REMARKS BY THE KENYA PORTS AUTHORITY MANAGING DIRECTOR MS. CATHERINE MTURI – WAIRI  DURING THE OPENING OF THE 4TH  MEDIA WORKSHOP AT SAROVA WHITESANDS BEACH RESORT AND SPA, MOMBASA ON 20TH NOVEMBER 2017.

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.

I welcome you all to this 4th KPA sponsored Media Workshop. The last time we held thisforum was in 2015. Although during that time I was seated among the participants, I am gladthat I can still recognize a number of faces from the last three fora wehave held in 2012,2013 and 2015.

 

 It is equally pleasing to meet for the first time participants from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) which is a boost to our concerted efforts in enhancing media awareness and understanding of global and regional transport dynamics.In the same vein, allow me to thank our speakers for accepting to facilitate this forum.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Many of you will appreciate that doing a comprehensive maritime and logistics story is never a walk in the park.  One needs to get a deeper understanding of different players' roles in the logistic chain to write a good story. And that is why we believe that for all of us to uphold professionalism in our respective fields, there must be a deliberate and continuous productive exchange.

 

That notwithstanding, we are live to the fact that we cannot achieve acceptable levels of shared meaning about our business in a single forum.  Hence, the need for continuous engagement and discourse to deepen understanding of the maritime transport and the whole logistic chain. This is the reason, once again, we are gathered here for the next two days.

 

Distinguished delegates,

Having reached consensus from our previous engagements to hold this event annually, allow me to explain the omission in 2016. In November last year, we hosted the Intermodal Africa 2016 Exhibition and conference which coincided with our media workshop dates.  The conference attracted participants from different parts of the world. Regretfully, the involving intensive planning and limited resources could not afford us an opportunity to prepare for a successful media forum in the same period. Nevertheless, we were grateful that some of you attended the conference and gave it a befitting coverage.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Before I can share some highlights on port developments, allow me to voice my opinion about news production and its ramifications on organizations' image and business.  First, I begin by issuing a caveat; I am in no way a media expert or a critic for that matter.  My personal observation is informed by how our African media as a whole report Africa to us. For a long time, our media systems have been prioritizing non-development oriented news frames and setting an agenda that revolves around the perceived African pessimism. Encouragingly though, this trend is slowly changing. We are now reading, watching and listening to constructive and fair coverage of homegrown development initiatives.  In addition, we are witnessing public institutions getting increasingly accessible to the media through platforms of this nature to enhance effective communication partnerships. I wish to commend all of you for these efforts and more so the Nation media Group for taking bold steps to start a weekly shipping pull out in the Business Daily which has been running for more than two years uninterruptedly with detailed articles on port performance and transport in general.

Port Developments

Distinguished Participants

The last time some of you were here in 2015, we shared a number of issues which dwelled on performance and infrastructure developments. During that time, the Port had just-for the first time in its history - handled a total throughput of 24.9 Million tons and over 1 Million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). This performance reinforced Mombasa Port's position in the league of global players. It is also a clear indication of market confidence in the prevailing business environment underscored by improved regional integration. 

 In regard to infrastructure development, we discussed the progress we had made on:

  • Acquisition of more modern equipment
  • Construction of Phase I of the second container Terminal which was then at 95 percent complete.
  • Continued Port Automation which focused on effective interface with the National Single window system and single customs territory.
  • Integrated Security Systemwhich had just been implementedand had positioned the Port of Mombasa as one of the most secure maritime facilities in the Continent.
  • Reduction of Non- Tarrif barriersalong the northern corridorand
  • Construction of the Standard Gauge Railwaywhich had beenlaunched in November 2013.

     

    Ladies and gentlemen,

I have beenbriefed that in the afternoon you will tour the Port and sample for yourself the progress we have made since 2015.You will find that the Second Container Terminal is now operational, construction of phase 1 of the SGR is complete, linking the Port and the Nairobi Inland Container Depot. Apparently some of you travelled from Nairobi by Rail and I am sure you will share the experience. In addition you will see new access roads to the New Container Terminal aimed at easing traffic and cargo offtake.

Distinguished participants,

Performance overview since 2012

Over the last five years, cargo throughput has registered a steady annual growth of 5.7 percent from 21.92 million tons in 2012 to 27.36 million tons in 2016. Similarly, container traffic has registered an impressive growth of 4.8 percent rising from 903,463 TEUs in 2012 to 1,091,371 TEUs. Over the same period, transit traffic grew by 4.0 percent to record 7.75 million tons in 2016 up from 6.63 million tons in 2012. This growth was significantly supported by especially Uganda destined cargo which grew by 7.1 percent over the same period.  

As I have just mentioned, in 2015 the Port handled 1million TEUs for the first time in its history. I wish to inform you that we have continued to sustain the temple despite the prevailing difficult global economic trends. In this regards, allow me to share how much cargo passed through the port in 2016 and the last nine months of this year.

 

Performance 2016

Accordingly therefore, in 2016, we handled a total of 27.36 million tons of cargo up from 26.73 million tons handled in 2015, realizing a favorable growth of 2.4 percent. 

Container traffic alone recorded an increase of 15,253 TEUs from 1.076 millionTEUs handled in 2015 to 1.091 million TEUs in 2016, giving a growth of 1.4 percent.

In the category of transit traffic, the Port handled 7.748million tons in 2016 up from 7,667 million tons handled in 2015, representing an increase of 1.06percent. Of this total traffic Uganda commanded 81.9 per cent share followed by South Sudan(7.7%), DR. Congo(4.9%), Rwanda (2.5%(, Tanzania(2.4%), Burundi(0.5%), Somali(0.1%) and others at 0.1 per cent.

The mild growth is however set to change this year as signs depict a huge growth in this sector.

Performance 2017

This year we have witnessed signs of a good performance in the last nine months from January to September, despite the prolonged electioneering period.

Accordingly, the port handled a total of 22,756,448 tons of cargo compared with 20,566,156 tons registered in the corresponding period in 2016, reflecting an increase of 2,190,293 tons or 10.6 per cent.

  • Import traffic posted an increase of 10.4 per cent to record 19,259,046 tons in the nine months of 2017, from 17,441,818tons registered in a similar period last year.

    The rise in imports was once again driven by the increase in dry bulk commodities, posting a major increase of 18.0 percent in the period under review. This was attributed by importation of wheat in bulk which grew by 358,038 tons or 23.8 percent followed by fertilizers in bulk which also increased by 87,112 tons or 16.8 percent between the two periods.

    Other commodities which contributed to the positive performance were: refined petroleum and palm/vegetable oil in bulk, registering volumes increase by 216,639 tons or 4.1 percent and 106,120 tons or 22.8 percent respectively.
  • Export traffic increased slightly by 87,966 tons or 3.2 percent to post 2,820,189 tons during the period under review from2,732,223 tons handled in corresponding period of 2017. The marginal increase was mainly supported by Coffee which increased by 37.7 percent and Tea by 3.6 percent.
  • In the first nine months we also witnessed an increase in transit traffic where the port handled a total of 6,487,330 tonsagainst5,978,090 tons registered in the same period in 2016, representing an increase of 509,240 tons or 8.5 percent. This improvement is significantly attributed to an increase in Ugandan traffic by 513,057 tons or 10.5 percent. Similarly, cargo destined for Tanzania, Somalia and Rwanda has also increased by 45,310, 8,298 and 8,265 tons respectively.

     
  • Equally,Transshipment traffic: continued to perform well posting 622,920 tons of cargo when compared with 392,115tons realized in the corresponding period of 2016, representing an increase of 58.9 per cent. 

     

    Container Traffic

    In the first nine months this year, container traffic registered887,412 TEUs up from 804,036 TEUs recorded during the corresponding period in 2016. This translates to a notable increase of 83,376 TEUs or 10.4 percent.

     

    Contribution of the Second Container Terminal to increase in cargo volumes.

    At this juncture, it is worth noting that the good performance we have witnessed has partly been caused by the presence of the second container terminal that has made tremendous contributions to the total traffic handled in the Port since it became operational in April 2016. This year the terminal has handled 202,661 TEUs between January and September. In the same period 120 vessels called with a monthly average of 22,518 TEUs. In August this year, we installed two new harbor mobile cranes at berth No. 20 that have helped in improving the efficiency of the berth.

On the other front, it is also important to note thatShip Turnaround Time

Which is the time taken by a vessel from when she berths to the time she leaves the Port, achieved an all-time high of 2.9 days.Cargo dwell time has also come down from 12.6 or so days sometime back to4.2 days.

 

Port Development Projects

Distinguished guests,

To remain responsive to shipping and trade trends, we have continued to implement elaborate port modernization programmes to position Mombasa  as a world class port of choice.

Towards this end, we have expanded yards and berths to handle more cargo, revamped our ICT system for faster document processing, modernized cargo handling equipment, installed a state of the art integrated security system to control pilferage, dredged the port channel and widened its turning basin. Consequently, the Port can now attract and accommodate larger vessels.

In detail we:

  • Operationalized the 2nd Container Terminal, whose phase one we commissioned in September last year. The facility has increased the port's annual container handling capacity by 550,000 TEUs. We are set for the construction of the second phase starting early next year to provide another additional capacity of 550,000 TEUs.
  • Have modernized the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD) and expanded its annual capacity from 180,000 TEUs to 450,000 TEUs. This Development will ultimately position ICD Nairobi as a preferred point of shipment.
  • Have progressed plans to build a new modern and bigger oil terminal to replace the current Kipevu Oil Terminal. The facility will handle four vessels at a time and will have underground pipelines to link with the KPC storage tanks.
  • Are working closely with Trademark East Africa in the ongoing construction ofa modern cruise terminal at Berth No. 1 and 2 aimed at complementing the Tourism sector in the region.
  • Are working towards attaining acceptable standards of green policy practices. Accordingly, KPA has developed a green port policy which seeks to position the Port of Mombasa as a leading world port providing sound stewardship and management of the environment affected by port operations.
  • Are working closely with our parent Ministry to develop small ports along the coastline and also inland waterways. At the moment our focus is on Shimoni and Kisumu ports in South Coast and Western Kenya, respectively. Surveys on both facilities have been carried out and consultants have compiled reports to advise on way forward.

 

Government support

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is also important to share with you that through our parent Ministry and sister government agencies the government has taken bold steps to implement development programmes that have made tremendous contribution to Port efficiency. Some of these projects include:

 

  • Completion of phase one of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) between Mombasa and Nairobi and as you all know the passenger services has been in operation since June. Once the freight service is commissioned towards the end of the year, we anticipate a significant improvement in cargo offtake from the Port to the Nairobi Inland Container Depot. Equally, transfer of most bulk cargo to the SGR will markedly decongest the roads.
  • Implementation of the Mombasa Port Community Charter in 2014 which is closely coordinately by the Ministry of Transport… to ensure that all actors in the logistic chainplay their respective roles effectively. 
  • Efforts to reduce to bare minimum non-tariff barriers along the Northern Transport Corridor by allowing loaded trucks to weigh only two times between the Port and the boarder points without further inspection at police mobile road blocks unless for exceptional security reasons. The upshot of such initiatives has translated to reduction in container dwell time and transit times.
  • Commendable efforts in automation of services under the Kenya National Single Window System.  Cargo interveners can now avoid logging on multiple systems hence ease documentation process, quicken cargo clearance and lower the cost of doing business. At regional level, improved documentation through the implementation of the Single Customs Territory to ensure that clearance and revenue collection by transit importers and governments is done at the Port of Mombasa which is the first point of entry. This is one among many infrastructure projects set by the EAC governments under the wider Community framework.

Ladies and gentlemen, I would also like to share that the government has made commendable progress in the ongoing:

  • Construction of an alternative the route from Mombasa Port to Burundi through Holili border, Singida-Kobero border and finally to Bujumbura. This project has reached the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The route will cover about 1545 Kms, which reduces the distance from Mombasa to Bujumbura through the Northern Corridor by 358 Kms.
  • Construction of Mariakani-Mombasa dual carriage way to ease traffic flow between the Port and the hinterland. The contractor has been on the ground since July 2017.
  • Implementation of the LAPSETT project to open an alternative corridor originating from Lamu Port. Construction of the first three berths  and the causeway started in October 2016. Currently, the process of dredging and reclamation is ongoing. The first Berth shall be  ready by mid 2018 while the remaining two will be completed by the end of 2019.
  • Construction of the Dongo – Kunduby-pass to be linked with the Second Container Terminal for eventual effective cargo delivery. The road shall also play a critical role in serving the planned Free Trade Zone and Special Economic Zone in the area in addition to opening up the South Coast region and easing traffic congestion in the Island.

Conclusion:

Ladies and gentlemen, I do not intend to exhaust some of the issues that will be deliberated during the workshop.  Looking at the lined up topics in the next two days, it is gratifying to note that they cover a wide range of very interesting and thought provoking subjects relating to the current maritime trends. I urge you to approach the deliberations with open minds with a view to bringing out salient issues, and going back with an up to date a reservoir of knowledge.

All in all, let me conclude by saying that in every task we undertake, we focus on raising and sustaining our performance to world class standards where:

  • The Port waits for ships and not vice-versa
  • Ship Turn Around Time is Less Than 48hrs
  • Dwell Time is Less Than 72hrs  and
  • Transit Time is at its bare minimum.

     

    With these remarks, I wish you fruitful deliberations

    as I pronounce this workshop officially open.

    God bless You all