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Transport sector rebounds with 7.2 per cent growth after Covid

By Wainaina Wambu | May 6th 2022 | 2 min read
By Wainaina Wambu | May 6th 2022


Performance was attributed to easing of Covid-19 movement restrictions.

Roads sub-sector led the expansion with 77.9 per cent of the output value.

Madaraka Express Inter-County Service train leaves after flag off by Transport CS James Macharia at SGR Nairobi Terminus in 2017. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Kenya’s transportation and storage sector posted a 7.2 per cent growth in 2021 rebounding from a 7.8 per cent decline in 2020.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) Economic Survey 2021 attributed the growth to the easing of movement restrictions that had been imposed to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

“These (easing of restrictions) included resumption of both domestic and international flights and lifting of curfew that enabled night travel. Consequently, there was a marked improvement in passenger transportation by air, road and railway,” said the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.

The sector recorded a 16.7 per cent increase in the value of total output from Sh1.9 billion in 2020 to Sh2.3 billion in 2021. Road transport sub-sector accounted for 77.9 per cent of the value.

The value of output from railways grew by 31 per cent from Sh12.6 billion in 2020 to Sh16.5 billion in 2021, as revenue from cargo transport through the Standard Gauge Railway rose by 24 per cent to Sh13 billion in 2021.

On the passenger side, Madaraka Express revenue more than doubled to Sh2.2 million in 2021 from Sh896 million in 2020. Passenger trips on the passenger service also more than doubled from 806,000 in 2020 to 1.9 million in 2021.

Value of output from air transport grew 21 per cent as passenger traffic from all airports grew by 46.7 per cent to 6.6 million in 2021 from 4.5 million in 2020. 

The number of domestic air passengers handled rose by 65.5 per cent to 3.8 million passengers in 2021. International passengers increased by 28.9 per cent to 2.7 million in 2021.

On water transport, cargo throughput expanded 1.2 per cent from 34.1 million tonnes in 2020 to 35.4 tonnes in 2021.

Container traffic increased by 5.6 per cent to 1.4 million twenty-foot tquivalent units (TEUs) in 2021.

Volume of import traffic fell slightly from 27.8 million TEUs to 27.3 million tonnes. However, exports handled at the Port of Mombasa rose by 9.7 per cent from 4.2 million tonnes in 2020 to 4.6 million tonnes in 2021.

The total pipeline throughput for domestic consumption rose marginally by 3.9 per cent from 4.1 million cubic metres in 2020 to 4.5 million cubic metres in 2021.

The number of motor vehicles landed at Mombasa port rose by 24.9 per cent from 101,220 units in 2020 to 126,415 units in 2021.

Newly registered motor vehicles increased by 14.2 per cent from 94,128 units in 2020 to 107,499 units in 2021.

In addition, the number of newly registered motor and autocycles rose by 15.6 per cent form 246,705 units in 2020 to 285,203 units in 2021.

Newly registered three-wheelers (tuk tuks) also increased by 7.7 per cent to 6,350 units in the review period.

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