Kenya’s port cargo volumes peak amid easing of COVID-19 restrictions

Data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) shows the Mombasa port’s overall throughput was 34.44 million tonnes in 2019 compared to 30.92 million the previous year. /Kenya Ports Authority
Data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) shows the Mombasa port’s overall throughput was 34.44 million tonnes in 2019 compared to 30.92 million the previous year. /Kenya Ports Authority

Kenya’s Mombasa port has witnessed steady growth in import volumes for both general and containerized cargo following cessation of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns in major countries across the world.

The port is expected to handle 115,000 Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) this year, a rise from 108,000 TEUs in 2020, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) acting managing director Rashid Salim said in a statement on Thursday.

He noted that the port is currently experiencing a peak moment, with non-containerized cargo projected to hit over a million tons during the period, as compared to 800,000 tons in 2020.

For the last one week, the port had an average population of 17,000 TEUs against its holding capacity of 41,000 TEUs, Salim said.

“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 said.

In January, the port registered the highest SGR performance with 241 trains clearing 24,256 TEUs, the highest in a single month since its inception.

Salim attributed the improved performance to measures undertaken by KPA that include working alongside shipping lines and other port stakeholders to streamline operations.