Latest data from Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) shows that Mombasa port cargo traffic registered an 11.9 per cent growth in the first six months of 2017.
KPA attributed the impressive growth to the construction of the second container terminal.
The 900 metres long container terminal with three docking berths provides an additional cargo-handling capacity of 550,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) annually.
According to the report, the port handled 15 million tonnes of cargo between January and June compared with 13.4 million tonnes in the same period last year.
“During the first six months of 2017, imports accounted for 12.7 million tonnes against 11.3 million handled in the same 2016 period, an increase of 12 per cent. The port again handled 1.87 million tonnes in exports, up 0.5 per cent on the 1.86 million tonnes handled in the same period last year,” said KPA.
Contrary to expectations that Mombasa Port cargo traffic would drop significantly during elections, KPA said that operations continued normally in the run-up to the August polls.
The countries that import their cargo through the port of Mombasa include Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Maize remained the leading import commodity, recording 46,571 tonnes followed by bulk wheat that registered 41,392 tonnes.
Other commodities handled in large quantities included 28,448 tonnes of bulk sugar, 20,740 tonnes of bulk clinker, bulk fertiliser (17,471 tonnes), steel (10,513 tonnes), bagged cement (560 tonnes), and mobile harbour cranes (589 tonnes).
The terminal also handled 1,464 units of motor vehicles and 96 trucks that rolled off the motorcar carriers.
Hajj Masemo a spokesman for KPA said acknowledged that Mombasa Port cargo traffic continues to witness daily improved figures.
“We don’t foresee any problems even with the repeat of the elections,” he told Reuters.
Last week, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce estimated that Kenya has lost Sh21.3 billion since the Supreme Court ruling last week that nullified presidential elections.
The business chamber attributed it to a wait-and-see attitude among investors, low money circulation and missed business opportunities.