Importers are losing about Sh70 million daily on storage and detention charges due to cargo pile up at the Nairobi Inland Container Depot (ICD).
Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (KIFWA) national chairman William Ojonyo said in an interview on Friday that the situation at ICD is pathetic and called for an urgent government intervention.
“There is a big container pile up at ICD Nairobi and as we speak now, there are about 9,000 containers at the ICD," Mr Ojonyo said.
Mr Ojonyo said the loses importers are incurring have doubled.
"There is a company which has a detention loss of Sh150 million. We have also another company which has a detention of about Sh1.8 million," he said.
Mr Ojonyo said importers are to hold a national summit to draft a report to President Uhuru Kenyatta on their predicaments.
He said that they have also invited the President to address the summit and present their document to him during the event.
“If the President does not come to the meeting, then we shall present the document to the Transport and Infrastructure CS James Macharia. The CS has been helping us but Kenya Revenue Authority(KRA) has refused to meet us for talks,” said Mr Ojonyo.
Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) managing director Daniel Manduku said the port was currently experiencing a surge in cargo due to rise of big ships docking there.
Dr Manduku said that KPA has at the moment leased a short prefer storage facility to be owned and managed by KPA in Nairobi, in its bid to address cargo pile up at ICD.
“We have got a storage facility as a short term measure to be owned and managed by KPA in Nairobi. That is where we are going to store the long stay containers under customs warehousing and also containers destined for destruction under the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) Act,” said Dr Manduku.
The latest move, the MD said will clear half of the yard population which he said is composed of long stay containers which are purely under KRA which under the customs management Act are more than 21 days at the port.
“Secondly those containers of goods destined for destruction under Kebs Act contribute to half of our yard population. Now with the new plans, we are getting them new storage outside every day,” said Dr Manduku.
He said KPA still does eight trains daily cargo transport to Nairobi, which translates to 800 Twenty Equivalent Units (Teus) every day.
“For the last one week, we have noticed a big increase of arrivals, heavy discharge of cargo at Mombasa port. We might surpass our target of 1.2 million containers by December and go above 1.3 million containers," he said.
Dr Manduku said importers will continue to pay the gazetted storage tariffs in the new leased storage facilities in Nairobi.
“Importers will continue to pay their normal storages facilities that are gazetted which is 20 dollars a day for twenty foot and 30 dollars a day for forty feet container,” said Dr Manduku.