Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) blamed the pile-up on importers who took long to clear their cargo during the Christmas holidays, but the Container Freight Station Association cited inefficiencies at KPA and the frequent breakdown of the online clearance system at Kilindini terminal.
“How do they expect us to collect the containers from the port yet there is no equipment to load them?” an official with the association asked.
KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua dismissed claims of equipment shortage at the port, saying they recently acquired more cranes.
Mr Ndua played down claims that the crisis had been made worse by a shortage of crane drivers after 50 were suspended mid last year for participating in a strike.
“The drivers are still on suspension but at the moment we have more workers there than before the strike,” he said.
Mr Ndua added that about 1,000 containers were offloaded daily, but only 300 collected.
“Pick up of cargo from the yard has been slow especially over the holidays because trucks that left the port on December 23, last year, started returning to Mombasa from January 3, resulting in the backlog,” he said.
By Wednesday the container terminal was holding 20,100 containers — including 5,500 for export and 6,900 whose documents were still being processed — in a yard that has a capacity of 14,500.
The KPA boss said the little cargo transported by rail worsened the situation.
“The railway line is able to move only five per cent of cargo instead of the envisaged 30 per cent.
On Wednesday clearing and forwarding agents demonstrated at the Mombasa Container Terminal (MCT) at Port Reitz protesting against the delay by the management to clear the cargo.
More than 40 clearing agents accused MCT of failing to acquire machines to load and off-load containers from the trucks.
Efforts to reach MCT management were futile since officials at CFS denied journalists access to the facility.
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