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Fear over loss of jobs as SGR takes on cargo

On Monday, the first Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) freight hurtled its way from Mombasa with hundreds of containers and in its midst stoking fears among freight business agents..

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho says the SGR freight trains, the Naivasha dry port and Embakasi inland container depot (ICD) would affect the multi-billion shilling container freight station business in Mombasa. He says the projects would lead to either relocation of logistics and transport business to Nairobi or Naivasha or a complete shutdown, leading to massive job losses at the port city.

The national Government, however, says the aggressive infrastructure expansion is aimed at reducing logistics costs along the northern corridor and boosting value addition of Kenyan exports.

Logistics experts and economists continue to debate on economic effects of the mega projects, but concur that many logistics units in Mombasa, like the container freight stations, will be affected. “The CFS business in Mombasa will be worst hit by these projects but they can re-invent themselves,” says Meshack Kipturgo, Siginon Group Managing Director.

“ The CFS business in Mombasa will be worst hit by these projects but they can re-invent themselves,”

He says the freight station operators in Mombasa will have to either diversify or the stations be turned into value addition or transshipment centres if they want to remain afloat.

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