Tuesday, August 9, 2022

South Sudan to quit Mombasa port in favour of Djibouti port

South Sudan traders have announced plans to quit using Mombasa Port. The traders will instead start using the port of Djibouti, which they say presents them with a shorter route.

This will hugely impact Kenya with the port of Mombasa set to lose 1.1 million tonnes of cargo that is handled for South Sudan.

Currently, South Sudan is second after Uganda in the use of Mombasa port, accounting for 9.9 per cent of transit volumes.

Uganda accounts for 83 per cent of all throughput cargo followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Rwanda at 7.2 per cent, 3.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent, respectively.

“We are in talks with Djibouti authorities so that we can connect Djibouti, Ethiopia, and South Sudan to use Djibouti port through Ethiopia,” deputy chairperson for Chamber of Commerce in South Sudan Lado Lukak Legge was quoted saying by the media in Sudan.

He cited that Djibouti is more economical for South Sudan in comparison to Kenya’s primary port.

“Djibouti is near to South Sudan compared to Mombasa port in Kenya and the government of Djibouti is willing to strengthen trade ties with South Sudan and Ethiopia,” he said.

This is the latest blow to Kenya’s role as the hub for imported cargo. Already, a number of shippers have been avoiding the Northern Corridor, that runs from Kenya. The northern corridor is 1,700 kilometres long

This corridor connects cargo from the port of Mombasa to Juba, Kigali, Kampala as well as the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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The shippers are now preferring to use the Central Corridor to transport their cargo which is shorter by up to 400 kilometers.

The Central Corridor is a 1,300km route. It starts at the port of Dar es Salaam and serves Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Eastern DRC.

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