East Africa’s biggest port traffic goes up by 10pc in just nine months

Despite prolonged electioneering period in the country which at one point threatened to get out of hand the port witnessed increased traffic.

Mombasa port which handles imports such as fuel for Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo handled 22.8 million tonnes of cargo between January and September compared with 20.6 million in the same period last year, Kenya Ports Authority said on Monday.

Despite prolonged electioneering period in the country which at one point threatened to get out of hand the port witnessed increased traffic, helped by an expansion of its handling capacity and a new railway system.

Last year Kenya commissioned the first phase of a second Sh31 billion ($300m) container terminal that provides an additional cargo-handling capacity of 550,000 TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units) per year.

Construction of a second phase at a cost of Sh93billion ($900m) which will provide additional capacity of 450,000 TEUs is scheduled to start early next year while an envisaged third phase, which, will increase capacity by a further 500 000 TEU/y  is also on the pipeline.

Activity in Mombasa port which is the biggest in the region is used as a measure of economic activity for the region.

Transit traffic at the port increased by 8.5 per cent to 6.5 million tonnes from 5.9 million.

Kenya’s landlocked neighbour, Uganda remained the biggest transit market, accounting for 81 per cent of all transit cargo.

Imports accounted for 19.3 million tonnes, up from 17.4 million in the same 2016 period, an increase of 10.4 per cent.

The port handled 2.8 million tonnes in exports, up 3.2 percent on the 2.7 million tonnes in the same period last year.

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