MOMBASA, Kenya Oct 6 – The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) on Wednesday said only 43 percent of the container yard capacity at the port is occupied.
The port, which has a yard capacity of 35,000 containers or Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) is currently occupied with less than 15,000 containers.
On Tuesday, reports emerged that the port of Mombasa was experiencing a three-week congestion following a dispute between importers and the KPA management.
According to the reports, KPA was forcing Nairobi-bound cargo to be railed by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
There were also reports that the Mombasa-bound cargo was being railed to Nairobi’s Inland Container Depot (ICD) for clearance before being taken back to Mombasa at the cost of the importer.
KPA acting Managing Director John Mwangemi said that by Tuesday, the total container population at the port was 14,960 TEUS (containers), which is only 43 percent of the yard capacity.
“Currently, the port of Mombasa is fluid with no congestion due to improved infrastructure and efficient operations measures that have been instituted,” said Mwangemi.
He said the port of Mombasa receives an average of 3,000 containers daily.
“If the containers were not being cleared for three weeks, we would have no place to stack containers from the ships and there would be a major ship and yard congestion, prompting international protests by shipping lines,” said Mwangemi.
Out of the 14,960 TEUS at the port yard on Tuesday, the local containers belonging to the Kenyan market were 908, which translates to only 6 percent of the container population.
He said from the 14,960 containers, a total of 4,074 containers were empty containers being stacked to be shipped back.
The undocumented containers at the port stood at 3,832 TEUS, out of which local containers were only 813 TEUS with the rest being trans-shipment cargo.
This brings the total of local containers to 1,721 TEUS, which represent 11.5 percent of the total container population at the port.