Kenyan SMEs to benefit from expansion of Cargo shed in Nairobi
Kenyan Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) will benefit from expansion of a new warehouse at the Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) Transit shed with an enhanced storage capacity to handle cargo for small traders within Nairobi and its environs.
The warehouse, also known as the National Cargo Deconsolidation Centre-Nairobi (NCDC-Nairobi), is an expansion of the KRC Transit shed that was launched in November 2020. The new facility will enhance capacity of de-consolidated cargo from the initial five (5) 40 foot containers to (15) 40 foot containers. A 40ft container can have up to 25 small traders importing varied goods as consolidated cargo. This means that the facility will serve up to approximately 400 small traders in a day.
Since its launch, the facility has so far served more than 200 traders. In the last three months, KRA has cleared 11 containers with an approximate revenue of Ksh 23 Million. With the expansion of the facility, the government expects to serve five times the number of traders and clear more containers. This is anticipated to enable KRA achieve its revenue collection mandate. The establishment of the NCDC-Nairobi is part of the government initiatives to bring services closer to taxpayers and facilitate them to conduct their business effectively and efficiently.
Recently, KRA gazetted the facility as one of its national deconsolidation and cargo clearance centres in the country. This means that small traders will now find it easier to clear and collect their cargo at NCDC-Nairobi. Cargo clearance time will also be enhanced while the last mile cost will be reduced. Container rent charges will also be borne by Kenya Railways while traders will incur minimum or no demurrage costs due to the speedy clearance process minimizing overall cost of doing business.
The facility will now operate on a 24-hour basis and it will take approximately 15 hours to transit cargo from the Port of Mombasa through the railway to the KRC Transit Shed. The number of containers being cleared at the facility is later expected to increase to approximately 300 containers per month during the post COVID period. This will enable the country to collect extra revenue of approximately Ksh1 Billion through KRA. The shed is expected to operate on a 24-hour basis during the post Covid-19 period.
To improve efficiency at the facility, the government has established a One Stop Centre through an enhanced automated system and developed a cargo tracking code integrated with the KPA system to monitor end to end movement of cargo. Through KEBS, the government has also revised the inspection fees from 5% to 0.6% and provided a railway link to the new Transit Shed.