he port of Mombasa has sprung back to the pre-COVID 19 period by recording a sharp increase in the cargo volumes handled in the first quarter.
The month of March 2021 boosted the Port of Mombasa’s performance registering a marked growth in both conventional and containerized cargo. A total of 3.48 million tons were recorded in the month of March 2021 against 2.71 million tons realized in the corresponding month in 2020, representing a positive performance of 768,453 tons or 28.4 %.
Total imports during the quarter recorded 162,504 TEUs up from 151,998 TEUs in the corresponding period January-March 2020, registering a growth of 6.9 percent, according to a press statement by Kenya Ports Authority (KPA). Equally, exports registered an upsurge by 6.8 percent from 146,049 TEUs in 2020 to 156,007 TEUs during the similar period in 2021.
The Port of Mombasa handled a total of 9.54 million tons in the first quarter of the year 2021 compared to 8.62 million tons in a similar period last year recording 10.7 percent growth rate.
During the period under review (January to March 2021), the Port also witnessed increased volumes in container traffic registering 389,515 TEUs against 340,812 TEUs recorded in a similar period in 2020. Transshipment traffic recorded 69,658 TEUs against 41,363 TEUs during the corresponding period in 2020.
The container traffic translates to an increase of 48,703 TEUs or 14.3 percent while transshipment traffic registered a growth of 28,295 TEUs or 68.4 percent.
The performance was mainly attributed to an increase in handling of Wheat and Clinker cargo within the month compared to the same period in 2020.
For container traffic, the Port recorded a positive increment of 31,261 TEUs or 30.4% to register 133,904 TEUs in March 2021 against 102,643 TEUs witnessed in March 2020.
KPA acting Managing Director, Rashid Salim, noted that the month of February 2021 has been captured as the highest performer ever in terms of daily average container throughput traffic with 4,662 TEUs beating the record daily average throughput of 4,279 TEUs recorded in July 2019.
The Managing Director added that for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the month of March 2021 has gone on record as the highest ever with 25,104 TEUs which is an average of 8.32 trains per day beating the daily record average of 8.1 trains recorded in February 2021.
Meanwhile, container vessel MV SL Tweety made her maiden call at the Port of Mombasa recently where she discharged 769 TEUs at Berth No.16.
The ship with a length overall (LOA) of 212 meters and capacity of 2,450 TEUs is owned by Volta Shipping Line, the local agent being Magellan Logistics.
The Ship Master Capt. Vitaly Ochilov appreciated the Authority’s commitment on ensuring timely and quality port services and the mitigating measures in place against the Covid-19 pandemic to protect shippers, port workers and cargo interveners.
The Captain was briefed on the port’s ongoing capacity expansion programs including the ongoing construction of the phase 2 of the Second Container Terminal which will bring onboard additional annual capacity of 450,000 TEUs.
Captain Ochilov expressed gratitude saying that he looks forward to frequently calling at the Port of Mombasa.
Magellan Logistics Director for East Africa Mr. Sankar Venugopal, said the vessel which is part of Jambo service of Volta Shipping services will be calling at the Port of Mombasa on a monthly basis with local containers, transit and transshipment cargo.
Another container carrier, Cimbria, of Diamond Shipping Line, operated by Gold Star Line Limited is scheduled to make her maiden call at the Port of Mombasa on April 24, 2021.
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