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What is a Container Freight Station (CFS)?

In countries where the Port operator does not have sufficient quayside yard space, they opt to have off-dock terminals close to the Port. In Kenya these off dock terminals are called Container Freight Stations (CFS). CFS operations are similar to that of a Port terminal in terms of customs clearance of Import or Export cargo in bulk, loose or containerized cargo.

SIGINON CFS is a leading CFS in the Port City of Mombasa on the East African Coast of Kenya. We are located within the Island of Mombasa and specialize in handling cars, bulk commodities such as Aid cargo and containers.

How does a CFS work?

The CFS industry in Kenya was established in 2007. This industry continues to develop and it is predicted that eventual linkages to inland ICDs will offer its clients more options. Usually positioned adjacent to the key port of entry, a CFS receives cargo under bond for imports or unbonded cargo for exports delivered to the port by various cargo vessels.

In the case of transit and local import cargo, the goods are usually delivered from the vessel to the CFS by the CFS operator, from where the consignee clears the cargo with Customs. Transit cargo goes under Customs bond to the border points and it is cancelled once the cargo exits the Kenyan border. The bond can also be reused to import other transit cargo. The transit bond is meant to ensure that transit cargo is not diverted into the Kenyan economy without payment of requisite duties and taxes which impact would negatively impact the business environment not forgetting denying the Kenya government its much needed revenue.

Although CFS’ have to apply for standard Port Authority tariffs, they provide customers with various benefits such as negotiating favorable terms, extended free time, storage waivers and allowing clients to nominate the CFS of their choice to handle their cargo. Volume clients also stand to gain further from volume discounts.

Vehicle importers require safe handling of their vehicle, safe storage, smooth customer service and reasonable rates. They want to register their cars on site and manage their stocks in light of the heavy cash flow outlays for duty payment and delays in selling cleared cars. This requires that the CFS formulates a plan for managing the client’s stock flows so that cash is optimized and minimize the risk of financial shocks which burdens most logistics clients in East Africa.



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