Don't Kill the Port of Mombasa Using the SGR

If the government forces people to transport their cargo on the SGR, that could kill the port of Mombasa.
Transit cargo could shift elsewhere.
Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo and Northern TZ businesspeople could opt to use other ports.
The best approach is to have a ‘willing buyer willing seller’ arrangement. If the transporter wishes to transport his cargo using trucks from Mombasa to wherever, just let him. Otherwise you could lose him.
Remember, with its improved roads, Tanzania is now a serious competitor. And by the way, Tanzania has just lowered the tarriffs for transit trucks passing through its territory.
Therefore, if we force people to use the SGR, they may just move to the ports of Tanzania.
And with end of the war in Mozambique, the port of Beira is also a serious competitor.
Gone really are the days when we could ‘ringa’ with our port. If we mistreat people, they move elsewhere. There are so many well-serviced and accessible ports, competing with Mombasa. And in international trade, there exists complex patronage networks. If you attempt to interfere with them, you lose out big. It is like the way the government tried to ban the importation of Mitumba, and you ended up with cries from strange corners – including the USA itself threating to end AGOA!It is important to understand how the international patronage networks operate. There are huge such patronage networks in the road trucking industry. It is best to know how to handle them. We really should have carried out a proper feasibility study before building the SGR. But that is now water under the bridge.
In the worst case, we could even end up with Kenyan businesspeople using other ports. After all, haven’t we, for many years, had Tanzanian businesspeople who opt to use the port of Mombasa, in spite of Tanzania having its own ports?
Of course, the Nairobi-based, Nakuru-based and Eldoret-based Kikuyu businessmen, as well as government departments, can be made to use the SGR. But for the rest, including international NGOs, Asian businessmen and transit cargo (the cargo going to other countries), it should be willing buyer, willing seller.
People in the government are yet to come to terms with the fact that we are living in a different world. Different from the world of the 1960s and 1970s, when Kenya used (with British-intelligence assistance) to be dominant over the rest of East African countries. Furthermore, the reality today is different. TZ has good roads. It never had. The war in Mozambique is over (meaning that the port of Beira is now open for business). And people prefer free market, rather than forced, initiatives.
Those who wish to use the SGR should be given incentives. Those who prefer to use trucks should similarly be allowed.
All this keeping in mind the fact that there are millions of Kenyans whose livelihoods are dependent on road/truck transport. Therefore if cargo is transported by the road, the government shouldn’t view it as a loss. Road/truck transport helps more people than rail/SGR transport. The government shouldn’t be seen to be sabotaging road/truck transport of cargo.
Currently, the government says that all un-nominated cargo is to go by SGR. Then it makes it impossible for people to nominate cargo to CFSs. That means all cargo ends up being un-nominated, by default. By inference, then, people are forced use the SGR.
Now just watch to see how it ends, if they decide to push it through. We may just kill the goose that lays the golden eggs for us.

Loan ya mchina lazima ilipwe.

Why do you have to keep repeating this?

The article makes lots of business sense but the writer could ignore adding the tribal angle. Ukabila itatumaliza.

There’s something you’re not telling us.
In any case, shouldn’t there have been an influx to Tz after they lowered their tariffs?

The Railways killed off wagon transportation in Europe and elsewhere, it is likely to reduce the number of trucks on our roads, we still don’t have an expansive rail network, trucks will still be required to handle certain routes.
Railway transport is the safest form of transport, not easily ambushed like trucks.
Reduction of the number of long-haul trucks on the roads will reduce accidents; also allow roads to last longer.

Generally, rail transport has a higher carrying capacity, likely to be more cost effective than trucks.

It is likely Tanzania is reacting to SGR, and lowered transit cost perhaps in anticipation of lowered cost, competitive and efficient transport from SGR.

Patron-client systems.

Nope! You’re partially right, Tanzania recently lowered transit tariffs from $500 to $152 for Uganda and Burundi only. Kenya was excluded from this deal so our truckers are still paying the exorbitant tariffs of $500 per truck each time they cross Tanzania’s borders. Surely, does TZ have a ministry where they meet to find ways of screwing Kenyans? Watu wasio na undugu, ubinadamu wala ujamaa.

[SIZE=6]Tanzania omits Kenya from preferential transport deal[/SIZE]
[SIZE=4]Kenya has been left out of a new deal brokered by Tanzania that seeks to lower cross-border charges on trucks ferrying goods across the borders.

The deal announced by the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) will see Ugandan and Burundian trucks that cross Tanzanian borders charged $152 (Sh15,397) from $500 (Sh50,165) that was charged before.

Kenyan trucks have been excluded from the deal.

CCTTFA Executive Secretary Dieudonne Dukundane said during a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) capacity building workshop in Arusha that cross-border charges have been a huge impediment to free flow of trade and need to be harmonised.

“The three countries of Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi have agreed to lower these charges,” Mr Dukundane told Tanzanian daily, The Citizen.

“We have an agreement to harmonise the cross-border charges and in fact, a transit truck pays only $152, down from $500 to pass through Tanzanian borders,” he added.

CCTTFA is tasked with easing cross-border trade especially by improving transport logistics between Tanzania and its neighbours.

The agency also runs the Tanzanian Central Transport Corridor, a main competitor for Kenya’s Northern Corridor in attracting transit cargo through each country’s coastal ports.

Tanzania President John Magufuli has been on the forefront in promoting the corridor, upgrading the ports of Dar es Salaam and Tanga, while at the same time building a new Standard Gauge Railway that is about to be completed.
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Kenya should continue being in its own league, don’t respond to non issues, reduce the amount paid to be lower than TZ even for tz transporters, shinda mjinga Na ujanja.

@amun njoo kidogo, which Kenyan customer will chose Mozambique ports, this idea is laughable though wouldn’t mind the trip. Can all of you think outside the box. Trucks haziendi mahali coz of last mile. Watakao umia ni small towns along the highway coz the volume of trucks passing through will reduce drastically

You have nailed it, the up coming towns will die silently

Think logically, of Luhyas and shiny eyed ones ,who are 98% good importers business people. Just the fact that a tribe has been mentioned doesn’t make one a tribalist. It’s just how your brain amplifies it. The writer recognizes the success of the latter in business. That’s all

I don’t expect that to happen with 5trn debt.

please name these ‘so many well-serviced and accessible ports’ available to Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.

We should strive to eliminate stereotypes instead of rationalising them.

You should learn to find strength in weakness. Tribes isn’t a bad thing, using it as a weapon against each other is a bad thing. Recognizing their strong abilities with the aim of empowering weaker ones should be encouraged. Anyway I could be wrong but thought of mentioning it

Fuck EAC integration.

Everyone from CFS operator to clearing agents to transporters are regretting why they never listened to joho… but anyway tano tena. Watu wengi watakosa job juu ya hii sgr

If they are lowered further, KRA watameet targets aje? The best way to beat them at their game is to streamline cargo transport by road from ICD Nairobi to the hinterland - smoothen and widen roads to enable fast cargo transportation, remove weighbridges on A104, build better road amenities for truckers, proper parking lots, weed out corrupt policemen, and the Gross costs will come down.

They can use volume to reach that. It makes no difference to sell 100 cars at 10,000 and selling 10 cars at 100,000. Both have same output