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Economy

Uhuru extends SGR cargo fees promotion

Standard gauge train. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Standard gauge train. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said Kenya Railways will extend promotional freight charges on the standard gauge railway (SGR) by five months from June 30.

He said the lower tariff would last until the end of the year as the State woos shippers to embrace the multi-billion shilling investment. “We’re going to extend current concessionary rates from the 1st of July 2018 to December 31,” said Mr Kenyatta.

Madaraka Express freight service customers have been enjoying the promotional tariff since January. The tariff was supposed to end on April 4, but towards the end of March the Kenya Railways extended it to end of June.

This has seen SGR freighters pay a flat fee of Sh35,000 for a 20-foot container and Sh40,000 for a 40-foot container from Mombasa to Embakasi Inland Container Depot (ICD). The Kenya Railways has also been charging Sh25,000 to transport a 20-foot container and Sh30,000 for a 40-foot container from ICD to Mombasa.

The rates, however, exclude the cost of handling cargo and returning of empty containers.

Kenya railway introduced a market price of Sh64,500 for a 20-foot container and Sh84,300 for a 40-foot container in January and cut the fares following reduced traffic. The move comes in the midst of a row with freighters who have defied a government directive to transport their imports via the standard gauge railway.

Under the new tariff, which took effect on May 1, domestic import container through the ICD will attract Sh2,000 and Sh3,000 for a 20-foot and 40-foot containers in storage fee should owners fail to collect their cargo after the free storage period.

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