PORT OF MOMBASA
PORT CONTACT DETAILS
Port of Mombasa tel +254 41 211 2999 / 211 3999 - Operator Assistance (if you don't know the extension)
Port Control: n/a
Port Captain: +254 41 211 2999
Public Relations Manager: +254 41 211 2393
THE PORT OF MOMBASA is one of Africa's oldest surviving ports and can be traced back even before the arrival of the Portuguese explorers to a time when Arabian dhows called at the Old Port on the north side of Mombasa Island.
The Old Port is next to Fort Jesus,which was built by the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama. This was during the famous spice trade between the Arabian Gulf, the east coast of Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East when navigators were looking for a new route to the Far East.
In the 18th and 19th centuries East Africa was colonised by various nations including Great Britain and Germany. In the 1890s the region was partitioned, with Tanzania coming under German control and Kenya and Uganda being controlled by Britain.
Trade began to boom and in 1895 work began on a railway from Mombasa to Kampala in Uganda to open up the hinterland for coffee, tea, ivory and skins. As trade expanded and the interior of East Africa was opened up by the new railway, so demand grew for a fully fledged seaport with a spacious deepwater harbour. A new jetty was needed to handle larger ships bringing construction materials for the new railway.
As a result, a new port was created in 1896 with the building of a jetty at Kilindini on the west side of the island which was used mainly for transferring goods between seagoing vessels and the Kenya to Uganda railway. Later, three more jetties were built to handle railborne goods and other import and export traffic.
In 1907 the first of two lighterage wharves was built on the south side of Ras Kilindini with four lighter handling points. Development of the modern Port of Mombasa began in earnest in 1926 with the completion of two deepwater berths supported by transit sheds at Kilindini Harbour. Three more berths, also supported by sheds, were completed in 1931 and the Shimanzi Oil Terminal entered service in the same year.
Two more berths were built in 1944 to cope with a sudden increase in shipping and traffic as a result of Britain's wartime naval requirements in the Indian Ocean. Berth No 6 was omitted due to unfavourable foundation conditions. A second lighterage wharf was built in 1954 with eight head jetties. Two deepwater berths --also on the island -- were added in 1955 and 1958. As the level of cargo and ship traffic continued to rise, the port was obliged to expand to the mainland at Kipevu where berths Nos 11 and 12 were completed in 1961. The Kipevu Oil Terminal was built in 1963 to serve the East Africa Oil Refinery. Two more berths were completed in 1967.
With the coming of the container age, two deepwater berths entered service in 1975 which had been designed for subsequent conversion into container handling berths. The same year marked the beginning of the container trade in Mombasa, with 1,385 TEU handled in 1975.
As container traffic continued to grow, berths Nos 16 and 17 were converted into container handling berths and a third berth, purposely designed for container handling, was added in 1980.
The rapid increase in container traffic through Mombasa prompted the port authority to extend the container handling operation upcountry and in the years that followed it set up two inland container depots at Embakasi in Nairobi (which opened in 1984) and at Kisumu on Lake Victoria.(1994).
An additional container berth was added in recent years (berth 19) while construction has commenced on a second container terminal, which will initially consist of three berths with final completion set for 2019. The first phase is expected to be opened within the first half of 2016. The three berths will measure 220, 320 and 350 metres each and will be able to cater for Panamax and Post-Panamax size ships.
Kenya gained independence in 1963 while her East African neighbours, Tanzania and Uganda, became independent in 1961 and 1962 respectively. In 1967 the three countries joined forces to set up the East African Community (EAC). They also created a new authority,the East African Harbour Corporation, to run the principal ports of Dar es Salaam, Mombasa and the oil port of Tanga. There was positive development under this new organisation, but with the collapse of the EAC in 1977, the running of Kenya's ports was taken over by the national government, which established the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) in 1978. KPA was enlarged in 1986 when it merged with the autonomous state organisation Kenya Cargo Handling Ltd to form a single body responsible for all aspects of national port development and operations.
Between 2002 and 2006, the port of Mombasa has seen an increase of about 4 million tons in total cargo throughout. From 10.2 million tons of cargo handled in 2002, the port handled over 14.4 million tons in 2006 -- a 40 percent growth in the five years. This growth has continued and in 2014 the Port of Mombasa Container Terminal handled just over 1.01 million TEUs, up from 894,000 TEUs handled in 2013. Total cargo handled in 2014 was 24.9 million tons, an increase of 11.5 percent on the 22.3mt handled in 2013. Of the 2014 number 20.8mt was made up of imports.
Despite a general increase in the size of vessels calling, the number of ships docking at the port of Mombasa maintained an upward trend, increasing by 3.6 percent from 1,768 in 2013 to 1,832 in 2014.
The port is equipped to handle a wide range of cargoes including dry bulks such as grain, fertilisers, cement and soda ash and liquid bulks such as crude oil and oil products as well as bagged products (coffee, tea, sugar, etc) break-bulk (iron and steel, timber), motor vehicles, machinery -- and containerised cargo. The port has a total of 19 deepwater berths. Six of these are for container ships, others include tanker berths, bulk and breakbulk cargo berths. Lighterage and Dhow berthing are also catered for.
The Port of Mombasa is served by road and rail to inland destinations including the capital Nairobi, and the neighbouring states of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the eastern DRC, and South Sudan. A new standard gauge railway in under construction between Mombasa and Nairobi and the Uganda border.
Shipping Services: For cargo owners, the port offers a wide range of shipping services to key destinations around the world. Mombasa's major markets comprise Western Europe, Asia, Far East, the Americas and the rest of Africa. There are regular feeder services between Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, Durban, Mogadishu, Djibouti, Salalah and Dubai.
PORTS & SHIPS monitors the regular movement of ships' ETAs at Mombasa -- please go HERE to do so.