KPA urges clients to collect overstayed containers at Nairobi ICD

The Inland Container Deport in Embakasi, 205 containers of uncollected cargo are set to be auctioned at the depot next month. PHOTO: MICHAEL MBUGUA

Nairobi, KENYA: Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has called upon the port users (clients) to collect over 1700 cleared containers at the Inland Container Deport in Embakasi, Nairobi in order to create space for other incoming containers.

ICDN which was commissioned by President Uhuru Kenyatta in December last year has recorded a major improvement in the transportation of cargo from below 100units to between 300 and 450 units per day.

In a media briefing on Friday in Nairobi at Inland Container Deport Nairobi, (ICDN) KPA Managing Director Mrs. Catherine Mturi-Wairi said that the push is to ensure that they free up space at the ports to enable it to handle more cargo efficiently.

Mturi alluded that, they have progressively increased the number of daily cargo trains upward from 4 trains daily carrying 108 containers each that ferries a total of 432 container units to ICD Nairobi since 1st of April 2018, adding that they have also reduced the free storage period for import containers from 11 days to 4days just like in Mombasa in order to encourage importers to hasten collection of their cargo.

“New equipment has been acquired and we now have 4No. Rail Mounted Gantry cranes, 8No. Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes, 7No. Reachstackers19No. Terminal Tractors, 5 No. Empty Container Handlers and 16No. forklifts between 3-5 ton capacity to enhance stripping and stuffing of containers.” Said Mturi.

The director added their main aim is to increase the trains from 4 to 5 from 1st May and subsequently to six trains by 1st June this year which translate to 12 trains daily by December this year.

However, she insisted that the storage period for exports and empty containers will remain at 7 days at the ICDN citing that it will encourage port users to increase their usage of SGR and hasten cargo clearance for fast delivery.

“I wish also to clarify that for ICD SGR containers, the counting for the free storage period starts when the containers land at the ICD not in Mombasa and the shipping lines have been advised accordingly of this arrangement for purposes of charging container demurrage.” She added.

In order to ensure that empty containers are railed promptly, the port has dedicated one train daily downward to Mombasa to carry empty containers only and on Sundays, all four downward trains will carry empty containers as the exports are low on these days.

The Kenya Railways has also extended its promotional freight rates for cargo from Mombasa to the ICDN.

The charges are USD 250 and USD 300 for Twenty-Foot and Forty foot container units respectively, while for download is USD 150 and USD 200 respectively.

The above success was achieved through the implementation of various performance and improvement measures which include enhancing shipper awareness, talking to stakeholders to explain the advantages of the rail transport.