Port resume operations after congestion

Operations at the Port of Mombasa are in top gear, with reported timely navigation of vessels into and out of the Kilindini channel, offloading and loading on a 24/7 hour basis.

The round the clock operations at the strategic facility is aimed at decongesting the port, which serves countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The port has in the past week experienced a breakdown of systems on cargo evacuation, which has led to serious congestion of the port.

The situation has prompted the KPA board to send the KPA Managing Director, Catherine Mturi-Wairi on forced leave and replaced her with Daniel Manduku in an acting capacity.

Ships docking to discharge and load cargo have recorded optimal berth occupancy as cargo off-take by the Standard Gauge Rail (SGR), and truckers continues witnessing improved levels since Friday.

We want to assure our esteemed customers and stakeholders that the Port is not congested, it is operating normally, cargo is safe and there is fluidity of cargo movement to and from the Port, said Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Head of Corporate Affairs Bernard Osero.

Osero added that there was no vessel congestion and freight cargo operations were going on smoothly with five trains ferrying 540 TEUs from the Port of Mombasa to Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) daily.

He further reiterated Container Terminals at the Port were fully operational and dismissed reports of inefficiency and graft at port attributed to congestion.

Osero attributed the delay of the berthing of this vessel to the meticulous process of discharging the two Rail Mounted Gantry Cranes (RMGs) at berth number 17 that KPA received last week.

He said the KPA management notified stakeholders accordingly and that evacuation of cargo using the Standard Gauge Railway and the Container Freight Stations are moving on swiftly.

The arrival of additional cranes, including the eight RTGs installed in April, brings to 2 and 10 the total number of RMGs and RTGs respectively at the Port.

The cranes are part of six ordered by the Kenya Ports Authority at a cost of Sh.2.12 billion to help handle the growing SGR cargo.

The two new rail-mounted gantry cranes from China are expected to enhance container handling capacity at the port, he said.

The Port also recently received a new Ship to Shore (STS) that are poised to bolster berth productivity.

Berth productivity is defined as the total container moves, which include offloading, on loading and re-positioning, divided by the number of hours for which the vessel is at berth.

Forecast for the next two weeks shows that 22 general cargo vessels are expected to call at the Port to discharge 380,059 metric tonnes and load another 2026 metric tonnes for export. The container Terminals were expected to receive 13 vessels to discharge 8,217 TEUs and load another 8,209 TEUs.

KPA head of container terminal and engineering Julius Tai said the port is building capacity following increment in transshipment of cargo in the regional transportation hub.

The official said the port’s performance is measured by how fast cargo is evacuated through the modern railway system when it lands and leaves the port.

Eng. Tai said it took the Chinese manufacturer 13 months to build the cranes and a month to deliver them.

He said the remaining cranes are set to be delivered in four weeks’ time.

Source: Kenya News Agency