Freight service on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) will be officially commercialized in January next year.
Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says this follows completion of renovation of the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi, Nairobi whose capacity has increased to 450,000 containers.
During the first seven months of the year, imports through the Port of Mombasa were seven times the volume of exports.
The key imports through the Port of Mombasa comprise of petroleum products, clinker, wheat, fertilizer, iron and steel while exports are titanium, tea, coffee, soda ash, tinned fresh fruits, vegetables, fruits and juices.
Imports rose 12.1% supported by food shipments to plug a food shortage to stand at 14.8 million tons while exports were at 2.2 million tons.
The SGR was instrumental in moving critical food items.
Trial runs for freight services on the SGR is slated for next month with the government targeting to officially start commercial operations between Mombasa and the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi, Nairobi in January next year.
The capacity of the Inland Container Depot in Embakasi, Nairobi has tripled from 150,000 tons to 450,000 containers.
With completion of the 1st phase of the 2nd container terminal with a capacity of 550,000 tons, works on second phase will commence next year.
The government has so far spent at least KES 60B in port modernization and expansion.