Press Center | Freight Shipping Logistics News
Speaking at the shippers open day last week, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure secretary Michael Kamau said charges of ferrying products in Kenya are 30 per cent higher than those in southern Africa.
“We at the ministry have observed that it is very costly to transport goods within East Africa.
"Transport costs amount to 30-50 per cent of export value and up to 75 per cent for land-locked countries such as Rwanda and Uganda,” said Mr Kamau.
He said the charges account for nearly 40 per cent of the total cost of doing business in Kenya.
Mr Kamau said the government is putting in place measures to ensure that the costs are brought down.
“These measures include placing all agencies working at Mombasa port under a central command,” he said, adding that the installation of weigh-in-motion weighbridges at Mariakani has considerably reduced the time spent at the facilities.
All this is aimed at improving efficiency along the Northern Corridor.
In addition, all roadblocks along the road have been removed to reduce delays, with weighing of trucks carried out only once at Mariakani and Malaba for Mombasa-bound trucks.
There have been a number of efforts to improve efficiency in transporting goods in the bloc, with the most current being a grant of Sh45 million from Trade Mark East Africa to the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa.
The council is expected to spread the funds from 2014-2015, which will also see it implement strategies to increase sustainability.
Part of the money will be channelled to the improvement of the regulatory environment in the maritime transport sector and building the capacity of shippers and their service providers to comply with trade regulations and industry standards.
According to the Shippers Council chief executive, Mr Gilbert Lagat, they expect to increase efficiency of trade facilitation regimes in the region to reduce the cost of transport.
“The new partnership will safeguard the gains already made from the previous partnership that ended in 2012,” said Mr Lagat.
Logistics operations in eastern Africa are constrained by perennial port congestion, inadequate and unreliable ICT systems, a dilapidated rail system, and over-reliance on a road transport system that bears a high regulatory burden.
To address these challenges, the grant will also help the council to actively participate in forums like presidential and governors’ roundtables and the port stakeholders’ advisory forums to influence policy changes in the sectors.
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