Jul 25, 2008
General
caxias
Manufacturers have blamed the new electronic Kilindini Waterfront Automated Terminal Operations System for the delays in the clearance of cargo at the port of Mombasa.
Manufacturers have blamed the new electronic Kilindini Waterfront Automated Terminal Operations System for the delays in the clearance of cargo at the port of Mombasa.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers said the system is affected by slow data transfer from the old billing system and external users are having difficulty in lodging documents electronically.

The association’s Coast Chapter Executive officer, Mr Tobias Alando, said delays in cargo clearance can be attributed to the new system, which was launched by the Kenya Ports Authority on July 1, 2008.

He said manufacturers experiencing delays in receiving raw materials from the port are advised to write directly to Kenya Ports Authority for direct release and loading, to avert disruption of their operations.

He added that importers are incurring high demurrage charges due to delays in the return of empty containers and transfer of containers to Container Freight Stations.

The chief executive said the system was intended to automate container operations, conventional cargo operations, Inland Container Depot operations and marine operations, for ease of cargo clearance at port.

Teething problems

Due to the new systems’ teething problems, the port has a pile up of goods, which has led the port to suspend offloading of cargo in transit to other ports in the region.

“KPA regrets effective July 28, 2008, it shall suspend receipt of all transshipment cargo to clear a backlog of cargo currently held in the port. We will revert to you as soon as situation normalizes,” the port’s Managing Director, Mr Abdallah Mwaruwa, said in a notice issued to shipping agents earlier this week.

Kenya Ports Authority has set up a help desk to offer first-line support and organise for refresher workshops.

The delay in electronic receipt of manifests, delivery orders and ship stowage plans from the shipping lines has also contributed to the delays in cargo clearance.
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