Sep 7, 2014
General
caxias
Kenya Ports of Authority is facing congestion crisis and has issued a notice to shipping lines and agents to limit empty export containers to 500 units per vessel.
Kenya Ports of Authority is facing congestion crisis and has issued a notice to shipping lines and agents to limit empty export containers to 500 units per vessel.

This has prompted the Kenya Ships Agents Association to write to managing director Gichiri Ndua complaining of the delays.
In a letter signed by its chairman David Mackay, the association says despite continuous dialogue with the management, the situation was worsening.

“Waiting time across all vessel types has drastically increased in 2013 and 2014. There is a clear worsening trend especially from April 2014, and total time lost is regularly on average above 25 days,” he says in the letter copied to Ministry of Transport principal secretary Nduva Muli, Kenya Maritime Authority director-general Nancy Kariguthi and KPA chairman Danson Mungatana.

As a result of this, Mr Mackay notes, productivity for container operations on berth 13 and 19 are headed towards the lowest point since January 2013.

READ : PORT REFORMS TO IMPROVE EFFICIENCY

“The situation is especially dire for the container terminal where productivity does not exceed 30 berth moves per hour across the vessel stay – about a half of the benchmark for an efficient port,” he says.

The chairman complains that this is happening when the port has enough equipment since “there are seven cranes for three vessels at a time” he adds.

He contends that a productivity of 50 BMPH and above should be expected which would keep the port stays below two days for even the largest vessels currently calling there.

According to him where there has been a decent performance that has come about as a result of the arm-twisting of payment of incentives so that people can work.

DECLINING PRODUCTIVITY

The chairman warns that with this declining productivity it is expected that KPA will be unable to improve the waiting time and number of waiting vessels at the port would definitely increase.

“These developments are very costly for ship owners,” he says.

He observes that ships either lie idling at anchorage or extra fuel is burned to make up for lost time and maintain schedule which is costing ship-owners up to Sh3.52 million ($40,000) per week.

Some of the measures the association wants to take is to start the process of introducing vessels delay surcharges at the port of Mombasa.

In its notice signed by general manager operations Captain Twalib Khamis advises that vessels with container exchanges of over 3,000 TEUs will be berthed at berth 17 and 18 on priority basis.

“This is a temporary measure to reduce ships waiting time and to address space constraints caused by ongoing yard civil works,” his notice says in part.

However, the manager says this will be reviewed periodically and revert to previous arrangements as soon as the situation normalizes.
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