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SGR freight service hits all-time high with daily average of 8 trains

For the past six months, KPA has been doing an average of eight trains per day from the port of Mombasa to Inland Container Depot in Embakasi, Nairobi/KPA

MOMBASA, Kenya, Jul 1 – Kenya Ports Authority’s (KPA) Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight trains between the port city of Mombasa and Nairobi reached an all-time high of 221 in June, a monthly performance index has shown.

For the past six months, KPA has been doing an average of eight trains per day from the port of Mombasa to Inland Container Depot in Embakasi, Nairobi.

According to KPA’s half year report on cargo evacuation via the SGR, a total of 1,197 SGR trains transported cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi.

In January, KPA did 214 trains to Nairobi, whereas in February, March, April and in May another 172, 184, 203 and 203 freight trains operated respectively transporting cargo to Nairobi.

However, the June performance of 221 trains is the highest ever record since the commencement of SGR freight services in January of 2018.

KPA Managing Director, Daniel Manduku, on Monday said for the past six months, they transported a total of 2,019,002 metric tonnes from the port of Mombasa via the SGR freight services.

“The performance record at the port of Mombasa is because of the 100 per cent efficiency at the facility. We introduced the ex-hook railage, whereby cargo destined for Nairobi via the SGR is offloaded from the ship and loaded straight to the waiting cargo trains to the hinterland,” said Manduku.

He said in the ex-hook railage concept, the cargo is discharged directly from the vessel onto the SGR wagons to build a block train of 100 containers, which are evacuated to the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi.

“By the time the ship finishes to offload its cargo, half of it is already in Nairobi ICD. This has helped us bring an end to the congestion which was previously being experienced at the port of Mombasa and the ICDN,” he said.

The total tonnage of cargo transported in January this year was 365,876 metric tonnes, in February 308,338 tonnes, March had 331,906 and April recorded 356,906 tonnes, according to the report.

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In the month of May, KPA recorded 319, 957 tonnes and June had 336, 219 tonnes evacuated to Nairobi.

In 2018, a total of 1,686 freight trains between Mombasa and Nairobi saw 2,918,973 metric tonnes of cargo transported to the capital.

“This year we are performing very well. For the remaining six months, we will surpass last year’s performance,” said Manduku.

He said as of Monday, the port of Mombasa and Nairobi ICD were not experiencing any congestion.

“The yard population at the ICDN stood at 4,321 containers of imports,” he said.

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