LOGISTICS

SGR, port efficiency boost Nairobi depot cargo 62%

Operations performance report shows a total of 418,830 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUS) were handled in 2019.

In Summary

•According to KPA, logistic improvement was realised mainly on modernized cargo handling capacity and growing rail freight services.

•The growth in ICDN volumes came on the back of growing volumes at the Port of Mombasa which hit an all-time high container handling capacity of 1.4 million TEUs last year.

Some of the containers at the Embakasi ICD /PATRICK VIDIJA
Some of the containers at the Embakasi ICD /PATRICK VIDIJA

Cargo handled at the Inland Container Deport-Nairobi(ICDN) grew 62.4 per cent in 2019, latest data show, buoyed by high train turnaround on the Standard Gauge Railway and improved port efficiency.

The ICDN operations performance report shows a total of 418,830 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUS) were handled in the year to December, 160,858 TEUs more than the 257,972 TEUs handled in 2018.

“This has been achieved as a result of improved efficiency along the logistics chain from Mombasa to ICDN,” Nairobi ICD manager Peter Masinde told the Star.

According to KPA, logistic improvement was realised mainly on modernized cargo handling capacity, growing rail freight services and reduced cargo dwell-time.

“This especially after head of public service circular of June, 2019 aligning government agencies involved in cargo clearance process,” Masinde says.

Highest volume was recorded in July-39,817 TEUs with the least being March when 30,958 TEUs were handled.

Imports registered 262,895 TEUs during the year under review compared to 177,652 TEUs realized in the previous year. This translated to an increase by 85,243 TEUS

or 48 per cent, indicating Kenyans imported more last year compared to 2018.

Exports also grew slightly by 17.7 per cent or 2,076 TEUs to close at 13,777 TEUs compared to 11,701 TEUs in 2018, meaning the country grew its exports which are key in the balance of trade.

“Export (Empty) traffic registered 142,158 TEUs in 2019 compared to 68,619 TEUs realized in 2019, which is an increase by 73,539 TEUS or 107.2 per cent,” the report states.

In 2019 imports accounted for 62.8 per cent, exports 3.3 per cent and empties 33.9 per cent of the total traffic compared to 68.9 per cent, 4.5 per cent and 26.6 per cent respectively in 2018.

Cargo dwell time at the Embakasi facility, which heavily serves the vast Nairobi Industrial area and businesses in the capital and its surroundings, averaged eight days.

This is an improvement compared to previous years where it would take up to 14 days to clear a container from the facility.

The improved dwell time has been supported by automation of gates and increased cargo handling capacity at the facility, which is heavily fed by the SGR.

An average nine trains with 44 wagons move cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi every day with an average 900 containers landing at the facility daily.

During the year, operational train turnaround time averaged seven hours ten minutes.

The growth in ICDN volumes came on the back of growing volumes at the Port of Mombasa which hit an all-time high container handling capacity of 1.4 million TEUs last year, beating its 2018 record of 1.3 million TEUs.

KPA is currently putting in place structures to commence operations at the Naivasha Inland Container Deport, targeted for transit cargo to Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan and parts of DRC and Burundi, key destinations for cargo through the Port of Mombasa.

“A team comprising KPA and the business community will be formed immediately to streamline all operational issues relating to using Naivasha ICD,” managing director Daniel Manduku said last week.