Embakasi depot containers hit 1,300 despite penalty

SGR Cargo train at the Inland Container Depot,
SGR Cargo train at the Inland Container Depot, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

About 1,300 containers are still lying uncollected at the Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Embakasi, three weeks after the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) issued notices to owners to collect them to create space for new arrivals from Mombasa.

Acting managing director Daniel Manduku on Thursday said only 700 containers out of about 2,000 have been moved to Mitchells Cotts and regional logistics yards in the last five days.

“We have evacuated about 700 containers which have been overstaying at ICD since January to private yards.

“This is a short-term measure. In the near future, we are going to expand the facility to accommodate more cargo,” said Mr Manduku.

Currently, the inland depot has the capacity to handle 450,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) per year, up from its original design of 180,000 TEUs.

The depot receives four trains daily with 108 containers each, ferrying a total of 432 containers to the ICD since April 1.

In May, the KPA cut the free storage period for containers at the inland depot in Embakasi from 11 days to four days in a bid to clear a backlog of about 2, 000 uncollected units.

Under the new tariff, domestic import container through the ICD have been paying Sh2,000 and Sh3,000 for a 20-foot container and 40-foot container respectively in storage fee should they fail to collect their cargo after the free storage period.

On the other hand, empty containers through the ICD for railing will not be footing any storage fee for the first seven days.

However, the KPA has been charging Sh1,500 and Sh2,200 for a 20-foot and a 40-foot container respectively in storage fee after the four days period until the container is removed from the depot.