Coronavirus slows cargo flow at Mombasa port

Cargo volumes at the port of Mombasa are expected to reduce in the next few weeks as the outbreak of the coronavirus continues to afflict China's manufacturing and overseas trade. China is the main source market of East African manufactured goods. According to the Shippers Council of Eastern Africa (SCEA), there will also be an increase of vessels' docking time at the port as authorities around the world, including the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), screen all crew members for the virus and inspect all vessels entering their ports.

SCEA executive director Gilbert Lagat said they are still gauging the impact of the outbreak in China as small-scale importers from East Africa are being denied visas to travel to China for business. He said traders (both import and export) should expect a delay in their cargo since "shipping is a global business and with many ships doing transshipment, they are avoiding China while some are taking more time to screen and inspect crew and vessels, which will affect imports." "We have reports of small-scale importers who go to China for business being denied visas, with Uganda whose main transit port is Mombasa recording the highest number.

This will ultimately affect the number of consolidated imported cargo that accounts for a substantive percentage of throughput," Mr Lagat told The EastAfrican.

Kenya's import cargo of electronics and surgical gears are reportedly stuck in China because their suppliers have not made it there due to travel restrictions.
Source: The East African

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