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Mombasa port records unusual traffic jam as ships wait for clearance

Posted on 15th Aug 2017 13:50:10 in

In Summary

  • During normal period, the port handles about 1400 to 2000 metric tons of cargo daily.
  • The port handled 7.2 million tonnes of cargo in the first quarter of this year which represent an increase of 11 percent from 6.5 million handled between January and March last year.
  • Following the outcome of 2017 presidential election results business pace has been slow

MOMBASA, KENYA: Three ships with 163.6 million bags of maize are among 23 vessels yet to dock at the Port of Mombasa as the facility experiences a huge ships traffic snarl up due election jitters and upsurge in the import of cereals.

On Monday,  Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) said the off-take of cargo at the port dropped last week after truck owners withdrew their vehicle for fear of election related violence. 

But security officials in Mombasa and cargo owners said that no single case of either attack on trucks or theft of cargo passing through the northern corridor to or from the port of Mombasa.

A spot check on list of vessels posted at the KPA website indicate that some of the vessels arrived in the country mid last month but they are yet to dock and offload.

Other vessels that are yet to get space to dock are those with wheat, sugar and fertilizer and KPA attributed the ships snarl up to the increased volume of duty free maize. See Also: Stricken ship finally towed to Mombasa

"Since the government waived maize import duty there has been an increase in the volume of maize. The other reason is election jitters," said KPA Public Affairs Manager Bernard Osero.

He said that the port services were hampered after transport companies withdrew their trucks which transport over 94 percent of the total volume of the cargo from the port of Mombasa.

The Port of Mombasa, the biggest harbor in East and Central Africa, handles cargo for the local market and other countries including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Southern Sudan and DR Congo.

In the past, delays in offloading of ships have forced the ship owners to slap the punitive demurrage charges on the importers which are passed on to the consumers.