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SGR clears cargo backlog at port with additional wagons

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | February 13th 2021

Containers at a yard in Changamwe, Mombasa County. [File, Standard]

A cargo backlog at the Port of Mombasa has been cleared following an increase in goods handling capacity by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Freighter Service.

Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) said it had deployed refurbished wagons on the SGR cargo service, which led to a substantial increase in the amount of freight hauled on the line.

This in turn resulted in faster clearance of containers, erasing a backlog of over 6,000 units.

KRC on Thursday said the month of January recorded the best performance since the SGR Madaraka freight inception.

It said 241 trains ran from Mombasa and delivered 24,256 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to Nairobi and Naivasha inland container depots (ICDs).

KRC Managing Director Philip Mainga said the revival of wagons that were earlier under repairs as well as the internal conversion of conventional wagons to load containerised cargo had enabled the firm to increase the handling capacity for the SGR service.

“We have maintained a steady daily supply of above 400 wagons to the port, moving above 800 TEUs. Two additional double-deck trains, each moving 152 TEUs, have been introduced to sustain daily loading needs,” he said. 

This, he added, had resulted in the earlier backlog being cleared and containers were loading direct from discharging vessels.

Mr Mainga said they would, together with Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority and other government agencies, sustain efforts to ensure seamless cargo delivery.

“To promote SME cargo consolidators’ needs, KRC’s Boma transit shade is fully operational and small scale traders’ cargo is being delivered directly without any delays,” he said.

“Further, Africa Star Railway Operation Company, the SGR operator, has introduced new service for bulk cargo conveyance, utilising available special high-sided wagons covered with tarpaulins.”

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