Outstanding users of Mombasa port are set to be recognised and feted following the launch of the East Africa Maritime Awards (EAMA).
The Kenya Ports Authority said the awards aim to set high performance standards by encouraging port users to move towards a “more collaborative approach to regional trade while taking cognizance of the praiseworthy achievements by individual players.”
Acting KPA managing director Daniel Manduku said the new award system will be a break from the previous approach where the authority undertook rewards programmes without involving external players.
“Over the years, we have appreciated your efforts by giving awards to different players in the industry. While this has been commendable, we have decided in collaboration with other anchor stakeholders to initiate a reward system that will be free, fair, and open to all industry players to participate in line with international standards of practice,” he said.
KPA has incorporated the help of an independent expert, Think Business Limited, who will put in place a research-based method of assessment in the award process that is “objective, valid and foolproof.”
EAMA awards target the maritime community, both individuals and organisations, in eastern Africa that endeavour to strengthen and grow their services at Mombasa port.
The list includes importers and exporters, shipping lines and agents, cargo consolidators, clearing and forwarding agents, warehousing companies, container freight station operators, partner government agencies, transporters, liquid and bulk operators and support services providers.
The initiative comes in the wake of extensive modernisation of infrastructure at the Mombasa port to enhance efficiency and faster movement of cargo to the hinterland via the standard gauge railway.
Between April and July, the port received six Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes, one new Ship to Shore Gantry Crane and 12 Rubber Tyred Gantry Cranes for the second container terminal.
It also acquired additional 28 new terminal tractors and four Eco Hoppers fitted with environmental friendly gadgets that reduce dust emission while handling dirty cargo such as clinker, gypsum and coal.
The equipment is now operational and contributing to improved port performance.
The EAMA awards are an initiative of KPA in collaboration with the Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya Trade Network Agency, Shippers Council of Eastern Africa, East African Business Council and Think Business Limited.
The objective of the awards is to promote excellence in service delivery, appreciate exceptional contribution to the industry and economy, encourage innovation, and improve overall performance. Uganda is the leading transit market destination for goods imported through Mombasa port, accounting for about 70 per cent. Others are South Sudan, the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania.
Mombasa port was last year declared the Best Transit and Supply Logistics Port in Eastern and Southern Africa at the African Ports Awards ceremony held in Livingston, Zambia.
In this category the ports of Durban and East London took positions two and three respectively in the hotly contested competition that featured 12 ports from the region.
Mombasa port managed by KPA also emerged second runners up in the Best Container Terminal Productivity category after South Africa's Port of Durban and Port of Ngqura respectively.
Besides winning in the Best Container Terminal Productivity category, the Port of Durban also emerged leader in transshipment as well as best facility in management information systems in the competition where entries were coordinated and evaluated by CODEX African Ports Awards Consultant Company based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.