The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has allayed fears of job loss with the revival of the Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL), saying the employees will be redeployed to other ports.
KPA managing director Daniel Manduku told Parliament the 717 employees at the KPA second container terminal will be given options of remaining at the Port of Mombasa or transfer to either port of Lamu or Kisumu.
The dormant shipping line will be revived and allowed to take over the Sh30 billion Kenya Ports Authority second container terminal (CT2), which was opened in September 2016 and can handle about 550,000 twenty-foot containers per year.
"They will be given an option to either work at the Port of Mombasa, transfer to Lamu, to Kisumu so there should be no job loss fear," he told the National Assembly’s Transport Committee.
The KPA loses an estimated 200 employees annually through natural attrition including retirements.
“In fact in our own estimation we will require more people to do this work, since this new player will come with a whole value on the logistics chain,” Dr. Manduku said.
In January, dock workers expressed fears of job loss following talks of handing over management of the second container terminal to the KNSL.
The revival of the KNSL is intended to enhance Kenya’s participation in the regional and global maritime transport value chain. The country is also expected to benefit more from the sector once the agency is back on its feet.
Further, it is anticipated that the revamped KNSL will play a key role in transforming the Port of Mombasa into a logistics hub by attracting bigger vessels. This will in turn increase KPA’s profits from additional maritime charges — wharfage, pilotage, stevedoring and shore-handling — on bigger ships.
The government also recently launched the revamped port of Kisumu which is set to allow bigger vessels to dock.
The first berth at the port of Lamu is due for completion on June 30 and is set to make away for construction of two additional berths. The three berths cost the government Sh48 billion.
The cost includes the physical construction of the three Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) terminals, comprising preparation of the turning bay, dredging and reclamation works as well as navigation of sea waves.