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            october 19, 2019

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APMT: Mombasa to outperform rivals as cargo moves from road to rail


Kenya's Port of Mombasa is already ahead of Tanzania's Dar es Salaam and Mozambique's Beira, and while it still trails South Africa's Durban, Oman's Salalah and Egypt's Port Said, APM Terminals sees a day when Mombasa will catch up and surpass its rivals, according to the Shipping Gazette.
"Mombasa is on the move with very exciting projects meant to keep its leadership position. There is the Berth 19 project that is being built at the existing facility, and Terminal 2 - which will dramatically increase the port's capacity," said APM Terminals Regional Manager Jesper Boll in an interview with Nairobi's Business Daily.
"Mombasa consistently outperforms other ports in the region. We should recognise the tremendous strides that Kenya Ports Authority has made to remove bottlenecks and introduce efficiencies. These enabled the port to handle an increase of 17 per cent in container traffic last year to the total of 899,000 TEU," he said.
"The fact that ambitious projects such as Lamu and Bagamoyo are on the drawing board is a recognition of the importance of East Africa as a region," he said.
Among the most significant recent developments was the opening earlier this year of a new Container Freight Station by APM Terminals with its dedicated rail link.
"It is an amazing fact that currently only three per cent of all cargo in East Africa moves by rail. Mombasa is the busiest container terminal in East Africa that handled 899,000 TEU throughput last year. I expect that over the next few years it will break through the one million TEU mark," said Mr Boll.
Pointing to heavy road congestion in and out of Mombasa, he said: "Huge traffic jams are experienced every day - sometimes all the way to Nairobi.
"We believe the railway is the transport of the future. Our new facility, for instance, has two 600-metre railway lines that can accommodate four trains simultaneously. Our location on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway helps to ease the traffic congestion and also reduces the time spent by importers picking up cargo from the port," he said.
"Each train movement takes the place of 40 truck movements, thereby easing the overburdened road network," he said.

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