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Kenfreight ventures into Somalia

Kenfreight 'exploration team'
After a few successful shipments were executed with a reliable partner, Kenfreight laid out the ground work for expanding into Somalia with a first extended work visit to Mogadishu by the GM for Kenya and South Sudan.

A much improved security situation

The general security situation is much improved from last year though the presence of armoured vehicles everywhere and bomb shelters in most camps, indicates you always have to be prepared for a quick turn of events. This is very similar to South Sudan just after the peace agreement.

Having the right local contacts and experience in conflict zones is the key here and Kenfreight already can bring those into Somalia. Not being afraid from difficult jobs in difficult circumstances, is another key strength of our group.


Refurbishment of transportation & logistics infrastructure is getting into gear


Port of MogadishuPort of Mogadishu


Aden Abdulle airportRefurbished Aden Abdulle Airport


The port of Mogadishu has recently been refurbished and has several berths for cargo vessels alongside several reachstackers for shoreside handling. Current regular lines serving Mogadishu port are Alpha (from Mombasa), MSC and CMA-CGM and others are planning a regular service.
The Aden Abdulle airport is brand new and has modern facilities including a cargo handling section.

Both the airport and the port have been built/refurbished with help of the Turkish government, as such there is a sizeable amount of Turkish influence.

Apart from Mogadishu, there are also secondary ports/airports in Somalia like Kismayo. Around the airport, the AU (African Union) and AMISOM camp has been built and fully enclosed, this is what is being referred to as the “green zone” and holds most international companies and expatriates.

Imports into here is usually peacekeeping equipment, prefab housing, foodstuffs, fuel and construction equipment.

Most cargo coming into Somalia is evidently for NGOs and United Nations under exemption letters granted by the government. Clearance of these is usually very fast, within a few days.


Commercial business is picking up


Commercial business has started picking up in Somalia and a customs tariff and declaration/verification system is already in place. Cargo can also get delivered within a few days under this regime after payment of duties to the bank.

So despite the economy being very much in its infancy, efforts are being done to keep importation streamlined and effective. Most cargo gets delivered into Mogadishu town though onward delivery to places like Baidoa is possible under AU (African Union) escort.


Kenfreight now effectively offering door to door services from/to Somalia and the rest of the world


With local partner Alpha, Kenfreight can already offer all these services and deliveries, as well as local logistics like craneage, yard storage etc. Coupled with our overseas partners, we are now effectively offering door to door services from/to Somalia and the rest of the world, including deliveries’ originating from within East Africa.

We encourage our clients to consider options of services into Somalia and not be taken aback by the reputation of instability.

With strong local knowledge and our solution-focused operations, we can help guide you in the process to be part of Somalia’s reconstruction.


Contact us:

Contacts for commercial enquiries are as per below, details of our representation office will follow soon.
+254 41 231 6800


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8 axle Nooteboom trailer

Kenfreight adds new advanced extendable trailer to its fleet


Early 2016 saw the arrival of a new trailer in our fleet: the 8-axle Nooteboom trailer can take loads upto 60MT and upto 30 meters long as it is extendable. Since its arrival, it has already been on the move non-stop, completing various out of gauge deliveries to Tanzania and Uganda.


View our entire fleet »

Single Customs Territory having implementation pains across the region


The Single Customs Territory approach was introduced for cargo through Mombasa destined to Rwanda 100% and partly for Uganda last year, recently it has become mandatory for cargo to Tanzania and to Uganda from 1st of July.

Whilst the principle in itself is commendable i.e. having 1 declaration to make cargo move throughout the region instead of various transit declarations and 1 final declaration, the implementation has so proven to add considerable delays to cargo movement.

Delays & extra costs to be expected as SCT remedies its teething problems

The Single Customs Territory project in its realization has garnered a lot of resistance from traders and clearing agents. At Kenfreight, we believe the ultimate goal is worth supporting but at the same time we need clients to be aware and understanding that, until this is streamlined, extra delays and extra costs are expected.


Example Uganda:

To Uganda for example,
the procedure will consist of lodging first a warehousing entry before the final importation entry, which adds more complexity and time. Due to the system, it will also require all cargo to pass through Kampala mostly, making direct deliveries difficult.

Lastly, issues in transferring manifests from KRA to URA system have been common. Overall we have seen clearance times fluctuate a lot more than before, from 3-4 days to 14 days.


Example Tanzania:

For Tanzania, the introduction is still very recent and problems with transferring the manifest are also very common, the actual border arrival and release process is also not yet fitting in with the idea of SCT (fast border passage after concluding SCT clearance).

We are seeing clearance times stretching into numerous weeks but hope this will drop down soon. As we continue to monitor the situation, we ask for the understanding of our clients as such a radical shift in procedure is always bound to have a difficult start!


More news on SCT & customs »