Kenya Port Authority (KPA) is losing business to rival Dar es Salaam port as delay in cargo clearance in Mombasa prompts traders from neighbouring countries to turn to Tanzania.
Data from KPA shows that the Mombasa port handled 18.9 per cent less or 552,449 tonnes of cargo from Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and the DRC in the nine months to September.
As a result, the port relied on Uganda and South Sudan—that have little choice on their logistic corridor—to grow its export cargo volumes to 3.9 million tonnes in the nine months compared to 3.8 million tonnes in the same period last year.
Shippers attribute the trend to the shorter period it takes to transport cargo from the port of Dar es Salaam compared to Mombasa which is facing congestion that has seen transporters take more than a month to reach Rwanda from three weeks.
“We are losing business to Tanzania because of inefficiency at the port,” said Gerald Kagumo, the vice chairman of East Africa Freight Forwarders Association.