Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
Mombasa Municipal Council has vowed to go on with the plans to levy a fee on trucks saying that the move is both legal and a huge source of revenue.
The Ministry of Local Government through a gazette notice in 12 February this year set designated parks at Kibarani, Magongo, Changamwe and Miritini where the council would levy a charge
The yards are managed through a joint venture with a private firm, Summit Cove Lines (SCL).
Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) is, however, complaining over the amount of levy, lack of consultation and how the private firm was engaged.
A strike notice placed in the dailies on Thursday and Friday has called on transporters not to take any cargo from loading points until the demand to have the levy fee withdrawn is met.
The municipal council also intends to operate a calling system through the yard for all trucks loading out the cargo from the port, container freight stations and warehouses to avoid them being parked on road reserves and road shoulders. Drivers of trucks and oil tankers parked in residential areas will be notified when the cargo is ready, according to the plans.
Short lorries carrying a single 20 feet container are required to pay Sh700 daily. Trailers and fuel tankers will be charged Sh800 and Sh1,000 respectively.
Pick up trucks will be required to pay Sh600 and transporters whose vehicles will be clamped will be required to part with Sh6,000 per truck.
The Kenya Shippers Council (KSC) chief executive Gilbert Langat said that instead of the council targeting transporters without yards, every truck is now paying the levy.
“Subjecting all transporters to this cost will raise the cost of transport along the Northern Corridor,” said Mr Langat adding that it is not clear how the amount was arrived at.
If the strike goes on as planned, shippers will pay high demurrage charges since the rail is doing less than 6 per cent of the cargo volume.
CFSs and the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) charge storage fees after five days for local cargo and seven days for transit goods and any disruption will cause delays.
Importers pay a storage fee of $25 for the first three days after the free storage period and $30 for the next 13 days for a 20 feet container and double that amount for a 40 feet container. Shipping lines charge demurrage charges of $30 per empty container daily after 30 days.
The cost of transport along the corridor is 42 per cent of the Cost Insurance Freight (CIF) against the 4 per cent internationally recommended standards, maritime experts say.
“Already, we have established that the Northern Corridor is losing business to other corridors due to cost. A tonne from port Sudan to Juba, 2,800 kilometres costs $300, while a tonne from Mombasa to Juba, 1,800 kilometres costs $500,” said KTA.
Mr Langat said the council should focus on those trucks parked in residential areas as well as those on road shoulders and reserves.
It is not necessary to park trucks on the designated yard in order to operate an effective calling system, he said.
Mombasa town clerk Tubman Otieno said that designated parking yards provides an opportunity for them to generate revenue.
Efforts to have KPA pay a levy to the Municipal council have not been successful.
“How do we repair the roads with all the damage caused by the trucks?” poses Mr Otieno adding that transporters want the council to provide a free parking yard.
The partnership between SCL and the council is legal and the two will share revenue at 62.5 and 37.5 per cent respectively, he said.
“We are also encouraging more such investors with yards to come forward since the four in place are not sufficient,” said the town clerk.
Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers Union in a press statement on Friday opposed the planned strike. Secretary general Nicholas Mbugua said that the strike will not succeed since KTA members only command a quarter of the total number of trucks.
“This initiative concurs with the objective of the union of promoting the basic rights and welfare of the drivers by reducing fatigue occasioned by long hours spent on unusual jams and queues created by obstruction in most of the roads,” said the union.
CFSs are licensed without consideration of marshalling yards, the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) said, adding that they should also absorb some of the cost.
“The planners of the town did not include parking yards in all loading areas and depots including the port of Mombasa,” said KTA adding that the cost of the parking yard will hit Ugandans and Rwandese who do not have parking spaces in the country.
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