Port of Mombasa receives longest-ever container ship


The Longest Vessel to dock at the Mombasa Port MV Kotka Loa, a Monrovia Liberia Container Ship of 318 Meters belonging to Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) February 29, 2024. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

The longest-ever vessel to call on the Mombasa port has berthed, targeting to pick up more than 5,000 cargo containers that would free up massive space at the main gateway.

The Mv Kotka, currently sailing under the flag of Liberia and operated by Mediterranean Shipping Company, is 318 metres long and 42.92 meters wide. This is equivalent to three football fields end to end.

The ship with 8,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (Teus) capacity docked in Mombasa from the port of Durban Thursday morning carrying 400 empty containers.

It will pick up 5,877 others at berths 16 and 17 thus relieving the port from container congestion.

It beat the April 30, 2018, Mv. MSC Portugal vessel with a length overall of 304.07 meters and 6,000 Teus which was the longest vessel ever to dock at the port then.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) cargo operations general manager, Sudi Mwasinango, said the vessel would play a key role in decongesting the port and reducing freight charges for traders. “With modern ship-to-shore cranes at KPA berths 16 and 17, we shall be able to load the vessel in two days. This will significantly reduce the cost of container storage as traders will benefit from large economies of scale and port efficiency,” said Mr Mwasinango.

The Port of Mombasa has a contingent of 16 ship-to-shore gantries, 25 reach stackers, 27 empty container handlers, 58 rubber-tyred, and eight rail-mounted gantries.

Last year, the authority received three brand-new STSs, which were installed at the newly completed Berth 22 that has been operational ever since.

At the same time, KPA managing director William Ruto also said the authority is working with other stakeholders to improve efficiency and reduce the cost of doing business with transit market customers.

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