, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has recorded 13.2 percent improvement of container off take at the port of Mombasa.
KPA Managing Director Gichiri Ndua attributed the improvement to implementation of presidential directives that include streamlining of all government departments at the port.
Ndua announced a delivery of 1223 Twenty -Foot – Equivalent Units (TEUs) per day between the month of June 19 and July 18 compared 1113 TEUs in January and June 2013.
He said the highest delivery cargo of 1759 TEUs per day was recorded on July 13, barely a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed an improvement of cargo transit time between the port and the border exit points especially in Malaba.
“The transit of cargo from the port of Mombasa to Malaba point has reduced to four days from the previous eight to 13 days that resulted to congestion and delay problems at the port,” he announced.
He said the dwell time of transit cargo is at six days which translates to reduction of one day. However, plans are underway to reduce it to three days.
“The transit of cargo from Mombasa to Malaba border now take less than five days translating to reduction of cost and improvement of trade in the region,” said Ndua.
“The owners of the trucks should also fast-track documentation at the customs enable KPA fully achieve its target,” added Ndua.
The President on June 14 ordered the Commissioner of Customs to relocate to Mombasa and directed the clearing process at the port to be digitised in order to enhance efficiency.
Other directives were abolition of transhipment bond, removal of roadblocks along the northern corridor, rationalization of weighbridges, elimination of scanning of transit cargo within the port and 24/7 hrs operation at port.
President Kenyatta directed that multiple players in government involved in port operations be properly coordinated under the leadership of the KPA’s managing director who will have direct control over all operation.
He directed that all customs decisions be made and finalized at the Port of Mombasa without further reference to Nairobi which has created delays in the past.
Ndua said they have since establish an inter-agency cargo clearing unit comprising key stakeholders from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) but will be coordinated by KPA.
He said stakeholders will be meeting soon to deliberate the reduction of storage period to avoid any inconvenience for importers and shipping companies who are likely to incur huge demurrage charges.
“We will discuss and agree on the storage of period arrangement with stakeholders and all this realignment is for the benefit for the importer,” said Ndua.
The directive comes after the World Bank warned Kenya that it risked losing billions of shillings in trade if it does not resolve congestion and delays at the Mombasa port.