First cargo consignment set to leave Lamu Port to Saudi Arabia
Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu
The first shipment is set to leave Lamu Port today for Jeddah Islamic Port (JIP) in Saudi Arabia marking the ports inaugural consignement of goods since operationalisation of the berth two months ago.
The cargo vessel MV Spirit of Dubai operated by the CMA CGM Shipping Lines left the Port of Mombasa yesterday and will pick the port’s first consignment in yet another milestone in the maritime business.
Speaking to the media during the reception of the vessel, KPA’s general manager at Lamu Port Eng. Abdullahi Samatar said the consignment had mixed cargo most of which were agricultural products.
“With the arrival of this ship it signifies we are ready for business and therefore we expect more transhipment traffic to this port which has a competitive advantage in terms of geographical position and capacity to handle bigger vessels,” said the GM.
Samatar said discussions are going on between KPA and other stakeholders on reduced tariffs and tax rebates in abid to make Lamu Port an attractive logistics hub.
KRA regional coordinator Joseph Tonui who was in Lamu to witness the arrival of the Cargo said receipt of the consignment at the LAMU Port is a clear sign of confidence by the shipping Industry.
“The dream of making LAMU the port of choice for exports, imports and transhipment hub is becoming a reality,” Tonui said.
He further disclosed that a $10 transhipment fee has already been waived as discussions are going on among stakeholders to explore other tax break options.
Tonui noted that KRA has deployed clearance systems to enhance and guarantee efficiency and turnaround time at the new port.