Mombasa port intends to handle two million containers

Wednesday March 18 2020

Containers being loaded onto the Mv Kota Gabung at Mombasa port on July 11, 2018. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The port of Mombasa has outlined plans to handle two million containers annually by 2022.

Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director Daniel Manduku said the organisation is also amending its Act to enable the adoption of the Land Port Model and have several ports.

Dr Manduku told participants during the Vision 2030 delivery board stakeholders meeting at English Point Marina in Mombasa that the port is also carrying out a number of infrastructural projects in line with Vision 2030 delivery programmes.

“We have a number of key initiatives we are undertaking as an organisation including changing the KPA Act, which was enacted in 1978, to adopt the Land Port Model, where KPA will have several ports.

"Currently, the port handles 30 million tonnes of cargo annually, but we want to increase it to 45 million tones in the next four years,” he said.


The 45 million tones, the MD said, will make KPA achieve Sh100 billion revenue annually.

He said the target of handling the cargo traffic of two million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (Teus) will keep KPA in a strategic level in terms of ability of moving cargo from the port to the hinterland.

Last year, KPA handled 1.2 million Teus, and it targets 1.3 million this year.

KPA, the MD said, is banking on its improved cargo clearance services and good governance structure to achieve the vision of being the best managed port in Africa.

“At KPA, we have key areas of preferences beginning with governance which is aligned well with Vision 2030.


The second area is operational efficiency and in the last two months, Mombasa port has broken four world records in cargo handling.

"We are not just a port but one of the best ports and I promise that in the next four years, it will be the best port in Africa in terms of performance,” Dr Manduku said.

He said his focus is on the organisation's business growth, which he said will be achieved through robust and motivated workforce that ties well to profession efficiency and also governance structure.

“The second area we are focusing on at the port of Mombasa is modernized equipment and very high level ICT structure. We are going to be an E-port and everything will be E-based,” he said.


Some of the huge infrastructural projects KPA is undertaking include the ongoing construction of the Lamu port, with Shimoni and Kisumu ports in the awaiting list.

“We are completing the Lamu port as KPA and it is one of the facilities that will be directly under our charge. After the Lamu port, our focus will be on the construction of Shimoni port before extending to the port of Kisumu.

“In Kisumu we have already acquired some land and we are in the process of identifying an appropriate model. Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi will also be expanded to accommodate more cargo that is being ferried from the port of Mombasa,” he said.

Currently, a total of 8,000 containers are moved through the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight trains every day.

“We are currently doing eight trains of cargo to ICD and by December, we shall be doing 12 trains, hence the need for expansion at ICD,” he said.


He said that KPA has also embarked on building the second phase of C22 (Berth 21) through a loan from Japan Internationals Corporation (JICA).

“JICA did berth 20 and 19 and they are also financing berth 21, which we shall start in the next one month.

We are also expanding the road network around the port to make sure that the entry and exit into the port is seamless. Berth 11-15 will undergo major renovations to make them attractive,” he said.

KPA has already announced a major plan to build 11 new ports as it steps its feet for market dominance in cargo handling in Africa.

KPA has already contracted a Rotterdam based company to plan for building of the ports in the country with most of them found at the coast.

Maritime and Transport Business Solutions (MTBS) has been assigned the consultancy services for the development of master plan for the ports.

MTBS will carry out the project together with Runji and Partners from Nairobi.


The firm is to develop a Master Plan study that will facilitate the development of the ports "taking due cognizance of the long term development framework as outlined under Vision 2030. This report contains port development plans for eight out of the eleven assessed potential port sites."

“The KPA is responsible for the port of Mombasa and today’s coastal small ports such as Funzi, Shimoni and Vanga located in the south coast, Mtwapa, Kilifi, Malindi, Lamu and Kiunga further north,” KPA said in its website.

KPA said apart from the ports, an assessment has also been made regarding potential other port sites along the coast.

Two additional potential port sites, which do not fall under the KPA Act, have been identified.

In Lamu, KPA and the national government are developing a second commercial port at Manda Bay, Lamu.


The port is being developed to tap into the South Sudan and Ethiopia markets under the Lapsset initiative.

It shall consist of a total of 32 Berths when fully completed.

Shimoni port in Kwale is situated off Wasini Island in South Coast. It is rather small and has limited connectivity to the hinterland.

Currently with a volume of approximately 10,000 metric tons, it is by far the largest port of all coastal small ports in the field of coastal trade.

Destinations are mainly Pemba Island and Zanzibar.

Based on general economic growth, the port has the potential to accommodate increasing coastal trade volumes.

KPA is working in collaboration with the county government of Kwale to develop Shimoni into a fishing and tourist port.

In January 2014, the five East African Community members - Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi - adopted the Single Customs Territory model with the aim of boosting the volume of cargo at the two regional ports.