Mombasa – The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) announced on Wednesday that only 43 percent of the port’s container storage capacity is occupied.
The port, with a shipyard capacity of 35,000 containers or twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), is currently occupied with fewer than 15,000 containers.
On Tuesday it was reported that the port of Mombasa was congested for three weeks after a dispute between importers and KPA management.
According to the reports, the KPA forced cargo to be transported in the direction of Nairobi by the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) on rails.
There were also reports that the cargo was moved to Mombasa for handling at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi before being returned to Mombasa at the importer’s expense.
Acting KPA Managing Director John Mwangemi said the total container population in the port was 14,960 TEUS (containers) on Tuesday, which is only 43 percent of the shipyard’s capacity.
“Currently the port of Mombasa is flowing and without congestion due to the improved infrastructure and the efficient operational measures introduced,” said Mwangemi.
He said the port of Mombasa receives an average of 3,000 containers a day.
“If the containers were not cleared for three weeks, we would have no space to stack containers from the ships and there would be a great overload of ships and shipyards, leading to international protests by shipping companies,” said Mwangemi.
Of the 14,960 TEUS at the port yard, 908 were local containers that belonged to the Kenyan market, which corresponds to only 6 percent of the container population.
He said of the 14,960 containers, a total of 4,074 containers are empty containers that are stacked for return shipping.
The undocumented containers in the port amounted to 3,832 TEUS, of which local containers were only 813 TEUS and the rest was transshipment cargo.
This brings the total number of local containers to 1,721 TEUS, which corresponds to 11.5 percent of the port’s total container population.