Kenya closes cargo’s back door

ONE of Africa’s leading perishables exporters, Kenya, could see cargo flows damaged by a new policy put in place this month.

Kenyan Airports Authority (KAA) rules now mean flowers and vegetables will only be allowed on to aircraft if they pass one of the airport’s four transit ports.

Until now three quarters of the horticultural produce, which passes through Nairobi Airport (Jomo Kenyatta) bypasses the transit ports. Forwarders involved in the on-site distribution of the pallets often use side roads instead, passing only a minor gate. KAA says the change has been made to improve safety and security but shippers fear costs will soar.

Jomo Kenyatta is improving standards in order to attract coveted business from the US and in turn wants to ship Kenyan flowers to Miami. Delta Airlines shelved plans to fly to Kenya in 2009 citing safety concerns.

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