SGR revenue rises to Kshs. 15.2B boosted by cargo demand


The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) netted a total of Kshs. 15.2 billion in revenue from passenger and freight services last year backed by increased demand.

Latest data by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicate that in 2021, SGR reported a 24% increase in freight revenue which jumped to Kshs. 13 billion from Kshs. 10.5 billion in 2020.

Higher revenue was lifted by increase cargo demand which saw the new line introduced in 2017 haul 5,407 tonnes of cargo last year from 4,411 thousand tonnes in 2020, a 22.6% increase

“The increase in tonnage and revenue was partly attributed to the full utilization of the expanded Nairobi Inland Container Deport (ICD), re-introduction of double stack and long freight trains. In addition, enhanced collaboration between Kenya Railways and other agencies resulted in expeditious processing and evacuation of cargo,” said KNBS.

Similarly, earnings from passenger services on Madaraka Express also doubled to Kshs. 2.2 billion last year from Kshs. 896 million owed to increase in demand for travel between Nairobi and Mombasa following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions on public transport and introduction of night travel.

Passengers on Madaraka Express. PHOTO | Courtesy

Following the rehabilitation of key Meter Gauge Railway (MGR) lines, revenue earned from passenger services more than doubled to Kshs. 234 million last year from Kshs. 83 million in 2020 while revenue from cargo transported on the MGR rose marginally from KSh 1, 114, 000 billion in 2020 to Kshs. 1, 118, 000 billion in 2021.

“The upsurge was mainly attributed to easing of COVID-19 containment measures in the country, continued revamping of Nairobi Commuter Rail (NCR) services through the full operationalization of 11 Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) and the introduction of new routes to Limuru and Lukenya. The re-introduction of the Nairobi – Kisumu Safari Train in December 2021 partly contributed to improved revenue in the MGR passenger service,”

In 2021, the number of passenger journeys by MGR more than doubled from 1,899 thousand in 2020 to 4,498 in 2021.

The rise in SGR freight revenue was lifted by cargo throughput at the Port of Mombasa which increased by 1.2% from 34.1 million metric tonnes recorded in 2020 to 34.5 million metric tonnes in 2021.

Similarly, container traffic increased from 1.36 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) in 2020 to 1.44 million TEUs in 2021 while the number of ships docking at the Port rose marginally by 0.9% to 1,635 in 2021 from 1,621 in 2020.

Overall, total value of output from transport and storage sector rose by 16.7% to Kshs. 2.2 trillion in 2021.

“The Road Transport sub-sector contributed 77.9% of the total value of output within the sector, having risen from Kshs. 1.5 trillion in 2020 to Kshs. 1.8 trillion in 2021.”


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