Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) is set to install cargo scanners at some stations along the Standard Gauge Railway line to monitor consignment. According to KRA regional chief manager for customs and border control John Bisonga, the scanners would be used to monitor cargo ferried by SGR trains.
“The number of containers that will be transported using the trains is huge and we will need to ensure there is proper surveillance. Drive-through scanners will also be installed along the SGR route,” said Bisonga. There are seven stations between Mombasa and Nairobi; at Mariakani, Miasenyi, Voi, Mtito Andei, Kibwezi, Emali and Athi River. The SGR cargo trains are set to begin operating between Mombasa and Nairobi on June 1.
It is expected that four trains will each haul 200 containers each day, with the trip between the port and the capital taking eight hours. Two passenger trains will move an estimated 1,000 people daily in just four and half hours.
Bisonga said that plans are underway to ensure scanners were also installed at the Embakasi Inland Container Depot (ICD) where the cargo will be stored. The ICD occupies 29 hectares of land and has a stacking yard with an annual capacity of more than 180,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (Teus).
The Sh22-billion facility will handle big volumes of cargo and is expected to play a crucial role in the efficiency of the SGR, projected to handle more than 40 per cent of the 1.1 million Teus of cargo passing through Mombasa port each year.
KRA will also use Automatic Container Number Readers at the rail exit and entry points to effectively manage cargo stocks and encourage use of the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO). (AEO) Program entails identification and profiling of importers who have a good track record and having their goods undergo minimal checks to fasten clearance.