All cargo heading to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan regions will be ferried through the standard gauge railway (SGR) for clearance at the Naivasha Inland Container Depot ICD beginning June 1. This move aims to reduce interactions along the Northern corridor and help in stemming the spread of the Covid-19.
Transport Secretary James Macharia said it will be mandatory for all cargo shipped in through the port of Mombasa to be hauled through SGR.
All the needed mechanisms are being put in to ensure proper handling and clearance of the cargo in the new depot.
The development comes as truck remain under serious accusations of spreading the virus along the northern corridor due to relaxed measures at the boarder entry points.
CS Macharia said all the four Heads of States agreed to the move during their virtual Consultative Meeting of the East African Community held on May 12.
President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya), President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (Uganda), Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Salva Mayardit Kiir of South Sudan have considered a proper and safer cross-border transportation modalities to minimize human traffic but keep steady movement of cargo across the borders.
Earlier in the month, Kenya Railways Corporation launched direct SGR freight service for all transit cargo to be ferried directly from Mombasa to Naivasha-depot where trucks will then pick them and move them to their destinations within the region.
The move has met a warm reception from players in the logistics industry which will cost Sh60,000 for a 20-foot container and Sh85,000 for a 40-foot container of up to 20 tonnes and Sh91,000 for the same container weighing more than 21 tonnes.
SGR will reduce the time taken to move cargo to different destinations in the region since it reduces the distance by 46% from Mombasa to Uganda which is about 527 kilometres.
Under normal circumstances Ugandan imports and exports travel a distance of 1,144 kilometres between Mombasa and Kampala through the Northern corridor.
Mr. Macharia said that the Kenya Ports Authority will provide requisite office accommodation to the Kenya Revenue Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, Rwanda Revenue Authority and the South Sudan Revenue Authority staff who will be working at the Naivasha station to ensure smooth clearance of the cargo.