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Kenya Ports Authority wishes to notify our esteemed customers that following Government reforms under ease of doing business geared towards addressing bottlenecks of doing business in the Country and reducing costs to importers and exporters, verification surcharge that is currently applied on containers targeted for verification by Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) shall be as follows:

  • Containers that are subjected to verification and found to be compliant or no penalty by KRA is raised shall not be charged verification fees.
  • Containers that are subjected to verification and found to be non-compliant or misdeclared shall be charged full verification fees of USD 80 and USD 120 for 20ft and 40ft containers, respectively, in addition to this, a penalty fee on misdeclaration as per the prevailing tariff shall be imposed.
  • No charges will be applied to containers targeted for sight and release.

This notice is effective from 25th April 2021, and does not affect transit bound containers.


The thriving of logistics companies is pegged on successful movement of goods from the supplier to the end customer. This success depends on the supply chain. Any kind of disruption in the flow of goods in any form or manner directly appears as a supply chain risk. Supply chain disruptions negatively impact the operations and financial performance of logistics companies, besides these supply chain reactions may also compromise the quality of products especially where the products are tampered with.

Some of the supply chain risks which are also logistics risks include damage, pilferage, theft, labelling and packaging of products, staffing and terrorism, material handling, storage of products and raw materials as well as movement of materials.

For a productive logistics workplace, safety and security procedures are important as they ensure the protection of the employees, the customers, the facility, the transport mediums as well as the goods themselves. One of the ways in which this can be achieved is through having policies in place that cover all these including a risk assessment procedure. The risk assessment procedure should not only include the goods but the business as a whole. Such safety and security procedures need to be reviewed regularly by the management, the management should involve experts when they can to determine any changes that need to be put in place for the policies, procedures and any guidelines to remain effective. This is an important aspect as circumstances are not constant and change from time to time, therefore, policies, procedures and any guidelines need to reflect changing times.

Other than ensuring that policies, procedures and guidelines remain effective in terms of ensuring safety and security in logistics companies, another effective tool is good relationships with the government, embassies and other organizations that are concerned with safety and security especially in the transport industry. This includes partnerships and engagements with institutions concerned with safety and security. These relationships should not only be in the country of operation but other countries especially those that the goods are transported to as well as those that the goods pass through on their way to the final destination.

Recently, there have been incidences of killing of drivers, wounding of passengers and setting ablaze of trucks along Ganji Lanya County, 65KM to Juba and Kulipa which is 58KM to Juba on Yei-Juba Road in South Sudan. The Juba-Nimule highway which Kenyan drivers use to ferry transit goods to South Sudan has been notorious for ambushes and illegal roadblocks.

The Kenya Transporters Association put forth a travel advisory that transporters should not use the Yei-Juba Highway and that those already in transit should arrange with their clients to collect their goods at the customs yard in Elegu Border.

The Republic of South Sudan has shown great concern over these incidences. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Headquarters, Office of the Spokesman released a press statement saying that they are deeply shocked and saddened by the incidences, they laid the blame on rebel groups that are opposed to the ongoing implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. The Government of South Sudan has condemned these killings and have stated that they are committed to working closely with Kenya and Uganda to address these atrocities that hinder peaceful coexistence and safe movement of people, goods and services.

South Sudan formed a transitional government of national unity which saw the country return to normalcy after 7 years of war in February last year. This was a turn in the positive direction which saw the country becoming a lucrative place for logistics businesses especially after signing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005. Many business persons from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Eritrea among others started doing business in South Sudan due to its business potential and attractiveness.

For the business relationship between South Sudan and Kenya as well as with other countries to prosper, South Sudan needs to show not only commitment but also deliberate action aimed at ensuring safe and free movement into and out of Sudan. Adequate security should be provided on the transport routes. The government of South Sudan should also aim at benchmarking other countries that have had smooth relations with other countries especially in terms of transport in the logistics business. National and international stakeholder engagement will be quite an asset in relationship building and finding ways in which atrocities such as the recent killing can be solved. Working at ensuring the security of foreigners will go a long way in ensuring the growth of South Sudan’s economy as well as those countries it will be in business with.


When the founders of Mitchell Cotts brought the firm to East African shores nearly a century ago, little did they know that they were birthing what would become one of the region’s foremost logistics firm.

Back then, the firm was established to service East Africa’s first railway built a century ago and nicknamed the Lunatic Express. Mitchell Cotts was the supplier of the coal used to run the steam engines.

“Our history is well inter-twinned with that of the formation of modern Kenya. The modern economy was first established on that railway which to date connects the East African hinterland to the coast and to the rest of the world,” said Mitchell Cotts Managing Director Daniel Tanui.

As the years rolled on, Mitchell Cotts grew from a coal provider to expand into other areas.

“When they came, they quickly moved into agriculture. They invested in tea estates in Nandi Kenya, Toro and Tiara in Uganda. And they also had a manufacturing arm which was phased out and a shipping unit which has still remained in Mombasa. That is the genesis of Mitchell Cotts,” said Mr. Tanui.

In 1989, the bigger Mitchell Cotts sold off their interest all over the world. The Kenyan company was then acquired by First Chartered Securities, a local investment bank.

The firm has expanded to include all aspects of logistics from shipping, freight, warehousingdistributionheavy lift haulage and air freight. The firm has also expanded its geographical footprint. In Uganda, it trades as Upstream Ltd and as Mitchell Cotts in Rwanda and South Sudan.

The history of the railway seems to shape that of Mitchell Cotts. Since its establishment a century ago, Mitchell Cotts has been headquartered in Mombasa.

Last year, they moved their headquarters to Nairobi. The move was a strategic relocation given the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway which has altered the world of logistics. But in fact, the intended shift had begun ten years before and the new HQ sits at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where the firm has just opened a first of its kind Air Cargo Terminal built at a cost of $25 million and capable of handling various types of perishable cargo.

For Mitchell Cotts, the sky is the limit: The new Air Cargo Terminal, also hosts a solar power plant that is meeting 30% of the facility’s energy needs.

To move to the airport, the planning had to be meticulous. The levels of agreement required are intense in detail given that the business was moving to an international airport which is governed by strict rules and regulations that span internationally.

“As part of our strategy 10yrs ago, we knew we had to be here to complete the infrastructure of logistics. When SGR came in, it hastened our decision-making. We knew we had to move swiftly to Nairobi,” said Mr. Tanui. “We realized and appreciated the fact that the way cargo was going to be moved was going to change – 70% was going to come by air so we had to be here. Given that we have other facilities handling container cargo, it then made sense that we bring our headquarters here so that we manage everything from here. As I said, railway brought us here to Kenya in 1926… the same rail brought us to Nairobi.”



The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is celebrating women who are shining in different fields. For this article, we had a sit down with Naomy Karoney, a role model in the logistics career. Naomy is the Air Cargo Terminal Manager at Mitchell Cotts and here is what she had to say.

What does Mitchell Cotts do?

Mitchell Cotts is a logistics preferred partner that provides end to end logistics solution to its client. Its diversified operations involve Aviation (Cargo Handling, Air freight), Tea Warehousing, CFS Terminals in Mombasa and Transport.

What does your work entail as Cargo Terminal Manager at Mitchell Cotts?

To oversee operations at hand.  Meaning to implement and consistently deliver cost effective cargo services to meet customer satisfaction and to ensure safety & security of cargo operations in compliance with relevant legislative & industry requirements.

I also ensure optimization of equipment, staff levels and shift patterns for effective service delivery and cost reduction and conformity with all regulatory requirements, organization standards and customer airline requirements.

What does it take to be a Cargo Terminal Manager? In terms of education, training and organizational skills?

One needs an undergraduate degree or IATA Diploma course and also be Certified in cargo skills and procedures, as well as leadership and station/ground handling management skills.

What does your typical day at work look like? 

My daily routine involves checking records of the previous shift’s performance and make sure that all open items have been put to closure. If not, those are the areas of priority to start the day with. The whole concept is we are looking at the client and trying to avoid delays in releasing cargo. My main focus is to provide customer services with the available resources within our reach.

I also analyse daily post flight reports which service financial revenue and ensuring that quality objectives and delivery deadlines are met. I supervise appraisal of staff and every day I monitor flight turn-around and on time performance.

How does Mitchell Cotts ensure optimal working conditions for the women staff members?

This is interesting. We do quite a number of things, like providing lactating room for breast-feeding mothers. This mitigates absenteeism at work and ensures productivity.

As a matter of policy we have zero tolerance on exploitation of women employees. We have diversified management thus promoting women at same rate as men.

Most supervisors have a strict code of conduct which they sign and make sure it is adhered to, and working hours are enshrined in the company policies. We have a non-discriminative policy which encourage fair practise to all employees.

Women in shipping and logistics – do we have a whole lot of them and if not, what is putting them off?

The number compared to men is not that favourable, this is due to working conditions in the industry and in most cases, one might end up working very odds hours or probably work nights.

At times working in the fields can also be challenge with unfavourable weather conditions e.g. severe heat during dry weather etc or heavy down pour during monsoon.

Do you in your personal capacity or in your position at work play a role in getting more women into logistics as a career?

Of course – yes, like in my department I have a number of ladies/women employees who I mentor, coach and encourage to take up more responsibility and leadership positions. I advise them never to shy from making mistakes as this is the best way to learn.

Do you think there’s justification for an International Women’s Day or should we celebrate women all day every day?

I believe we should embrace such days probably in the same magnitude as Valentine because women are the backbone of any society and the nation at large. Look at Kenya. Having more women in leadership is something that we should really push for. Without women, society would be nowhere. Women should be celebrated daily, not only in season but also out of season.

What is your dream for the Kenyan girl child and the global female population as a whole?

Empowerment from early ages in her life. This is key for her future development. Girls should have training that features women rights. I would also wish that they be accorded same preference in job opportunities as men.

What would you say to young girls who are just starting out in their careers and have self-limiting beliefs about fields like logistics?

Never to give up on their dreams. The sky is the limit. Also not to be selective in choosing careers because there are equal opportunities out here.

I would advise them not to look for favours, but strive and believe in themselves.

More importantly, to acquire relevant trainings.


NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya’s main airport in Nairobi will find it easy to switch from handling fruit to importing vaccines because it already has extensive cold storage, a leading logistics executive says.

Farm commodities such as fresh fruit and vegetables, which must be kept cold before being loaded onto planes at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, are among Kenya’s main exports.

“The fortunate thing about Jomo Kenyatta is it has the biggest capacity within the East Africa region because of the nature of our trade,” Daniel Tanui, managing director of Mitchell Cotts, one of the biggest logistics companies in the country, told Reuters.

“Those horticulture facilities are refrigerated. It is easy to convert and use for an emergency.”

Companies and governments around the world are racing to establish cold-chain storage and delivery systems for vaccines which must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures and can only be kept in a standard fridge for up to five days.

Mitchell Cotts has applied for international certification by health authorities to handle the imports, Tanui said, adding that it can handle vaccines which need to be kept as cold as -30 degrees.

The company will modify its existing pharma unit at its $25 million facility at the airport, adding extra cabinets to hold the vaccines, and enhancing security.

“When we designed this, we did not have in mind that a pandemic like COVID will be there and the number of vaccines that will come,” Tanui said.



Alice Kawira- Sales account manager from our Airfreight department highlighting the challenges faced by Logistics  companies operating at JKIA 

Others in attendance:

Hosea Machuki– CEO FPEAK( Fresh produce exporters association of Kenya)



Representatives from ministry of trade and agriculture.

Take out : Horticulture remains a  key  contributor to the Kenyan economy.

Govt. strengthening collaboration between public and private  partnerships to ensure Kenya remains competitive.

A logistics working group has been put together to tackle all the issues raised at the meeting and Mitchell Cotts being part of it we wish the Airfreight team good luck as they Maximize on the partnership to grow new business.


Mitchell Cotts is now a member of African Fine Coffee  Association.

The association is made up of 16 African countries.

AFCOA is the equivalent of EATTA (East African Tea Traders Association)

We are planning to grow our coffee handling services in the next couple of months having invested in a motorized  bulk coffee facility at Logistics center 1.

By Mr. Edwin Gitonga- BDM