MOMBASA, Kenya, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has recorded a 13.2 percent improvement of container off take at the port following stringent measures introduced by the government.
KPA Managing Director Gichiri Ndua announced a delivery of 1223 Twenty-Foot- Equivalent Units (TEUs) between the month of June 19 and July 18, compared with 1,113 TEUs in January and June.
He said the highest delivery cargo of 1,759 TEUs was recorded on July 13,barely a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed an improvement of cargo transit time between the port and the border exit points especially in Malaba.
He announced that the transit of cargo from the Port of Mombasa to, Malaba point has reduced to four days from the previous 8 to 13 days that resulted to congestion and delay problems at the Port.
However he said the dwell time of transit cargo is at six days which translates to reduction of one day that must be improved.
"The transit of cargo from Mombasa to Malaba border now take less that five days, we have achieved the president directive translating to reduction of cost and improvement of trade in the region," said Ndua
"The owners of the truck should also fast truck the clearance of documentation of cargo at the customs enable KPA to fully achieve its target," Ndua said.
Addressing the media at KPA headquarters in Mombasa Gichiri attributed the improvement to implementation of presidential directives that include streamline of all government departments at the port.
President Kenyatta on June 14 ordered the Commissioner of Customs to relocate to Mombasa and directed the clearing process at the port to be digitized in order to enhance efficiency.
Other directives were abolition of transshipment bond, removal of roadblocks along the Northern corridor, rationalization of weighbridges, abolition of scanning of transit cargo within the port and 24/7 hrs operational at port.
Kenyatta directed that the multiple players in government involved in port operations be properly coordinated under the leadership of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)'s MD, who will have direct control over all operation.
Kenyatta directed that all customs decisions be made and finalized at the Port of Mombasa without further reference to Nairobi which has created delays in the pas
Ndua said they have since established an inter -agency cargo clearing unit comprising key stakeholders , Kenya Revenue officials, Kenya Bureau of Stands but will be coordinated by the Kenya Ports Authority.
Ndua said they intend to reduce free storage days for both local and transit cargo from six days to the globally recognized three days once all measure have been put in place at the port.
He said stakeholders will be meeting soon to deliberate the reduction of storage period to avoid any inconvenience for importers and shipping companies who are likely to incur huge demurrage charges.
"We will discuss and agree on the storage of period arrangement with stakeholders and all this realignment is for the benefit for the importer," said Ndua.
The directive comes after the World Bank warned Kenya that it risks losing billions of shillings in trade if it does not resolve congestion and delays at the Mombasa port.