The charge for handling a 40-foot export container at Mombasa port rose from $56 in 2014 to $80 in 2015 and fell from $90 to $20 at Dar es Salaam port, figures released by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa show.
By Turloch Mooney, Senior Editor, Global Ports.
The charge for handling a 40-foot import container at the port of Mombasa, Kenya rose from $105 in 2014 to $160 last year and from $90 to $135 at Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The charge for handling a 40-foot export container at Mombasa rose from $56 in 2014 to $80 in 2015 and fell from $90 to $20 at Dar es Salaam, figures released by the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa show.
Charges for handling transit containers rose from $85 to $125 (import) and from $40 to $125 (export) at Mombasa, and from $80 to $95 (import) and from $80 to $210 (export) at Dar es Salaam.
“Dar es Salaam has higher shore handling charges than Mombasa for transit exports of TEUs (20-foot-equivalent units). However, Mombasa has higher rates for transit imports. Overall, there has been an increase in port charges between 2014 and 2015,” SCEA said in its annual Logistics Performance Survey.
While charges increased, port dwell times remained poor and indicate a multitude of inefficiencies at both ports. For the purpose of the survey, port dwell time is defined as the time elapsed from when the cargo enters the port to when it leaves the port after all permits are obtained and all fees are paid.
The survey said there was a 36.25 percent increase in port dwell time at Mombasa in the one year period from mid-2014 to mid-2015. During that period, the average amount of time spent by shipments in port increased from three to five days while dwell times at Dar es Salaam averaged nine days.
SCEA represents shippers doing business in East Africa and advocates for improved policies and a better trade environment. Membership includes many large foreign beneficial cargo owners and freight forwarders such as Bayer, GlaxoSmithKline, Heineken, Unilever, DHL Global Forwarding and Schenker.
A third of respondents to the survey said onerous government procedures were the main reason behind the lengthy delays in releasing cargo from ports. A quarter of respondents said network and information communication technology issues were the main problem, while 13 percent blamed poor physical infrastructure and a further 13 percent said it was because there were too many different agencies to deal with. Rent-seeking behavior was identified by 6 percent of respondents as the primary cause of delays in releasing cargo from the ports.
Shippers themselves were also partly to blame, the report said.
“Compliance levels by shippers and transporters have not shown great improvement, thereby inviting thorough and stringent checks at weighbridges and police check-points. Lengthy delays are experienced and significant amounts of money are wasted as a result.”
Some 54 percent of respondents identified improving truck clearance processes and procedures and improving physical infrastructure as the areas that would have the greatest impact in speeding up truck turnaround times at the ports.
The annual SCEA survey scores five East African countries – Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – across 11 logistics performance categories including Efficiency of Goods Clearance, Quality of Transport and ICT Infrastructure and Fairness and Transparency in Customs Valuations.
The survey said incidences of corruption are “still rampant” in East Africa supply chains. Of the five countries examined in the survey, Kenya and Uganda both showed deterioration in the category of ‘Incidences of Corruption and Rent-Seeking Activities’ over the past year. Source: Port News