LOGISTICS

Mombasa Port to operate as normal – management

This is despite partial lockdown in the key counties.

In Summary

•A huge number of manufactures and port users are found in Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos counties where together with Kajiado and Nakuru, movement is restricted.

•The counties also host the Norther Corridor which runs from the port city of Mombasa into the neighbouring land-locked countries, which heavily depend on the port.

Trucks moving cargo at the port of Mombasa/KNA
Trucks moving cargo at the port of Mombasa/KNA

Port operations at Mombasa will not be disrupted despite the reviewed Covid-19 measures that imposed partial lockdown in five counties, the management has said.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acting Managing Director Rashid Salim announced that as an essential service provider, the port's operations will continue round the clock. 

Last Friday, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the cessation of movement by road, rail, or air into and out of Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu, and Nakuru counties, marked as one zone-disease infected area.

Curfew hours have also been revised to 8pm-4am in the zoned areas, but remains as before from 10pm-4am in the other parts of the country.

The counties fall along the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and the Norther Corridor which is a key transit route for goods from the Port of Mombasa into the neighbouring land-locked countries.

The port of Mombasa has since 2020 adopted new measures within its operations in order to reduce employees, customers or business partners’ exposure to the disease. As a port we are committed to handling all categories of cargo including imports, exports, transit and transshipment to all destinations
Kenya Ports Authority  acting Managing Director, Rashid Salim

The highway also connects the Port of Mombasa to the capital (Nairobi) an industrial hub where manufacturers, importer, and exporters are key users of the port.

Cargo haulers have however been identified as essential service providers and  can move during curfew hours with the right documentation.

Salim said that KPA will take the stipulated government precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. 

He said port terminals will continue loading and offloading cargo from vessels. 

“The port of Mombasa has since 2020 adopted new measures within its operations in order to reduce employees, customers or business partners’ exposure to the disease," he said.

Cargo volumes arriving at the port rose  in December into January as the global supply chain picked from a slow-down last year when the pandemic disrupted international trade.

The shipping industry however remains constrained as the pandemic affects cruising schedules.  

To increase its cargo handling capacity, KPA in February acquired more space outside the port, which helped reduce dwell-time.

This, together with increased haulage capacity by the Standard Gauge Railways (SGR)  helped cut dwell-time (the time cargo takes before leaving the port), to an average 4.6 days from 5.6 days in December.

Salim said centralised operations have improved efficiency at the port amid a rebound in economic activities after a slow down last year.

“Under the current circumstances the port is working closely with various other cargo interveners to ensure that operations remain seamless,” Salim said.

Salim together with the KPA board of directors led other port staff in taking Covid-19 vaccine at the Coast General Hospital.