•According to KPA, business is steadily picking up at the newly opened facility.
•Management says shipping lines and freight forwarders have expressed interest to establish themselves at the depot to handle transit cargo.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) plans to construct an administration block and create more facilities at the Inland Container Depot as usage of the facility picks up.
“Plans are underway to construct a proper administration block that will house the one-stop centre and provide office accommodation for cargo interveners, expand the yard to create more capacity and also construct a trucks holding yard,” the authority said in a statement yesterday.
According to KPA, business is steadily picking up at the newly opened facility.
This is despite a recent backlash by Uganda, which opposed mandatory clearance of transit cargo at the facility, saying its use should be optional.
Yesterday, KPA said all the government agencies are on the ground to offer services to ensure smooth cargo off-take.
Apart from KPA, which runs the country’s ports, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and Kenya Railways Corporation have also set camp in Naivasha.
Uganda, Rwanda , Burundi and South Sudan revenue authorities are also present to collect revenue for cargo destined to their countries.
“The Naivasha Inland Container Depot has a total ground slots capacity of 5000 TEUs and has adequate equipment including Reach Stackers and Terminal Tractors,” KPA acting managing director Rashid Salim said.
Currently the ICD receives one full container train of 108 TEUs per week from Mombasa for the transit market.
It is envisaged that the facility will be receiving two trains per day at its peak. KPA yesterday said transit countries are now taking advantage of the new facility to collect their cargo, saving the time and distance to Mombasa or Nairobi.
“This also helps to reduce congestion on our roads,” Salim said.
He said shipping lines and freight forwarders have expressed their interest to establish themselves at the strategic depot to handle transit cargo.
Already some of the lines have began to bring containers on a Through Bill of Lading( TBL) to Naivasha.
“The ICD presents a great opportunity for better handling of transit cargo on TBL,” Paul Mwakisha, national manager, overland & customs brokerage, Kuenhe +Nagel.
Kuenhe + Nagel who are the largest cargo movers in the world are looking for offices at the depot to open a branch to serve their transit clients, he said.
They handle cargo for DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan, key destinations for transit cargo through the Port of Mombasa.
They are also planning to do export for dry cargo through the depot where it will be consolidated and railed to Mombasa for shipping.
Other shipping lines and agents who have visited the facility recently are Express Shipping Limited, Bolore and SPEDAG.
On May 7, transport CS James Macharia conducted an inspection tour of the facility to assess its readiness for business.
The CS who was accompanied by Transport Principal Secretary Solomon Kitungu, Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman and heads of partner agencies witnessed the arrival of the first SGR cargo train with 200 TEUs destined to Uganda.
The new facility’s major role is to facilitate direct shipment of goods from the Port of Mombasa to Naivasha via SGR thus shortening the distance to the transit markets.
Naivasha ICD also comes in handy to minimise transit trucks entering Nairobi which is most affected at the time the country is battling Covid-19.