By Ian Kiptoo

Winning feels good, but winning more feels better. This is the state where the port of Mombasa is at the moment, weeks after releasing a performance report that showed the port’s growth in terms of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) that it has handled. The numbers don’t lie. To put things in perspective, 146,739 TEUs in May 2023, a record performance ever in a single month. This signaled a growth of 23.55% against that of May 2022 of 118,765 TEUs.

In a move to enhance and regain its position on the global stage, the port has acquired 12 new state-of-the-art reach stackers and nine new empty container handlers. Reach stackers play a crucial role in container handling operations, enabling efficient stacking, loading, and unloading containers. 

In the last three months, the average container dwell time has improved to 3.5 days, down from 4.0. The berth working time improved from an average of 2.6 days to 1.7 days, while the average gross moves per ship per hour increased to 36 from 34. This move will see the port enhance its activities and thus discharge more cargo and improve performance.

The port showcased a positive trajectory in its performance in May to signal good tidings. This comes after the world bank report ranked it position 326 out of 348 ports it assessed in the third edition of the global container port performance index. A steep decline after it was ranked 296 in 2021. This is greatly attributed to the efficiency, which is between when a ship docks to when it departs after dispatching cargo.

During the period (Jan-May 2023), the port recorded 648,692 TEUs compared to 595,319 TEUs recorded in the corresponding period in 2022, an increase of 53,319 TEUs or 8.97%. This performance has surpassed the set target by 27,973 TEUs or 4.5%, implying that the Port of Mombasa will likely realize annual container traffic of 1.48 million TEUs by the year’s close.

These new tools are a means to enable the port to discharge more containers, thus allowing more ships to dock at the port and thus regain its position on the global stage. The new tools are up to date and fitted with the latest technology, for instance, fire detection and suppression system, load weight system, graphics color display, and automatic fault analysis.

The port of Mombasa is a global player in the maritime sector, and these tools will enable it to achieve this by increasing its efficiency in cargo handling.