Container traffic at Kenya’s main seaports increased by 10.2% between January-October

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Containers are handled at the China-Kazakhstan International Logistics Base in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu province. (Photo by Wang Chun/People's Daily Online)

Mombasa, Kenya’s main seaport, received 1.32 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in the first ten months of 2023, up 10.2 percent, or an increase from 1.2 million TEUs in a similar period in 2022, despite the challenging global economic conditions, the ports authority said Friday.

In a statement issued from the coastal city of Mombasa, the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director William Ruto attributed the improved performance to increased efficiency in operations.

“These initiatives include the expansion of container handling berths, increased automation of services, acquisition of modern ship and cargo handling equipment and improved partnerships with key government agencies and stakeholders,” said Ruto.

Similarly, total cargo throughput during the period stood at 29.66 million tonnes, a rise from 28.69 million tonnes handled in the same period in 2022.

KPA said a positive performance was also witnessed in the transit market segment, which registered 9.30 million tonnes against 8.67 million tonnes handled in the same period in 2022. Container vessel turnaround time, a key indicator of port competitiveness, improved from an average of three days in 2022 to two days in 2023.

The increase in container and cargo traffic shows confidence in the Standard Gauge Railway cargo train service, which has become the hauler of choice for importers ferrying their cargo inland and across the border.

The port defied the hard-hitting global economic conditions, compounded with the ongoing El Nino rains in Kenya, to register marked improvements in its operational efficiency, according to KPA.

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