The Mercury

Mombasa’s cargo traffic on the rise


CARGO traffic through Kenya’s biggest port, Mombasa, increased by 1.4 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, the port’s managing director, Catherine Mturi, said yesterday. The Indian Ocean port serves as the main trade gateway for east Africa, handling fuel and consumer goods imports, as well as exports from landlocked nations such as Uganda. Mturi said cargo volume rose to 13.4 million tons from 13.2 million a year earlier. Total volume rose despite container traffic falling by 0.6 percent to 527 523 twenty-foot equivalent units thanks to a rise in loose cargo not shipped by container such as grains and railway steel bars. “This is below the expected global average growth rate of 4 percent per annum, but with the expansion and improved efficiency… we should do much better by end of the year and beyond,” Mturi said. Early this month Kenya inaugurate­d the first part of a new container terminal at the port, which was expected to boost capacity by 50 percent. The country plans to build a second port in Lamu, north of Mombasa, with a capacity of 23 million tons per year. – Reuters

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