A leading global shipping line, Hapag – Llyod which is a multi-national German based transportation company, has began its operations to the port of Mombasa.
Hapag Llyod is the world’s sixth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity.
MV Spero Majura, which is a ship operated by Hapag – Llyod made its maiden trip to the East African region by calling at the port of Mombasa on Thursday 4:00am carrying 1,770 Total Equivalent Units (TEUs).
Captain James Kagaoan, steered the vessel from the port of Jedda, which is the largest and busiest port in the Middle East, to Mombasa before heading to Dar-es- Salaam in Tanzania.
At the port of Mombasa, the vessel discharged 154 TEUs.
Kenya Ports Authority managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi said the port of Mombasa is now receiving vessels from six of the top ten container shipping lines of the world.
These are the Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Company, CMA-CGM Lines, China Ocean Shipping Company (Cosco), Evergreen Shipping Line and now Hapag – Llyod.
In a speech read on her behalf by KPA general manager engineering services, Rashid Salim during MV Spero Majuro’s maiden call, Mturi-Wairi said the port of Mombasa is tremendously growing.
“The decision to have more shipping lines calling at the port is also a manifestation of the confidence the global shipping and business community has in the port of Mombasa,” Mturi-Wairi said.
This, she said, has been the result of consistent improvement programmes that have been put under the Mombasa Port Development Programmes.
Under the MDVP, the port implemented a number of capacity improvement projects which include the dredging of the port channel, construction of berth 19 and construction of the second container terminal.
Other programmes are the continuous upgrading of the port ICT systems and the completion of the first phase of the Standard Gauge Railway.
“The implementation of this programme has continued to increase efficiency levels in our operations, reducing the ship turn-around time and cargo dwell time. Consequently, the cargo volumes have continued to grow,” Mturi-Wairi said.
KPA is expecting to receive more modern equipment by the end of May, geared towards enhancing cargo handling and capacity.These include ship-to-shore gantry cranes, rubber-tyred gantry cranes and rail-mounted gantries.
The authority is currently loading four SGR trains per day for the Nairobi Inland Depot with a total of 432 TEU.
"This is up from only one train per day when we started in January,” Mturi-Wairi said.
KPA expects to increase the daily cargo trains to five by May 1 and in June, they will add the sixth train.