The Star (Nairobi)

6 January 2014

Kenya: Festive Period Passes Without Usual Conjestion At the Mombasa Port

THERE was no congestion at the port of Mombasa during this year's festive season, the Kenya Ports Authority management has said. KPA senior public relations officer Hajj Masemo said operations at the port went on despite the Christmas and New Year close down for majority of businesses in the country.

Speaking on phone, Masemo said the operations ensured there was no cargo pile up. A week before Christmas, KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua had cautioned importers and clearing agents against taking a break during the festive season.

According to Ndua, most of them (importers and clearing agents) tend to abandon their work during the holiday which usually leads to cargo pile up at the port.

"We have had a very successive festive season. We want to thank all stakeholders for their commitment to ensure no cargo was delayed during the festive season. Everybody played his role to ensure a smooth flow of cargo despite the festive mood," said Masemo.

He said the newly commissioned berth 19 has also ensured prompt cargo offload of vessels, a move that ensured good ship turn around. "We had people working even on Christmas Day. We are glad to say that this is the second year in running where we have worked around the clock to ensure there is no cargo pile-up. Previous years, the pile up usually created a crisis in January through congestion but that is no more," said Masemo.

This comes as KPA expects a further increase of cargo through the port facility. Last year, KPA recorded a 2.9 per cent increase of total throughput of cargo handled at the port of Mombasa between January and October, a month into the December holidays.

The port handled a total throughput of 18.639 million tons, up from 18.106 tons handled in the same period in 2011. This according to the management is an increase of 533,390 tons of cargo handled at the port between January and October 2013. The management attributed the increase to the recent expansion works including the new berth 19.

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