Mombasa port is not congested, KPA boss says

By Tobby Otum

The Kenya Ports Authority [KPA] acting Managing Director has downplayed the congestion saga at port of Mombasa.

Rashid Salim said the port is currently experiencing peak moments with recorded full container berth occupancy with minimum vessel delays.

He said this also witnessed steady growth in import volumes for both general and containerized cargo following the cessation of the COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns from the major import countries that had also resulted to most of the world’s top performing ports experiencing congestion.

“The authority’s projections for this month compared to similar period in 2020 and 2019 indicate that the Port of Mombasa’s performance will surpass the 2020 and 2019 performance,” he pointed out.

Rashid said the authority is projecting to handle over 115,000 Twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) against 108,000 TEUs handled in 2020.

In a press statement issued to media houses the KPA boss said on non-containerized cargo the port is projecting to handle over 1 million tons against 800,000 tons handled in 2020 representing an increase of 20 percent.

Rashid said for the last one week the port had an average population of 17,000 TEUs against its holding capacity of 41,000 TEUs and the enhanced efficiency has seen cargo dwell time reduce from an average of 5.6 days in December 2020 to 4.6 days in January 2021.

He attributed the improved performance to measures currently being undertaken by KPA, working alongside shipping lines and other port stakeholders, to streamline operations.

“As on the material day we had only one container vessel that had arrived the previous day waiting to berth and she was scheduled to dock at berth No.16 later in the evening. This timing was within the 24 hours target stipulated in KPA’s Customer Service Charter,” he said.

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