Amid the pandemic cloud hovering over Kenya’s trading prospects, the Kenya Ports Authority gathered at the Mombasa harbor to recieve one of the world’s largest shipping line’s maiden voyage to Kenya – By Gerald Gekara.
A vessel under the flag of Cyprus, hired by CMA CGM French company, docked at the port of Mombasa as the company seeks business prospects in Kenya and the larger East Africa territories.
Kenya Ports Authority Head of Container Operations, Edward Opiyo, said that despite little activity at the port, international trade will pick up in the coming weeks as countries continue to ease travel restrictions.
Soon after Covid-19 was declared a global pandemic, there have reduced business at the Port of Mombasa owing to restrictions imposed by countries to contain the spread of the virus.
While receiving the ship, Opiyo said the maiden voyage stamped Kenya’s position as the preferred gateway to the East and Central Africa region.
He says the cargo from China has increased with containers from the far east nation accounting for 60 per cent of the total cargo arrivals at the Port of Mombasa.
The CMA CGM launched East African operations, classified into services; Swahili Express and Noura Express which have a combined fleet of nine vessels of up to 3,500 TEU.
The Swahili Express service will be dedicated to Kenya and Tanzania markets with very fast transit times. Mombasa will be reached from Mundra in 12 days and Dar Es Salaam in 14 days.