East Africa customs clearing body hails Chinese-built SGR
The East African regional customs clearing body on Tuesday hailed the role of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Naivasha Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) for improving logistics efficiency.
Fred Seka, president of Federation of East African Freight Forwarders Associations, said in Nairobi that the time and cost for the importation and exportation of goods have reduced since the launch of the SGR cargo service.
"Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi traders can now conveniently collect and deliver bulk cargo in Nairobi and Naivasha instead of the port of Mombasa. This has greatly improved Kenya as a regional transport hub," Seka said during the unveiling of the proposed Kenya Customs Agent and Freight Forwarders Management Bill 2020.
He noted that the SGR has also helped to boost the trucking business as more cargo is now being evacuated from the port of Mombasa to the hinterland than before.
"The trucks will get more business of transporting cargo to the final destination from the various SGR cargo stations," Seka said.
The regional body said that it was looking forward to the extension of the SGR to western Kenya and eventually Uganda and Rwanda.
Seka said that rail transport is the most efficient method for moving freight over long distances.
"East Africa should invest more in rail infrastructure in order to improve the competitiveness of the region," said Seka.