MOMBASA Kenya Ports Authority --
world’s largest container shipping company Maersk on Friday
engaged the services of a full block freight train to ferry
cargo from the Port of Mombasa via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)
to the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi.
In a move billed as
a game changer and a major boost for the SGR, the shipping line
transported two fully loaded trains with a capacity of 108
containers each, to Nairobi via rail with the first one
departing at 2.00 pm and the second one at 4.00 pm.
transportation of cargo by rail saves time, with the train
taking an average of eight hours to arrive in Nairobi, Kenya
Railways Business Commercial and Operations Team leader Mr.
James Siele applauded Maersk for the continued support towards
the rail freight services.
Mr Siele at the same
time commended the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) for efficiency
and timeliness in cargo handling from the vessel to the
marshalling yard, saying this was a key ingredient necessary for
ensuring train schedules are strictly adhered to.
“As we dispatch this
train, the vessel is still at the Berth discharging other
containers meaning that we are actually delivering containers to
Nairobi before the vessel sails off the port. This is a very
good performance by KPA in conveying cargo to the customers,” he
The SGR currently
runs four scheduled trains to the ICD Nairobi each ferrying 108
Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and therefore a total 432
The officer was
quick to add that there are plans to introduce the fifth and
sixth trains from 1st May and June 2018
Captain William Ruto,
the KPA General Manager Operations and Harbour Master, assured
importers and the business community of the Authority’s
commitment in ensuring faster and efficient cargo delivery to
being railed to Nairobi ICD are being delivered ‘ex-hook’
meaning containers are being discharged directly from the ship
and onto the train for Nairobi. This greatly improves the cargo
dwell time and improves on the ship turnaround time,” he added.
Improved cargo dwell
time is important as it frees up container yard space in the
port therefore reducing congestion at the port. Faster ship
turnaround time improves a port’s productivity and
To ensure smooth
operations, KPA, Kenya Railways and Kenya Revenue Authority have
come up with a one-stop center and introduced a 24-hour working
schedule at the Nairobi ICD just like at the Port of Mombasa. A
customer care desk has been set up at the ICDN with the purpose
of informing consignees of the arrival of their cargo
immediately it gets to Nairobi for collection.