Denmark’s – Maersk, which happens to be the world’s largest container shipping firm will soon call at Kenya’s recently developed Lamu Port.
The Kenyan government is developing the first three berths at the planned 32-berth port which is part of the Sh2.5 trillion Lamu-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (Lapsset). The mega project was launched by Kenya in 2012.
Edward Kamau, general manager corporate services at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) told the media, “Maersk has committed to bring a ship to call at Lamu Port. We are preparing to move equipment to support operations at the first berth which is ready.”
He added, “These equipment are just but a few to start us off. By the time all the three berths are complete; we shall have full operations at Lamu.”
The equipment that are being moved to be installed at the berth includes rubber-tired gantry cranes (RTGs), terminal tractors, forklifts,reach stackers, pilot boats, tag boats and mooring equipment for handling of vessels.
Maersk, which is the largest container ship and supply vessel operator in the world since 1996, will connect the Lamu Port to 300 global ports.
In the last couple of months, the KPA has heavily marketed the newly developed Lamu port. The official launch of the first berth in Lamu Port is set to take place this month. As a part of its marketing scheme, KPA is inviting shipping lines, transporters and port stakeholders for a site visit.
The authorities have also offered promotional tariffs to logistic companies which includes a 30 days free storage period for transshipment and transit cargo, 14 days free storage period for domestic cargo and a 40 percent discount for cargo-based charges as per KPA’s tariff.
According to reports, the development of the Lamu Port has been funded completely through the tax payer’s money.