The Impact Of Sgr Rail Freight On The Northern Corridor
The Standard Gauge Railway has brought in itself good fruits and a bunch of not so good fruits to the Freight forwarding companies . Its impact has been termed as a double-edged sword as it has seen to the development of ICDs (like the Naivasha and Embakasi inland container deports) But has also brought about some shock in some road transport companies.
Change is inevitable and we clearly understand that at Siggol Logistics. Project Logistics Companies will need to embrace the change brought by the railway line. The government now encourages containers to be transported through rail unlike before SGR where the road transported most cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi.
These changes have been catalyzed even faster by the ICDs in Embakasi and Naivasha. As the Kenyan government aims to pay Chinese loans through increasing inland cargo transportation by rail, clearing and forwarding companies will need to live with the new norm. KIFWA (Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association) reported that its depots are stretched due to low clearing and forwarding services.
These kinds of factors have had a negative impact on business on the Northern corridor even when all steps taken by the government are meant for good. Slow clearing and forwarding has a significant impact on the supply chain. It is thus the responsibilities of freight forwarder companies and any other businesses providing logistics solutions to find ways of working with the government for the advantage of their clients.
A public notice from the government shows how serious the government aims to ensure rail is used for cargo transportation. Two pointers that the notice addresses include:
• All imported cargo going to Nairobi and its environs shall be transported by rail and cleared at the Embakasi ICD.
• All transit cargo heading to neighboring countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and some parts of DR Congo shall be transported by rail and cleared at the Naivasha ICD.
Siggol Logistics has embraced this change and learnt the following things:
• Use fast rail from Mombasa to ICDs.
• Use our well road network to transport cargo from ICDs to other inland areas
• Use our trailers to transport some cargo from Mombasa to Nairobi. Using both rail and roads fastens the process of clearing and forwarding .
All Logistics Companies in Kenya will have to adjust this norm especially now that businesses are facing a crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. By adjusting, freight and forwarding companies will be able to carry out their services smoothly as well as effectively serve their clients. The Embakasi ICD and Naivasha ICD has to be in the minds of any Logistics Company in Kenya .
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