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Mombasa Port Records Marginal Cargo Growth in 9 Months to September

Mombasa Port Records Marginal Cargo Growth in 9 Months to September

November 24, 2021
November 24, 2021
Activities going on at the port of Mombasa. The facility recorded a marginal growth in cargo between January and September 2021. Photo: KPA

Throughput cargo at the port of Mombasa increased by 4.4 percent in nine months to September when compared with the same period last year, highlighting a slow recovery as the maritime trade grapples with the effects of Covi-19.

Data from the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) indicates that the volume of cargo that passed through the facility grew by four percent to 26.17 million tonnes in the review period.Covid-19 fueled disruption such as logjams at the world’s major ports and an upsurge in demand for goods after most countries eased containment measures, which have created a shortage of shipping containers world over.

This is the slowest growth to be recorded this year when compared with the first quarter of the year where throughput cargo volumes grew by 10.7 percent in comparison with the corresponding period of last year.

Last year, the impact of Covid-19 pandemic at the port of Mombasa manifested itself through a marginal decline in cargo at the facility, with the volume of freight passing through the port registered a decline.

Industry figures from the KPA showed that cargo that passed through the port declined marginally by 1.1 percent to stand at 34.06 million tonnes in 2020 when compared with 34.44 million tonnes a year earlier.

Transit cargo at the Port of Mombasa contracted by five percent in the last quarter of the financial year 2020/2021 on the back of reduced freight to regional countries.KPA attributed the negative performance on transit cargo to a drop in handling of freight meant for Uganda and Rwanda at the facility.

The recovery of the global supply chain has created a huge demand for shipping vessels, meaning shippers cannot meet the high demand for exports.For instance, imports now take more than the maximum 40 days that it used to take for one to import a secondhand vehicle from an Asian country to East Africa.

Before the onset of the Covid-19, the port was doing well, surpassing most of the performance targets that it usually sets for itself. The streak of good performance was slowed down by the virus but KPA is optimistic that things are getting back to normal, and with all factors remaining constant, the performance will keep on rising.

Kenya Ports Authority acting managing director John Mwangemi said notable resilience has been observed this year.