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Zambia, Kenya want cargo moved by rail

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Zambia has introduced a new law compelling mining companies and other bulk cargo handlers to transport at least 30 percent of their freight by rail a move aimed at boosting the rail sector in the country.

But the Zambia Chamber of Mines opposed the law Monday saying the Zambia was not ready to handle that amount of cargo and the potential impact on the mining industry had not been properly considered.

Transport Minister Brian Mushimba said in a statement that the government consulted both the Chamber of Mines and individual mining companies before creating the new law.

In Kenya, importers using Mombasa port will now be required to use the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to move their goods as authorities attempt to increase the amount of cargo on the service.

Read:African Union gives railway connectivity top priority

The Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Maritime Authority and Kenya Railway Corporation notified shipping lines and importers through a letter that cargo owners must move a fraction of their cargo to Nairobi and beyond by rail and to the ICD to promote the two facilities.

“The purpose of this communication is to notify you that KPA will, with immediate effect, nominate the above referenced cargo to the ICD-Nairobi to meet the daily capacity for SGR as may be advised by KR from time to time,” said the letter to the Kenya Ships Agents Association dated February 17.

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