The Port of Mombasa is strategically shifting its approach to ensure the Northern Corridor is a favourite for shipping lines, which were touted to have a preference for Tanzania’s Port of Dar es Salaam, situated along the Central Corridor.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), on Tuesday, January 9, thus unveiled strategies which will see Kenya realise both short and long-term economic benefits and maximise developmental and employment opportunities while at the same time exerting dominance in the maritime sector.
Captain William Ruto, Kenya Ports Authority Managing Director, stated that the government entity would provide end-to-end logistics services for transit market customers from the Port of Mombasa to their destinations.
Ruto issued his remarks barely a week after a regional conversation on whether Port of Dar es Salaam was becoming the anchor of choice for ships heading to East Africa Community shores.
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Managing Director Captain William Ruto during a committee meeting on August 29, 2023
Parliament of Kenya
The new plan by Captain William Ruto will see the Port of Mombasa improve in efficiency and also reduce the cost of transacting business.
“To ensure port facilities are more competitive and efficient for shipping lines, importers and exporters, KPA will further enhance the capacity of Port of Mombasa to attract larger vessels,” Captain William Ruto further added during an engagement with COSCO shipping line representatives.
According to the KPA Managing Director, the enhancement will be achieved by dredging the berths to -15 at the quayside and -16 at the midstream channel.
Dredging is the removal of sediments and debris from the bottom of the sea to ensure it does not fill channels and harbours.
In 2012, dredging works were undertaken in the port, increasing its depth to 15 metres and width to 300 metres.
With the now-planned new dredging works, Mombasa Port will dwarf regional ports in terms of vessels that can access the harbour.
Currently, the Dar es Salaam Port is undergoing similar dredging and, upon completion, will have a width of 170 metres and a depth of 16 metres.
According to KPA, capacity expansion initiatives have been complemented with the acquisition of new and modern equipment.
Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen on December 29, termed the Port of Mombasa as one of the most efficient ports in Africa.
“Our container turnaround time is 2 days when our neighbours take 38 days,” he remarked then.
A photo of the Mombasa Port
Northern Corridor Transit and Coordination Authority