MOMBASA (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Monday announced a three-month
promotional tariff for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight
Cabinet Secretary for Transport, approved the request to enable
the cargo owners and shipping fraternity experience the new
service that was launched on Jan. 1.
Kenya Railways will
now charge a flat rate of 645 U.S. dollars for a 20-foot
container and 843 dollars for 40-foot container, which will
include freight, handling charges and returning of empty
containers from Nairobi to Mombasa.
agents and cargo owners complained of many hidden charges on top
of the prescribed 500 dollars rate for the 20-foot container and
700 dollars for 40-foot container.
Macharia said the
move follows consultations held between Kenya Railways and Kenya
Ports Authority (KPA) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).
“In a bid to entice
the cargo owners, shippers and clearing agents, Kenyan
government has decided to introduce a flat fixed rate to do away
with other hidden costs,” said Macharia.
Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) last week raised
concerns over the issue of last mile, clearance of cargo at
Nairobi Internal Container Depot (ICD) and returning of empty
containers to Mombasa, saying the issues had not been addressed.
“The move will also
give KRC, KPA and KRA an early opportunity to test and improve
on the processes at the One Stop Border Post based at the
recently upgraded Inland Container Depot to enhance customer
experience during this inaugural period,” said Macharia.
upon the shipping agencies to work closely with government
bodies and other partners involved in cargo handling to provide
a seamless service to cargo owners in the country and in Eastern
Africa region generally.
William Ojonyo had accused KRC of rushing to implement the
freight services without addressing some of the pertinent issues
raised during stakeholder’s meetings.
Ojonyo said the
Nairobi ICD clearance system is very slow. He said by use of
trucks, the containers are normally offloaded atop the truck,
which mean that they are not removed from the vehicle and
immediately after offloading is done the truck goes back to
Kenya Railways says
the freight service will boost business by cutting the cost of
transportation from and to the Port of Mombasa.