A Port In Peril: Why You Should Be Vexed ‘Bigly

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November 9, 2016

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Mombasa Port

Photo by: sidoman.com

According to the Monthly Port Community Charter Report of March 2016, indicated that the time cargo is offloaded from the vessel at the port to the time it’s cleared has slightly improved from 106 hours to 103 hours in the month of February to March 2016 in that order.

However, that isn’t the case at the moment, with over 1,200 containers at the port and over 2,000 workers laid off their duties by the clearing firms, we only hope the authorities to come up with amicable lasting solutions to the current mess.

In the past few months, the Mombasa port and its peripheries AKA CFS were under performing due to hike in taxes and the introduction of new rules mostly without prior planning and or notification to stakeholders.

The introduction of PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Commodity) department in the KRA fraternity, not only increased bureaucracy but also increased delay as realignment with KEBS body took some time to take off.

After recently acquiring a state of the art scanners  by KRA, the verification process never improved either and things fell apart in regard to the verification process. KRA enjoins other stakeholders which make attendance for verification difficult for themselves and the enjoined departments.

Different department requests 100% verification at different times for the same container, albeit the weather hazards, pilferage and damage risk.

From the protest of staff to fear of job losses, the state of our Mombasa Port is alarming.

The bodies entrusted by the clearing agent like the Kenya International Freight and Warehousing (KIFWA) aren’t that sophisticated other than representing minimally when pressure mounts.

Last week over a thousand clearing and forwarding agents were protesting at the KIFWA offices with the area MP Mr. Sharif and KIFWA Mombasa branch secretary Mr. Simiyu in attendance

During the meeting as quoted by the Daily Nation Mr. Simiyu said “KRA didn’t inform us about the increased tariffs. We just learned about the duty increase two months ago when our members went to clear cargo at the port.”

Some of the company owners couldn’t register their frustration due to fear of victimisation as they whispered to each other on the same during the meetings.

The cry of the agents was mainly based on the hike in duty on imported goods that jumped from $200 per tone to $580 per tone, frustrating many agents and their clients.

Most of the affected commodity in that category given by KRA include; rice, tyres, batteries, powdered milk and linen. There then and now, some communities’ cried foul claiming their main import livelihood is been beleaguered.

It can’t go unnoticed that some merchants are using this unfavourable situation to their advantage by timing the auction of untaxed goods that  have stayed for so long at the Mombasa port.

With a Port in Peril and elections near the Conner, in a country where politicians (who often visit magicians for rituals) are more powerful than logicians and authority in place.

The authority staff are hardworking and equally undergoing the same pressure other stakeholders are suffering, relying on order from ‘above’.

We as the logistics industry are worried about delivering your Christmas gift or your online order from Amazon or Alibaba, we can only be vexed for now.

Going forward, a centralised system for all stakeholders and authorities, with strong audit trail and structure will minimise  the stalemate.


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