Kenya Railways in promotion to drive cargo business
January 29—Users of Kenya Railways’ SGR cargo services between Mombasa and Nairobi, have been given an incentive to use the $3.2 billion line by being charged a new flat rate to build up some momentum. The services started at the beginning of this year, but customers have been slow to sign up.
The promotional offer sanctioned by James Macharia, Kenya’s transport secretary, means customers will pay $645 for a 20-foot container and $843 for 40-foot container. According to officials, all associated charges are included in the new rates, but the promotion ends on March 31, 2018. It is no secret that KRC wants at least 50% of the freight traffic before 2025 or move a minimum of 1.4 million 20 containers each year.
Previously customers were to pay $500 and $700 respectively, but logistics companies complained to the KRC that these rates did not include the add-on expenses (last mile costs) before, for example a customer can haul away their container at the Nairobi Internal Container Depot near Embakasi. The depot is operated by the Kenya Ports Authority.
All this comes after the Uganda government formally halted all links with the ill-fated Rift Valley Railways (RVR) by clarifying that anyone doing business with the former concessionaire of the rail network to Mombasa is doing so at their own risk. All assets of RVR have reverted to Uganda Railways Corporation.