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State wants time spent in moving cargo shortened

The government has asked transport industry players along the Northern Corridor to develop new initiatives to reduce cargo dwell time at the transit nodes.

Transport Principal Secretary Paul Maringa said cargo dwell time at border stations, ports, weighbridges and container terminals must be reduced to the bare minimum so as to lower the cost of doing business. Dwell time or terminal dwell time refers to the time a vehicle such as a public transit bus or train spends at a scheduled stop without moving.

He said despite achievements made by the Northern Corridor member states, thanks to ongoing railway development, practical solutions to challenges blocking realisation of maximum benefits from  Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)  must be found.

Maringa who was speaking during the Northern Corridor Technical Committee meeting and Validation workshop in Mombasa said that despite significant reduction in the cost of transporting goods along the corridor, they are still high.

“We should take advantage of the Maputo Corridor Logistic Initiative to hear their experience and derive what lessons have been learned as that could help us reduce transport cost along our corridor,” he said.

He said the high cost calls for additional measures to be put in place  by the technical committee to improve efficiency and productivity of the corridor.

Maringa said Kenya, which is a member state, has increased the road network coverage dedicated to Northern Corridor from 1,300 km to 2,400km of which 1,800 kms are in good-to-fair condition.

The PS called for the engagement of private sector through public-private partnership in development of infrastructure to ease movement of goods and people.

He also urged the technical experts on the northern corridor to start working towards the realisation of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by getting all stakeholder on board and defining role each one has to play.

“I urge you all to keep the Continental Free Trade Area in mind even as we plan and implement our regional programmes,” added Maringa.

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