Cargo received at Naivasha ICD comes down by over 50 per cent

Some of the steel rolls lying at the Naivasha Inland Cargo Depot (NICD). [File, Standard]

The amount of cargo received at the Naivasha Inland Cargo Depot (NICD) has dropped by over 50 percent in the last four years, according to the latest data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

The number of trains transporting Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) containers through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has also dropped by a similar margin as traders opt for road transport.

This emerged when a team of Finnish senior officials, led by the Minister for Trade and Development, Tavio Ville, visited the facility located off the Mai Mahiu-Narok road.

In a presentation by KPA Manager Edward Kamau, it was revealed that a total of 4,070 containers were received in 2022, but this number had reduced to 2,422 in 2023.

Between January and May 2024, the number of containers received at the depot stood at 1,675, with the data also indicating a drop in the number of trains.

“The Naivasha Inland Cargo Depot was built in 2019 and operationalized in May 2020, serving both railway and road networks,” Kamau explained. “The facility has a holding capacity of 4,000 TEUs containers, with objectives including decongesting Mombasa and Nairobi ICDs.”

The number of trains delivering cargo to the facility dropped from 172 in 2022 to 71 as of May this year, as more traders opted for road transport, which they deemed cheaper.

“Since this facility opened, we have received over 17,000 TEUs containers and over 500 trains, while over 7,300 containers have been exported,” Kamau said.

Despite the declining numbers, Kamau is optimistic that things will improve as the government supports increased rail use for cargo transport.

Plans are at an advanced stage to improve the network system, provide custom warehouses and verification sheds, and install customs cargo scanners.

Trade Mark Africa CEO David Beer said the company is supporting the Naivasha ICD in developing a logistics master plan while enhancing the electrical infrastructure.

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