Despite the post-election nervousness, things are going smoothly for the Port of Mombasa

The Kipevu oil terminal in the port of Mombasa is operating at full capacity. [David Gichuru, Standard]

As Kenyans wait with bated breath for the final tally of the elections, including that of the presidency, the Port of Mombasa continues to operate at full capacity.

The Ports of Kenya Authority (KPA), in its latest release, also known as the Fortnightly Shipping List, said 37 ships will call at the Port of Mombasa in the next two weeks. “Seven car carriers, 13 container ships, three oil tankers and 14 conventional cargo ships will unload/load the various cargo during this period,” KPA said.

Operations General Manager and Harbor Master, Captain Godfrey Namadoa, said there were no ship waiters (ships waiting to enter port) and the newly opened Sh40 billion Kipevu Oil Terminal (KOT) II was operating at full capacity , as three oil tankers unload different oil cargo.

And vessel operations including pilotage services at the new KOT are to be offered 24/7 and improve molecular fluidity in the mid-stream supply chain and ensure price stability of petroleum products in Kenya and the region.

KPA listed ships that docked at the port or sailed the high seas at the facility as transporters of various commodities such as bulk wheat, wire rod, bagged rice, vehicles, gas oil, vegetable oil, bulk fertilizer, bitumen, steel products and containers.

Edward Kamau, KPA’s general manager of corporate services, said in excerpts contained in the Annual Review and Bulletin of Statistics that cargo throughput over the past five years has shown a compound annual growth of 5.7 percent from 27.36 million tons in 2016 to 34.12 million tons recorded in 2020.

He added that container traffic recorded a moderate overall growth of 5.6 percent, which rose from 1,091,371 TEUs in 2016 to 1,359,579 TEUs in the same period.

Kamau said Uganda’s traffic grew 4.9 percent, while South Sudan surged 15.3 percent and emerged as a key transit market, surpassing the “one million tonne” mark for the first time.

Meanwhile, Morocco’s Tanger Med Port Authority will enter into a partnership agreement with the Port of Mombasa to enhance cooperation.

This agreement was reached after an official tour by the KPA directors. “The MoU will support the agency in building the capacity of its staff through port operations training opportunities, including pilot and cargo handling simulation programs,” KPA said.

This arrangement will allow the two to learn best practices from each other with a view to improving port performance. The port of Tangier is the largest port on the continent in terms of freight volume and in 2021 moved a container volume of 7 million TEUs (Twenty Feet Equivalent Units).

Tanger Med Port Complex handled more than 7 million TEU in 2021, up 24 percent year-on-year. In total, the port handled a total of 7,173,870 TEU in 2021. The commissioning of the TC4 terminal in 2019 and the TC3 terminal in 2021 is said to have made a significant contribution to increasing container throughput in the port.

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