Port Of Mombasa Buoyant In The Face Of Global Maritime Upheaval

The Port of Mombasa’s operational efficiency has led to impressive cargo throughput performance and revenue surge, according to 2023 statistics released by the Kenya Port Authority (KPA).

For the first half of 2024, KPA has recorded a net revenue of Sh33.7B compared to Sh 27B in the same period in 2023 amid attacks of vessels in the Red Sea forcing cargo vessels to use longer routes.

KPA Managing Director (MD) Capt William Ruto said when he released the KPA Annual Review and Bulletin of Statistics 2023 that despite global risks that affected production, port performance was resilient with cargo throughput increasing by 6.2 per cent to reach 35.98 million Metric Tons (MT) in 2023 from 33.88 million MT in 2022.

The port handled 2.33 million MT of containerized cargo which accounts for 50.4 per cent of all the cargo handled. Container traffic also exhibited double-digit growth of 11.9 per cent registering 1.62 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2023 compared to 1.45 million TEUs achieved in 2022.

he number of vessels calling at the port of Mombasa rose to 1,835 in 2023 from 1,561 registered in 2022.

KPA MD noted that the rise in containerized cargo has been consistent across the year with notable record highs witnessed in May at 155,204 TEUs and December at 152,326 TEUs respectively.

‘This indicates that a strong economic performance in the region, in tandem with extensive consumption, has a direct influence on the volumes handled at the Port,’ said Capt Ruto.

‘The transit market segment performed well posting a notable growth of 11.5%, recording 11.41 million MT in 2023 up from 10.23 million MT registered in 2022. This is evidence of our resilience in the face of ever-increasing competition,’ he added.

However, there was a decline from 71.5 per cent market share of Uganda the primary transit country of KPA in 2022 to 62.3 per cent.

‘The country itself is in a process of economic recovery and soon we anticipate a resurgence in its economy,’ elucidated Capt Ruto, added, that transit cargo to South
Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo grew by 52 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.

He noted that the port handled 1.5 million tons of cargo destined for DRC that joined the region bloc East African Community (EAC) in 2022 affirming that the Port of Mombasa is a crucial conduit for trade facilitation in the region.

To grow the region’s trade demand, KPA has endeavoured to improve operational efficiency, invest in capacity expansion, acquisition of modern equipment and upgrading of its systems.

The bulletin shows that the Gross Vessel Turnaround time recorded an improvement from 3.7 days in 2022 to 3.3 days in 2023. Tanker vessel turnaround times improved from 4.8 days in 2022 to 4.4 days in 2023.

Container Vessel Productivity increased from 32.5 moves in 2022 to 38.8 moves per ship hour at berth while Container vessel turnaround time improved from 2.9 days to an inspiring 2.3 days in the same period.

Container dwell time reduced to 3.6 days in 2023 from 3.9 days in 2022 and truck turnaround time
also improved from 7.1 hours in 2022 to 6.7 hours in 2023.

KPA MD lauded the government for its commitment to enhancing port infrastructure and connectivity in its quest to support economic growth.

‘This has had a positive impact on KPA’s other terminals and ports which are also registering admirable performance in a bid to meet the growing demand,’ said Capt Ruto.

Source: Kenya News Agency