The Port of Mombasa has closed the year on a high note after registering 1.4 million cargo containers (20-foot equivalent unit or TEUs) compared to the 1.304 million achieved last year.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Daniel Manduku on Monday attributed the performance to improved managerial systems, dedicated workers and good relations with stakeholders.
“The attainment of 1.4 million TEUs represents a growth of 7.3 per cent over last year’s 1.304 million TEUs, an increase of 97,000 TEUs,” said Dr Manduku.
Addressing the press in Mombasa, Manduku said the port is expected to handle 1.5 million TEUs next year.
He said the quick evacuation of cargo by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight train to the Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) reduced port congestion, allowing for better operational planning.
He observed that the port was set to handle a throughput of 34 million tonnes this year compared to 30.923 tonnes registered last year.
It had set a target of 33.580 tonnes this year.
While KPA bosses celebrated the cargo boom, other players complained of less business.
Daniel Nzeki, a Container Freight Stations Association official, said they had no business despite assurances from the government that it would share out cargo at the port between SGR and other players.
“The cargo-sharing agreement between SGR and other players has not been implemented. We are reduced to begging for cargo. Cargo owners are still being forced to use SGR,” he said.
Transport and Interior Cabinet secretaries Fred Matiang’i and James Macharia had previously assured truckers and Container Freight Stations that they would get cargo business.
Manduku, however, maintained that cargo was being shared among players at the port, saying that 1,200 trucks collect cargo from it daily.