NAIROBI, July 17 – One of the oldest shipping companies at the port of Mombasa, Zim Kenya Shipping Line, intends to spend over Sh12 million to build a new container freight station on a 16.8 acre piece of land at Miritini in Changamwe, Mombasa.
Speaking in Mombasa during a business discussion with Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director, Abdallah Mwaruwa, the Zim Managing Director for Africa region, Eli Aviv said they hoped KPA would contract the private facility to store in-coming cargo at the port.
Aviv explained that the container freight station would be served by an 8 kilometre railway diversion to be constructed by the company, further revealing that the line had applied to KPA for consideration in starting midstream cargo operations through use of barges.
He said that the barges would bring containers from ships awaiting berthing midstream and therefore reduce vessel congestion.
Mwaruwa, the KPA Managing Director (MD) revealed that in a bid to build capacity at the port, KPA was building a 1.2 million TEU capacity container terminal as a consolidation of its status as the regional hub port.
He said that the company was capitalizing on its strategic location to serve worldwide trade through the 21 shipping lines connected to it.
He called for more stakeholder involvement in port development and said the request for dedicated berths and operation of midstream cargo operations should be submitted as proposals to be analyzed on a need basis by KPA alongside others.
However, Mwaruwa sought to assure players in the industry that congestion at the port was temporary as ways and means were being sought to improve off take and install more ship-to-shore gantry cranes for loading and offloading of vessels on arrival.
He added that the current automation of cargo operations and port planning services at the port was also geared to improving overall efficiency.
Mwaruwa further said the port was determined to be an e-port so as to join the rest in offering world class services.