Shipping over 30% of Kenyan imports and 50% of the country’s export volumes, Maersk plays a key role in partnering with Kenyan businesses to help them grow and expand to other markets. With over 300 employees in both commercial and operational functions, Maersk is also strengthening its organization in Kenya to expand its landside offering to further address customer needs and pain points in line with its strategy of being the global integrator of container logistics, offering much more than just conventional Ocean shipping services.

Ever since we started our operations in Kenya with the first vessel call in 1978, we have continuously developed solutions that respond to the needs of Kenyan importers and exporters, with specific focus on segments core to the Kenyan economy. We know these needs go beyond just ocean transportation, so we look at our customers’ supply chains holistically and our goal is to identify needs worth addressing and in so doing fostering long term relationships built on real two-way value.

Carl Lorenz
Managing Director, Eastern Africa Area at Maersk

Tailored solutions for important cargoes

90% of all containerised avocado exports to Europe are moved with Maersk, who offers Kenyan exporters reliable landside and ocean Controlled Atmosphere refrigerated solutions. Similarly, Kenya’s flower exporters can rely on Maersk’s competitive Inland and Ocean products, allowing them significant cost savings compared to air freight, which has for years been the typical transportation mode for this segment, all while delivering fresh produce to market with a significantly lower carbon footprint. This has been possible thanks to the use of the same refrigerated container types as for avocadoes, making ocean shipping a viable option for exporting flowers and thus bringing new destination markets closer to Kenyan flower businesses at a competitive price.

But there are solutions in place not only for perishable goods, but also for other important export commodities, like garments and tea. Thanks to a dedicated consolidation centre for garment exports set up by Maersk in Mombasa in 2021, garment exporters can now consolidate their shipments at origin and send out full container loads, rather than partial, which drives their shipping cost down and enables supply cain efficiencies. Customers can also benefit from Maersk’s rail connections to bring their cargoes further inland, with Maersk being the largest container user of the SGR rail line between Mombasa and Nairobi.

Supporting Kenya’s maritime ambitions

With its expertise both in logistics, as well as in port operations through its terminal and port division APM Terminals, Maersk is ready to support further development of Kenya’s maritime sector. The company has expressed interest in the Public Private Partnership framework for ports in Mombasa and Lamu, with a robust plan towards developing a regional maritime hub in Kenya and creating 1000 direct and 4000 indirect jobs as a result of the project.

We strongly believe in the potential of Kenya’s businesses to reach customers in new markets, as well as to strengthen their presence in existing ones. Facilitating those ambitions requires efficient supply chain solutions and infrastructure and we will continue to work with our partners to continuously develop those.

David Skov
Vice President Africa and Middle East, APM Terminals

FACT BOX:

  • Maersk offers 3 direct connections to and from Kenya to the world though Mombasa. Customers are able to access North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Far East and Intra Africa and Maersk also operates a feeder to Zanzibar from Mombasa.
  • The company also offers inland services and integrated logistics solutions to and from Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan through the port of Mombasa and holds around a third of the containerised market share on Imports and half of the market shar on exports in and out of the port of Mombasa.
  • Maersk has approximately 18,000 customers shipping in and out of Kenya on their books.

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