he Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has extended free cargo storage period to cushion shippers from any delays likely to be occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic. This extension is valid for 3 months from 20th April this year, KPA announced in a public notice in today’s dailies.
Domestic import containers free storage period has been extended from the current 4 to 5 days.
Domestic export containers will enjoy a free storage period of 15 days compared to the current 9 days.
Transit import containers at the port and Inland Container Depot in Embakasi has been extended from 9 to 15 days. Transit export containers will enjoy a free storage period of 20 days from the current 15 days.
The storage terms first came into effect on May 18 and ran for three months to August 18. They were extended to November 13, as KPA moved to cushion importers, exporters and transporters from the impact the pandemic has had on the transport and logistics sector.
Importers and exporters incur charges of between $30 (Sh 3,348) and $90 (Sh10,044) per day for cargo that has stayed beyond the free storage period and over 24 days, depending on the size of the container.
Containers released by KRA and not collected after 24 hours are charged $100 (Sh11,161)and $200 (Sh22,322) per day for 20ft and 40ft, respectively.
The extension comes when KPA cargo volumes have returned to 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. 3.48 million tons were recorded in 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 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, Eng. 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.