Kenya's main port of Mombasa handled 1.8 percent more cargo in 2013, aided by improved efficiency and capacity, the port's management said.
Landlocked neighbors like Uganda and South Sudan rely on the port for the shipment of commodity exports and imports. A report by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) seen by Reuters on Tuesday said a total of 22.3 million tonnes of cargo moved through the port in 2013, up from 21.9 million in the previous year.
Container traffic dipped marginally to 900,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2013, down from to 903,443 registered the previous year.
The port handled 6.6 million tonnes of transit cargo in 2013 with land locked Uganda remaining the most frequent destination of goods arriving in Mombasa, taking up 70 per cent share of total transit traffic at the port, KPA said. South Sudan was the second biggest destination of transit cargo through the port in 2013.
Kenya is building a $300 million second container terminal at Mombasa to handle increased trade within the region, driven by a boom in the construction industry, vast infrastructure development and an emerging middle class.
By 2016, the new terminal is projected to have a capacity of 450,000 TEUs and rise to 1.2 million by 2019. The east Africa nation also plans to construct a second port in Lamu, north of Mombasa, with a capacity of 23 million tonnes per year.
Editing by Duncan Miriri, Sofina Mirza-Reid