•Since the launch of the Madaraka Express Freight Service in January 2018, the cargo volumes have continued to register a growth trajectory, enabling improved cargo haulage and efficient performance at the port.
•The SGR operator moved 5,419,508 tons in 2021 compared to 4,418,444 tons in 2020.
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) operations has maintained a steady rise on cargo volumes five years since its inception.
Since the launch of the Madaraka Express Freight Service in January 2018, the cargo volumes have continued to register a growth trajectory, enabling improved cargo haulage and efficient performance at the port.
The SGR operator moved 2,930,698 gross tons in 2018,4,159,605 tons in 2019, 4,418,444 tons in 2020 and 5,419,508 tons in 2021.
According to the Kenya Railways, the volume of both imports and exports cargo moved in January 2022, stood at 477,247 compared to 449,731 tons moved in the same period last year.
Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Managing Director Philip Mainga attributed the growth in cargo volumes to concerted joint efforts in liaison with other key government agencies that include Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) enabling smooth loading, delivery and clearance of cargo at destination deports of ICD Nairobi and Naivasha.
The upward trajectory has remained consistent as exemplified by the cargo volumes moved over the last four years.
“The recently inaugurated linkage line on SGR/MGR through Naivasha ICD, enabling end to end rail cargo movement especially on transit goods from the Port of Mombasa to Jinja/Kampala and beyond destinations has gained momentum”, Mainga said.
Currently, moving a 40-foot container from Mombasa to Nairobi by rail is $500 (Sh 56,725).
Importers however incur last mile transport costs from the ICD to industries and last destinations of up to $350 (Sh37,707).
This in addition to handling costs and other port usage charges push the total costing to about $900 (Sh102,105).
In order to enhance cargo evacuations, KRC and the SGR operator have maintained two Super Tandem long trains of 75 wagons delivering 150 TEUs per train to the Nairobi ICD.
The loading of two double deck trains, each constantly delivering 152 TEUs per move, has also enhanced cargo evacuations.
The SGR operator has also maintained adequate wagon resources supply, averaging 450/500 dedicated to containerized cargo.
To ensure smooth and steady delivery of products for industrial use that includes steel and clinker, Afristar has maintained at a minimum two daily trains.
In a months period since January, 24 trains have already moved cargo to Naivasha, delivering 782 TEUs and 9392 tons of conventional cargo that has seamless connection on the Meter Gauge Rail network to clients’ preferred delivery destinations.