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Transshipment traffic set for significant growth

Transshipment traffic at the Port of Mombasa is set to bounce back strongly this year, bolstered by an improved performance in the fourth quarter of 2020.

                The steady growth outlook for the month of January shows significant improvement in the transshipment segment in the current quarter.

                According to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Ag. Head of Container Operations Patrick Makau, transshipment traffic by PIL (K) shipping Line vessels alone registered 8,106 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in the month of December 2020 up from 7,729 TEUs in November.

                This follows a sharp increase in cargo vessels calling at the port during this period, with ten container vessels expected to dock on Friday.

                 Makau said container operations report for the week ending, 20th January 2021 indicated a ship average working time of 3.19 days, while the import container dwell time recorded 4.69 days.

                “The container terminals have been very busy having increased markedly the cargo volumes handled.  We are looking forward to posting improved performance this year now that business normalcy is slowly returning,“ said Makau

                The KPA official revealed that a total of 13,057 TEUs (Full and empty) were expected to be discharged while another 13,069 TEUs were to be loaded for export.

                Makau added that “container deliveries by road transport registered 6,324 TEUs, compared to 5,024 TEUs by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).”

                He said the impressive performance trend recorded at the port in 2019 was curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic which affected businesses across the globe last year.

                “Transshipment segment posted a total of 211,604 TEU’s compared to 121, 577 TEU’s in 2018, representing a growth of 70 percent.  The performance later slumped to 175, 827 TEU’s in 2020,” said Makau.

Makau was upbeat saying despite the setbacks, KPA is hopeful that the Port will attract more business this year, as some of the key infrastructure development projects are also set to be complete by the end of the year.

                The official noted that the new Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT) which is to be ready by the end of this year will increase the oil handling capacity at the port.

                “The Authority assures stakeholders and customers of smooth delivery of services following a decision reached by partner agencies,” he added.

Meanwhile, normalcy in container deliveries especially transit containers is expected to resume after a lull occasioned by internet shut down in Uganda, the leading port transit customer.

by Mohamed Hassan

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