Uganda-based Mukwano Industries has threatened to sue Kenya Ports Authority(KPA) for any delays, losses, or damages that it may suffer as a result of its containers being loaded onto the Standard Gauge Railway(SGR).
This follows a recent directive to shift all cross border transit cargo coming from the Port of Mombasa to the Inland Container Depot(ICD) facility in Naivasha using the Standard Gauge Railway.
From Naivasha, KPA expects the transit cargo to proceed through road transport to neighboring Uganda, South Sudan, and Burundi.
“You and your staff are aware of the contractual carriage obligations that exist between the shipper, consignee, and shipping lines. If our point of discharge is Mombasa and on carriage in on the consignees’ risk and account, I wonder how you can unilaterally rail our containers to Naivasha without our consent,” said Alykhan Karmali, Managing Director of Mukwano Industries(Uganda).
In a letter dated 4th June 2020 to the MD at Kenya Ports Authority(KPA), Mukwano Industries sought a speedy resolution of the issue in order to avoid supply chain disruptions.
The firm has promised to review its carriage means only when the SGR line is fully operational from Mombasa to Kampala and will embrace the rail system if it proves competitive.
The Kenya Transporters Association(KTA) supports Ugandan firms that are opposed to the mandatory use of the standard gauge railway line. Uganda’s private sector lobby group voiced its opposition over the same matter.
The Kenyan transporters argue that the use of Naivasha ICD is part of the region’s infrastructure development and should remain optional.
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