Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
The companies attributed the move to increased insurance charges and additional expenses arising from increased piracy activities in the Indian Ocean.
Shippers are already spending more on fuel as their vessels take longer routes to avoid attacks by Somali pirates.
Insurance companies, on the other hand, have also increased premiums to the shipping lines due to the high risk of using the Gulf of Aden.
Things are not expected to get any better in the coming months, according to maritime experts, as the attack peak season sets in.
African Shipping Lines chief executive Ibrahim Ahmed Abdinoor said some shipping lines have introduced a piracy surcharge of up to $200 (Sh16,000) per container.
“Ships from Dubai to Mombasa used to take six to seven days but the voyage now takes 12 days since shipping lines take a longer route to avoid the Somali coastline,” Mr Abdinoor said.
A ship from Mumbai in India, which previously took 12 days today spends 18 days at sea since the voyage has to move further down South near Madagascar, Abdinoor added.
The additional cost of fuel per ship is $3.5 million (Sh280 million), Jim Jorrie, chief executive officer of Espada, a private security agency in US that is working with local players to establish private escort to the ships said.
“Pirates have carried out 16 attacks that resulted in five successful hijacks of ships in the East Africa waters in less than a month,” Seafarers Assistance Programme co-ordinator Andrew Mwangura says.
A Singapore-flagged liquefied petroleum gas tanker, MT York, which left the Mombasa port on Saturday, was hijacked 98 nautical miles east of Mombasa, bringing to three the number of ships hijacked on Kenyan waters in the past three weeks.
Due to the high risk of using Somali waters, shipping lines have to charge an additional fee of $120 (Sh9,600) per Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (Teus) on imports and $95 (Sh7,600) per Teus on exports, the Kenya Ships Agents Association chairman David Mackay said recently.
“For oil and bulk grain cargoes, it is also estimated that freight rates have increased by over $15 (Sh1800) per tonne in the last year to cover insurance and security costs,” Mr Mackay said.
PARASTATAL heads who signed the Mombasa port community charter risk being sacked if their agencies do not deliver on the contents of the new entity. The charter signed between the government and the private sector aims at improving the movement of cargo from the port into hinterland