LOGISTICS

Cargo haulage by SGR improves in last four months

The government intends to establish Special Economic Zones in each county to encourage both agricultural and industrial activity.

In Summary
  • Kenya Railways MD Phillip Mainga attributed the improved performance to double-decker loading
  • On conventional cargo evacuations, two daily trains have been moving, each conveying 2900 tonnes of bulk wheat destined for milling factories.

The SGR Cargo train at the Port of Mombasa/FILE
The SGR Cargo train at the Port of Mombasa/FILE

The amount of cargo ferried via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) has improved since May on faster evacuation from the Port of Mombasa to ease the backlog.

A joint statement by Kenya Railways Corporation and Afristar, the SGR operator shows a total of 788 trains were deployed from Mombasa to Nairobi, conveying a total of 75,466 TEUs and 361,614 bulk tonnes.

Over the same period, the trains moved a total of 6,222 Export TEUs, a gross tonnage of 207,824 and returned 42,223 empty containers from Nairobi to Mombasa.

"To ensure adequate loadings and movements, Kenya Railway has maintained daily wagon resources delivery for both types of cargo at above 500 wagons within a 24-hour circle to meet volumes discharged and nominated for SGR evacuations, " the statement read.

Kenya Railways Corporation deployed the double-decker wagons in January this year to increase the amount of cargo ferried from Mombasa port to Nairobi and Naivasha, pushing cargo ferried by nearly a third.

Kenya Railways MDPhillip Mainga attributed the improved performance to double-decker loading and maintenance of containerised loading wagon fleets.

''This has pushed the average daily supply up to 400 wagons to the port of Mombasa by Afristar, the SGR operator,'' Mainga said.

The trend has sustained direct ex hook delivery and loading of all containers from vessels without any delays within the Port. This process has elicited satisfactory feedback on cargo delivery of both imports and exports.

The recently introduced two double-deck trains, each conveying 152 TEUs per move, have continued to up the game on containerized cargo, enabling clearance on the old backlogs and maintaining the desired loading of units ex hook, directly from discharging vessels.

To enhance more efficiency, two special trains with a minimum of 75 wagons conveying 150 TEUs were introduced two months ago to further speed up adequate containers delivery to ICDs.

On conventional cargo evacuations, two daily trains have been moving, each conveying 2900 tonnes of bulk wheat destined for milling factories.

In tandem with the Big Four Agenda agriculture pillar, Kenya Railway has further entered into a contract agreement with the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) on the conveyance of fertilizer delivered directly from discharging vessels.

The fertilizer is then loaded for rail to Nairobi before final distribution all over the country by trucks from Nairobi. Within four days of vessels discharge commencement, 188 wagons had delivered 12,972 tons of fertilizer. KR will continue to collaborate with key Government agencies, namely Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), to maintain this trend to market Mombasa Port service levels on the handling of both local and transit cargo.

The recently introduced loading of bulk cargo by Afristar on special open-type wagons covered with tarpaulins has enabled two daily trains on bulk cargo evacuations.

Over 6000 tonnes of bulk wheat is delivered to Nairobi for further distribution to millers, both local and transit.

Additional bulk wagons above conventional cargo requirements are still being converted to add to more fleets on containerized loading.

These efforts will be sustained moving forward to reduce any cargo duel time, geared toward customer service level satisfaction.

The transformation of railway transport brought about by the SGR operations is a vital component in the realisation of Vision 2030 and the pillars of agriculture and manufacturing under the Big Four Agenda.

The refurbishment of the Metre Gauge Railway (MGR) and ongoing works to link it with the SGR will go a long way in achieving this.

The revitalization of the MGR, complete and ongoing on some lines, is expected to play a significant function in sustaining businesses in the counties as well as creating the requisite cargo volumes to leverage the SGR and cement its viability.

The government intends to establish Special Economic Zones in each county to encourage both agricultural and industrial activity.