KPA lowers container handling charges as rail cargo rises

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The Kenya Ports Authority has lowered container handling charges in the latest push by the Government to improve uptake of cargo through the new Standard Gauge Railway service. The move comes amid a row with freighters who have opposed a directive for them to use the new service as opposed to using road transport to ferry cargo from the port of Mombasa.

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KPA announced it had slashed container handling charges at its internal depot at Embakasi in Nairobi by almost a third. In a notice published in the local dailies, the ports agency said it had reduced handling fees for a 20-foot local container at the Inland Container Depot at Embakasi to $80 (Sh8,160), down from $103 (Sh10,506). Given rebate Earlier, the Government had set the price of transporting a 20-foot container from Mombasa to Nairobi at $500 (Sh50, 000), excluding the handling charges.

The total cost of moving the container from the Mombasa port using the SGR cargo service to the inland depot at Embakasi will now amount to Sh59,160 ($580). “In order to promote the use of Inland Container Depot Nairobi (ICDN) by Nairobi and transit clients who wish to nominate ICDN as a point of cargo delivery, Kenya Ports Authority has given a rebate on tariffs,” said KPA in the press advertisement.

Handling charges for a 40-feet container in transit to another country, on the other hand, have been slashed from $125 (Sh12, 750) to $90 (Sh9, 180).

Rail cargo registers significant rise

In the week ending January 31, operations at the Conventional cargo terminal reported 22 general cargo vessels docked at the berths, discharged 231,187metric tonnes and loaded another 8812 metric tonnes for export. An average of 34,286metric tonnes were handled per day with bulk wheat imports recording 95,937metric tonnes to emerge the leading commodity.

Other cargoes included 45,830metric tonnes of bulk clinker imports, 41,895metric tonnes of bulk coal, 26,355metric tonnes of bulk fertilizer and 160 metric tonnes of live cattle. The terminal also handled 1479 units of motorcars and 217 trucks.

Deliveries of general cargo by road transport recorded 152,882metric tonnes while conveyor belt delivered another 78,305metric tonnes .In the meantime forecast for the next two weeks shows that the Container Terminals are expected to receive 14 vessels while the conventional cargo terminal is expected to receive 19 ships.