS was happy to note that Kenya has already embarked on heavy infrastructure investments including revamped ports, road networks, new railway lines, one stop border points and the upgrade of the Metre Gauge Railway, with the aim of creating seamless interconnectivity and structures to support public-private partnerships so as to ease and promote dedicated services for transport within the region.
By Erastus Gichohi and Calvin Osiemo