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    Transit times vary greatly depending on obviously the destination, the type of cargo and the way you count (cargo can physically arrive but the documentation has to be concluded to take delivery).

    The best answer is to request when asking for a price. Transit times are always indicative.

    We can give some general pointers though for normal commercial cargo, this assuming all documents and duty payments are smooth: From arrival vessel Mombasa port to delivery Nairobi: 3-5 days From arrival vessel Mombasa port to delivery Kampala: 10 – 14 days From arrival vessel Mombasa port to delivery Juba:: 14 – 21 days From arrival vessel Mombasa port to delivery Kigali: 12 – 18 days

    To move cargo, a lot of parties are involved. This is why an importer or exporter appoints a company like Kenfreight, to take care of all this and ensure one point of entry. However sometimes things do not go as planned, in that case it is good to know which party is responsible for what.

    KPA (Kenya Ports Authority) + add website: this organization runs the port of Mombasa and organizes the berthing and loading/offloading of vessels. Within its boundaries, all other parties operate to clear and deliver cargo either to a vessel (exports) or from a vessel (imports). Its counterpart in the airports are the airport authorities and handling companies. Apart from controlling all port operations, they have the right to charge storage and handling fees to importers/exporters especially if cargo is not moving through fast enough and elapses its free days. To avoid this, preparation of any logistics operation is required and Kenfreight helps you with that.

    Customs (Kenya Revenue Authority) add website, Uganda Revenue Authority add website…): this government institute is linked to the respective Ministry of Finance and has the right to levy duties and taxes on cargo (mostly imports though few exports are taxed as well). Inevitably any cargo movement that comes into or exits a country has to involve the customs authorities. Apart from duties and taxes they can levy penalties for not complying with the extensive regulations or misdeclaring cargo or cargo values. As part of the government, their rulings are law hence to avoid an argument, it is better again to plan your import/export with a reliable clearing & forwarding firm like Kenfreight.

    Container Freight Station: the container freight stations are private depots under customs control which are extensions of the port. As such they are allowed to transfer cargo from the port to their depot and charge client the handling and storage as per the KPA tariff. This has been allowed to decongest the port which has been facing challenges to cope with its growth. For Mombasa port, these CFS receive the cargo destined for the local market based on either the allocation per vessel by the port or as consigned on the shipping documents. A variant of these are the Inland Container Depots which are basically the same but then at destination, not from the port. Cargo moves under customs control to the inland container depot from where final clearance can take place. Kenfreight operates an inland container depot in Kampala. It is important to know that not all CFS and ICDs are operating to the same standard so to ensure proper cargo handling, you should ensure your cargo is handled by a reputed depot.

    Rift Valley Railways (RVR): RVR is the regional organization that manages both the railways and equipment in Uganda and Kenya. They are basically the sole provider of rail transport to the general importers/exporters contrary to road transport where there is a wide choice of transporters.

    Shipping line: Shipping lines take care of oceanfreight from port to port. Their counterpart in airfreight are of course the airlines. Of specific importance to importers and exporters is the issuance of the official shipping documents that are done by them: bill of lading for seafreight or airway bill. The original shipping documents are negotiable which means anyone holding them holds a title to their cargo. Therefore these documents have to be issued with care and handled responsibly.

    Clearing agent: A clearing agent has a license which allows it to make declarations in the customs system and usually also transact with shipping lines and the port authorities. From this position, they are well placed to handle with all the above mentioned parties to enable movement of cargo. Because of the convenience of having one point of communication and the need for professionalism, large clearing agents like Kenfreight will also handle the transportation element on your behalf with their own fleet (link to our equipment) or using reliable hauliers. By extension they can also book seafreight or airfreight on your behalf, warehouse your goods or even pack/sort and distribute them. Contact us to know what we can do for you.


    The mode of transport is mostly determined by cost and speed. The faster the mode of delivery, usually the more expensive. Added to this is an element of security and safety. Rail movement is slightly cheaper than road movement but generally slower. Airfreight is vastly quicker than seafreight but a lot more expensive. Careful advance planning with a logistics partner like Kenfreight can enable you to use a cheaper means of transport while still attaining your goal of having your goods on time.

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