Saturday, June 22, 2024

Enhancing Maritime Operations: Port of Lamu Welcomes Modern Gantry Cranes


Port of Lamu Welcomes Modern Gantry Cranes to Enhance Operations

In a significant upgrade to its maritime capabilities, the Port of Lamu has recently acquired three ultra-modern ship-to-shore gantry cranes, valued at over Sh4 billion. This strategic investment is set to bolster the operational efficiency of Kenya’s second commercial port.

During a ceremony marking the arrival of these cranes, Kenya Ports Authority’s Managing Director, Capt William Ruto, underscored their potential in handling large cargo ships. He highlighted that these cranes would facilitate the use of Lamu Port as an alternative to the traditional routes through the Red Sea and Gulf, offering shorter and more efficient pathways for transshipment.

These advanced cranes are poised to enhance operations along the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor, a move that has already seen commitments from Ethiopia and South Sudan to utilize Lamu Port for their cargo imports.

Further elevating the port’s capabilities, Capt Ruto revealed that four Rubber Tired Gantries (RTGs) are also expected to join the port’s inventory between June and July, further expanding its operational capacity.

“With these state-of-the-art Super Post Panamax Ship-to-Shore (STS) gantry cranes now at our disposal, we are set to revolutionize operations and establish the Port of Lamu as a prominent player on the global maritime stage,” Capt Ruto stated. He also reflected on the port’s growth, noting the significant increase in vessel calls and cargo traffic since its inauguration on May 20, 2021.

In 2023 alone, the Port of Lamu witnessed a substantial rise in cargo handling, moving 37,576 metric tons of cargo, a stark increase from the 6,539 MT handled in 2022. The port also saw a surge in container traffic, with 1,779 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) compared to 382 TEUs in the previous year.

“These statistics highlight the critical role of the Port of Lamu in facilitating trade and propelling economic growth within the region. With a total capacity to handle 1.2 million TEUs across its three berths, Lamu Port is set to be a key driver of economic prosperity and regional integration,” Capt Ruto added.

The acquisition of these cranes, totaling sh.4,094,195,040 (USD 31,493,808), including Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF), demonstrates the government’s dedication to maintaining world-class port facilities in Kenya, including the Port of Mombasa and Port of Lamu. This commitment ensures these ports remain crucial gateways for regional and international trade, connecting Kenya to the wider global economy.

Designed with state-of-the-art technology to handle modern vessels over 18,000 TEUs and equipped to withstand Lamu’s windy conditions, these cranes mark a significant technological advancement for the port. Their arrival is expected to attract Super Post Panamax vessels, offering competitive advantages similar to those of the world’s leading ports.

The LAPSSET Corridor, aimed at connecting the East Coast of Africa with the West through the proposed East-West Trans-African Corridor, will greatly benefit from this upgrade. With commitments from neighboring countries and ongoing infrastructural developments, the Port of Lamu is on a clear path to becoming a central hub for maritime trade in Africa.

The introduction of these cranes aligns with the broader vision of the LAPSSET Corridor Program, encompassing infrastructure projects like highways, railways, and international airports. These initiatives are not just about enhancing connectivity but also fostering regional stability and economic prosperity.

Capt Ruto concluded by emphasizing the importance of the Port of Lamu in hosting and catalyzing broader development initiatives, such as the Lamu Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which aims to boost production and promote local entrepreneurship. With these developments, the port is set to play a pivotal role in the region’s economic landscape.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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