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Kenya: Mombasa Port to Hit a Million Containers Record in 2014Wednesday, December 31, 2014 > 09:52:41
The Kenya Ports Authority anticipates a new container handling record for the full year, which is estimated to surpass one million twenty-foot equivalent units pass-through.
The new record is expected to be printed tomorrow, and will be more than 12 per cent higher than the 894,000 TEUs handled last year. About 903,000 TEUs were handled in 2012.
Volumes have already surpassed a full year target of 950,000 TEUs, according to an official, with only about 6,000 units shy of the one-million mark.
Five container vessels are already docked at the berths 13,14,15,17 and18, leaving nothing to guess work that the mark will be crossed within a few hours. Another seven vessels are also expected to dock midnight tomorrow.
"This will be a historic event for our port as we witness the offloading of the container that will mark the one million TEU's this year. We expect this to happen between 10am and 11am on Wednesday," said Haji Masemo, KPA principal communications officer.
KPA is also eyeing a new record of 24 million tonnes of cargo throughput this year, from 22.3 million tonnes in 2013.
Between January and November, cargo handled at the port exceeded 20.5 million tonnes, a 10.2 per cent increase over the 18.6 million tonnes handled over a similar period last year.
KPA said cargo volumes are rising due to the expanded port capacity and improved efficiency.
The Kilindini channel was dredged to deepen and widen its turning basins, thereby attracting bigger vessels. Construction of berth 19 added 240 metres of quay length, while automation has quickened cargo clearance.
KPA said operations were smooth over the Christmas period and little congestion was witnessed compared to previous years. It said only 16,000 containers are currently lying at the port against a yard capacity of 30,000.
"There is neither congestion nor backlog at the port," Masemo said.
On the Christmas Eve, KPA managing director Gichiri Ndua told port users that delays would attract penalties.