Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has announced a new extension of the free storage period for container cargo in its Mombasa port and inland container depots in Nairobi and Naivasha. The move is part of KPA’s strategy to attract more business and compete with the increasing cargo volumes in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Last year, Mombasa’s cargo volumes experienced a decline, losing over 1.1 million metric tonnes of cargo to Tanzania. To address this issue, KPA has set out new offers targeting both local and transit importers using Mombasa Port and inland container depots in Nairobi and Naivasha.
Under the new offer, cargo handled at the port and ICDs will be offered a 15-day free period from the current nine days, while traders choosing to use Naivasha ICD will receive 30 days of free storage from the current nine. After the free period expires, containers that overstay for between 16 and 21 days will be charged $30 per day for 20 feet containers and $60 for 40 feet containers. KPA will charge $45 for cargo that stays for more than 21 days for 20 feet containers and $90 for 40 feet containers.
To attract more traders to use Mombasa port, Kenya recently sent delegations to five countries that use the port to address key issues and announced new promotional offers. The high transportation costs, increasing road tolls, multiple border charges, and road conditions have been identified as factors that cause cost escalations for transporters on the Northern Corridor, which Dar es Salaam is taking advantage of to cut a slice of Mombasa’s total cargo throughput share.
The Kenyan delegation led by Kenya Ports Authority Chairman Benjamin Tayari and Managing Director William Ruto recently visited Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, and South Sudan to market the port and reduce transport costs. KPA is encouraging East African countries to use Naivasha and Nairobi ICDs for cargo clearance. The facilities are yet to break even since their construction, more so for transit goods.