Kenya: Shipping Liners Reset Network to Serve Lamu

Maersk Line and CMA CGM, two of the world's largest container shipping liners, are redesigning their network to serve both the new Lamu port of Kenya and the traditional port of Mombasa.

Maersk is targeting the Mombasa to Felixstowe and Rotterdam ports, by providing a single transshipment product via Salalah, in Yemen.

Managing director Carl Lorenz said, "We welcome the redesign of our ocean network from Salalah which will connect our Kenyan customers' cargo to Europe through a single transshipment. This enhancement ensures peace of mind to Kenya exporters by injecting more resilience, predictability, and reliability into our customers' supply chains, particularly essential for perishable cargo from Kenya."

CMA CGM this month signed a memorandum of partnership with the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Bandari Maritime Academy and will increase its fleet to serve Mombasa and Lamu Port and also offer sea time training to BMA learners.

CMA CGM East African cluster Managing Director Jean-Baptiste Longin said that through the agreement, opportunities will be developed to provide sea time opportunities to cadets as well as shore-based shipping and port operations skill development, starting with providing seaboard training to four cadets and four laureates from BMA in maritime transport and logistics in July 2021.

The two have each docked two ships each at Lamu port since it started operations in June 15.

KPA acting managing director John Mwangemi said "the dream of spearheading transshipment business has now become a reality at this port," adding "We are privileged to have the Port of Lamu as a second commercial port to complement the Port of Mombasa primarily targeting transshipment business in the region. This Port is strategically located at the middle of major shipping routes with the deep-water harbour on the East Coast of Africa, thus in no doubt a premier transshipment hub for all cargo destined for the continent."

The port of Mombasa has surpassed its forecasted target by 0.5 percent. In the period of January to June 2021, it handled 18.333 million tonnes in cargo throughput against 16.394 million tonnes in the corresponding period in 2020 representing a notable growth of 11.8 percent.

During the same period, total containers registered a 15.3 percent increase to record 754,148 TEUs in 2021 up from 654,054 TEUs registered in a similar period in 2020.

Transshipment traffic also grew by 55.9 percent to record 125,141 TEUs compared with 80,278 TEUs witnessed in 2020.

However, during the period under review, there was a decline in terms of transit traffic, which dropped by 5.4 percent, having registered 4.73 million tonnes in 2021 against 5 million tons recorded in 2020.

The negative performance is attributed to the decreased handling of cargo for Uganda, attributed to the general elections and lockdowns; and Rwanda by 208,811 tonnes or 5.5 percent and 119,702 tonnes or 57.4 percent, respectively.

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