Market News

Transport vehicle registration picks up after reopening

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The transport sector was one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the second quarter of the year. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • New data provided by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that van registrations stood at 312, a 200 percent increase compared to the 104 that were registered in May.
  • Pickup registrations recorded a 120 percent increase between May and July, going from 190 to 418, while that of lorries went up by 107 percent, rising from 289 to 597.
  • These classes of vehicle are mainly used in transporting trade goods, and in the case of vans, in the public transport sector.

Renewed demand for transport services and reopening of import supply lines saw new registration of vans, pickups and lorries pick up significantly in July, having fallen to new lows in May at the height of local and global restrictions in the fight against Covid-19.

New data provided by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that van registrations stood at 312, a 200 percent increase compared to the 104 that were registered in May.

Pickup registrations recorded a 120 percent increase between May and July, going from 190 to 418, while that of lorries went up by 107 percent, rising from 289 to 597.

These classes of vehicle are mainly used in transporting trade goods, and in the case of vans, in the public transport sector.

The performance of the transport services sector is therefore a major indicator of the health of the economy—showing whether trade is thriving or depressed.

The transport sector was one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the second quarter of the year.

Quarterly economic data released by KNBS on Thursday showed that the transportation and storage sector contracted by 11.6 percent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to a 7.6 percent growth in the corresponding quarter of 2019.

“Depression of activities of transportation and storage was reflected in declined consumption of light diesel, a major input to transportation activities, which contracted by 32.4 percent compared to a marginal growth of 0.2 percent in the corresponding quarter of 2019,” said KNBS in the GDP report.

In April, the government instituted major restrictions as it sought to control spread of the coronavirus. These included movement restrictions in and out of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties, and a night curfew that ran from 7pm to 5am.

These measures greatly affected trade and movement of goods, cutting demand for transport services between April and May.

Following the reduction in the number of cases, the government started easing these measures from July.