Mombasa and Dar-es-salaam ports are performing badly in global rankings, which stifles import and export trade development in East Africa, experts observe.
Quoting the latest World Bank’s Global Container Port Performance Index ranking, the East African Business Council reveals that Mombasa Port of Kenya is at position 293 out of 370.
The Dar-es-salaam Port in Tanzania is even worse, ranking at Position 362 out of a total 370.
The low rankings on both ports are linked to delays, bureaucracy, congestion and poor management of facilities.
But the East African Business Council believes Dar es Salaam and Mombasa ports have potential to benchmark best practices from Durban in terms of efficiency.
John Bosco Kalisa, the EABC Executive says the two East African Ports need to address vessels’ turnaround time and congestion in order to be competitive in African Continental Free Trade Area and international markets.
Kalisa was contributing during the Regional Private Sector Engagement on Sea Freight Transport and Logistics sub-sector, focusing on fresh produce.
The meeting was organized by the East African Business Council in partnership with TradeMark East Africa. It was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.
Freight costs fright
The EABC Executive officer said the intra- trade in the East African Community is low at 17 percent due to barriers and the high cost of transport standing at USD 1.8 charged per ton for every kilometer.
On his part, Agayo Ogambi from the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa points out that for fresh produce airfreight costs USD 2 per kilogram quantity, and can reach up to USD 40,000 depending on size, weight or quantity.
Sea freight on the other hand costs just USD 12,000.
The Sea freight transit time from Mombasa or Dar-es-salaam to Europe takes between 24 and 30 days.