May 9, 2017
The warehousing industry in Kenya is currently experiencing increasing demand from shippers seeking safe storage of their shipments for distribution or onward transit to neighboring countries. This has been attributed to various factors including a growing interest in Kenya as a business hub. Kenya’s unique geographical position has made it a key transit point for cargo destined for the local market as well as into the region. Today, the growth of SMEs in Kenya has exploded and contributed to an increase in logistics services such as warehousing. In addition, a number of importers today have turned to utilization of leased factors of production which are cheaper for retailers as opposed to the importer absorbing the cost and risk of running a non-core operation such as logistics while running the enterprise.
Siginon Global Logistics, part of the Siginon Group, is a leading logistics player that has invested heavily in warehousing to meet customer demands. Currently, Siginon boasts of nearly 300,000 square feet of warehouse capacity in its Nairobi and Mombasa operations licensed to handle cargo that is general, bonded or on transit to regional destinations. Winstone Akweyu, the Operations Manager at Siginon Global Logistics in Nairobi adds, “The General cargo warehouses have the highest demand with customers largely importing shipments such as textiles, pharmaceuticals, spare parts and chemicals among other commodities.” Siginon warehouses have additional options which are customized to handle shipments that require storage at ambient temperatures and cold storage, such as some pharmaceuticals and horticultural produce, to protect them from depreciating in quality or value due to exposure to external temperatures.
Customer experience in warehousing is primarily focused on assuring the customer of cargo safety as well as ease of accessing the goods while in the warehouse. This can be attributed to the tonnage and value of cargo placed in the warehouse. As such, warehouse players have invested heavily in warehouse safety and security to protect the cargo from theft or damage while in the warehouse. Winstone adds, “Siginon warehouses are secured with high walls, 24/7 CCTV as well as contracted manned personnel from reputable security companies. Ultimately, assuring the customer of the cargo security will give them peace of mind.” Global warehousing trends today have expanded to incorporate value addition services such as packaging in the case of Fast Moving consumer goods (FMCG), blending of varieties in the case of the tea warehousing and distributing the goods to outlets, the port for export as well as delivering to the factory on a ‘just in time’ basis to ensure payment of taxes only on goods exiting the customs bonded area as well as eliminate demand on space.
Globally, Amazon.com has disrupted the logistics industry with adoption of technology and innovation to run its process. Amazon today boasts of over 30,000 robots to run its warehousing space in the fulfilment centers. The robots have revolutionized service delivery as well as boosted efficiency in stock management. These trends have set the pace for players in warehousing to move in tandem with the key focus being customer satisfaction and efficiency in cargo delivery while minimizing the need for human intervention.
In as much as the Kenyan market is yet to pick on these innovations, a number of efforts have been made by the various logistics players to incorporate technology to boost service delivery. Winstone concludes, “There are a number of opportunities of automating warehouse operations through automation of storage, compact picking, zone picking, integrated picking as well as warehouse and AGV systems. Though these systems require high capital investments, the returns on business and customer satisfaction are equally high in the long run.”
Logistics services are today driven more to meet the customer demands for convenience and efficient service delivery. With growth of Kenya’s position as a key business hub in the region, it is likely that sufficient investments will be made to match global and customer trends in service.
Request your warehousing quote on email through; firstname.lastname@example.org
April 12, 2017
January 1st, 2017 marked the enforcement of the Marine Insurance law in Kenya. This law was preceded by Kenya’s budget reading of the year 2016 by the Treasury Cabinet Secretary. The Marine Insurance law has been in existence since 1968 and the 2016 budget speech indicated the Kenya government’s decision to enforce the law. In the past, importers into Kenya have insured their shipments in the country of origin through their suppliers. However, this new direction states that marine insurance has to be procured locally with an insurance company registered in Kenya. This is emphasized in Section 20, Subsection (1) of the Insurance Act, CAP 287 that states that “No insurer, broker, agent or other person shall directly or indirectly place any Kenya business other than re-insurance business with an insurer not registered in Kenya without the prior approval, whether individually or generally, in writing of the Commissioner”
Marine Insurance is undertaken by the importer to cover cargo including the vessels/flights/vehicle/ or train against incidental losses, pilferage or damage while shipping goods from one country to another. Winstone Akweyu, the Operations Manager at Siginon Global Logistics adds, “Marine insurance applies to goods transported by sea and air and also extends to road and/or rail to final destination. This therefore means the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) will no longer clear shipments without proof of marine insurance from a Kenyan insurance company.” Shippers who ship on Cost, Insurance and Freight (CIF) terms will therefore need to renegotiate terms that exclude insurance to avoid double insurance and satisfy the marine insurance requirement in Kenya. The insurance industry in Kenya has responded to the government directive and developed a tailor made marine insurance product giving shippers multiple options to partner with in the selection of an insurance company.
Amongst the key beneficiaries in the Marine Insurance act enforcement are importers into Kenya due to the ease of accessing local insurance companies to facilitate the cover. In addition, the same convenience will have an advantage of speedy compensation in cases of damage, loss or pilferage while the cargo is in transit. In addition, the cover is affordable and gives the importer the freedom to select the insurance agency of choice and on preferred terms and conditions. The marine insurance tax is computed at 0.5% stamp duty of the consignment value. Winstone adds, “The marine insurance is cheaper when it comes to overall customs tax computation as the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) uses 1.5% compared to 0.25% range offered by insurance companies.”
On a national level, the marine insurance act has greatly contributed to the growth of Kenya’s insurance industry and provides an additional revenue channel for the Kenyan economy.
Should you need any further information, please email; email@example.com
March 21, 2017
Shippers using the Northern corridor, which stretches from the port of Mombasa to the Kenya/Uganda Malaba border, now have an additional reason to smile with the launch of the Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS). RECTS is a harmonized cargo tracking system that connects Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda by monitoring cargo movement for both the Kenya and transit markets transported within the regions. The RECTS system was launched on March 1st by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) following a July 2014 directive by the Northern Corridor Head of State Summit that was held in Kigali.
Siginon Global Logistics, Divisional Manager, Job Kemboi adds, “The RECTS system guarantees cargo safety and security as the cargo is transported within the East African region. The expectation is that the system will also act as a deterrent against highway theft”. Kenyan transporters implemented the Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) in the year 2014 to monitor cargo movement while within the confines of the Kenya border. The RECTS will expand the cargo monitoring scope to include Rwanda and Uganda. It also presents 24/7 Central Monitoring Centres in Nairobi, Kampala and Kigali with a view of the entire region. A report by TradeMark East Africa, an East African not-for profit that supports the growth of trade – both regional and international – in East Africa, adds “The new system replaces the existing Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS) where monitoring is done independently through stand-alone platforms. This forced KRA officers to toggle between screens, therefore making the process very tedious and ripe for abuse. It also consists of 12 Rapid Response Units consisting of Customs and Police Officers along the Northern Corridor. The new system also comprises of smart gates and automatic number plate recognition at the port gates and borders. This eliminates manual data capture and reduces the dwell times at the borders and port gates.”
Transporters in Kenya have embraced various technologies to offer their customers with optimal and real time cargo tracking while in transit. Job asserts, “In addition to the RECTS, Siginon Global Logistics has reinforced cargo security by implementing real time cargo tracking systems in all our trucks. The trackers monitor cargo movement from loading at the port of Mombasa and it is only disarmed once it is confirmed that the container seals are unbroken and trackers disarmed by our centrally located fleet office on arrival at the destination. The technology also tackles soft issues such as drive behavior while on the highways to ensure that safety is observed at all times”. The fleet management systems monitor speed limits, harsh braking, and vehicle idling as well as support route planning and scheduling. These have greatly hindered the risk of transit cargo getting diverted into the local market contributing to dumping. This will therefore eradicate tax leakages and create a level playing field for importers and local industries. The fleet systems also manage transportation costs that arise such as fuel siphoning and vehicle wear and tear.
Siginon Global Logistics is part of the Siginon Group with over 30 years’ experience in logistics and transportation. Key logistics services offered are; transportation (road/rail/air), warehousing, customs clearance, distribution, project cargo logistics with a customer base in East Africa and the Great Lakes region.
January 31, 2017
Kenya’s strategic location has greatly contributed to its position as a major gateway into the East Africa region. This has led to Kenya’s popularity as a regional business hub for trade, finance, communication and logistics. Kenya today is a major route to access markets in; Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti
Kenya’s economic development blue print ‘Vision 2030’ has further espoused the ambition to achieve middle income status with a sustained economic growth of 10% per annum. As such, a number of government initiatives have been put in place as vehicles to deliver this ambition. Kenya’s emergence as East Africa’s main gateway has been boosted by the investments made by players in both the public and private sector. The main international airport, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) is the largest and busiest airport within the East Africa region. Today JKIA attracts a high number of local, regional and international airlines in both the cargo and passenger terminals whose regional status has been boosted with numerous awards for being Africa’s leading airport. Some of the airlines frequenting JKIA have facilitated easy connections from Nairobi and onwards to neighboring countries within the East Africa region. Jared Oswago, the Divisional Manager at Siginon Aviation states, “Kenya is one of the few countries that are able to handle and export cargo on the same. Cargo comes to Kenya by air, cleared through customs and transported onwards by road or sea to another country. This is particularly true in the humanitarian sector in handling some of the relief and related cargo”
JKIAs cargo handling capacity continues to grow and has been boosted by investments made by 4 air cargo terminal operators offering huge, modern cargo handling and storage facilities that are fitted with specialized cargo handling equipment. Siginon Aviation is one of the 4 air cargo terminals located at Nairobi’s JKIA. The terminal which was recently launched is equipped to handle general cargo, motor vehicle, dangerous goods, project and perishable cargo. Jared adds, “JKIA’s dwarfs other airports in the neighboring East African countries. Today JKIA can comfortably handle a number of aircrafts at any one time. In addition, Nairobi’s unique position allows for easy cargo delivery once it comes to Kenya through air and connected to the rest of East Africa using either the expansive road network in Kenya or through further local and regional air connections from JKIA”.
Cargo is primarily routed into and out of East Africa through the Kenya via the port of Mombasa or JKIA. In terms of imports, the cargo is mainly petroleum, dry cargo, chemicals, fertilizer and agricultural inputs and motor vehicles. The export cargo largely comprises agricultural produce, flowers and fish. The alternative sea ports serving the East Africa market are in Tanzania with the Port of Dar es Salaam and Mtwara or the Djibouti Port. For Air Freight, alternative cargo routes are through the Dar es salaam or Entebbe airport. However, some of these routes are not as popular as they are considered too long, fraught with corruption or facing high levels of insecurity. Jared adds, “The Kenya market has easy connections to most European and middle East destinations which are the primary sources or consumers of the cargo that is imported or exported.”
The Kenya government has cemented Kenya’s advantageous position through by embarking on various infrastructural developments such as the JKIA airport expansion project which include addition of new aircraft aprons and taxi ways, the planned 2nd runway project, adoption of the single window cargo clearing system that allows online cargo clearance and boosting the Kenya road network particularly on key routes that connect to neighboring countries such as the Northern Corridor which connects to Uganda as well as those serving Tanzania. The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project which is currently underway provides an additional connection to Kenya and the wider East Africa region and shortens cargo freight times.
The Kenya market has enhanced its reputation due to its advanced financial sectors particularly in banking. These allow for ease in trade in local and foreign currencies in a stable and mature banking environment. The Kenyan labour force is considered one of the most vibrant and highly skilled in the region. This has greatly contributed to the growth and productivity in the logistics industry and others that require skilled labour input .
However, Kenya’s gateway advantage faces stiff competition from the neighboring countries keen for a slice of the lucrative East African economic pie. The enticement of the gateway position has seen neighboring countries commence on various infrastructural projects that should also enhance their logistics capabilities. As such, Kenya should not rest on its laurels but instead consistently improve on its service delivery such as maintain and improve the road network, accommodate banking policies that nurture growth and boost trade. In addition, there is an opportunity for Kenya to source for new markets in the Americas, Western Europe, Russia and avoid over reliance on the traditional markets in the UK and Europe. National security, remains a backbone of a vibrant logistics industry as such great lengths should be taken to ensure that Kenya’s current and new trade partners feel that Kenya is a sound and secure environment for trade. This would no doubt contribute towards fast tracking the direct US flights to Kenya and boost the Kenya’s economy as well as give the global market place confidence that Kenya is ready to do business. The Northern part of Kenya is teeming with opportunities particularly with the discovery of oil coupled with the adjacent development of Lamu Port and equip areas where mining of natural resources with sufficient infrastructure to facilitate trade.
August 11, 2016
A Container Freight Station (CFS) is a critical link in the supply chain process in cargo handling. Whether you are an importer or exporter in Kenya by sea, your shipment must be handled at the port of Mombasa or at a CFS before it is cleared as an export or import. Establishing a long term partnership with a CFS is a prudent measure to assure you of peace of mind in cargo logistics. A CFS partnership will spare you the headaches that come from unplanned costs such as storage, cargo loss or damage and give you the advantage of negotiating on flexible rates, free storage days, value added services such as cargo transportation and rebates. Remember, to partner with your CFS means you nominate the CFS by putting its name on the bill of lading.
Key factors to that make for a worthwhile CFS partnership are:
- Convenient location: The location of the container base will determine whether collecting your shipment will be a journey through hell as you battle the unrelenting traffic jams to and from the CFS. However, partnering with a CFS that is strategically located such as Siginon CFS which is located in Miritini on the out skirts of Mombasa and adjacent to the Northern corridor will spare you this hassle. As such, you will be able to clear and collect or drop your cargo and transport its destination with ease.
- Rate advantages: Partnering with the CFS will give you the opportunity to negotiate and enjoy best rates. Siginon CFS ensures that customers who nominate their shipments to the CFS are offered best price available and further discounts on repeated use of the CFS.
- Prompt clearance/ no delays: This ensures that the cargo clearance process is smooth and eliminates any obstacles in the clearance. This will save you additional costs that arise through demurrage or storage in the CFS. The customer service team at Siginon CFS ensures that customers are proactively updated on the arrival of the vessel, status of the cargo and the documentation required to facilitate clearance. This will no doubt give you peace of mind!
- Responsive customer service: The level of customer service will determine whether collecting your shipment will have you pulling your hair or smiling through the park on a warm sunny day. Siginon CFS team offers a responsive and dedicated customer service team that ensures that all customers enjoy world class service. The customer service team provides continuous updates on cargo status from loading to discharging at port and transfer to CFS, this information will necessitate client to have a prior logistics plan to avoid any additional costs to you such as demurrage or storage.
- Free days: Free days imply that once your shipment is at the CFS, you will be offered free days to give you time to do documentation and cargo transportation. The KPA regulated period is 4 days, however, Siginon CFS is able to make special allowances for customers they partner to enable the customer to tackle unique cargo needs that would need more days.
- Value added services from affiliated companies: A good CFS is able to facilitate value additional services should you need assistance. This includes services such as; transport, warehousing, clearance etc. By virtue of being part of Siginon Group, Siginon CFS is able to recommend credible logistics providers who will safely and securely assist with the rest of the cargo logistics within the group.
- Spacious CFS yard to accommodate odd sized cargo: A spacious CFS yard will provide sufficient space to handle cargo of various quantities and odd shape safely and securely. The Siginon CFS yard is spread over 13 hectares with designated areas to handle containers, vehicular, loose and project cargo.
- In house government regulators: In house regulators ensure that cargo at the CFS is cleared and released for to the owners immediately. Siginon CFS has offices within its premises for officers from the various government divisions in Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), KEPHIS (Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service).
- Cargo safety and security: The value of your shipment should be protected from any damage or loss. As such, the CFS should embrace a policy on safety in all its operations as well as during transfer to and from the CFS and when in the CFS. This will also ensure that there is on time cargo transfer at no extra cost. Safety First is the underlying policy in Siginon CFS, which is further reinforced by an in-house safety and security officer on site. Siginon CFS is well covered by 24 hour CCTV cameras, high walls and 24/7 manned security. Your cargo is safe at Siginon CFS.
We don’t mean to brag, but Siginon CFS is really your best CFS partner at the port of Mombasa. Having been operational since 2014, the professional team at Siginon CFS is motivated to delight our customers and our equipment is well maintained. As part of Siginon Group, Siginon CFS further offers her customers the advantage of using seamless logistics services such as; transport, warehousing and customs clearance.
Contact us on: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and partner with Siginon CFS.
Remember; nominate Siginon CFS on the bill of lading to enjoy these benefits and much more.
July 5, 2016
On 23rd June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU) which resulted in the resignation of UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The Kenyan economy remained steady with minimal change in the currency’s performance. This has largely been attributed to Kenya’s use of the US dollar as the main domestic currency for international trade. The dollar has continued to strengthen and remained relatively stable throughout the Brexit. The logistics industry in Kenya also remained rattled yet stable by this development with one of its key trading partner – Britain. Players in the logistics industry intimated that they are keenly monitoring the developments in Britain and assessing the long and short term impact of the Brexit.
At the port of Mombasa, export of agricultural produce is one of Kenya’s foreign exchange earners. Tea is one of Kenya’s main export commodities globally with Britain being a key market of the same. Gordon Omondi, Warehouse Manager at the Siginon Global Logistics adds, “The immediate impact of Brexit saw the depreciation of the British pound. Since UK re-exports to other members of EU, this market is likely to be affected by the rise in price. In the short term we are likely to see reduced activities from major exporters to the UK. In the long term Kenya may benefit from new markets as those that initially got tea from the UK may opt to import directly from Kenya. If this happens, then export volumes may increase in the long run. We continue to observe the market response so as to adjust accordingly”.
Perishables are another export mainstay through Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). The perishables comprise of flowers, fruits and vegetables which account for up to 90% of all exports air freighted at JKIA to the EU markets primarily Britain, Germany, Netherlands and France. The perishables industry has seen players make additional investments in JKIA due to direct and indirect services delivered in the cool chain. Jared Oswago, Divisional Manager in Siginon Aviation says “The impact of Brexit has seen the British Pound loss ground against foreign currencies. This may in turn affect the demand for Kenyan perishable exports in a strategic market such as Britain. Multimodal movement of freight across the various European markets may be affected as UK may impose access restrictions. However, once the Brexit is fully affected, we will know the full impact.”
Britain is a key party to negotiating a number of EU of trade agreements, the Brexit means these agreements will need to be renegotiated a fresh which can be a lengthy process and this cumbersome process could lead to a decrease in trade volumes between the U.K. and Africa. Jared adds, “The Brexit gives Kenya an opportunity to diversify its export markets and seek new opportunities outside our traditional markets. In as much as the impact of the Brexit was not as severe in Kenya in comparison to other markets, as industry players we will observe and consult with our customers and prepare accordingly.”
Kenya is one of UK’s key trading partners in Africa alongside South Africa and Nigeria. The response of these markets to the Brexit were wide and varied, however, a cautious approach in managing the long term implications of this development has been taken by the respective governments to safeguard their economies.
June 3, 2016
Importing your car into Kenya is really as easy as 1-2-3. It starts with choosing the right logistics partner to help you freight your car of choice into the country without a hassle. With over 30 years in the logistics industry, Siginon Global Logistics is your best bet to smoothly handle your vehicle into Kenya at the best rate and deliver it to you safely and securely.
To help you through the sea freight process, here are a few steps that you should follow.
1. Facilitate the same, we will need the following documents for clearance:
• Original Commercial Invoice
• Original Bill of Lading –B/L (by sea) or Air Way Bill-AWB (by air)
• Authentic Original Logbook from country of origin.
If the logbook is in a foreign language, an English translation issued by the respective Embassy, High Commission or a consulate based here in Kenya must be furnished to Customs to authenticate the foreign logbook.
• Cancellation of the foreign Logbook
• Road worthiness Certificate by authorized Inspection companies.
• Personal identification number
• Identity card – for individuals OR a Certificate of incorporation/ registration – for companies
• Letter of authority – appointing Siginon Global Logistics as the appointed Clearing Agent.
• Form A
• Jevic inspection certificate
2. Once you have received the B/L/AWB Copy, invoice, Jevic Inspection certificate and foreign logbook, email copies to firstname.lastname@example.org to enable the Siginon Global Logistics to track the vessel and receive the vehicle as soon as the vessel is discharged/off loaded.
3. After the vessel/aircraft arrives at the port Mombasa or JKIA airport, we will arrange to receive the vehicle/s and safely transfer it to our CFS or Siginon Aviation air cargo terminal facility within 48 hours of the vessel docking at the Mombasa Port or 3 days for vehicles delivered by air.
4. The Siginon Global Logistics customs clearance team will electronically process the import documentation through Kenya Customs on the Simba 2005 system and clear the vehicle on your behalf. An import declaration fee (IDF) of 2.25% of the CIF Value subject to a minimum of Ksh.5, 000.00 is payable.
5. Customs officers based in the Container Freight Station (CFS) and Siginon Aviation will assess duty payable depending on the value of the item(s) and the duty rate applicable. The East African Community Common External Tariff lays out the duty rates of imported items.
6. Once we have declared the vehicle with customs, we will be issued with a Tax report also known as a customs entry which has a specific number unique to your car that shows the taxes payable, the duty payable on the importation of the motor vehicle is as follows:
Import Duty: 25% of the CIF value of the vehicle
Excise Duty: 20% of the (CIF value + Import Duty)
VAT: 16% of the (CIF value + Import Duty + Excise Duty)
IDF: 2.25% of the CIF value or Ksh. 5,000, whichever is higher, is payable. CIF – This is the customs value of the vehicle i.e. the Cost, Insurance & Freight paid for the vehicle. The CIF -value of the vehicle is also deduced from the Current Retail Selling Price (CRSP) of the vehicle.
• Duty is paid through a bankers cheque addressed to the “Commissioner of Customs KRA” or alternatively you can remit the funds to Siginon Group Ltd and we will arrange to make the payment on your behalf.
• Once the payment is made, the customs entry is passed by customs officers after which we proceed for physical verification of the unit against the documents. The verification confirms the details of the unit against the documents provided.
• Once all the details are confirmed, the entry is given the final release which means the vehicle has been cleared by the Kenya Revenue Authority –Customs department into the local market.
7. Secure port/CFS charges and pay. We will then consolidate all clearance documents and lodge for registration of the unit which takes approx. 3days.
8. Once we secure the registration plates the unit is driven out of the customs area. We will then deliver the unit to your doorstep either self-driven or by our own Car carrier, depends on your preference.
Important to Note:
* Left Hand Drive: All left hand drive vehicles are not allowed in Kenya for registration unless they are for special purpose i.e. Ambulances, Fire Engines and large construction vehicles imported for projects and to be eventually donated to the Kenyan Government.
*Road Worthiness: All used vehicles imported into Kenya shall be inspected for Road Worthiness, safety and other requirement.
For further information, please email: email@example.com or call +254 (0)20 210 81 85
May 16, 2016
Kenya is among the leading exporter of perishable cargo to various destinations across the globe. Currently, Kenya is a key importer of sensitive cargo from Europe, South Africa, Dubai and Asia while its key export markets for flowers and agricultural produce are in primarily found in Europe and parts of Africa.
Perishable cargo can be described as goods that will deteriorate over a given period of time if exposed to adverse temperature, humidity or other environmental conditions. As such, utmost care is required when handling perishable cargo which includes; fruits and flowers. Pharmaceutical cargo is also considered perishable cargo as their quality also relies on proper handling and at times maintenance in specified temperatures. However, for Kenya to claim its enviable position as a global leader in perishable cargo exports, a thorough and rigorous cargo handling program must be in place to ensure that the entire cool chain is secured and satisfies the cargo temperature and packaging requirements to ensure the cargo quality delivered is consistent with market demands.
Professional handling perishable cargo is critical as this type of cargo suffers a decline in quality when handled incorrectly. For the customer, this results in a drop in its market price and demand for the consumer; for the handler this results in millions of dollars in insurance claims. Consequently, professional handlers of perishables pay special attention to packing, handling and any other aspects of the perishables transportation process. This implies that all the players in the perishable cool chain such as growers, packers, cargo loaders, transporters and airlines receiving the perishables must adhere to a set quality service standards to ensure that the entire chain maintains and preserves the perishable cargo quality.
Siginon Aviation is a leading air cargo handler in JKIA, Nairobi, Edward Muchiri, the Export Manager states; “Perishable cargo, must be handled professionally throughout the entire cool chain from the farm to the final customer in a ‘Known Shipper Regime’. Siginon Aviation launched a new USD 10 million air cargo terminal on the airside of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi, Kenya. The facility has been strategically developed to perform warehouse activities and ground handling operations in JKIA. With a 5000 square metre of floor space, Siginon Aviation has dedicated an additional 3000 square metre of cold room floor space that is custom made to handle cargo that is perishable in nature. The terminal has the capability to handle temperature sensitive cargo enough to fill 2 freighters B747 at a given flight turn around with a direct access to ramp, pharmaceutical cage measuring 70 square feet, DGR storage facility for both imports and export. The Siginon Aviation air cargo terminal has a unique cool chain corridor that opens up into the JKIA airside that allows for direct movement of the perishable cargo from the cool corridor onto the air craft. This therefore reduces the exposure of the cargo to the open temperature. Edward adds, “The cool chain corridor is a one of a kind feature in the JKIA cargo environment. The design of Siginon Aviation’s cool chain corridor is a reaction to customer demands for a solution to movement of perishables from the warehouse onto the aircraft without tampering with the temperature requirements.”
Siginon Aviation handles temperature controlled shipments ranging from horticultural, agricultural products and pharmaceuticals. In addition, all classes of dangerous goods, explosives, flammable products, radioactive, gases, toxic substance, fragile cargo with “handle with care” specifications due to delicate nature and ease of breakage should they be poorly handled and pharmaceutical cargo that requires special storage and specified security measures due their high versatility. Edward Muchiri adds that “demands for sensitive cargo include but not limited to: special packages, specific instruction depending on the product, time bound temperature controls, high insurance costs due to claims if the cargo is not handled properly as well as security, safety and escort management requirements”.
Perishables handling further requires high caliber staff qualified in specialized cargo handling operations. The Siginon Aviation staff have been trained in additional special skills in Aviation operations such as cargo skills, live animal, perishable handling, aviation security and ramp safety. The operations team further undergoes annual refresher trainings to ensure the skills are up to date with current market demands.
Over the years, Kenya has seen an increase in exports directed to various international markets due to its global reputation as a trusted source of agricultural and horticultural produce. This position is further strengthened by industry players such as Siginon Aviation who adopt innovative solutions that safeguard the cargo quality and focus on customer satisfaction while benchmarking on international standards of operational excellence.
April 8, 2016
So you are looking for a credible forwarder for your goods in Kenya and are confused by the myriad of potential forwarders in the directory. Where do you start?
In this day and age of advertising, anyone can put up the best advertisement yet low on service. Or they may be a ghost company operating from a briefcase! The nature of freight forwarding depends a lot on mutual trust and communication between the vendor and cargo owner. As the cargo owner, you need to trust that your cargo will get to you in tip top condition as well as regular updates on the status of the shipment from source to its eventual delivery.
To make it a little easier, here are some 11 tips to find a credible logistics partner for your cargo.
- Experience: An experienced freight forwarder is the best bet for your business. Today, there are many modes of transport, commodities, regulations and origin/destinations. All freight forwarders cannot handle all of these combinations. For this reason, ask potential forwarders what experience they have in your type of shipment. Usually they should be able to bring up an example of a similar shipment they handled for someone else.
- Industry & Regulator Approved: A credible freight forwarder is approved to operate by the Kenya customs body i.e. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) and is a member of reputable industry associations such as Kenya Federation of Freight Forwarders (KIFWA) and World Cargo Alliance (WCA). Joining reputable freight forwarding associations requires financial strength, operational efficiency, integrity and many other requirements. If a freight forwarder is a member of a reputable association, the chances of them handling your shipment with care and diligence is higher than if they were not a member. It also shows they have financial strength because there are only a handful of legitimate, quality freight forwarding networks that really vets their members.
- Membership to Global networks: The freight forwarders membership to global networks such as World Cargo Alliance (WCA) works to the advantage of the shipper or cargo owner as they will enjoy the advantage of accessing global markets through a single forwarder and eliminate the need of dealing with multiple vendors with is usually tiring and confusing.
Membership to global networks is key for various shipments and also if there are unforeseen issues in the overseas country such as a port strike, customs issue or other delay. The global partner agent can help smooth out many of these issues.
- Notable achievements and successes: A credible freight forwarder will have notable achievements and successes that are recognized within the industry and beyond. Most credible freight forwarders will be awarded for outstanding performance in the course of doing business.
- One ear to the ground: A credible freight forwarder is well versed on industry operations and is always stays up-to-date with policy and regulation changes that would affect his customers’ shipments. The freight forwarder will also proactively prompt his customers should a new regulation affect his shipment and guide accordingly on compliance with new regulations.
- Experience In Your Industry: A freight forwarder with experience in your specific industry is the best logistics partner. He will proactively advice his customer on preparing the right documentation and payment of the correct taxes thus avoid unnecessary delays.
- Accessibility: A good freight forwarder is easily accessible and responsive through a number of channels. The forwarder operates 24/7/365, providing convenience particularly to those handling shipments in different time zones. A delayed reply could easily result in payment of unnecessary penalties.
- A licenced Approved Economic Operator. A freight forwarder who is a licensed AEO enjoys a number of advantages that benefit his customer. An AEO freight forwarder will experience shorter cargo clearance times as well as fewer delays arising from cargo verification periods. This means, he is able to deliver the cargo to you at the shortest time period as compared to a non AEO freight forwarder.
- ‘Source to doorstep capabilities’: a credible freight forwarder is able to offer his customers’ supplementary logistics services e.g. Transport, warehouse, container freight station etc. A credible freight forwarder offers his customer’s total logistics solutions and spares the customer the risk and headache of exposure to multiple vendors for the additional logistics services required.
- Infrastructure: A credible freight forwarder has invested in sufficient infrastructure to support service delivery. This includes an office, communication equipment and a motivated work force. A forwarder who has invested in running his business is bound to take his business more seriously and easily accessed. A “briefcase” with no permanent address is a risk as he can ‘disappear’ when your cargo is in the course of clearance thus leading to cargo losses.
- Communication – a credible freight forwarder provides regular update in the course of handling your cargo. The freight forwarder is available on various channels and provides accurate and up to date status on customer shipment. The update in writing and verbally
With 30 years’ experience in various industries Siginon Global Logistics is your best bet in logistics in Kenya. Our presence in Mombasa, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania ensure that our customers experience world class service in customs clearance, warehousing, transport, air freight and sea freight. Siginon Global logistics is a member of World Cargo Alliance (WCA) and is able to access over 3000 global forwarders to collect and deliver cargo from almost any part of the world. Siginon Global Logistics is your cost effective, professional, credible and experienced logistics partner.
March 2, 2016
The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is a flag ship project under Kenya’s Vision 2030 development blueprint that seeks to simplify passenger and cargo transport cost effectively across the Mombasa – Malaba. The Kes. 327B railway line is designed to carry 22 million tonnes a year of cargo (approximately 40% of the Mombasa Port throughput) by 2035. The freight trains will have a capacity of 216 containers ferried at an average speed of 80 km/h. The SGR project is proposed to connect Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Ultimately, the SGR will inch Kenya closer to the vision’s ambition to make Kenya a middle class economy by 2030. The construction of the 473 kilometres line commenced in October 2013, and latest reports from the Ministry of Transport determine that the railway will be ready for use ahead of its December 2017 deadline.
Contrary to public opinion, the SGR will provide a much needed boost to road transporters in Kenya. The SGR is predicted to enhance efficiency and reduce the time and cost of cargo movement from the busy Mombasa Port. The global standard for cargo freight logistics is 60-40 in favor of rail. However, due to current inefficiencies in the rail system, Kenya is yet to achieve this standard. Job Kemboi, the General Manager in Siginon Global Logistics Tanzania says “The SGR is not a threat but a complement to road transporters. The SGR is most suitable to handle containers destined to Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.”
Currently, the Kenyan transport industry consists of approximately 15,000 trucks that are at times over whelmed by the amount of cargo discharged at the port of Mombasa for onward road transportation to serve customers along the Northern corridor and the hinterland. The SGR will provide an advantage of fast and efficient cargo movement. Along the Mombasa –Nairobi stretch, the SGR will move cargo in 8 hours from destination, a trip that would often take 2 – 3 days if one was using the current rail network. This will lead to the reduction in the cost of transport and ultimately reduce the cost of doing business in Kenya. In addition, with faster movement of goods, there is enhanced cargo security due to reduced handling and exposure while on transit. Job Kemboi adds; “Once the new railway line is in place, it will offer a secure, cost effective and efficient cargo solutions. For us, we will be delighted to ensure our customers benefit from SGR as an alternative to their logistics needs.
With the reduction of trucks plying the Mombasa – Naivasha highway, more trucks will focus on serving customers in the hinterland, away from the Northern Corridor, this will likely result in reduced traffic jams particularly on the Mombasa – Nairobi stretch, which is often been blamed on cargo trucks in the course of business. Siginon Global Logistics is one company that has recently acquired over 100 trucks due to the increased demand for cargo transportation. The additional trucks are a testament to the confidence that truck operators have in their business despite the SGR commissioning. Job adds “We have a number of customers who are located inland, away from the Northern corridor who will still need road transportation. We are confident that the SGR is a partner and not a threat to road transporters.”
It is envisioned that the SGR comes with additional benefits not only for transporters but the regions macro economy. For instance, due to the various stations established along the Northern corridor myriad of employment opportunities will arise with the stations’ construction to running and maintenance. Areas that are positioned around these stations will likely see the development if towns leading to growth of economies and infrastructure development
Job concludes, “Once the new railway line is ready, we expect to have cost effective and more efficient movement of goods and services along the northern corridor. It’s not really about us but about the customer and we are in a position to offer all options.”