SGR cargo falls on fewer ships in the port of Mombasa

SGR freight train drives along the track of the Port Reitz Beach management unit, Mombasa, 14 January 2018. [Gideon Maundu, Standard]

The cargo throughput of the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) declined in the second quarter of this year due to lower numbers of ships in the port of Mombasa.

A report from the company shows that total cargo transported was 451,208 tons in April, which decreased to 383,109 tons in May and 378,977 tons in June.

KRC said performance was “relatively constant,” with the report finding that of the total cargo handled by the normal-gauge railway (SGR) Afristar operator in June, bulk cargo was 115,920 tons, while container cargo registered 263,057 tons.

“The SGR performance between June 2020 and June 2021 was remarkable, with a total tonnage of 20 foot equivalent (TEU) of 284,815 tons, a bulk tonnage of 366,008, while the total tonnage for the fiscal year was 4,584,173 tons,” it says Report.

To improve cargo evacuation, KRC and Afristar are stacking 80 wagons in the double decker to maximize capacity, with each of the two trains moving 152 TEU per trip to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.

In the meantime, a special twin-engine tandem train with 70 wagons of 140 TEU has been added to reduce cargo backlogs and “make Mombasa the preferred port for inland and transit freight,” KRC said.

The company found that, thanks to the close operational collaboration between it and other partner freight logistics agencies such as the Kenya Ports Authority and the Kenya Revenue Authority, it was able to provide direct loading of freight onto wagons and containers and transportation to ICDs in Nairobi and Naivasha without delays.

KRC Managing Director Philip Mainga said the level of collaboration among partner agencies within the transportation corridor made the performance impressive.

“We expect significant improvements as soon as ongoing infrastructure improvement and expansion projects are commissioned,” he said.

One of these projects is the rehabilitation of the Naivasha-Nakuru-Kisumu meter-gauge line, which should reach its goal of being fully operational by August.


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