Uganda’s cargo handled by the port of Mombasa has increased by 14.4 per cent, a half-year- Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) report has said.
The report on general clearing of cargo between January and June showed the transit traffic recorded an impressive 9.6 per cent growth to stand at 3.53 million tonnes up from 3.22 million in 2013.
KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua said: “Uganda, our biggest transit market, has continued to increase its usage of the port. In the first six months of this year, Uganda cargo handled at the port increased by 14.4 per cent to 2.72 million tonnes compared to 2.38 million tonnes in 2013.”
Responding to this performance, Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director Gideon Badagawa said seeing Uganda’s bound cargo increase is as a result of the reforms being done at Mombasa and traders gaining confidence in the port.
“To us the private sector, the efficiencies are helping us cut back on the losses we used to incur because of the delays,” Mr Badagawa said.
He added that because of the efficiencies and reforms at Mombasa, traders who were opting for Dar-es Salaam Port, are now using Mombasa.
Mr Ndua added that Rwanda also recorded an impressive 12.5 per cent growth handling 110,540 tonnes up from 98,240 in 2013. Burundi recorded a modest growth of 0.8 per cent.
He attributed the good performance to the opening of berth No. 19 in August last year, improved cargo handling infrastructure, and removal of non-tariff barriers.
KPA says cargo volumes at the Port of Mombasa rose by 12.8 per cent in the first six months of this year on the back of ongoing expansion in capacity and enhanced efficiency to reduce the time goods stay at the port.
The total cargo throughput (all cargo passing through the port) between January and June 2014, rose by 12.8 per cent to 11.9 million tonnes from 10.5 million tonnes in a similar period last year.
Similarly, container traffic grew from 415,948 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEUs) last year to 463,920 TEUs this year, representing 11.5 per cent growth. This is above the global average growth rate of eight per cent per year.
“The above performance is attributable to continued application of best management practices, well-coordinated effort of all port cargo interveners, improvements in cargo handling facilities and removal of non-tariff barriers along the Northern Corridor,” Mr Ndua said.
Following commissioning of berth No.19, trans-shipment traffic has registered tremendous growth of up to 120 per cent to reach 158,085 tonnes in 2014, up from 71,996 tonnes in 2013. Transshipment cargo comprises goods destined for other ports other than Mombasa.