Kenya Airport Authority (KPA) wants owners of 1,700 containers which have been documented and cleared at Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) to collect them so as to create space.
Managing director, Catherine Mturi-Wairi, said port users need to collect their cargo to free-up the space to enable the authority to handle more consignments. She said since the Embakasi ICD was commissioned in December last year, daily container deliveries have improved from below 100 units to between 300 and 450 units.
The depot, she said now has capacity to handle 450,000 twenty-foot equivalent units containers per year, up from its original design of 180,000, adding that there is need to increase the number of trains coming to Nairobi.
“We have progressively increased the number of daily cargo trains and as we speak we are now running four trains daily carrying 108 containers each, ferrying a total of 432 containers daily to ICD Nairobi since April 1, 2018,” Ms Mturi-Wairi said. She disclosed that KPA intends to increase the number of trains to five from the May 1 and subsequently to six by June 1.
By December this year, Kenya Railways will be running 12 trains daily to the ICD. Mturi-Wairi who was accompanied by Kenya Railways commercial and business manager James Siele was speaking during a tour of the inland container depot in Nairobi.
She said the success of the ICD was due to implementation of various performance improvement measures which include enhancing shipper awareness and explaining the advantages of the rail transport to stakeholders.
Siele said the number of trains bringing cargo to the depot is expected to increase due to the increasing demand. He said corporation has also extended its promotional freight rates for cargo from Mombasa to the ICD.
“The charges are $250 (Sh25,013.25) and $300 (Sh30,015.90) for 20ft and 40ft container units respectively, while for download is $150 (Sh15,007.95) and $200 (Sh20,010.60) respectively.
He said KPA has given a rebate reducing the handling charges for Standard Gauge Railways (SGR) cargo at the ICD by 30 per cent to Nairobi and transit clients who would wish to nominate the ICD as their point of cargo delivery.
Mturi-Wairi said KPA has also reduced the free storage period for import containers from 11 days to four days just like in Mombasa to encourage importers to hasten collection of their cargo. She said they have also introduced a 24/7 work schedule at the ICD for all agencies including Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) to enhance cargo delivery and improve efficiency.