CARGO at the port of Mombasa grew 11.2 per cent in the first six months of this year, according to latest data from Kenya Ports Authority.The half-year performance saw the port handle a total throughput of 13.21 million tonnes compared to 11.88 million tonnes handled over the same period last year.

KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua yesterday attributed the growth to increased business at the port due to improved efficiency, which has made the Mombasa preferred entry point for the region.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s luncheon in Nairobi, Ndua said investment on infrastructure including construction of the Standard Gauge Railway have further pushed up imports.

“The increased economic activities and performance in the region has seen us import more cargo,” said Ndua.
Container traffic posted a 14.2 per cent rise from 464,000TEUs last year to 529,000 TEUs this year.

Transshipment traffic increased from 160,000 tonnes last year to 284,000 tonnes. Transit traffic to neighboring countries also increased to 3.9 million tonnes up from 3.5 million tonnes last year. Ship turn-around however fell from from 3.5 days in 2014 to 3.7 days in 2015.

“This was attributed to an increase in the number of days for bulk and barge vessels. However, container vessels maintained an improved average turnaround time per ship at 3.4 days in 2015 against 3.5 days in 2014. General cargo vessels improved to 3.6 days in 2015 against 4.6 days registered in 2014,”said Ndua.

Container dwell time also increased to 5.3 days from 3.7 days in 2014. Ndua attributed it to “teething problems following introduction of the Single Customs Territory”. The authority targets 1.25 million TEU’s this year, after achieving the 1 million TEU’s last year.