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Lamu Port set to receive cargo handling equipment to improve performance


Operations at the Port of Lamu are set to go a notch higher when the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) will on Sunday receive three state-of-the-art Ship-to-Shore gantry cranes (STS) to bolster the port’s performance.

KPA Managing Director Capt. William Ruto said Thursday during the handing over of food donation worth Sh1.5 million to vulnerable Muslim families that the Port of Lamu is also expecting a vessel with a huge consignment of bulk cargo.

Capt. Ruto divulged that the Ethiopia Government has shown keen interest in using the Port of Lamu because of the emerging Red Sea upheaval.

He lauded the government for improving security in the LAPSSET corridor highway that will connect the Port of Lamu with Ethiopia and South Sudan with only a small section of the road still under construction.

The Ethiopians, Capt. Ruto noted have surveyed the highway that will facilitate transportation of cargo from the port.

A bird’s eye view of Ship-to-Shore gantry cranes at the Port of Mombasa. Photo by Andrew Hinga.

“They have committed themselves that very soon they will start picking cargo in Lamu, with the new ship-to-shore crane arriving in Lamu. We expect to see a paradigm shift in terms of handling of transshipments,” said Capt. Ruto.

He added that the Port of Mombasa is handling 30 to 40 per cent of transshipment cargo resulting from inefficiencies from other regional ports and red sea challenges.

“What is happening in the red sea maybe bad but is also a blessing to the Port of Mombasa,” stated Capt. Ruto.

The KPA MD noted that the modernization of the Port of Mombasa through commissioning of new four Ship-to-Shore Gantry cranes (STS) last year, has enhanced the port’s output.

“The port of Mombasa is doing very well. I want to appreciate my team, in the month of March, we broke a record of handling more than 180,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in a month, this has never been achieved before,” revealed Capt. Ruto.

He added that the port’s output exceeds other ports in the region as they are handling about 500,000 TEUs and pointed out that in the next four or five months they will surpass what their competitors are handling in a year.

In March, when he released KPA Annual Review and Bulletin of Statistics 2023, he appreciated the government’s commitment to enhancing port infrastructure and connectivity in its quest to support economic growth.

“This has had a positive impact on KPA’s other terminals and ports which are also registering admirable performance in a bid to meet the growing demand,” stated Capt. Ruto.

Kisumu Port performance improved significantly by 119 percent to record 127,745 MT in 2023 against 58,290 MT in 2022.

The Port of Lamu handled 37,576 MT in 2023 against 6,539 MT in 2022, registering a growth of 31,037 MT. It also registered an increase of 1,397 TEUs in container traffic recording 1,779 TEUs in 2023 from 382 TEUs in 2022.

The Inland Container Depot (ICD) Nairobi handled 332,100 TEUs in the year under review against 403,665 registered in 2022. The ICD Naivasha recorded 6,294 TEUs in 2023 compared with 7,617 TEUs in 2022.

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