he Siginon Group has gained 40 new trucks as the regional economies spring back to normal. The USD 2.4 million investment is driven by increasing customer demands for reliable cargo transportation by road. The company received the trucks at the Mombasa transport yard with an assurance of reliable service delivery.
“The acquisition of the additional trucks ensures we meet the growing demand for efficient cargo movement by road from both the Port of Mombasa and the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi. We will continue to listen to the voice of our customers and offer services that will keep powering trade for our customers,” Meshack Kipturgo, the Siginon Group Managing Director said.
The transport and logistics sector were severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the year 2020 which led to scale down of operations leading to partial closure of key global ports which paralyzed cargo movement and trade across the globe. The situation is slowly reversing with adherence to the COVID protocols, vaccination, and global focus to keep trade and economies going.
“We have embraced the New Normal that has come with Covid-19. It is now commonplace to ensure we sanitize, observe social distance, wear face masks and still do business,” Meshack said, adding that there is widespread knowledge now about the pandemic that has seen various vaccines being developed in a record time in a move that has brought confidence in the supply chain as players learn ‘new normal’ in doing things.
When COVID-19 reached the East African region for the first time early last year, there was very little information on how to contain it leading to strict containment measures that curtailed cargo movement and cross border trade leaving business bleeding heavily.
Siginon has now fully subscribed to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) adopted last year, which has been guiding the industry in containing COVID-19 as the logistics industry sought to spring back in a ‘new normal’ environment.
Siginon is an integrated end to end logistics and air cargo solutions provider based in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda with over 35 years’ experience. The firm provides supply chain solutions to its customers from the source to the ultimate destination. It is in Nairobi, Mombasa and Eldoret in Kenya, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and in Kampala, Uganda.
The company provides customs clearance, freight forwarding, warehousing, Ground Handling, transportation, port services and air cargo handling in East Africa.
“At Siginon, we ably serve regional and international markets, focusing on satisfying needs in East Africa and the Great Lakes region. Some of our key markets include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somali, Northern DR Congo and Southern Sudan,” Kipturgo said.
Signs of economic recovery have been evidenced in the last two months at the port of Mombasa and Southern region, which collected Sh 200.95 billion surpassing a target of Sh 183.578 billion in the half financial year ending in December 2020.
The prime movers that the Siginon has acquired will carry out both the containerized and conventional cargo because of their adaptability, according to Kipturgo.
Fast-growing sectors such as financial services, manufacturing, retail, transport and ICT have provided launch pads for those itching to venture regionally and outside their comfort zones.
“The spirit of the Common Market Protocol encouraged Kenyan companies to venture into the region, but most realized the situation on the ground was quite different. Despite the challenges, Kenyan companies have benefited specifically in the free movement of persons, labour and capital,” said Kipturgo.
EAC countries have to a large extent domesticated the Common Market Protocol making it easier for private companies to establish cross-border operations, but some have gone against the agreement on areas like free movement of people and land use that remains restricted.
Efforts to harmonise taxes, creation of one-stop border points, common investments in infrastructure projects and other initiatives have turned the EAC into a fertile expansion territory.
Investment in the IT system will play a crucial role in the future of the supply chain. Siginon rode on the systems it has created to circumvent COVID-19 challenges.
The company offers its customers modern, spacious and secure warehousing that meet their unique needs. The facilities include storage of cargo in cold rooms and transit and bonded warehouses.
In Mombasa, warehouses’ capacity is 136,000 square feet, Nairobi is 90,500 square feet and Eldoret 7,400 square feet. The company has a further 40,000 square feet of open space adjacent to the Siginon Nairobi and Mombasa complex.
The warehousing include export, import and domestic distribution centers with inventory management and control, bar-coding, re-packaging, labeling, quality inspection, kitting and other value-added services.