Investments to boost handling facilities and new service reforms already seem to be improving results at the port of Mombasa, which has recently been struggling with congestion and other operational challenges.
According to the port authority, the Port of Mombasa could exceed its traffic targets for 2023, given the volume already handled in the first 10 months, i.e. 1.32 million TEUs for an overall forecast of 1.5 million TEUs for the whole year.
For Kenya Port Authority (KPA), this performance reflects the port's improved operational efficiency.
"Recent improvements include the expansion of container handling berths, increased automation of services, the acquisition of modern vessels and cargo handling equipment, and the strengthening of partnerships with key government agencies and stakeholders," explained the port authority.
Since last year, the port has made major investments to add new handling equipment, including a tugboat and several gantry cranes to speed up ship processing.
The authority also recently announced new managerial reforms to ensure 24-hour service and reduce the number of weighbridges on the Northern Corridor (Mombasa-Malaba).
This upturn should boost overall traffic, which in recent years has fallen slightly from 34.4 million tonnes to 33.8 million tonnes in 2022. Prior to Covid-19, this volume had exceeded 35 million tonnes.
According to the authorities, this drop in figures was linked to congestion and the rise in importance of the port of Dar es Salaam, which has stepped up investments to modernize the port, combined with more attractive tax and customs measures.