IMPORTS to East Africa through Mombasa port increased by 11 per cent between January and September, with majority of this cargo destined for Uganda.

According to data by Kenya Ports Authority, East Africa cargo handled at the port was higher by 1.7 million tonnes to a total of 16.8 million tonnes compared to same period last year.

Exports via the port remained low at 2.1 million tonnes, highlighting the trade imbalance the region continues to grapple with despite a 5.8 per cent increase in outgoing cargo from 2.56 million
tonnes in 2014.

The port handled a total of 19.87 million tonnes of cargo over the nine-month period, against 18.05 million tonnes during the corresponding period in 2014, a 10.1 per cent increase.

Speaking during the annual KPA regional media workshop in Kwale, managing director Gichiri Ndua said increased activities at the port have seen Mombasa ranked among top 120 best performing ports in the world.

It is ranked among top five ports in Africa alongside Durban (South Africa), Alexandria (Egypt), Port Said (Egypt) and Tangier Med (Morocco).

“This performance reinforced Mombasa port’s position in the league of global players. We moved seven slots up the ladder to take position 112,” Ndua said.

Transit Traffic rose by 10.8 per cent from 5.26 million tonnes in 2014 to 5.83 million tonnes. Transshipment traffic increased from 392,000 tonnes to 393,000 tonnes. Imports to Kenya stood at 13.6 million tonnes up from 12.8 million tonnes in a similar period last year.

Uganda maintained dominance of transit cargo with 4.51 million tonnes against 4.05 million tonnes in 2014, an 11.3 per cent increase, accounting for over 77 per cent share of the total transit
traffic.

South Sudan was the second leading destination for transit cargo with a total 556,000 tonnes up from 540,000 tonnes in 2014, a three per cent increase.

Rwanda was third with 224,000 tonnes up from 170,000 tons in 2014, a 31.7 per cent increase. Cargo to Burundi also rose from 49,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, an increase of 42.9 per cent, despite the ongoing political
unrest in the country.

Ndua said KPA is targeting a new record of 26.5 million tonnes this year. Container traffic is expected to hit 1.05 million TEU’s after the port achieved a milestone of one million containers last year. “We are within the margins to surpass last year’s record,”
Ndua said.

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