Mombasa Port Sees 12% Growth Despite Regional Competition

2024 Kpa Growth

The main port in Kenya, serving multiple countries in the area, experienced an 11.9% increase in container traffic in 2023. This growth reflects a rebound in trade and economic activities, according to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).

The traffic at Mombasa Port serves as a barometer for economic activity in neighboring countries such as Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, eastern DRC, and Somalia.

In 2023, the port handled 1.6 million 20-foot equivalent container units (TEU), up from 1.45 million in 2022, as reported by William Ruto, the managing director of KPA.

“Despite global uncertainties, the port of Mombasa showed significant growth in 2023, highlighting our commitment to operational excellence and efficiency,” stated Ruto regarding the port’s performance.

In terms of weight, the port managed 35.98 million tonnes of cargo in 2023, compared to 33.88 million tonnes the previous year.

Transit traffic, destined for countries other than Kenya, increased by 11.5% to reach 11.41 million units. Ruto emphasized, “This growth emphasizes the strategic importance of the port in facilitating trade within the East African region.”

Major transit markets for cargo passing through the port in 2023 included Uganda, South Sudan, and the DRC, which collectively accounted for the majority of the volumes.

“Our performance has improved notably due to the transit market. We recently hosted representatives from Rwanda who toured our facilities and expressed their intent to transit most of their cargo through Mombasa,” explained the KPA boss.

During the first half of 2023, heightened container traffic contributed to revenue growth, reaching Sh33 billion compared to Sh22 billion in the same period the previous year.

“We’re seeing positive trends with over 400,000 TEUs registered in the first quarter alone. By the end of March, we aim to reach around 480,000 TEUs, targeting 2 million TEUs by year-end,” shared Mr. Ruto.

Improvements were also noted in container turnaround time, which decreased from 3.6 days in 2022 to 2.3 days in 2023. Cargo dwell time and vessel turnaround time also saw reductions, indicating increased efficiency at the port.

To further enhance operations, the KPA has invested in modernizing equipment at Mombasa Port, including acquiring four ship-to-shore gantry (STS) and five mobile harbor cranes. Additionally, plans are underway to procure 10 rubber-tyred gantry cranes for the second container terminal.

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