Since the launch of passenger and cargo services on the Standard Gauge Railway a month and a half ago, the passenger train services has recorded massive traffic from enthusiastic Kenyans who are eager to have their first ride on the country’s newest mode of transport.
The cargo service is experiencing a boom of its own, with Maize and rice forming the largest amount of cargo the standard gauge railway has moved since operations began last month.
1,028 containers have been moved from the Port of Mombasa to the inland container terminal in Nairobi since the launch of the service.
According to Kenya Railways, out of a total 27,056 tons of cargo moved from the Port of Mombasa to the inland container depot in Embakasi so far.
Of that, maize is the most ferried commodity on the SGR at 78.8 percent which is equivalent to 21,321 tons.
Rice makes up 4,245 tones or 15.7 percent of all cargo moved. The rest which totals 5.5% is assorted commodities transported to the inland container terminal in Embakasi, Naiorbi.
All is not well though. The Kenya International Freight Warehousing Association is unghappy with the Ugandan Revenue Authority over a notice requiring Ugandan importers to process most of their freight in Uganda from next month.
The URA’s plan to roll out the single custom territory from next month means all Ugandan importers will pay their levies in the country and that, KIFWA says, will hurt the revenues of Kenyan clearing and forwarding agents in a big way.
Last year, out of 26.36 million tonnes of cargo handled at the Port of Mombasa, 6 million tons was transit cargo of which 81.9% was destined for Uganda.