Kenya Ports Authority orders all imported goods to be ferried on SGR

A Cargo train carries wagons with containers headed to Mombasa from Nairobi.

NAIROBI, KENYA: Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has directed all importers to use the Standard Gauge Railway, as government fights to make the modern railway viable.

Acting KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku on Saturday canceled an earlier notice that had allowed importers of nine commodities to use any Container Freight Stations (CFS) of their choice.

Instead, he directed importers of sugar, steel, rice, second-hand clothes, reefer cargo, and cooking oil to transfer their cargo to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) via the new railway line.

Other commodities that had been exempted from the forceful use of the SGR but will now be transferred to ICD via the new line include project cargo awaiting exemption letters from Government, fertilizer, and bitumen.

“Kenya Airports Authority wishes to notify you and the general public that further to our notice issued on October 26, 2018 where the KPA granted approval for cargo importers to nominate the below-listed commodities to any CFS of their choice, that this notice has been vacated with immediate effect,” said Manduku in a notice to shipping lines and agents.

“Henceforth shipping lines will not be allowed to endorse Bill of Lading (BL) to importers of CFS of choice.”  

The notice comes at a time when KPA is grappling with congestion at the ICD, with the authority forced to lease four warehouses within the ICD’s vicinity to store the extra cargo.

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