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April 20, 2018

SGR in plans to increase daily freight trains to five from May

Standard Gauge Railway cargo train exclusive with Maersk Shipping Line cargo destined for Nairobi leaves the port of Mombasa on Friday April 13/CHARLES MGHENYI
Standard Gauge Railway cargo train exclusive with Maersk Shipping Line cargo destined for Nairobi leaves the port of Mombasa on Friday April 13/CHARLES MGHENYI

The Standard Gauge Railway freight service received a major boost after the largest container shipping line ran two full block trains from Mombasa to Nairobi Inland Container Depot.

This was the first time the SGR freight train was carrying cargo exclusive to a shipping line. The whole consignment belongs to clients who had nominated the Nairobi ICD as their final destination.

The two trains, with 108 exclusive Maersk Cargo each, left Mombasa at 2:00pm and 4:00pm respectively, destined for Nairobi.

Kenya Railways business, commercial and operations team leader James Siele said the cargo was being offloaded straight from the ship and loaded directly on SGR freight trains.

“This saves time and we expect the first train to reach Nairobi before the ship sets sail from the port,” said Siele.

He said Kenya Railways is now transporting daily freights and plans to increase to five trains.

“We are now doing four trains that transport 432 containers daily. Next month we will increase to five trains,” he said.

KPA general manager operations Captain William Ruto said the offloading of cargo straight from the ship to the SGR train shows improved efficiency in cargo handling.

“The containers are being offloaded directly from the ship and loaded straight on the cargo train in what has proved to be advantageous in terms of saving time and cost,” said Ruto.

He said KPA, working with KRC and Kenya Railways to ensure smooth flow of cargo.

The national assembly committee on transport will follow up on the cargo clearance issue at the port of Mombasa and Nairobi's Embakasi Internal Container Depot over the issue of inefficiency.

The committee which was on tour at the KPA said they were pleased with the cargo movement from Mombasa to Nairobi.

David Pkosing, the committee chair told journalists at Bandari College that they were pleased that the SGR cargo train is now transporting over 400 containers in a day.

"In two months the target will be 630 containers," he said.

 

 

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