•KPA is now combining two independent truck transactions (dropping export and picking import), with a new target of four hours.
•The authority is also reaching out to cargo owners whose containers have not been cleared within the five days free period (for local).
Kenya Ports Authority has reported improved truck turn-around time at the Inland Container Depot- Nairobi (ICDN), pegged on enhanced efficiency in container handling at the facility.
Weekly operations report for the period March 11-18 shows truck turn-around time for transit imports went down from 13hrs to 5hrs, while truck turn-around for local exports recorded a slight improvement from 1hr 58 minutes, to 1hr 47minutes.
Truck turn- around time is a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) that measures time taken by a truck per single transaction.
According to KPA's head of inland container depots Peter Masinde, the improved perfomance is as a result of the re- engineering of the business process, which has since seen the combination of two independent truck transactions (dropping export and picking import), with a new target of four hours.
The business process was such that when a truck brought in an empty or full container and the same was due to pick a full import container in return , it was required to exit the depot to complete the first transaction first and start a fresh queue to re-enter the depot to pick a full importKPA head of inland container depots, Peter Masinde
Previously, a laden truck would be allowed entry into the depot to drop an empty or full export or an empty truck picking a full import container alone, and gate drive out.
These amounted to two transactions of two hours each, eliciting complaints from clients owing to long queuing of trucks.
“The business process was such that when a truck brought in an empty or full container and the same was due to pick a full import container in return , it was required to exit the depot to complete the first transaction first and start a fresh queue to re-enter the depot to pick a full import” Masinde explains.
He noted that truck turnaround operations is twofold; rail and yard operations which is fully under KPA while gate operations is a shared responsibility between the authority and the Kenya Revenue Authority.
There has been continuous inter-agency engagements to enhance efficiency in addition to discouraging truck drivers from leaving their trucks unattended to, especially at night and during the weekends.
In a statement on Tuesday evening, Masinde also attributed the low container dwell-time to a revitalized customer service desk and marketing section which have intensified regular contacts with clients, whose containers have not been cleared within the five days free period (for local).
During the week under review, total imports received at the ICDN recorded 4,380 TEUs (Twenty Foot Equivalent Units) compared to 4,063 TEUs deliveries.
Exports received registered 291 TEUs while deliveries accounted for 381 TEUs.
The weekly performance showed empties received account for 2,353 TEUs with the deliveries registering 2,794 TEUs.
The depot reported a yard population of 4,820 TEUS with imports accounting for 3,581 which is equivalent to 73.84 percent.
A summary of import age analysis revealed that 2,328 TEUs or 65 per cent were up to five days old at the facility, 687 TEUs or 19 per cent were six-10 days old while 566 TEUS were 11-21 days old.
The improved performance comes amid enhanced cargo handling capacity on the Standard Gauge Railways(SGR) which links the Port of Mombasa to the ICD-N and the Naivasha Inland Container Depot.
Last month, 23,040 TEUs–the approximate unit of measure of a container,were moved by the SGR freight service to both the Nairobi and Naivasha Inland Container Depots.
This is 28.2 per cent more than the 17,974 TEUs moved during the same month last year, a time when Covid-19 had not yet hit economies.
The best monthly performance however remains that of January when freight services hit a new record since operations started in January 2018.
During the month, 241 trains run from Mombasa delivering 24,256 TEUs to Nairobi and Naivasha ICDs.