Shipping firm eyes Mombasa cargo business

Nairobi Internal Container Depot. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]
Global shipping line Hapag-Lloyd has announced plans to offer enhanced services at the port of Mombasa three months after making their maiden call in the country.

The shipping line aims at making the port of Mombasa a hub, with a special focus on transshipment cargo for the region.

Hapag-Lloyd, a German based shipping company and the fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity, commenced its services in the East African region with its vessel MV Spero making her maiden call at the Port of Mombasa on April 11, 2018.

During a courtesy call to the KPA Managing Director (Ag) Dr. Arch. Daniel Manduku, the Hapag-Lloyd delegation led by Senior Managing Director for Middle East region Captain Dheeraj Bhatia revealed plans to increase the number of ships calling at the port of Mombasa.

This, said Captain Bhatia, is with the aim of increasing cargo volumes in the region over next three to four years.

Currently, transshipment of cargo recorded 3.6 per cent of total traffic between January and June 2018. The volume of transshipment cargo grew by 27.3 per cent compared to a similar period in 2017 with the figures expected to rise over the next few months. 

According to Dr. Arch. Manduku, the Authority has major plans to double these numbers through various modernization plans as per KPA’s strategic plan aimed at increasing port efficiency. 

“Cargo handling is a very sensitive matter that requires support and cooperation from all players in the industry. We are happy that the private sector players including Hapag-Lloyd have demonstrated their renewed commitment to supporting the port of Mombasa. As an Authority, we will continue to foster and grow such partnerships for the common interest of our customers,” noted Dr. Arch. Manduku.

On his part, Hapag-Lloyd Senior Managing Director for Middle East region Captain Dheeraj Bhatia noted:  “East Africa is a new market to us and so far we have done 15 calls since April 2018 which is very encouraging.  We are ready to increase cargo volumes and support the port of Mombasa serve its customers better. We aim to improve Hapag’s volumes in Kenya in coming years but of course this is highly dependent on market growth and organic growth in the country.”

Captain Bhatia was speaking at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot where he paid a courtesy call to the KPA’s, (Ag) Managing Director, Dr. Arch. Daniel Manduku.

Total cargo throughput at the Port of Mombasa grew by 10.9 percent in the past year, from 30.35 million in 2017, while container volumes recorded 1.19 million TEUs, a 9 per cent growth from the previous year.

Hapag-Lloyd is a global shipping line with 389 offices globally and operating 226 modern ships with a capacity of 1.6 million TEUs.

With a scheduled weekly service of four vessels in total, with direct connections between Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, the shipping line joined the other five of the world's top 10 container shipping companies that dock at the Port of Mombasa.

Mombasa PortCargo BusinessNairobi Internal Container Depot