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CS Murkomen attributes 3.3 surge of cargo at Mombasa to port modernisation

Business
 

CS Roads and Transport, Kipchumba Murkomen [centre] is received by port workers during off loading of the second ship--to--shore Gantry cranes at the Kenya Ports Authority. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The volume of cargo processed at the port of Mombasa has surged due to the ongoing modernization of equipment leading to the efficiency at the port, Transport Cabinet Secretary Kipchumba Murkomen has said.

But a section of freight logistics experts said yesterday that the increase in cargo processed at Mombasa in August was a common trend because importers placed orders in June after budget reading.

Isabella Kariuki, a clearing and forwarding agent, said most importers do not place orders in May until the government has pronounced its fiscal policy and studied the taxes imposed or increased.

“It is common that the volumes will rise because most importers do not order goods in May and June as they wait for budget readings. This is cargo ordered in late June or July,” said Ms Kariuki.

On Monday, Murkomen said cargo volume surged from 17.48 tons handled in 2022 to an impressive 18.06 million this year, making an increase of 3.3 per cent.

He said container traffic also rose from 722,063 TEUs to 783,125 TEUs showing there was an increase of 8 per cent. “These numbers show that our strategic plans are bearing fruits,” said Murkomen.

Murkomen said KPA replaced obsolete cranes in adherence to its policy of replacing equipment that had outlived its usefulness to enable the port to have modern and efficient equipment.

The CS said the new cranes boast a remarkable hoisting speed of 80 meters per minute faster than the replaced one, which had a hoisting speed of 70 meters per minute.

KPA’s new cranes will lift a maximum of 65 tons in a twin lift motion higher than the old ones, which could lift less weight than not more than one container ago.

“As the heartbeat of efficiency, these new cranes boast a remarkable hoisting speed of 80 meters per minute, effortlessly lifting a maximum of 65 tones in a twin lift motion. This achievement outpaces the capabilities of their predecessors, which held a hoisting of 70 meters per minute,” said Murkomen.

The CS explained that the speed at which the trolleys of the new cranes were moving makes them superior to the old ones, imported 19 years ago.

“We stand as a beacon, illuminating the path for imports and exports, igniting economic prosperity not only within our nation but throughout the region,” said Murkomen.

KPA was planning to acquire more equipment so the port meets evolving needs of importers and exporters in the East and Central African region.

“In the chronicle of our progress, we recall that last year, the authority received yet another set of three ship-to-shore gantries,” said the CS, adding that Mombasa has 16 Ship to Shore Gantries and 25 Reach Stackers.

“The fruit of investment is evident, as the port of Mombasa currently boasts a contingent of 16 Ship to Shore Gantries 25 Reach Stackers with four more anticipated and a fleet of 27 Empty Containers Handler poised for procurement,” said Murkomen.

The CS said this yesterday at Container Terminal Berth 16 in Mombasa port when he witnessed the discharge of four Ship- to- Shore Gantry cranes imported from China by KPA to boast operation in the port.

The cranes worth Sh5.8 billion arrived at the port two weeks ago, aboard special, cargo carrier MV Zhen Hua 35.

“These new cranes, now poised to be strategically deployed at berth 16, signify not just a mere upgrade, but a calculated step forward in our journey,” said Murkomen.

The CS, who was accompanied by KPA Board Chairman Benjamin Tayari and KPA Managing Director William Ruto, said Mombasa port was poised to become the leading port of choice in the region.

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