With its strategic placement between South Africa and the Gulf of Aden and its bustling port activity, Mombasa has become recognized around the world as the “Gateway to East and Central Africa”. Mombasa is most notably home to Kilindini Harbour, the largest, most efficient and heavily trafficked port in the region. For years, Mombasa has been known as “the city of merchants” due to its location, strategically placed midway between South Africa and the Middle East.
It is the second largest port in Africa, providing direct connectivity to over 80 ports worldwide and is linked to inland regions by road and rail. Total transit cargo tops 7.2 million tonnes, serving Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Tanzania, Somalia and Ethiopia.
The Port of Mombasa is Kenya’s principal seaport, comprising Kilindini Harbour and Port Reitz on the eastern side of Mombasa Island, and the Old Port and Port Tudor on the northern side.
The imports that pass through the port of Mombasa are critical to Kenya’s economic growth and to the economic well being of its neighbors. 25 million tonnes of cargo were transported through the port in 2014 alone. The port ranked among the top 120 out of 5000 ports worldwide in 2013 after handling 894,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs). In 2014 the port celebrated handling over one million TEUs.
The 21 berth deep-water port, which includes two bulk oil jetties and ample dry bulk wharves, is geared to serve ships of all sizes and can handle all types of cargo. The port offers a diverse range of services to enable shippers to export and import cargo worldwide
The ongoing £80 million upgrade of current facilities and capacity expansion programmes have greatly contributed to the port’s capacity to accommodate ever increasing cargo volumes. The completion of the dredging project in 2012 and berth 19 in 2013 saw the port become a popular destination for relatively larger vessels.
Mombasa serves not only Kenya but is also the main gateway to the East African hinterland countries of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. The port is managed and operated by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), a semi autonomous government parastatal. KPA also manages the small seaports of Kiuna, Lamu, Malindi, Kilifi, Mtwapa, Funzi, Shimoni and Vanga.