The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) anticipates increased volume of cargo following the expansion of the container terminal after the first full container vessel for Ignazio Messina Line made its maiden voyage at the port. Captain Abdulaziz Mzee from KPA who received the vessel, MV Jolly Argento, said this was an opportunity for KPA, since Messina has invested in complete full container vessels as a pilot. He said the shipping line was used to bringing Ro-Ro vessels at the port of Mombasa, which they used to berth at berth number one (Berth 1). 'This is the first container carrier that will be able to berth at the container terminal from berth number 16 to 22,' he said. Mzee added that the vessel has provided an opportunity for KPA to take in more tare weight since at the container terminal the drafts range from 12.5 to 14 meters. He urged other shipping lines to emulate what Messina has done and consider bringing in more cargo to the port of Mombasa and the new Port of Lamu. The port captain said KPA has expanded the new container terminal that is berth number 21 and 22 and intends to continue with berth number 23, adding that it has made the Mombasa port to have a lot of yard space for storing and handling of containers. 'We urge other shipping lines to bring in cargo here at the port since we are not full. There is a lot of storage space for other containers,' he said. The first full container vessel MV Jolly Argento, docks at Berth 22 at the port of Mombasa. It is the first container carrier to berth at the terminal. Messina line Regional Managing Director Caption Giuseppe Fedele said that the vessel is the only shipping line that is coming directly from the North-west continent and Mediterranean Sea direct to Mombasa. He added that there is a new vessel for maiden call, Jolly Yoro, a sister vessel for Jolly Argento, which is expected to dock in Mombasa port in the beginning of December. 'We have now invested in a full container vessel; we have a normal line service with four calls in a month. Historically Messina has had services in Mombasa for the past 35 years and hopes to continue its operations here,' he said. Fedele said they are also considering expanding their services and making the Port of Mombasa the hub in use for the Dar es Salaam port. 'This is due to the popularity and efficiency of the Mombasa port. If the economy recovers, we are planning to make Mombasa a hub for the Messina line, whereby we will purchase new Ro-Ro vessels that will be operating between the port of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam,' he said.
Source: Kenya News Agency