Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has rolled out an online platform for processing of container operations and repatriation of empty ones.
The paperless process will ease the return of empty containers by importers from the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Nairobi to the port of Mombasa by allowing shipping lines and agents to upload documents to the Container Automated Terminal Operating System.
The new system will also be used in export receiving and handovers, eliminating the container position slips blamed for creating delays under the manual system.
Over 200 empty containers are received at the port daily, while more than 150 others come in as export full containers.
“We are trying to eliminate completely human contact in the process while reengineering the business process. Hard copies of export and import documentations and gate-in process will no longer be dealt with,” KPA Head of Container Operations Edward Opiyo said on Wednesday.
“The new system is completely automated end-to-end. It will give us a lot of benefits in terms of efficiencies.”
The shipping agents are expected to do electronic documentation on status of the container, to facilitate outbound planning and reconciliation.
The clearing agent will also advice on type of container and nature of cargo, weight, port of discharge and origin, if reefer – temperature to be set when plugging and consignments.
Gate validations include that of truck details, container and KPA payments.
KPA has recently announced operations and services at the port of Mombasa will remain uninterrupted even under the Covid-19 pandemic and that no vessel will be denied entry to the port.
While all borders remain closed, the government has allowed entry and exit of cargo.
Mr Opiyo said the system will be operational even after pandemic in efforts to fully automate the port.